Friday had been a long day, Arabella, my daughter was on on her third day off school with a sore throat and runny nose. Even when she is poorly, she has so much energy and doesn’t understand the concept of rest; she’s six. By the evening, she had fallen asleep next to me on the sofa, she plays with my hair to comfort her; something she has done since a baby and something she has never grown out of. I don’t mind, it also brings me comfort having her so close to me and feeling needed. It is in those quiet moments, when I feel so much unconditional and crazy love for my daughter, it can be overwhelming and intoxicating. Watching her sleep and kissing those baby cheeks; there is no better feeling. Being in the present moment, just embracing this special time; it was perfect, until….
A sudden wave of anxiety hit me, I had allowed my mind to enter an imaginary future where only fear lives, a future, dare I say where I had a recurrence, and I was no longer here. I knew that it was my mind playing overtime, I knew that it was a future I had conjured up yet, at that moment it felt so real, and I was overwhelmed with anxiety. Where did this sudden rush come from? Why now? Why was it ruining this precious moment with my baby? Because we only fear losing what we love the most. Our life, our children; hope.
I decided to put her to bed, she still sleeps with me in my bed. I wasn’t about to let anxiety steal that special moment. I changed the narrative because that is something I can control. I am acutely aware also, that my imminent preventative chemotherapy is lurking somewhere in my subconscious, playing it’s part. I knew that if I continued to lay there with Arabella, with only fear on my mind that it would consume me. Love is not fear; it is a by product of it. I laid her down, said a prayer over her, like I do every evening (well most) and I went back to the living room and had a big chat with myself.
Staying in the present, is a buzz phrase that you cannot hide form these days. At first, I didn’t really understand what it meant, why it was so important or how to actually do it! I didn’t have an epiphany moment of ‘Oh, yeah, I get it now!’, it took practice and time and I still can drift away to darker places but I can bring myself back (that’s the crucial part). I would say I almost have to zone out which some professionals may say is wrong, but it works for me. I have tried to train my brain to just ‘be’. Be happy in the moment, whether it be cooking a meal, listening to Arabella read or walking the dogs. Take in your environment, feel the enjoyment that this moment is offering, don’t drift backwards or forwards in time. It could even be described as your fortress with walls around you protecting you from danger; the fortress is your ‘now’.
That being said, we are human, we will wonder off into the future and create a thousand scenarios of how our life pans out; probably with enough content to write a fiction novel. Don’t be hard on yourself, just acknowledge the anxiety and fear then return to the beautiful moments that are all around us every day. It felt good to write these thoughts down and surrender to this time on my laptop. Just me and my words; releasing. Now, I am going to find that munchkin of mine and enjoy my Sunday with no expectations; her, me and the now.
Love Jojo xoxo
*If you are struggling with anxiety and fears, and you feel totally overwhelmed, please contact a friend, family member or professionals/support groups. Anxiety is no joke, and is not to be taken lightly, please do not ever feel like you are alone.