[Content Warning: Anxiety, Covid-19 feelings, not so nice self talk. If these topics are a challenge for you, please proceed cautiously.]

I’m alright.

It’s a sunny Tuesday, blue skyed and breezy. I saw a raven on the lamp post outside my house in the pink of dawn, which for me, was a beautiful omen. It’s not even noon and I have showered, made my bed, put on some laundry, eaten a healthy breakfast and drank two mugs of tea. I have stretched and moved my body. I have connected with the people I love most, I have been encouraged and praised, I am immersed in work that I love to do.

I’m alright.

Twelve hours ago, I wasn’t. Twelve hours ago I had cried myself to sleep, jaw clenched, swaddled tight in a blanket, stiff with anxiety. Luckily, I slept through the night. News of an impromptu camping trip this weekend for Mr. Fawkes sent me into a panic spiral – What about social distancing? What about The Virus? What about all the other what ifs? Why would he go if he knows I’m so upset? Why am I like this?

I’m alright.

Two words I said to myself probably two hundred times as I lay in the dark trying to re-route my thoughts, trying not to feel like a victim of his decision, trying not to be angry when really I was afraid. I have a puzzle I play on my phone when I’m anxious. It’s something I started doing a year or two ago when I was at my darkest point. If I can just focus enough and get through the game, focus on beating my high score, not look up from the screen … I might just make it through. So I lay in the dark, alone by choice, sliding the pieces around on the screen, fitting them together, making them make sense since nothing else did, and eventually I fell asleep.

I’m alright.

Mr. Fawkes is definitely feeling the restlessness of social restrictions in ways that I can observe and respect, but that I don’t identify with. Unlike me, he is social by nature, and he hasn’t seen these friends in a year or so. He works hard, he deserves something fun that will fill his bucket. I want that for him. I also want to control everything outside of our home because I hate this godforsaken virus and I am so afraid of it.

I’m alright.

But why am I like this? Why can’t I just deal with things? Why must I be so broken? “You’re not broken!” is something I hear every time I express that sentiment, and I appreciate that, but what else should I call it? If something doesn’t work as it’s meant to, it’s broken. My brain doesn’t work as it’s meant to, especially when confronted with stress. It is starved for dopamine and serotonin so I dose it with meds to stay on a more even keel, to get through the day, the hour, sometimes the minute. There’s no shame in that, but the fact remains: I feel broken.

I’m alright.

In the light of day, the anxiety has abated. I felt a twinge of hope when I saw the raven, back lit by pink and gold. It called out it’s eerie call and took flight. I watched it until it was just a speck in the sky. Then I started my day.

I’m alright.

Even though sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in my own thoughts, even though I feel suffocated by panic and worrying is second nature to me, even though I feel so broken, I’m alright.

I’m alright.
I’m alright.
I’m alright.

Two words. Breathe in, breathe out, say them again. I’m alright. I’ll say them again and again for as long as it takes. I’ll say them until I believe them.

I’m alright.

 

 

This post was inspired by I’m Okay by Nikki over at Love Is A Fetish. Her writing is always raw and brave and I am forever in awe of how ‘real’ Nikki is. I’m grateful to know her and her work. Thanks, Nikki! 

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