It's The Not Knowing

So, I was driving to a work appointment today (as I do..) and I realized that I was having a pretty decent go at life today. The past two days were far from okay, so even though it wasn't the best day ever, I had a large window of time that I was feeling pretty damn good. Dare I say I even felt like myself? I had my music turned up, didn't use the GPS, and enjoyed the sunshine on my short little drive. I dealt with unplanned events at work, and I handled them the best I knew how.

When all was said and done with my schedule taking me places I didn't plan to go, I found a quiet coffee shop I could hang out at and get caught up on work. It wasn't a chain and it wasn't one that I'd ever heard of. I really enjoy finding small, local places to spend my time in so I thought this would be perfect. I don't know if it was the actual coffee shop itself, the realization that I had a super crazy day (and tomorrow is going to be even crazier), or something else, but anxiety took over. So, there I was having a decent day, finally able to sit in a quiet space, do some work that I was behind on and hopefully feel accomplished at the end of it, when a huge wave came out of nowhere. It literally took my breath away. I stopped what I was doing at the moment, took a few deep breaths, and attempted to block out everyone else that was in there. At most there were 10 other people, all of who were focused on their own activity, a majority of those activities included use of a laptop, and most likely nobody was paying any attention to me. Which is the way I prefer it when I am in those situations. Maybe I thought someone was paying attention to me and that's what triggered the anxiety? I'll never know, what I do know is that I can't ponder or try to figure it out.

As I stated above the previous two days were not so great. I had myself an amazing Fourth of July weekend for the first time in quite a few years, I know deep inside that part of the reasoning for that was not feeling obligated to spend the long holiday weekend with either of our families, like we have in the past. Back to reality on Tuesday was hard. The hardest day I've had in quite some time. I went through the motions of the day, without absorbing a damn thing in the process. I was so incredibly exhausted, both physically and mentally, that I was certain I would collapse in my bed at the end of the day and sleep through the night like a rock. I was not right. I did not sleep well, at all. I ended up moving to the couch and fighting bad dreams until it time to give up and start the day, again. I went into the day hopeful that I would feel better, but not expecting much. The day went by with some improvement. I wasn't prepared for such an incredibly hard day on Tuesday. I wasn't ready for Wednesday to be any better or any worse. And I wasn't ready for today to be such an improvement, comparatively.
It's the not knowing that is the worst. It's the lack of having the ability to prepare for what my anxiety level will be from day to day, hour to hour, or sometimes minute to minute (that can be the most deafening feeling in the world) It's also missing out on something because you can't predict your anxiety level in order to commit to something. It's not knowing if you will sleep at night or be up all night worrying about something that never happened, or something that never will happen; much less those nights when something really DID happen. It's the all encompassing feelings of not knowing. It's walking through life with perfect (with the assistance of eye wear, of course) vision, yet being in the dark for those paths you've been down a hundred times over. It's having an entire cheering section on your side, but worry and fear washing out the sound of their chants, trying to get you to the finish line of that giant task or goal (which sometimes is as simple as the end of the day) It's the feeling of being underwater, unable to hold your breath any longer, but not having the energy to swim your way back above water. It's the feeling of your chest being on fire, and your heart trying to beat right out of your body, and not having anything to extinguish that fire, or hold your heart in place. It's actually knowing that you're anxious, and being paralyzed, unable to pick yourself up and fight. It's crying tears of sadness and having no idea what you are sad about. It's the feelings of selfishness when you are simply practicing self care. It's being in a room full of people, and feeling completely alone like everyone is secretly plotting against you, or going out of their way to hurt your feelings. It's being overcome with fear, being afraid of things that are sometimes second nature to you.
It's like a surprise birthday someone planned for you, because you are so happy but you didn't see it coming. It's tears rolling down your cheeks because you were finally laughing so hard you couldn't stop. It's excitement over something so small because you don't know when the next time something so exciting will happen. It's jumping in feet first, knowing the opportunity may never present itself again. It's the not knowing that is exhausting.

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