I woke up with an impending sense of doom for so many years, I just thought that’s what everybody went through in the morning. That feeling of another exploding shoe about to drop. The racing heart right when I opened my eyes. My life was such a shitshow for so long, waking up meant having to endure yet another episode where yours truly did something awful while intoxicated. So now, in those rare moments, when I do feel panic or anxiety I’m jettisoned back to those horrible days. It happened just this morning as a matter of fact.
It was blazing hot in our bedroom when I first woke up and my phone was vibrating. I try not to even deal with my phone for at least 30 minutes after getting out of bed but I instinctually grabbed it and the slew of messages instantly stressed me out. How was I going to get all the stuff done I needed to? Who should I call back first? Why am I always behind even before I’ve had my coffee? Here I was not even fully awake and I had already successfully thrown myself into a panic. I was sweating and felt anxious but I knew setting down my phone and going downstairs was the right answer. Everything would have to wait until I got a handle on this non-issue I was having. Spending years waking up in situations where everything was far from okay had thrown my morning rituals in some kind of PTSD and I’m still learning how to turn my habits and thought patterns around. Before I descended the staircase, I splashed water on my face in the bathroom and said out loud, “You’re fine.”
After prayer, meditation and a cuddle session with my cat, I started to believe it. Further positive actions throughout the day confirmed my temporary panic was not going to cause me to explode and my day turned out pretty great. I walked down the street and could smell flowers. I ran into some friends at my favorite meeting. I had an amazing chicken sandwich. And an opportunity to help someone in need even came up and I pounced at it. This speedy, mental turnaround is proof that my thinking has really evolved. When I used to wake up in a state of “FUUUUCCCCKK!!”, I usually stayed there and it almost always got worse. Now its a different reality. It’s incredible that I can have those moments, acknowledge them and use some magic tools to move past them. Today was a good reminder that I can just as easily press the reset button as I can press the panic button.
So how was your day?