Have you ever been anxious? Have you ever been frightened? I’ve been both. It’s no fun. Any little thing can set things in motion. I’m afraid to look over my shoulder. I keep my head down, eyes averted, not wanting to see anything. I am afraid to take a breath, make any move. Afraid of what?  I can’t tell you. It’s a sense of impending doom. I’m like Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall. I could fall off any minute.

I’ve been like this for a long, long time. I hadn’t recognize it as anxiety though. I used to call it ‘having a hard time’. It has been very, very hard. But I’m having fewer and shorter episodes of them now. What probably set it off last night was a delayed reaction to the bombing in Sri Lanka. My friend there was okay. But then the news with names and faces of those killed seeped into my consciousness. And it probably didn’t help that I’ve been reading about Anne Frank and the holocaust. Throw in climate change and the fact that we are so dry here. No rain yet this spring. No hope either.

It’s no wonder I was unable to sleep. No tossing and turning for me. I was afraid to relax, move, let go and even breathe. I was a stiff, tightly clenched body. I saw a sleepless night ahead of me and a terrible day following. I gave myself a silent talking to and willed myself to do a body scan. It failed, of course. I couldn’t willed myself. I was too taut. I had to get up and do something.

So I got up, made myself a cup of peppermint ginger tea. I cleaned the humidifier of scale deposits using Sheba’s toothbrush. It has a brush on both ends, one big and one small. It was perfect for the job. She does not allow me to use it on her. Now I have a use for it. No waste of a good brush. It was relaxing and soothing. Sheba came out to join me. She plopped herself at my feet as I stood at the kitchen sink. I felt comforted by her prescence. The job was soon done. I left it on the counter to dry – ready for next winter.

I was not yet ready to lay down again. I took my tea and sat in my Lazy Boy recliner. I try not to fret, I try not to do anything. I sipped my tea in the dark. I listened to the wind howl and watched the spruce trees sway in the night. I’m learning to sooth myself. I let whatever feelings come as they will. I heard St. Teresa Avila’s prayer and was comforted.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.



  1. I have had those moments, too. Doing something to take my mind off of it always helps, and for me, it’s best to just sit quietly and read. If I wake up too much, I’ll be wide awake for hours. Love the idea of a soothing cup of tea! And the prayer is so soothing. Glad it was comforting for you, too!

  2. I hope your feeling better today Lily

    I used to experience what Brene Brown describes as “foreboding joy.” … not being able to enjoy wonderful moments for fear of something bad happening. For example looking at my beautiful child sleeping when he was a baby and instead of thinking “wow I am so lucky“ I would think I cant be this lucky, something or someone is going to take this joy away from me…….. in other words I would start “dress rehearsing tragedy.” Dress rehearsing tragedy is imagining something bad is going to happen when in reality, nothing is wrong.

    1. Thank you, Dee. I am feeling much better. Funny how our nervous systems work. I think mine is a tad too sensitive but I am working it out better and not losing as much sleep as I used to,

  3. I can relate to this completely. The dreaded paralyzed feeling. Now dependent on an antidepressant, which doesn’t work, but helps me sleep. I’m not ashamed to say it….I need to sleep! Hope you have a better night tonight Lily.

    1. No need for shame, Linda. I was on antidepressants but they gave me a bad rash on my legs after awhile. Took me some time to get off on them but have been off for over 10 years. That’s why I have Sheba to help me go for walks. Also aerobic exercises help alot. I’ve been sleeping well since retirement but I still have occasional bouts of insomnia.


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