What happens when hopelessness starts to creep in?
The soft, low grade, vibration that is there in the background getting louder and louder, so slowly that you hardly notice. But it’s there alright, and starting to make itself known. The slightly off feeling. The unsteady-unsure feeling – self doubt? A bit shaky? A bit on edge. Distracted. Irritabile. Cleaning everything in sight with a toothbrush. (I spent 90 minutes cleaning the inside of my car. Just the inside! And yes I was armed with a toothbrush. Wtf.) Moving everything I can. And a few pieces of furniture I shouldn’t have. Yelling at the kids more that usual. Ok, a lot more than usual. Everything is fine one minute then suddenly overwhelming the next.
Hello anxiety, my old friend.
I pick up little pebbles of other people’s emotions, troubles and strife as I go about my day, adding them one by one to my bucket. I tend to take them on as my own and this irrational logic seems to extend to external uncontrollable environmental factors too. (Remember I said irrational so I know it’s stupid but hey… anxiety… what can I say?)
Someone’s bad day, devastating loss of a loved one, a job loss, a love lost, a broken relationship, emotional baggage, business woes, fear of failure, rejection, health issues. Throw in the news headlines, numerous whatsapp group dramas, petrol hikes, polarisation, lockdown, loadshedding, and immigration and suddenly, one minor irritation in my own life (dishwasher on the blink or overpaying by a mile for break discs) and I find myself trapped under the weight of this immense bucket of pure unadulterated anxiety.
But wait. Did I invite you in?
Why am I picking up these pebbles?
These are not mine to carry.
It’s a hard lesson I keep having to learn.
To lock the door on anxiety.
And until I do, anxiety will always be knocking.