Monday, December 19, 2011


From here

I've been haunted by anxiety lately. Everything feels so unsettled right now. Someone extremely close to my heart is facing a scary health problem. I'm forging ahead in this new life, not knowing what I'm doing or where I'm going. The holidays are looming.

I wake up several times a night with a racing heart and mind. My thoughts immediately go to trying to control. By controlling my inner world, I guess, I'm controlling something. I can't control the outer world, so at least I can control my thoughts. But the thoughts are out of control and useless, anyway. They try to predict the future and change the past. Both completely fruitless and frustrating.

My dreams are fleeting and hard to remember upon waking. I remember some parts of a dream I had a few nights ago. Dave was alive again, but suddenly collapsed. We were in the middle of nowhere and I was running to find help, screaming for someone, anyone, to help me help him. I don't remember how the dream ended.

Last night, though, I dreamed of the ocean. Every time I dream of the ocean, it's a peaceful, happy dream. Every single time. This time, I was fully dressed but standing knee deep in some gorgeous tropical waters. The water felt so perfect and looked so inviting that as a wave pressed up against the side of me, I just let myself fall into the water and smiled with pleasure. The water enveloped me and I felt free of anxiety while I floated in the vast blueness of it.

I want to feel free of anxiety like I did in that dream. I want to feel that in my waking hours. I long to feel that way again.

The way it feels to be able to let go and relax fully. I don't think I've felt that in more than 6 months. Except in my dreams.


  1. Cassie, this is exactly how I have felt for a very long time. Anxiousness about everything. Certainly the holidays have brought on a much deeper level. I, too, am looking for relief from the worry and inner peace. I would be happy with a day free of anxiety.

    Thank you Cassie and I am praying that you find, even if it's small, a "piece of peace"!

  2. I love dreaming about the ocean, or any body of water, for that matter. Better yet, I love being on the water, that is where I feel closet to my husband's spirit. We were sailors, and the water just has that magical touch, especially when you swim amongst the creatures, whether in dreams or reality. It's another world down there, one that calms me as I look about in wonder.

    Take the time to breath, and stay in the present. Yes, we want to know the future, but when we do look we don't see our spouse with us, and the anxiety hits again. Gets us no where, other than upset. Go back to your dreams and relax if you must. I, too, have no idea where I'm going in this life now, but don't have a choice but going forward.

  3. It's our third Christmas since my husband died and my nineteenth since my daughter died and every year I tell myself that it doesn't bother me but it does. I spent the Christmas pageant in the corner crying uncontrollably and the anxiety is visceral, I am cold all the time and shaking. Everything seems so raw, all of the feelings are on the surface, so many memories, emotions, God, I just want to get on with my life. I will be so glad when January 2, 2012 gets here.

  4. I can't remember a day in 3 and a half years that hasn't been filled with anxiety.... about everything. I just want it to be over!!!!

  5. Lori, your last sentence has been uttered by me too many times to count in the last few weeks!

    Thank you, Anon#2. I love that sentence "I don't have a choice but going forward."

    I have hope that at first going forward is going to be scary and often painfull, but eventually, we'll realize we're once again enjoying the journey.

  6. I'm at two years. One of the most important things I figured out early on, which really helped me, was not to go into the future. Not even by a day. My brain didn't want to, and it flooded me with anxiety, so I had to learn to pull back and live in today. The first month when my brain would take over and spin about the "what ifs' and "I should haves' drove me directly into grief therapy, where I remained for over a year. This stuff doesn't make you forget or not feel the grief, but are tools to reduce the anxiety and have an objective party assure you that you are not going crazy. My anxiety cranks up around the holidays, though, and I also can't wait until they are over. And I agree, it would be wonderful to have a normal day. Someday, I hope.