The Unsettling Feeling of Calm

I wanted to share this because I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced this. Or if it’s just me and I’m losing it. 

Today on my way to an appointment, I was on the bus and it was about halfway through my trip when I realized that I felt calm. It hit me quite suddenly as I was just looking out the window and thinking. Was I…calm? Was my body…calm? Wait a second, was calm? Really? Are you sure? Me? Calm? That can’t be right. Okay, what’s going on? 

So I scanned my body to look for anything that might be there, a flutter, some tension, anything to tell me that my body was in a state that wasn’t even close to calm. And as I reached my toes and still had not found anything, it started to sink in that I wasn’t really feeling anything at that moment. Say what? I wasn’t feeling anything? 

I thought maybe I was numb then. That made sense. I wasn’t feeling anything in my body because I was numb. But the body scan told me it wasn’t numbness because even when I’m numb I physically feel a certain way. There are still physical sensations that tell me I’m feeling numb. And this time there was nothing. Just…nothing. No anxiety. No tension. Nothing. My breathing was normal and my body was calm. 

What the crap was this?

I scanned my body again, looking for the slightest twinge or tension, thinking I needed to double-check this out because I couldn’t be just calm, could I? And again the scan told me there was nothing. My body was not in a state of anything. Was this what riding the bus with no anxiety looked like? Was this what an anxiety-less body felt like? Was this simply riding the bus? Was this what just taking a bus looks like? Was this what just taking a bus feels like? 

Well I don’t like it. 

Now don’t get me wrong, when I say I was calm I don’t mean that my mind was blank or quiet because it was neither. I don’t mean that by being calm I was not having a swarm of thoughts going through my mind because I did. In fact I was thinking about my life and my emotions when I realized how calm I was. I was not really relaxed, meditative, or even happy because I wasn’t. It was just…calm. 

For whatever reason, I was not tense or anxious or feeling like I would pass out or freak out. I was not worried that I might die or anything. The absence of the chaos I usually carry within me was very unsettling. It wasn’t long before I wondered if I should be freaking out. I mean this was not my usual feeling. This was not my usual state. This was not the way I normally take a bus. This was new, and weird, but suprisingly even when I thought of freaking out my body just stayed calm. For a moment I was unable to even stir myself into feeling anxious. I have no idea how. And I have no idea why. I just was. So this was calm? This was just sitting with myself? This was just being?

Interesting. 

I actually managed to stay calm for the next hour or so, and frankly I’m just stunned. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know why it happened. I have no idea how I managed to stay calm in my body as my mind pondered life’s questions. But there it was. Me. Calm. 

Alrighty then. Good to know. 

I’ve decided not to analyze this to death because I have a feeling it will never be explained. I have a feeling that it actually doesn’t  matter why it happened. So I am going to accept it for what it was, a feeling of calm while going to an appointment. 

I’d like to say that I was able to stay there, in the calmness, but unfortunately my anxiety about not having anxiety managed to build my anxiety level, and within a couple of hours I was back up to a 7 or 8 on the anxiety level scale, and also had a slight panic attack on my way home from the appointment. 

On the plus side, I was super pleased that I had at least caught a glimpse of what a zero on the anxiety level looks like. It’s nice to know that it can happen, that it is possible, and that I can get there. I’d like to know why or how it had happened so I could harness it for the future but I know that is probably not possible. Some things can’t be harnessed like that. At least, not yet. 

As unsettling as it was to just be calm and not have anxiety and all the baggage that goes with me wherever I go, I’m really glad it happened because maybe it will happen again. And maybe it might even last longer. Or maybe I’ll never see it again. Who knows.  But at least knowing it’s possible is good. 

Has anyone else experienced this? I really hope it’s not just me. 

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A Lesson in Fairness

I have always believed in fairness. As naive as it will sound I have always thought that life should be fair. I know that is a utopian dream that unfortunately will never come true but I still can’t help but hope that life will be fair. That life should be fair. Life should respect the efforts people make to lead healthy, uncluttered lives. Life should respect those who prepare and plan. Life should not be able to shatter all efforts and plans as if they never existed. To me, that is not only unfair, it’s wrong. Life, however, disagrees with me. Strongly and loudly. 

This past week has been extremely stressful and if I have learned anything from it, it’s that you can do everything right and still have things go very wrong. You can follow all the rules and guidelines; you can do everything the textbook said to do; you can do everything the doctor told you to do; you can prepare yourself, and have all the necessities at the ready; you can do everything perfect to the letter…and then…you may still fail, you may still miss something; you may still get sick, you may still get crapped on, your world may still shatter and completely fall apart. You can do everything right and still have things go wrong. 

That, my friends, is the humility that life bestows on us every chance it gets. 

Nothing in this life is guaranteed. Nothing. 

No matter how much you plan, how much you prepare, how much you brace yourself against the worst, the worst can still happen. 

Good people have bad things happen, bad people have good things happen, the undeserving get promoted while the deserving are skipped over, the healthy are inflicted with disease and the unhealthy live to a hundred, the list of contradictory, illogical things that can happen is endless. And most likely, someone will be hurt at the end of it. Life is incredibly unfair. It craps all over your well-laid plans. It rips the rug right out from under you without warning. It seems to take more than it gives, and when it gives it’s usually much less than expected, wanted, or needed. 

This is heartbreaking for me, and it’s something I have to learn to accept. Life is unfair.

Life is filled with disappointment, betrayal, deception, corruption, heartbreak, loneliness, pain, and death. It doesn’t matter who you are, life, at times, will not be fair to you. Life will rip you apart like it has never even heard of the word “fair”.  Life will eat you up and spit you out. And, to an extent, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do about it. 

That, to me, is so unfair that it should not be allowed to happen. Life should not be allowed to ruin plans, or throw curveballs at you. Life should not be allowed to do whatever it wants for no reason. I know that sounds absurd but that’s how I feel. I know that life is unfair. I get it, that’s just how life goes. Believe me, I know. Yet I still find it so hard when life deals this blow. I have a hard time accepting it. And I try very hard to find a justifiable reason that this bad thing happened. 

Something to explain why me? Something to help me understand. Something to show me where I failed, where I didn’t plan or prepare enough. Something to justify why I was chosen. Why me and not someone else? What did I do to deserve this? Did I make a mistake? Did I miss something? How can I do everything right and still have things go wrong? I did everything right. So what is it? Well, unfortunately, that’s just how life goes. 

Sometimes you can do everything right and still have things go wrong. 

I feel somewhat groundless that life can just crap all over me, for no reason, at any time, in any way, and even if I do everything I can to prevent this stuff from happening, life can just waltz in, smash things around, and waltz back out, leaving me to deal with the cleanup and the aftermath. If life can be so unfair then why try to prepare? Why make the effort to be healthy? Why set everything up to be braced at the point of impact, only to have it shattered to pieces? Why should I follow the rules and the guidelines if life doesn’t? 

I know I should find a way to accept that life is unfair. I know by not accepting it I only suffer more. I know that some things I will never have an answer for. That’s just the way life goes. 

And yet…I still can’t help but feel that life should be fair. Good things should happen to good people. Bad things should happen to bad people. And when you do things right they should stay right. I really don’t think that’s asking too much. I think it’s fair that life should be fair. But it’s not. 

I know it isn’t all bad, and sometimes you can do everything right and things turn out right, but the fact that it can just as easily go wrong, well, it scares me. Actually, it terrifies me. That life can give and life can take it away. Just. Like. That. Makes me want to crawl into a padded bunker and lock the door behind me, and stay there until life plays fair. Sadly, that would be a long wait. 

And no doubt someone might say that living in a padded bunker is no way to live, I would respectfully disagree with that. I believe I can stay in this here bunker and wait out life. A pointless endeavour that will end with my death, and life winning? Absolutely. Totally pointless. And life will take me down in the end anyway. It’s a vicious belief that I need to change. And no matter how much I know I will ultimately lose against life doesn’t make me want to crawl into that bunker any less. It should. But it doesn’t. 

I guess…I guess I just hate that it scares me. I hate how helpless it makes me feel. And I hate that it’s so random and precarious. So much of life is already random and precarious, and there is so much we have no control over, and never will, I can’t help but hope that maybe life will cut us a break. 

I already know that it just doesn’t go that way. Sadly. I hope that one day I find a way to accept that.