Thursday evening was one that I was eagerly anticipating. Excitedly awaiting for a plethora of weeks. This was in response to being able to venture out of the comfort of the place I call home, after being invited to attend a gig of one of my darling, musically talented and intellectual friends, Bill.
Gigs, venturing out (especially in the evening) or deviating from what is familiar to me, has never been an option for numerous years, as an invasive control of Anorexia Nervosa, OCD, depression and anxiety. Holding me captive to the imprisonment of my mind and the traps of indoors.
Thus, my surprising excitement for Thursday evening was welcomed as I felt that I was self developing, understanding what life truly means so to live happily. Surrounding myself with beautiful other souls who uplift and nourish me.
I felt as if I was now the one in control of me! The tables and cogs of the well oiled machine were drastically shifting away from dear Anorexia ruling one of her prisoners. I was set to soar. To fly with my wings outstretched, to grasp life with every ounce of my being!
All was proving swimmingly, conversing with friends, managing dinner prior to the performance and being introduced to new individuals and environments.
Although, if I retract slightly, I must admit the day proved anxiety provoking with my mind fooling me with a concoction of anxious thoughts and disheartening words fed to me. I shan’t venture into detail as to what all of these voices expressed, as I would be here all evening! They simply were irrational, lugubrious and unwarranted. Fortunately, I sought refuge through friends and family, conversing to them about what and how I was feeling, so to navigate my way through.
*A little side note: I implore all to inform others of how one is feeling so that one is kept safe and comforted in times of distress, as there is absolutely nothing for loathsome than not being understood. I understand the courage required to be open with others about one’s thoughts and feelings, but such definitely assist long term.
Returning to the evening in question, the performance involved all to sit to watch three fabulously talented acts, for an extended duration of time.
To the average person, the act of sitting, in any environment, is generally not questioned, thought of or overanalysed. However, those who know me well know that I despise sitting, preferring to stand and pace with every opportunity; not being able to remain still as stillness relates to no energy exertion and feelings of distaste of self.
Expressing that I struggle with sitting, a natural daily act, takes courage and transparency. When other inquisitive souls enquire as to why I stand, I usually respond with:
“Oh, I stand due to lower back problems. Standing ensures that I can stretch out and not feel any discomfort.”
(Technically, not a fabrication as I do experience lower back pain. Although, as the years have proceeded, I have used this almost as an excuse to protect Anorexia as she informs me that sitting is terrible!).
“I simply prefer standing. Haven’t you heard of standing desks? These present the way of the future!”
So there I found myself, outside of my comfort zone sitting watching the first act.
After an hour, I began to feel uncomfortable, a stinging, tingling and numbness sensation of the legs and body, unable to concentrate on the performances and my surroundings, unable to breathe properly, heart increasing in rate, negative thoughts of self, feelings of physical expansion and wishing to burst out of the room to shed the weight I hold on this earth.
Standing up and migrating to a standing table at the back of the premise, was the only reasonably sane act I could contemplate and embark on to protect myself from further discomfort and anxiety.
I was whole heartedly disheartened as I permitted the anxiety and illnesses to encroach, especially when this occasion was suppose to signify a joyous evening, celebrating Bill’s talents and accomplishments whilst being in the gorgeous company of amazing others. I felt egocentric, ridiculous, an anomaly, a monster, alien, imposter and incongruent with life, desiring the power of invisibility.
How is it that life can be proceeding marvellously until something so minute can alter the switch in one’s mind for all to appear catastrophised?
Fortunately, all surrounding me understood and respected my discomfort, making me feel that my peculiar idiosyncrasies were embraced and natural. Although I felt like a miserably terrible and awful “freak” (a term I would never place on another or use loosely, as such holds immense cruelty! Yet this is how I felt about towards myself), I did not allow the voices and thoughts distract me from the remainder of the evening as being honest with others about what made me uncomfortable, ensured a sense of unity and mutual respect, which I am eternally grateful for.
Similarly, I began to quietly congratulate myself for sitting for the duration of dinner and an hour of the performances, as I went from not ever being able to sit to sitting in public. This meant that I was challenging myself. Small steps possibly, yet these increments propel one forwards to eventually take giant leaps of faith.
Remembering that even when one feels inadequate, an aberration or disengaged with society, that we all possess our discomforts, flaws, anxieties and triggers, such is human nature. We must remember that we are fallible and are not invincible, so to embrace us for us.
Knowing that this too shall pass, is a gargantuan reminder of the importance of progressing with every baby step implemented. As all moments, feelings and emotions shall pass. So whether we feel wonderful or icky about a certain situation, holding the concept that all passes, is significant enough to know that every moment should be cherished, as we learn, grow, conquer and become our authentic selves.
Expressing our fears, anxieties and individual peculiarities or intricacies is never a terrible conversation to be had as we are all beautifully unique in our own light!
Here I stand and continue as Maddie. The feelings of icky-ness, dread, anxiety of sitting and all.
This is me. Beautifully me!
I greet you kindly dear friends and appreciate you all with your own beautiful moments of icky-ness and unease.
All of my love, thoughts and hugs always,
ME!!! Here I am, embrace me as you desire ❤️