Re-Entry

I’m out of sorts and unable to settle. I don’t feel like writing; I don’t feel like living. I wish I had a reset button to start the day the over. Try again.

I was fine when I got up. At least I think I was. Tired, but no migraine, so that’s a plus right there. Lately, my granddaughter has been coming over on Mondays for her weekly sleepover, but not today. She’s going camping this week, so I won’t see her until next week. No migraine, and a day off. So far so good. Throw in beautiful weather, blooming irises, and a female Northern Flicker perched on my car. I should be fine.

So why am I feeling like I can’t get far enough away from myself? Why do I want to scream? There’s nothing wrong. Not a thing. Tell that to my nervous system, please—it’s not listening to me. My body insists that we are a living emergency that must be resolved without delay. It’s blaring an evacuation alarm: run! run! run! Get away from this toxic situation, this life-threatening spring morning. Flee while you can!

I try to breathe deeply, but my lungs insist that shallow is best, quick and fast. They register their protest with a deep ache when I insist on slowing them down. They don’t want so much air all at once. With each breath, I try to pull myself back into my body and sit with my anxiety. I hold it closer and feel it beat against my grip. I don’t want to stay here, not like this, holding myself together so I don’t rupture the fragile bond I have to this life. I’m not used to anxiety. I don’t like how it feels. Depression is a familiar companion, this stranger doesn’t belong in my home. How do I escape? How do I evict myself?

I was sick most of last week with a persistent migraine. Several days I ended up back in bed, unable to sit up. Thinking I was better, I went out to do errands Friday, but the headache returned, staying with me through Saturday. Now numbness has replaced the pain. I’m more aware of one side of my head, as though I had been given a shot of novocain in my temple. The worst has passed, but I’m not completely free.

I often find re-entry after a long migraine challenging. My life doesn’t feel like my own. I forget that I am a capable adult, competent and used to handling daily chores and responsibilities. Today, I feel lost in my life, adrift. It’s unsettling. I am not myself today. I don’t feel like writing. Maybe tomorrow.

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