Closets of anxiety

Have you ever noticed that when something bad happens to you the key slides into the lock of your closet of anxieties and all the other bogymen come out to play? They just romp and stomp all over your psyche and then when you’re exhausted and have a headache they like down with you to take a nap and worry you some more… What is up with that?

So, we had another storm this week (We’ve been having about one a day all summer.) but this one pulled down a big oak tree two streets over and it pulled down an entire grid of power lines so I lost power. But I lost power just as I put the final word on my editor’s column in the storytelling magazine I edit and produce. Literally, I lost power the minute I typed the period. And this huge (and very finicky) design program was open when that happened. Oh, and my back-up drive died last month and I haven’t replaced it so I didn’t have ANY of this issue backed up.

In that moment when I lost power (and knew I didn’t have a back-up), the bogymen leapt out of my closet of anxieties and started in on me. “It’s going to be a disaster! You mess everything up! You’re going to have to rebuild all of this issue! You’re such a screw-up!”

I remembered the time in Memphis when I was on deadline for LifeDesign magazine and a “sustained wind event” ripped that city’s power grid out and kept it out for over a month. The time in San Fran when I had just finished some beautiful posters, went to trim the edge of one with an exacto blade, managed to nick a vein in my wrist, and blood shot out onto every poster. Other numerous and sundry quasi-disaster memories also leapt forth and within minutes I was a sniveling mess.

The irony is that I’ve worked really hard to take my anxiety stuff out of my closet, examine it, and then therapeutically get rid of it. Every time I think the closet is empty, something like this happens and BOOM, out they come. All the little monsters of memory that I haven’t gotten to yet have a party going on in there I just don’t realize it until disaster strikes. By the time you’re a mature adult, you’ve got a whole house full of anxiety closets! It takes some time to clean those closets out and, just like real closets, some people never get around to it. They just shut the door as fast as they can before all the crap falls out.

But I have found that the more closets I clean out the better I feel. So when this new opportunity to purge arose, I hit back. I processed those little bogeymen memories and deposited them in the trash, where they belong. After all, I lived them once – why live them again?

Widowhood can bring up a lot of anxiety. If you need someone to stand by you as you sort things out, sign up for a free call and let’s talk about how I can support you through the one-on-one Widow’s Recovery System.

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