Learning To Exhale

I am a bundle of nerves. Most people experience this with stress or triggers. It’s my identity, all I have ever known. Relaxing is not my thing. I can’t even stand a massage because it requires letting go.
I don’t know how to exhale.
I go through life holding my breath.

Last night, though..I was exhausted from shark week, in pain, and just…tapped out. And so I took the first step in learning to exhale.
I went to bed as soon as my kid fell asleep. I was up every couple of hours, of course, but for once, without aid of xanax or alcohol…I just let go, and let myself feel shitty without feeling self pitying and guilty.
And ya know what?
It was wondermous.
I woke at six a.m. and didn’t glare daggers at the alarm.
I got up and watched The Flash.
I’m still in pain and the anxiety is still bubbling under the surface but…
I think I am LEARNING to exhale.
Now consistency is not my strong suit, and the cyclothymia makes sure it stays that way. You can’t be stable when your mind is in an ever shifting state of ebbs and flows.
So all I can do is try.
Try to exhale.
LEARN how to let go and just breathe.

People mock how uptight I can be, how jumpy I am.
It’s not funny. They do not help.
So learning to relax is not going to be easy or painless. I will fail more than I succeed.
But…I am, for the first time, willing to give it a whirl and see where it goes. Tied up in nervous knots is no way to go through life.
So every now and again…I am going to grant myself permission to exhale.

That being said, exhalation time has passed and I am back in frayed rope land. Daytime does that to me. I relish the night when phones stop ringing, no mail comes, people go inside, traffic slows down. Daytime can be hellish for my nerves.

I guess I will go super retro and quote Gloria Gaynor: “I will survive.”

For now…I have had a brush with exhalation and I liked it. I must try it again sometime.
And the anxiety disorder laughs its ass off.

I give it a two finger salute.
I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers.

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