Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Loosening and untying


It's been awhile, I know. And I'm not sure why.

Normally, I feel like I have things I want to write about - things I'm thinking about, things I'm experiencing. I have done this for almost 11 years. It has been an emotional outlet and a connection with the world - the readers I know about and those that I don't.

But for the past few months, I have felt paralyzed, communicationally-speaking. There are so many areas of my life that I'm trying to sort out from a psychological perspective that the various strands have become entangled and knotted, like necklaces carelessly tossed into a box. Writing about them seems impossible, both because I'm still sorting them out in my head, but also because it feels too personal.

I feel those knots physically. My chest is always slightly tight, my breathing isn't as deep as it should be. I'm perpetually anxious. My heart feels like it's beating too close to the surface of my skin.

Exercise helps. I find that when I wake up in the morning feeling like I'm two steps away from being in the throes of a full-blown anxiety/panic attack - and I feel this way almost every day - the exertion from a super strenuous workout can push the anxiety in my chest to the side. It doesn't go away altogether, but it's abated somewhat.

If I have to be anxious and nervous all the time, at least I'll be in shape.

It's not like I'm particularly unhappy. The kids are great. It's summer, so we've got our annual Outer Banks beach trip coming up in a few weeks. The mountains beckon with beautiful hiking trails. The neighborhood pool opens this weekend. I've got tickets to Red Rocks shows.

But I have an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about where I am in my life, and where I want to be. I know I'll figure it out, but it's a hard process.


  1. Does any of it stem from a feeling that time is finite? You could be having a midlife crisis. Join me. We won't die from anxiety. We will stay fit, do a lot, think a lot. Also, don't forget the Trump Effect.

  2. I don't know about midlife crisis. I don't really think about the finite nature of life much. I think it's more that after years of dealing with some fairly intense trauma, things seem to have normalized a bit and it's given me a chance to focus on something broader than simply getting through each day. It's brought up questions about what I'm doing and where I am vs. what I want to be doing and where I want to be.

  3. To me, the questions about what you are doing versus what you want to be doing/being are classic midlife crisis. Call it an awakening if you like. Or maybe you got used to drama and waiting for the other shoe to drop that normal seems boring or has you hankering for a reinvention? I went out west in February and came back all charged up about getting outdoors more, not retiring in Atlanta, etc. Trying not to burn down the house but it's tempting.