Susan's Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Self-soothing

I have just discovered something kind of important (to me). Almost every day at some point I start getting anxious but also yawning. I almost start to panic — I don’t know why. I feel like I want to connect more with people but at the same time I can’t face that. Some days this feeling overtakes me to the point where I can’t work, I can barely function other than to do chores like laundry and cleaning. I start to get sad about this feeling. Why does this keep happening, I think. What is wrong with me? Nothing is wrong — in fact many things are very right and good –  and yet I cannot feel that. I feel like something is very wrong at those times and I eventually escape by lying down.

On some days, like today, my consciousness allows in the realization that nothing is wrong but that this is just a powerful and seemingly uncontrollable feeling that I do not like. It interferes with my ability to work. Sometimes it interferes with my desire to go out and live my life. So today I let myself go lie down without judging it, without thinking, Here it comes, that bad feeling, what is wrong with me…

And 40 minutes later I thought suddenly of something I wanted to do, in this case, eat some hot soup and my favorite salty rice crackers. The desire to eat was strong enough to push me out of the depths of my bed.  And just now I had an ephiphany:  I think that lying down in our soft bed with its thick snowy-white covers is my version of a hug-machine a la Temple Grandin. I lie there snuggling, burrowing my face into my pillow but not sleeping, even knowing I’m not going to sleep, and I feel myself calm down and return to my sunny, functioning self. I can feel my heart rate slow down. I notice sunlight coming through the window on Ned’s side of the bed. I feel the tiredness leave me. I get to a moment where I can throw off the covers and face the inevitable cold air. I stand up, I go downstairs, I make soup.

And I can write again.

2 comments

Don’t as “what is wrong with ME” – maybe it’s something outside of you – for example, does this happen at the same time? Could it be related to light? (I notice sunlight…) or blood sugar levels, (I make soup), or….? I’m studying in a really, truly fascinating field: environmental psychology, (specifically neuro-architecture – the impact of the built environment on the central nervous system)and it is amazing how many outside forces impact our inner state.

— added by VMGillen on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Yes, the sugar thing definitely. I wrote that a month ago and since then I’ve cut out sugar and most refined carbs. Also, spring happened. I have had a much better month, it is incredible. Thank you for these thoughts!

— added by Susan Senator on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm