“Are you alright, Ma?”
Jessi glanced down at the colorful letters I scratched out in oil pastel and commented, “That’s dope.”
I chuckled and told her that I thought it was trash. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I was scared, just so fucking tired and scared. Jessi insisted I come to her room and talk. A few minutes later, I lay cuddled up in my daughter’s arms, warm and safe.
“I remember when I was little, and when I got scared, I’d run to your room and crawl into bed with you, and you’d hold me. I figured I could do the same for you.”
A smile tugged at my lips. Before I knew it, I’d poured out all the fear I wrote in a spiral tablet just before I decided to create the Fuck It All drawing (Spiritual Detox, Part I) to her. Jessi knew I was overwhelmed and down for the count. She reminded me of all of my successes. She reminded me that although the cash was in her account, I’d been the one to find our current home. It was an impossible situation that somehow I made possible. My rational mind knew all of this, but the monkey was running amuck. It did make me feel better to hear her encouraging words, to lay there, and be comforted. But the fact remained that I was not sure I could pull myself out of it, and that thought made it even worse. As Jessi left for work a couple of hours later, she said she’d have a surprise for me. Of course, I knew what my surprise would be, and I welcomed it. She knows how irrational I can get when my anxiety and fear is this far out of control. She says there’s nothing wrong with a little help sometimes.
Meanwhile, I strolled back into my bedroom and gazed at the art I thought was trash. Plopping down on my meditation pallet, I grabbed a blank sheet of art paper. My heart had more to express. I started with her face. The eyes came first, closed with a single teardrop. Then came it’s piercing and merciless blood-shot eyes. The rest of its blackness nearly enveloping the whole of her. I threw as many mediums at this work as I could; acrylic, permanent marker, color pencil, and of course, that tedious oil pastel. Something was missing. Yes, hope was missing. Flowers, butterflies, and other living things surrounded her now, but it’s hard for her to see with the looming fear monster surrounding her. But it is there. Beauty is there. I do not know how much time passed before realizing that I was not focusing on how I felt inside. Thoroughly engaged with what I was putting on the canvas, it felt great to have a break from the torment. As I gazed at my creation, I thought it well represented how I’d felt earlier. The weight seemed to be lifting. I occupied myself with preparing dinner until Jessi got home.
After a couple of hits off of my surprise, I felt that familiar feeling of wellbeing wash over me. I exhaled and laid on my back, arms open to heaven and closing my eyes. Feeling waves of anxiety sprouting out of my body, I visualized various colors fanning out of my chest, resembling a moving Van Gogh style water fountain. I began talking; I don’t remember verbatim what I said, but the gist of it is, I just want to not give a fuck about bills, rent, or if I’m homeless or whatever. I just want to expect that good things are coming to me without thought of the alternative. I just want to let all the old worry go. I smiled and continued as Jessi listened, I feel the anxiety coming out of my chest. I just want it gone. I want to wake up tomorrow with enthusiasm for my future. I want to trust God; I want to trust myself. I just want to be completely comfortable with change and uncertainty. I want to be excited about it.” I paused, “I’m so scared that I will not let it go. I’ve worried all my life — what if I can’t let it go, Jess? I have to let it go. I allowed the anxiety to flow through and out my body. Otherwise, I was relaxed and not worried at that moment and it felt good to slow it all down. That night I made a conscious effort not to give a shit about anything.
I didn’t feel enthusiasm the next day, but I did feel lighter, and my solar plexus wasn’t in knots, and my heart center didn’t feel constricted anymore. My meditation that morning was one of gratitude. I took this breakthrough as another win, not concerning myself with what the next day would bring. It’s been two weeks, and things are even better. Even patting myself on the back as several challenges since then almost made me spin out, but I calmed my ass down, talked myself off the ledge, and insisted on keeping my joy. If I start to feel wonky, I gaze at Fear Monster, staring into his yellow eyes, repeating to myself I am divinely protected, I am divinely taken care of, fear has no power over me. Then I concentrate on the flowers and living things. My goal is to keep my vibrations up, so I do more activities to keep myself in good spirits. Even found a happy music station on Pandora that kicks butt, so I sing and dance as I do my chores. Oh, and you know that rash on my arm that I spoke about in Part I? It’s been on the side of my arm, just where it bends for about three months. The stubborn thing is gone now. It was almost instantaneous.
A few resources are linked below. I always like to leave you with something that explains deeper into what I’ve written. Please know that my depression and anxiety lived with me 24/7 since I can remember. Although I was relatively healthy most of my adult life, I still lived with aches, pains, migraines, etc. that I thought would always be with me. We get comfortable in our discomfort, and sometimes wear it as a badge of honor as we compare ailments at the water cooler. Depression is not how I describe my mental health now (amazing), and the anxiety is nearly eradicated. If any low vibrational emotions or thoughts patterns creep up, I work it out through awareness, yoga, and other healing methods, which can stir it up and freak me out before it exits. But I refuse to patch my hurts with a bandaid anymore and it is my intent to only use natural medicine when I need assistance. But you can best believe I’m investigating the why’s of my emotions, stinking-thinking, hurts, aches, and pains. Just know that everyone’s journey is different, and I’m only sharing mine so that you are not alone in yours.