Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hello Meditation (The Rise of Insomnanxiety)

Tonight the anxiety washed over me again in an unexpected wave. I should have known I wasn't out of the woods quite yet, most eespecially due to the fact that I've gotten by these past few weeks by avoiding and simling through these issues. But, I wonder, how does one deal with a problem the size of infinity? How do I go about computing and charting the issues, categorizing them into data sets to be dealt with in a fashion befitting each issue?

I knew as soon as my head hit the pillow that I would not sleep tonight. At least, not without the aid of sleep medication, which, of course, we are all out of. Must remember to put that on the grocery list for tomorrow. I'd been in bed maybe 10 minutes before I gave in to the insomnanxiety (you're welcome for the new word) and got up. Normally, I'd have gone to the living room, turned on the television, and attempted to find something funny, something mind numbing to lull me out of my ish and put me into a head space that would accomodate sleep.

Read: I would watch tv until I physically can't stay awake any longer.

Something, an instinct whose gears were rusted and weary from not being used, told me to go to my altar. To meditate. To sit in silence. I have to admit, sitting in silence doesn't work for me. I'm an ill-tempered child when it comes to sitting and silence. Entertain me now! I don't do well in solemn circumstances. My hands need something to do. But...tonight...they found a welcome respite with their palms open to the ceiling.

I wish I could say that I got lost in meditation. That I found the divine after sifting through layers of internal muck before finally finding that mystical pathway to the infinite. I didn't. I put my phone away and let the room be dark. I lit a match, lit some sage, made the room nice and smoky... Not sure I felt relieved, but it was a start.

Sitting in what I think of as a universal meditation pose - legs crossed underneath me, sitting on my heels, hands on my knees, palms facing upward - I sat still. As still as one who would pass any ADHD test you could throw at him could sit. (SQUIRREL)

And after a minute or 5, I asked to be rid of my anxiety, to be rid of my fear and panic and dread. To be rid of the worry that was keeping me up tonight. To let the attack on my emotions and well-being pass. I poured out my worry and angst and rage at the fragility and temporary nature of life. I spoke that I wanted to make peace with these things. And then I sat still again...as still as I can sit.

Then all this mind noise starting popping up. Lyrics to songs. Things I want to buy. Books I want to read. Topics for future shows. More song lyrics. (Two black cAAAdillacs meeting for the first time...) How good dinner was. How much I'd like to go back to sleep. Whether I should spend the money for auto show tickets tomorrow knowing we've got plans to go to the movies on Sunday. Basically, anything my mind could think of rather than not thinking.

So, I searched my altar for a candle. Any candle. I was looking through storage bins in drawers and shelves for a tealight, a used votive...anything that would hold a flame for a little while. Nothing... Nothing except Partner's candle he keeps on his desk. It's one of those candles with a wood wick, so it makes a delightful crackling noise at it burns. (And it smells like apples, which was appropriate for a meditation on dying.)

When I lit the candle, I forced myself to focus on it alone. Visually, at least. The mind noise sort of turned into white noise, background murmurs. And I could just focus on the internal message - bring me peace, relieve my anxiety, ease this burden, bring me joy.

After a few more minutes of this, my hands wanted to lift, so I let them. I realized the background noise had stopped and the tears I was shedding had quieted down, not that I had been bawling or anything - though I kind of wish I'd had that release - but my internal pleas had led to those hot tears that build up around your eyes and won't for the life of you fall... Then there was a voice.

It was my voice. Don't worry, I'm not crazy. Well, at least not 'hearing voices' crazy. But, my voice was calm and measured and full of confidence. It was me and it was not me, at least not the me who'd gone to my cluttered altar to escape insomnanxiety. I took my hands from reaching straight up, slowly moving to the floor. Here is what came from my mouth:

I am the stars.

I am the heavens.

I am the air.

I am the water.

I am the fire.

I am the earth.

I am the Void.

I am all things.

I come from all things, and to all things I will return.

I am infinite.

I am special.

I matter.

It was somewhere in the last two that I knew the voice was wholly mine again, as I kept repeating the words 'I matter' over and over again as though it were some sort of mantra or prayer or Hallelujah chorus. Which, it was. It was a prayer to myself from myself, pleading with my internal ick to break apart, to allow joy into my heart. And in my mind's eye I saw all the potential of life, all the things I can do. The child(ren) I will raise. The love I will feel and return. The people I will touch. And, as I bowed in gratitude for the blessings found in that meditative experience...

Kika licked my ear. She had decided she'd been patient with me long enough and smothered me in kisses. My left ear is quite clean right now, as is my nose, my right ear, most of my right arm, my left shoulder, and both eyelids. Whether she was playing conduit for the universe or merely being the world's most adorable puppy, I took that joy and let it dwell inside me.

Love and Lyte,

 

Fire Lyte

 

4 comments:

  1. I have had that "insomnanxiety", I used to take 3 over-the-counter sleeping pills just to shut my brain up and go to sleep. It's problem that started in middle school for me (which was hell), and back then, I was lucky to have a dog that acted in a similar fashion back then. I think part of the reason I'm still alive is because of that dog. I still get that form of insomnia from time to time, but it hasn't become a huge or recurring problem in the last three years or so. I used to break down and cry because I was so tired and my mind would just not let me get more than 2 hours of sleep (or sometimes even worse, dreaming about being at work doing my job so that I felt like I'd never left). I never tried meditating during those periods, mostly because my mind is easily distracted by the smallest things and I figured that if I can't shut it up enough to fall asleep, I won't be able to do it enough to meditate (because I can barely meditate as it is). I might have to try that sometime.

    --Teresa S.

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  2. When I was in the middle of some big life decisions that I was having a lot of trouble making, I found myself alone in my bedroom after my daughter went to bed. All of a sudden all kinds of negative thoughts flooded my brain and I couldn't make them stop. It scared the crap out of me and the next thing I knew my entire body was shaking, my heart was pounding in my chest and I was having trouble breathing. I tried to get my brain to stop so the rest of my body would calm but it wasn't working. I started to feel like a blackness was closing in around me and I knew that I needed help. Just as I was about to call out to my daughter to try to wake her up (I couldn't get my body to move to get to a phone) my golden retriever jumped up on the bed and tucked her head up under my chin and laid her head on my chest. The black started to recede, my breathing started to be less frantic and my heart slowed. I'm not sure how she knew I needed her or what would have happened had she not been there. There is nothing like the love of a dog.

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  3. I absolutely love this blog and I loved your most recent podcast "Inciting a Lost Riot." I'm new to your podcast so I'm playing catch up and loving what you have to say. THANK YOU for doing what you do :) I've been so impressed and spiritually moved by your thoughts and opinions. Again, THANK YOU!

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