Anxiety Abatement

Started warming up on Friday, and wham! yesterday, Saturday, we hit 90.  Out of nowhere.  Today still supposed to be hot, but according to the weather service tomorrow promises a “tremendous” (their word) temperature drop of between 30 and 40 degrees.  These sudden comings and goings of hot air are called the Santa Ana, a phenomenon responsible for the occasional strange Christmas of 80 degrees or better.

On another front, the flood of anxiety that threatened to engulf me this last week (part of a three week long anxiety weather pattern) has abated somewhat.  I am reluctant even to mention it though, it being something of a knock-on-wood issue.  Knock-on-wood!  This weather pattern can be very unstable and the stuff could fly back in my face at any second.  If I could figure out why it has abated I might be able to figure out what started it—but I can’t figure out either.

Maybe it’s something I ate.

I was lying there watching TV last week some time.  I don’t know why but when I watch TV I don’t sit in a chair or on a sofa like most people.  For years I would lie down and stretch out on the floor with my head propped on the bottom of the sofa.  A year or so back though we got one of those TV chairs, a rocker sort of thing, that sits low down towards the floor, and I use that some, though sometimes I don’t sit on it, but drape myself, lying on my side across it, using it for some upper body support.

In any case, lying there watching TV (this was last week some time) and I become aware that I am about to have a righteous panic attack, complete with being unable to breathe.  I am quite positive, lying there, that I am going to die at any second, and if I don’t do that, I am positively doomed to experience a horrible lingering death that will utterly wipe away any possibility of what people used to call the “golden years.”  I mean, the jig is up. But then this voice comes into my head that says, in effect, “Hey Nick.  If you just think about right now, this moment, as you are lying here, you can see quite clearly that you are not dead or you couldn’t be thinking this thought, and further at this moment you have no concrete evidence either medical or experiential that you are going to die a lingering painful death.”

And strangely, thinking these thoughts, it was as if I had reached out and pushed the anxiety over to the side of my consciousness.  I even remembered to stomach breathe a little while.  Funny.  Odd.  The anxiety was still there, but more distant.

Who knows maybe thinking such thoughts on future occasions will help, though I rather doubt it.  Anxiety is a protean creature and slips up on you from all angles.  Still, I do wonder if perhaps at that moment I managed to push my way just a little bit towards the Zen now that promises some released from the wheel of transience.