My best friend is often my pair of headphones. I love to walk in the park or at the beach. I have very high anxiety, which I do know comes hand in hand with ADD, and a walk soothes the soul in more ways than one.
Many friends have asked me to call them and let them know when I am walking because they would like to join me. I rarely do that, sometimes it is because I do not know I am headed to the beach until I am actually there, and other times it is because I need to be alone.
After many years of hiding behind my mother and sitting in the back of a classroom, I have become quite vocal. I have joined groups and now hold leadership positions. This is very difficult for me. As an educator, one would think that standing in front of a group is simple for me. It is not. I am far more comfortable around children than I will ever be in a room filled with adults and my peers. Quite possibly because children are less likely to judge or it could be because their attention span is about the same as mine.
I hit overload very easily and then the anxiety sets in. For many years, I would go to my doctor and he would prescribe me medication to keep me calm and of course encourage proper diet, with very few stimulants and exercise. I tried very hard to follow his suggestions.
One day, it all stopped working. I no longer wanted to take medication. Xanax was making me into a zombie with brain fog. I would fall asleep in the car while waiting for my daughter after school. I felt like a drug addict must feel, because in truth, that is what I was becoming. I went off Xanax cold turkey.
The weeks following, I was an emotional train wreck. Hardly anyone knew about this. I hid it very well. I would sit in my car literally paralyzed. Unable to get out of it to go into my own home. I would stand in the supermarket frozen, not able to process what I needed to do. Needless to say we were lacking in supplies, since ADD had me forgetting items and now I was too anxious even to follow my list.
I was definitely better on the days I was scheduled to work. Anxiety would plague me until I got into the building and began to teach. The auto pilot that was in me would turn on and raise my spirit, give me focus, give me purpose.
My work had dwindled over the past few years. My part time job had started out lucrative but had deteriorated due to events beyond the control of my department. This isolation, although I often craved it, was in the end not healthy for me.
While being alone, kept me from having to decipher conversations which involved more than one person, or focusing on a voice in a loud crowed room in order to form an intelligible reply, it was not beneficial to the anxiety and depression I was suffering from.
I turned again to the internet to search for help. I found it. I signed up for an online course in Meditation Certification. From the moment I began to read the first lesson, my entire mind and body calmed down. I felt connected to a world that understood me. What I needed to help me slow down my mind which was speeding at all times.
There are so many types of mediation, of course for me, the best is being mindful. A person with little or no attention span has a terrible time being aware of living in the moment and not thinking of anything else. Your brain literally has to be retrained. I am far better than I was but I have a long way to go.
I know that there are those who probably snicker behind my back about meditation practices but that is their right. Meditation teaches tolerance to all. I hope to hold a meditation instructor’s certificate one day utilizing my teaching skills to help others in mindfulness, focus and the ability to calm oneself.
As I sit at the computer this morning, writing, I am fighting the panic, the anxiety of life in general. I long for a day when financial burdens do not send me into a tailspin. I am thinking about the beach, the ocean breezes and the roar of the waves crashing against the sand. These are thoughts that calm my soul when the crayons begin to fall one by one out of my hands led by the overloaded days that are my life at times. At conclusion of this blog, I will get out my Zafu, which is a meditation pillow, sit with my back straight, listen to the music and put my mind on track.
I am thankful that I am no longer putting the poisons of medication into my body and I will not medicate my daughter. The world is filled with natural ways to work on your brain and to soothe your soul. Each person is unique and special. Acceptance of who one is born to be needs to play a part in our daily life. I turn to meditation, walking, breathing with purpose, music, nature and prayer to control the disruption of the outside world. I am working on a far more natural diet in every sense of the word. Feeding my body, heart, mind and soul with the best that the earth has to offer. Including people who nourish my life.
Being alone is often easier, but it is not necessary if we learn how to strengthen ourselves to savor the moments we need to. Life is not meant to be this hard.
Life is a beautiful gift.