There are moments when Anxiety punches through my calm, and I have to find ways to put her back in her little box.
Three weeks ago, she executed a sneak attack worthy of a Green Beret unit, while I was at the water park: my husband, our three youngest children, and me. We were hanging out on the Lazy River, which used to be my favorite part of the water park, and suddenly my chest pounded and my heart danced like a just-lit pile of firecrackers. The shaking started. Anxiety is a cruel head-mate.
The kids went on to play with my husband, and I sat in the chest deep water, and tried to calm my breathing. There were people playing and splashing everywhere, and finding calm was almost impossible.
I scuttled over to the huge rock structure in the middle of the pool, and leaned up against it, letting the waterfall beat down on my head and shoulders. At first it was so I could inconspicuously lean on something. As I felt the water splash off my shoulders I realized how wonderful the water felt falling on me.
I slowly scooted under a waterfall on the side, and there I knelt, head down, on my knees half floating and half sitting, knees bent in the starting yoga pose.
It took a few minutes of deep belly breathing, there under that waterfall, but I found the calm I needed. The shrieks and laughter and splashing gradually melded together into a restful white noise, and all I could hear and feel was the water’s rhythmic cadence on my upper body. It was sensory deprivation and overload in a cool massage, and it was precisely what my heart and mind needed to lock Anxiety back into her dark little box.
My heart gradually quit racing, and I could breath freely again. I’m sure I got more than a few weird looks, but at that point, I didn’t care. I felt better than I had all day.
And now I have a new favorite place at the water park.