Friday, February 20, 2009

The mouse is gone.
At least for now.

My brother was here until yesterday, helping me to mouse-proof my apartment and kill the one that was driving me crazy the last few weeks. Thank God he was here and helped me to catch the sucker.

But I'm still afraid to go into my kitchen, especially at night. My super never came to repair the holes all over my kitchen walls that are letting the damn mice in. I'll make sure he does eventually, but until then, my kitchen is an uncomfy place to be.

It's so strange, this feeling of being"on-guard" all the time.
Of feeling like you're paranoid, like someone or something is out to get you at all times, like the other shoe is just waiting to drop.
I feel the weight of all of this tension all over my body, especially in my shoulders.
I am unable to relax, to trust anything or anyone, especially myself.

Today, I was looking for something at the Walgreens in Times Square. As I was walking out, a man tripped and reached for my shopping bags to catch himself.
But I thought he was reaching into my bags to steal the new shoes I'd just purchased, and I whipped my bags away, causing him to fall to the ground.
This man happened to be African American, and I'm sure he thought I was scared of him only because he was black and therefore, trying to steal from me.
I apologized profusely as soon as I realized exactly what had happened, knowing that I would have done it no matter the person who tripped in that moment.

I felt awful afterwards, and realized just then how jumpy I've been lately.
How I can't seem to just be.

I'm no stranger to anxiety issues, but this is a completely different set. I've never felt this paranoid before; the other times, it was much more physical and a different kind of emotional, where I just couldn't calm myself down.

Now, I'm totally calm, but carry the weight of the city on my shoulders.
I feel the tension all over my body, from my jaw to my toes.
My voice teacher and I have had to work extra hard to help my face and upper body muscles to relax for other reasons, and all of that hard work is going out the window.

I began taking private Feldenkrais lessons last week, with my wonderful music theory professor who happens to be a Feldenkrais practitioner.
I'm hoping he can help me to relax and remind me how my body is naturally supposed to feel.
At our first lesson, I learned exactly what tension feels like and where I tend to hold it (seems like common sense, huh? I was surprised at how easy it is to just ignore the tension that's always there, because we don't know any different.)
And how certain parts of my body respond negatively to touch, causing tension in muscles that wouldn't otherwise hold it.
I'm hoping and praying this helps me to learn to feel tension and therefore release it.
And also help me to find inner poise and calm.

I'm thinking about seeing a therapist again, perhaps someone who can put me on some anti-anxiety meds.
I hate to go back on anxiety medications, but if they might help, I'm willing to try them again.
At some point in time, I will need to learn how to survive living here.

I'm playing with the idea that I might never be happy in this city.
Can I be content with discontent?
Can letting myself not feel bad about feeling bad allow me to just BE?
Or will it just invite more negativity in, causing more unhappiness?

The funny thing about being on-guard all the time is that it's almost fun to choose certain things to be off-guard towards.
Like eating, for example.
My "fuck-it-all" attitude towards food has been rearing it's ugly head lately.
For example, I had pizza, a beer, a cookie AND a piece of cheesecake for dinner the other night, after inhaling a falafel bowl and birthday cake for lunch earlier that day.

It feels good to let go of something when everything else seems to be so hard to let go of.
Funny how for me, it's food and my good habits.
Makes total sense, though I wish I could choose to let go of some of this paranoia instead.
But, no matter how many mantras I say, or how many mice I kill, I can't let it go.

How do you let positivity back in when negativity so easily fills your home and body and mind?

No comments: