‘If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.’

A little over 10 years and 2 months ago

My biggest struggle was anxiety

Not your mothers dinner party anxiety

Or your coworkers deadline anxiety

But crippling fear that I was going completely and utterly fucking crazy

By this time I already had a taste with 9 years of anxiety which was more like a smattering of isolated incidents

The worst part was developing IBS during that time

Rewind 9 years earlier

My first conscious memory of anxiety was when I was 18

I had just gotten a tattoo in Montreal

I was in a park with my friend

And this overwhelming sensation came over me

I knew what it was of course

Having seen my father battle anxiety my whole life

I didn’t know then

That this would be far from the last time I would feel so fucked up

Fast forward to being 27 years old

About to get married in Montreal ironically enough

So excited

So happy

And dreading the feelings that anxiety was stirring up in me

Interestingly my father had what was then known as a ‘nervous breakdown’ on his honeymoon in his late 20s

Fast forward 35 years to my life

I became unable to work

I had to quit my job

I couldn’t even leave my house

I think I went to the hospital a few times

Not that they helped me at all

Aside from giving me very strong antipsychotic meds that knocked me on my ass for 3 days

Fast forward 10 years and 2 months

And for the most part I’ve got a good handle on my anxiety

I’ve accepted it

In doing so it doesn’t rule my life

It’s no longer the first thing I think about in the morning

Nor is it the last thing I think about at night


This last week it has been

I’m getting ready to go on vacation

Planes, resorts, restaurants, buffets

Panic attacks, claustrophobia, IBS, bacterial infection re: Lemtrada

So every night I go to bed

And I toss and turn

Choking on a lump in my throat that isn’t there

Worrying about things that might never happen

Afraid that the crippling anxiety from all those years ago

Will come back with a vengeance

So different from depression

Which is like a comforting embrace that is suffocating you without you even knowing

Anxiety is where your skin crawls

Your muscles so tense they pulsate

Your brain so wired it can’t shut down to allow the body to rest

All of this

Because I wanted to go on a fucking sun filled vacation

And now all I keep thinking is that the sun better be so fucking bright it hurts my eyes

And the ocean better be so warm that I’ll feel like I’m in my bath at home

And the wind better be so soothing that it will make all memories of this pain and discomfort

Feel like they are from someone else’s life

And I can pretend

For a week

That I’m free

9 thoughts on “‘If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.’”

  1. As someone who lives with two people that struggle with anxiety and one with IBS, I certainly relate Angela. I admire that you can capture the emotions so succinctly, and that you are willing to bare it all for everyone to see. I hope that you can keep the monster in its cage long enough for you to enjoy your vacation adventure

    Liked by 1 person

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