Another journey into anxiety
Day something-teen of working with the being with anxiety and fear (I can see the difference between them now). TLDR; intense evening of sitting with anxiety and fear, each time I do this is a small step towards accepting what is there, seeing it as separate to me, and letting it pass through like all other thoughts, its hard and it hurts and i am terrified, and its progress.
These feelings come up every day. I can feel their frequency and see how much of my headspace they take up. My practice of being with these emotions and letting them sit feels like small steps each time towards a place where they are not me, they don't control me, they don't drown me, they are just thoughts and feelings that drift in and out of reality - separate from whatever it is I am. I imagine a day where I am free to be present, and even if these thoughts and feelings occur, I can wave at them and watch them drift away peacefully.
But just being with them, being in them, is so so hard. I worked with Ayahuasca last year - she is a powerful lady. Last night felt like being in an Aya ceremony.
Emotion built from late afternoon. I was tired and drained after an intense week. Anxiety started to manifest in catastrophes being born. I lived and felt every-possible universe that my mind conjured into existence all at once. I lived in all the vile and sickening possibilities that grew from this moment.
A small collection of these futures: We end up in jail. We end up lost. We end up having to work a shitty minimum wage job just to make ends meet because we lost everything and our life is meaningless and you are not happy and its because of the choices I made. You get beaten up, or raped or murdered and I can't help or stop or be there and its probably my fault. We are helpless as corrupt officials take everything from us and harass us over a foreign country where we have no support or aid or assistance and we just languish there. You die in an immigration office holding cell from Malaria because they wouldn't let you see a doctor and I was too weak to help them. sometimes so vague, sometimes so specific but always tangible and with a link to reality that justifies this being a possible future we face. I can't convey the detail of the reality behind each of these ideas - it was a series of nightmares very personal to me that hits on every fear I have. I was terrified.
It made me physically shake, and wail, and crush my face and head between my hands. Have you ever felt something so intensely that you wanted to rip your head apart to stop it?
I still tried to sit with it and let it be there. I didn't rationalise my way out of it, or research mitigations, or plan strategies to deal with each eventuality, or cancel plans to limit the likelihood of these happening, I just sat with it and let it be there.
I saw for the first time a fear underneath it all. It didn't explain everything that was going on but it explained some. I saw a fear that something bad may happen to the people I love and I am so scared of it I will try to do anything I can to make it impossible for that to happen. I will dream up every possible terrible eventuality so I can try and stop it from happening. I know this is impossible. I just cant accept the reality that bad things could happen to the people I love, that they can be hurt, that I may be powerless to stop it. Even though this is all so unlikely, it is on a thread of fate somewhere and I am petrified of it.
I am now working to be with these feelings still and reflect on the idea that while bad things may happen, they probably wont, and if they do we can deal with them. I couldn't let go of the fear last night, despite touching it, and I don't know why. I am holding it tight and that pressure and tension I can feel in all these emotions. But I can see it, and I can feel it, and I know its part of me which means I can work with it.
I know eventually I will let go of this fear, and accept the risk that is inherent in all life, and in doing so hopefully make space for the now, and love, and joy, and them.
And even though I am not there yet, going through this, talking about it, writing about it, helps. Little steps.