Clearing anxiety through early-morning expression
It’s 5am and my chest is tight, breathing shallow. I sense upcoming changes that break my heart, terrify and invigorate me, and I haven’t written to completion in almost two weeks.
While it’s been an unusually slow reading year for me, lately I’ve been reading a lot. Non-fiction mostly, much of the information contained within unknowingly burrowing into my brain to pop up later as needed.
A life of the mind is incompatible with full-time mothering. Why are the two things I want most seemingly at odds with one another?
Maybe instead of writing for public consumption, I ought to be journaling. Allow my chest to expand, breathing to deepen, fear and the belief in this “at odds-ness” to shake themselves loose. It’s therapeutic and meditative, isn’t it? Writing, I mean.
There’s a place by the interstate near our old house in Texas where my mind sometimes goes. I don’t know why there. It’s not the spot I’d imagine when, as a mother of two young children, I wanted to run away from home, off to the interstate, to hitch a ride to anywhere but here.
On one side of the road there’s a restaurant I went to once, a new Container Store on the other. An overpass above the interstate, going left off which leads north. I see the long entrance ramp.
Does your mind do that? Return to places of which you have no particular attachment or feelings?
I do it too with this one five-pointed intersection in Montana. Why there? Why that one?
Low on social interaction as of late, I go days and weeks without meaningful conversation. What’s that adage about people’s topics of conversation?
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Yes, that’s the one.
I’m short on discussion of ideas. Though plentiful in the books I read, failure to speak on them stifles me, heightens anxiety, makes mothering and the mind seem more unsuited for one another than usual, and sends me on mental field trips to places near intersections and on-ramps, as though I must choose a course, choose communication, choose communion.
Now, I’m breathing easily, having expressed, having written my way to completion. That was all it took.
As though a daily dose of psychotropic medication, tomorrow I’ll need to do it again.