Saturday, 7 February 2015

I'm getting better at fighting the future

Motion City Soundtrack, live at The Fillmore, 2/2/2015
I'm currently sat at my kitchen table trying very hard to stay calm. This is hard, because I'm extremely happy. I'm happy because there is good coffee in the mug next to me. I'm happy because I am currently in the middle of a really good book ('All The Bright Places' by Laura Niven). I'm happy because my crazy dogs are wrestling in the dining room and Bertie is getting so excited she's doing 'puppy circuits' around the house to deal with her own exuberance (she and I are usually in tune when it comes to moods). I'm happy because I'm listening to Motion City Soundtrack's album 'Commit This To Memory', and remembering the fantastic concert of theirs celebrating the 10 year anniversary (!) of said album, that I was lucky enough to go to this Monday just past. I'm happy because it's Saturday, and the weekend stretches ahead. I'm happy because I just filled up the bird feeders so that the tweets won't go hungry over what's predicted to be a very chilly couple of days. I'm happy because I get to talk to my family tomorrow. I'm happy because a lot of good things are happening to people I love and, whether or not that's true for each of them at this moment, I am lucky enough to have amazing people in my life who want to share what's going on with them with me. I'm happy because there is a man I love stupid amounts, who I get to share this weekend with, and who cares and pushes me and and loves me for me and tackles life with an inspiring and magnetic energy that I can't get enough of, and who makes life magical just by being in it. I'm happy because later today I get to visit a dear friend at her new job, and share food and drinks with other dear friends. I'm happy because cheese exists. That's always a reason to be happy.

I still hate this 'Keep Calm' crap,
but now for extra, non-British reasons!
So why, then, am I trying to stay calm with all this extraordinary and wonderfully mundane joy all around me? Because I've started therapy, and we've identified a problem with my body: regardless of the cause, when I get bursts of energy, my autonomic nervous system gets triggered, and I eventually have a panic attack. Feeling happy (my version of feeling, which is usually pretty full-on), good news, a great day at work, a nice walk with the dogs, a wonderful date: panic. Happiness literally makes me panic. Fan-fucking-tastic. Ha ha ha - I can't help but laugh!

As a coping mechanism to try to keep the panic at bay, and because I don't want to quell my joy (screw that!), I'm writing, and sharing, and texting, and offloading my effervescence to others while simultaneously trying to remember to breathe. Achieving equanimity is my goal, without stopping being me - I have to retrain my brain that this level of activity isn't always a reason for my body to enter fight-or-flight mode.

Right then. Time to tackle this day of joy with sensible shoes on. And the two cups of coffee I've managed to consume while writing this post. Whoops...!