Shouting through the anxiety

Last night was a big night.  I celebrated my daughter’s fourteenth birthday and went to orchestra rehearsal.  I was feeling doing fine when I picked up my daughter from her horn lessons.  I’d heard that she was a little glum.  Her friends didn’t really do anything for her, and they usually do.  I wanted to cheer her up.  We talked about it on the drive home.  Then both my brothers called her back to back to wish her happy birthday.  She was doing pretty good by the time we got home and got ready to go out for a special Mexican dinner with family.

By the time we got to the restaurant I was struggling.  My stomach began to ache.  I began chewing my lip.  I lost my appetite.   I struggled to maintain a conversation with my crazy aunt at the end of the table.  I got really anxious about getting to rehearsal while still leaving enough time to sing happy birthday to my little girl.  I knew I was going to have to leave early.

I had to park several blocks away and walk in the cold with my tuba case.  I was nine minutes late.  They were already on the second movement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s 2nd sympony.  My anxiety level was rising.  My ears were red.  Here I was, doing what I love the most, but I was battling terrible feelings.  I was fine as long as I was playing, but during the rests when I was counting off the measures, my head would get hot and my stomach would churn.

When the rehearsal was over, and I was driving home, I reflected on the last 3 hours, the birthday dinner, the rehearsal, and I just felt like I needed scream.  I shouted,

“THIS ANXIETY IS ALL IN MY HEAD!”

“THIS WAS A FUCKING GOOD NIGHT! I SHOULD FEEL GOOD!”

“I  CAN SHAKE THIS!”

“I RELEASE THIS ANXIETY!”

“I RELEASE THIS ANXIETY!”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

And you know what?  I didn’t feel so bad after that.  I laughed a little bit, and came home in relatively cheery mood.  The anxiety wasn’t gone, but my smile was back.

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