So this is how it feels to live on a knife edge. The knife is mine, my own blade, created from a lifetime of events and sustained episodes of intense personal experience. Does everyone feel like this all the time? Does everyone live with a tremor of fear in the heart every waking moment? I don't think so. Not everyone jumps at everyday sounds, not everyone looks upon the prospect of a new activity with dread. Not everyone sees the potential for catastrophe in every moment. But many do. And I do.
There are many labels to attach to such a state of mental health. Generalised Anxiety, Catastrophe thinking, Post Traumatic Stress and so on. Do the labels help? Perhaps, in a sense, if it means others are more understanding and cut you a little slack from time to time.
But there is something better than a label, something that can often help calm the mind of the fear-filled, if only for a while. It is something truly ancient. It was here before us, before man brought his screaming, ranting madness into this world, something that endures to this day and will be here when we've gone - something that brings hope to us all.
I need Nature. I cannot manage my life without the woods and the trees, the streams and the birdsong. There is no purpose without the wild. I rarely get comfort, joy, peace and contentment from other people. They may be nice in so many ways, but I cannot feel at ease surrounded by human beings. To me its like being constantly pummelled. I feel I'm being pushed and bruised and knocked about. Their voices grate and my insides churn, at any moment I might have to defend myself. In any moment I might have to run. I don't feel safe...
But outside, in amongst my friends the trees, in a meadow full of tall grasses and little flowers, I feel at home. Like a little bug scooting along minding my own business, feeling the sun on my back, watching the clouds, finding peace in every moment. Only here is my heart at rest.
Sometimes it feels so hopeless. I do not seem to be able to rid myself of the anxiety that often seems worse than ever. Now, when I could be/should be having time to relax at last, I feel overwhelmed and lost. It's difficult to find a purpose beyond simply trying to survive as long as possible. Other people seem to enjoy being alive. But I'm not other people.
I was speaking with an ex fire fighter who tells me how they too feel like this. How through all the years and layers of trauma they endured, it is only now when the bells have stopped ringing, that the fear controls them so absolutely.
I am reminded of Eckhart Tolle and his story .
I look forward to that.