I experienced something this week that I haven’t in quite some time: I was crippled by my anxiety. I felt an intense need to be busy, but I couldn’t focus on anything. My mind and body were frantically and ineffectually busy.
I knew what was happening and I fought it, only to make things worse. After struggling against the quicksand for most of the day, I finally realized it was easier to let the anxiety progress on its own. What I am dealing with right now will naturally cause anxiety. Maybe the key to continuing to be well is to not fight it, but flow with it.
Later that night, as my anxiety naturally faded and my head became clearer, I realized that I had been fighting a loosing battle over these last few weeks. I am just not going to be as happy and anxiety free as I usually am, and that is okay. To have anxiety and depression symptoms does not mean I am a failure.
Since I have been so focused on wellness over the past few months, I thought I had to keep fighting away the depression and anxiety, to keep fighting for joy every day. But fighting is not the answer.
Circumstances have changed. The difficulties I am facing have changed. This means my unique form of wellness and joy also need to change.
Maybe wellness does not mean I am free from depression and anxiety symptoms. Maybe wellness now means that I am aware of my feelings, accept them, and love myself fully right where I am. Maybe joy can be cultivated in my now smaller world: the sounds of birds, the peaceful face of my cat when she is sleeping, a loved one’s voice over the phone.
Most of all, I need to allow myself to do nothing, to sleep more, to watch my favorite shows. It is okay if I cannot do all my practices right now.
To find wellness and joy in this time where my illusion of control has been so acutely stripped away, the greatest practice is to ebb and flow with my ever changing needs for nourishment.