My breathing feels wrong. There’s a physical tightness in my chest and it’s hard to get enough air to feel satisfied.
Now before you get all worried, no, I’m not having heart attacks or even panic attacks. Nothing like that. But something does feel…off.
When I was in labor with Ryan, I got caught up focusing on how much everything hurt. I tensed up with every contraction; I couldn’t move. My midwife noticed what was happening and suggested I shift positions. Partly, I think, she was trying to change my focus for a minute so I could relax into what my body was doing. And it worked. She and David helped me move to a different position where, suddenly, I felt like I could breathe.
I inhaled deeply through my nose and exhaled big loose raspberries through my lips.
Less than half an hour later, my gigantic baby boy was born.
Forgive the birthing metaphor, but I feel like I’ve been stuck in a similar way: focused on the wrong things, holding on to what I should be letting go, forgetting to breathe.
I spend too much time dwelling on things that are not important or helpful. Certain events in the last few weeks have brought some raw, tender emotions to light that I didn’t even know I’d been repressing for months, even years. I feel distracted and it is affecting nearly everything I do.
On top of feeling scattered and sensitive, I’m also pretty stressed. Between birthdays, the end of the school year, a wedding, various meetings, summer plans, Ryan’s therapy, David’s long work hours, and all the day-to-day life stuff, there’s a lot going on. More than usual.
I’m not very present. I’m not very mindful. Some days I find myself in a manic whirlwind of productivity and selflessness. Those days are glorious. Other days, though, I’m curled inward, holding my breath, waiting for everything to magically work out.
A few things need to happen. 1) I need to get through this moment. When something can’t be changed, the only way past it is through it. So onward I will go. 2) I need to find a therapist. Having someone help me process some of this mental and emotional burden I’m carrying will be immensely helpful. This has been on my radar for a while; time to make it happen.
Meanwhile, I’m going to focus on breathing well. Inhale. Exhale.
Take in all that is healthy, constructive, enlightening, motivating, empowering, and full of love.
Let go of anything hurtful, confusing, oppressive, angry, unnecessary, and full of fear.
Inhale. Exhale. Big, open, vulnerable breaths.
It’s a start.
We got this.