The Challenge – take a nearby book and go to page 29. Whatever word pops out to you, write about it. The twist – make this in the form of a letter.
Note: I used the book, Quiet by Susan Cain. Page 29 . . .
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My old friend. Man . . . every time I think you’re gone for good, you come on back to say howdy.
Well, shit howdy to you, too.
I catch myself compulsively playing solitaire on my iPhone and realize, with a start, that you’re back again. Why am I playing game after game (besides the fact that they are very short games – I’ve gotten rather good at them by now)? The physical action calms me down.
It does make me wonder about the meds I take – you know which ones I mean. No, I don’t go for the big guns, the benzos, no, I’m talking about the milder stuff. Maybe it just doesn’t work anymore?
You know the part I don’t like is that you really are my constant companion. I don’t get to never see you again and yes, I know we’ve had this stupid conversation more than once, but . . . okay, I don’t really want to never see you again. Right, okay. Blah blah blah – if I never had ANY anxiety, I’d not be able to react appropriately to real threats.
Look – it’s not the real threat that’s the problem – it’s all the imagined threats. It’s all the gunk in my head that keeps me up at four a.m. (and sometimes all night long until the sunrise) trying to vanquish you by reading, or playing video games or mindless TV watching (yep, I.D. is my friend.) I don’t even want to go to sleep because I’m afraid you’ll visit me in my dreams.
Do I really think there’s going to be an economic collapse, or an apocalyptic and dystopian version of the future?
I guess . . . well, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m getting older. My husband is, too. Although I don’t feel vulnerable now, I know the future is only going to be one of physical and possibly mental decline. I’ll do my best to stay healthy, but the healthiest person becomes dependent on others at some point.
This stuff does worry me a little bit – realistically. It’s the big ephemeral fear, the “fear ball” (my friend coined that term which I love), though, that can paralyze me from acting on my own behalf. That’s the problem.
So I need you and I to somehow learn to live side-by-side without you crowding me out. I may not be able to rid myself of you entirely, but I ask you to just stay as quiet as you can. You don’t need to lob any fear balls my way anymore – I get it.
So we’re okay, then? Alright. I’m off to meditate and later to the gym. I hope you enjoy these – it should shut you up, at least for a little while.