Life in the Fast Lane: Anxiety and Me

Mindfulness. Be mindful. Thoughtful. Thorough.

These words mean the world to me, my brain cells are on fire. Crispy snapping sounds sizzle in my ears. All because my mind never shuts down. I am always on alert for other people’s feelings, ever present as a catch-all for other people’s problems.  I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a professional.  I am lost.

I never breathe, not deeply, not with intent. If I think about the rhythm of my breathing I end up dizzy. I have the terrible habit of holding my breath too long as I  mull over any thought.

There is a timepiece tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. Without even opening my eyes, I know what the clock reads. I am restless. Sleep is as fleeting as the breath that escapes me.

Anxious for a miracle, night becomes day and then it is night. Thirty-minute slices are cut out of my fugue state approximately once a week. The sizzling of my brain cells starts now at 4:30 in the morning. Snapping open like tightly wound roller blinds, my protective eyelids cannot be shut.

I think of time, all of the time. There is not enough time. Never enough time. I have run out of time. I am too late.

In my dreams, I am always in a race. Faster and faster, I seem to run, yet I am always standing still, sweat baptizes me. Sometimes in my dreams I am speeding down winding roads. Faster and faster, the speedometer needle is pressed to capacity. I cannot beat the speed of sound. I cannot beat the speed of light. But I want to in my dreams, and I want to in life.

To be healthy, fully functioning and at our best an individual needs their rest. I know this like I know my name. But the cogs of my body clock are out of sync. Maybe I will just stop functioning. Maybe I will wake up dead.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like not to hear the sizzle snapping in my ears. Dependent on its ever present existence, I know that without this noise I probably would panic.

Breathe in, count to 15, exhale. Repeat, over and over.

My spiritual healer tells me that I breathe like I am hyperventilating. My spirit is disconnected from the rest of my body; he can feel that when he touches me with his hands. He says that I am holding onto death because I never exhale the poison of carbon dioxide. He tells me that I need space, inside, I need to release my emotions just like I need to release the air in my lungs, fully. Completely, until I am empty.  I must think about my feelings as I would the closet where I throw this and that. It is time to put everything in order. Time to throw away the junk, time to give away the things that I don’t need. Time to preserve what is precious to me.

He invites me to practice breathing from below my belly button. Right there under the tender stretched out spot of my mother’s pouch, is my place of power. He tells me that I can teach my brain to change its rhythm if I count to 15 in reverse and slowly exhale. While I exhale I must imagine my belly button lifting higher as I release the spent air from my lungs, in this way I will be fully present he says.

Under my belly button, is my gut, otherwise known as my second chakra,  it is my psychic home base.  He shares with me more wisdom than I can comprehend.  All I can hang onto is the fact that I  must do this because I want a miracle to happen.

My miracle is simple really. I am only asking for a life without anxiety. I am asking for clarity. I am searching for wisdom and light. I need to stop living in my fast lane; I need to change lanes. I need to take the scenic route.

I have the power to make that happen, my healer says so. I just have to breathe.

In my bed, deep emotions kiss my psyche … I breathe in deeply. I exhale slowly, and I try to grasp those emotions so that I can know what it is that simmers beneath my skin, in my soul, locked up tight under my belly button. Just like a phantom, they disappear before my embrace; before I have the chance to see them or feel them.

How many more days can I wake up before the birds and sit there just counting the stars?

I must let go. Relax.  I will try again tomorrow. I will practice every day. I will because I have to.

I search for mindfulness, and it continues to elude me.  Not for long. I know where it hides.

It is in me. I have the power.  Right there under my belly button. Breathe in slowly to the beat of 15 … exhale. Repeat.

Photo: ©Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is the Creator and Publisher of Feminine Collective. Julie was inspired to create this safe place for women to share their secrets, desires, triumphs and pain as the antithesis of what mainstream media offers women today. In her column Pursuit of Perfection, she explores the importance of rectifying the balance of inner and outer beauty through essays, poems and articles on self-esteem, shame, family, and self- acceptance.

  1. Julie Anderson


    Thank you for reading and commenting. I am sorry that you are “right there with me” it is the worst!


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