Posted on 9 October 2015 by Michael

the day after an anxiety-filled day

My head hurts.  My muscles hurt.  And nearly all my nerve endings feel like nubs experiencing something between fatigue and pain.

Yesterday was one of those days.  Yesterday, Anxiety followed me everywhere.  Okay, actually, It fully occupied my brain and body … everywhere.  And a couple times it slam danced vigorously and turned into an unconfined panic attack that spilled out into agitations, actions, and tremblings others had to see and wonder, “What’s going on with Michael?”

Today, I wanted to be writing about something … well, not hopeful.  But I wanted to write about my creative process, and how some of it begins with a mess of tortured feelings … an inability to communicate a truly beautiful vision for the future I can see … through to an articulated vision that:  (1) if simply a personal vision, I can make happen, or (2) if a justice-related strategy, a vision that slowly gains converts and then becomes a super snazzy process.

For those who know me and my work, think of the “3 words for home” or “Home is” campaigns  Both began as tortured, anxiety- and mistake-filled concepts that with the help of a few people who played with me while I struggled and then joined in the struggle turned into success-filled and movement-building strategies.

But this morning my brain is not at the place to truly explain that process.  Nor, is it at the place to explain how the early part of that process is filled with catastrophic-thinking and isolation.

Instead, I am left with what I feel is an Anxiety hangover.  Again, my head hurts; my muscles hurt; and my nerve endings are nubs experiencing something between fatigue and pain.

It is 6 am.  Last night’s sleep helped, because I am not in a panic, and I am not (yet) experiencing another round of Anxiety.  But I wish it was 8 pm, and I could end another day early and sleep for a long time to rest my weary body and brain.

But that is not possible.

Yesterday, if I was not looking at the world as “what’s going on inside Michael?” was actually a pretty awesome day.  There was progress on the justice issues I work on (and, I could feel I was a part of creating that progress).  Friends were friendly, and I could usually be friendly back.

And then the day ended with a work celebration-rally.  I put on a happy face.  I put a name tag that read “Cheerleader Michael” and then assumed the position.  Inside I was tired and sad and angry (at myself).  But outwardly — while a few people commented that I looked tired — I whooped and happy-hollered.  I told people how awesome the are … because they were / are awesome.  And then when the event was done, I helped clean up.  I did the dishes, because doing dishes is one of the most solitary clean up tasks available to a clean up crew.  And I just wanted to be alone.  Actually, I wanted to be in bed and curled up, attempting to sleep, but probably crying.

So, when the public part of my day got done.  I walked to my car and just let it go.  Sobbing.

I haven’t had a day like yesterday in weeks … perhaps months.

While I can’t describe why it happened, I feel it was a temporary place as I struggle with appropriate questions my therapist has asked me to reflect on.

I know healing is not a comfortable process, especially when you are trying to heal from a major episode of Anxiety and Depression.  And healing is not a long but steady slope up.  Nope, it’s a rollercoaster ride, hopefully with the trajectory upward.

My trajectory has been upward.  But it’s had several dips of late.  The dips have accompanied real questions that really have to be grappled with.

And with each day of grappling, the next day begins feeling like a lesser version of Hell than the day before.

Onward.  I hope.