“How are you doing?” my hypnotherapist asks me as I walk into her office last week for my second appointment. (It’s part of my leave it all on the court process. Stay tuned.)
I am about to answer the customary ‘fine’ as I recognize the need for honesty.
“I am not doing well actually. I am mad. I am anxious. I am angry.” I say, my words tumbling over each other. “I feel rage. Would if this is who I really am? What if I am made up of only anxiety and rage?”
I think about my actions over the last few weeks.
My rants while driving in the snow:
“You actually have a hood in front of you and when you pull into the street, you need to LOOK LEFT!”
“Get off the PHONE!”
“You cannot park there- it’s the MIDDLE of the street!”
My response to going skiing this weekend:
“That’s just different snow. Why would I want to pay money to see DIFFERENT snow? I would rather pay to NOT go skiing this weekend.”
My dealings with the kids:
“GO TO BED – NOW!!!”
“GET UP! I HAVE BEEN IN THIS ROOM 3 TIMES. GET UP NOW!!!”
“Did you make your lunch? WHY NOT? HOW DID YOU THINK IT WAS GOING TO BE MADE?”
“GET YOUR BACK PACK AND GET IN THE CAR!!!”
“WHY DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU TO GET YOU READY FOR SCHOOL?
“It’s 3 degrees outside. HOW COULD YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR JACKET AT SCHOOL?”
Ah, winter time family bliss – so not the case in my household over the last few weeks.
I feel like a raving lunatic.
“What is wrong with me?” I ask my hypnotherapist, “I am not usually anxious. I am not usually a yeller with the kids. I don’t think I am usually mad all of the time. What if this is who I am now? What if this is who I have become?”
I am getting all tangled up and working myself into quite a state.
She, of course, talks me off the ledge and proceeds to walk me through the first steps of hypnosis. (It’s like a guided meditation, but better.)
“Okay, now sit back and relax. Take a deep breath in and exhale.”
I close my eyes and listen to her instructions.
I inhale deeply, “Oh hello breath, I have missed you,’ I think and as I exhale, I feel calm seep into my being.
As I take a few more deep breaths, I feel as if I have come home after a long journey.
As I continue to breathe and let her words wash over me, I realize I must not have been breathing for the last few weeks. I always breathe, but this feels like a long lost friend.
I think back over the last month. Why would I have stopped taking deep breaths?
It comes to me immediately.
We have all had the flu! I have spent the last few weeks coughing. I must have stopped taking deep breaths as it made my cough worse. I have been taking shallow breaths. I probably have not taken a deep breath in weeks.
No wonder I feel crazy. My habit is to breathe – deeply. I must have been breathing – shallowly. Oh, not the same thing. Not the same thing at all.
As I continue to breathe deeply, the world sits upright and I feel like myself again.
I am calmer and steadier.
I chuckle to myself. This is actually kind of funny. I need breath so badly, I go crazy without it. Deep breath. I need DEEP breath. I continue to breathe deeply and smile. Ah, wintertime bliss is about to become a reality for my family.
Okay, well, probably not this winter, because come on – this winter is ridiculous!
But, I feel like myself again. I am not the mad, angry, anxious yeller. Oh, that is a relief.
On my way back from the therapist’s office, I still think people should look left when pulling out around the high snow banks.
I am calmer about it though and not screaming “LOOK LEFT!” like a lunatic.
Spring is just around the corner.
Wishing you Joy,