Dark Twisty Thoughts

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I hang up the phone after talking to Amma and turn around when I hear the shrill insistent ring again. “I wonder what she forgot,” I mutter as I pick the phone and am surprised to hear my sister on the other end. We chat for ten minutes mostly because I am in the mood to talk and I insist she has a blow by blow account of my day. She claims my mom is calling her and hangs up and I smile.

I have grown up seeing my mom and her sister talk on the phone for hours on end. Sometimes they would exchange salacious gossip, sometimes it would be a purgatory of sorts with each of them confessing to anxiety, sorrow and dark, twisty things. Most days would be like mine today, an inane account of each of their days complete with details on every meal made.

In my twenties, my future mirrored what I had seen. Whole intact families, little to worry about other than occasional work related woes and perhaps a health complaint or two. Life changing events happened to others. Divorce, widowhood, barrenness, spinsterhood, extra marital affairs were all tidbits to be exchanged, mulled about and left behind because it did not involve anyone in the family. In my forties, I realize that these things happen to us. Our friends pass away. People who mean a great deal to me struggle with single parenthood. Infertility has marked my life and my innermost circle leaving behind scars that will last this lifetime. When I meet friends once in a few years, we sit in the dark, pillows clutched to our chests laying bare problems with our progeny, with our spouses.

I suspect my sixties will bring with it experience I will not care for. I shudder to think of terminal illness and sudden loss of lives. There are other things I fear so much that I cannot print the words out. Yet, a part of me knows that these things do not happen just to others. They will happen in ways that will touch me, will mark me for life. I look at how tenaciously I hold on to relationships, to people and sometimes feel despondency descend on me. I breathe in and out, consciously choosing to relax my grip, to set expectations of reality. To prepare myself for the horrors yet to unfold. Some part of me also believes that letting the words out will nullify those fears and bring them to naught.

Tell me my friends, do you experience anxiety like I do? What do you do to deal with it?

6 comments

  1. “I look at how tenaciously I hold on to relationships, to people and sometimes feel despondency descend on me.” Wow!! I relate to this soo much. I am in my twenties dealing with/ feeling anxious made me feel guilty. I mean what have I experienced in life to feel it. Wouldn’t I be facing much more in the coming years? Shouldn’t I be much stronger? But I am learning to embrace it because it is what it is. Everytime I feel anxious I acknowledge it and breathe, then I try to reason out. Sometimes it is personal, sometimes it is about another person or about events happening around us. I try to do an activity that helps me lower the intensity of this feeling. I was assuming 30s would help me care about things a lot less than how I do now!!

    • It will. You will care less and fear more because personal experience will make it feel closer than it is. Like you said, breathing is about the one thing that helps me.

  2. I am thinking the last sentence was a rhetoric. I think anyone in their forties would undergo exactly all of what you write.
    I try breath meditation and while it helps me in normal times, when the hormones are out of whack during PMS times, nothing seems to help.
    If you find out, let me know.

  3. Laksh – those thoughts do cross my mind – more than what they used to. It’s also that realization that prompts me to be more mindful, and purposeful in my everyday pursuits. And those thoughts humble me, and in some ways prompt me to be kinder, and non-judgmental. I am trying my hands on meditation too.

  4. Its like gobblefunkist said, PMS is main culprit. Personally for me, waking up in the middle of the night but can’t go back to sleep but donot want to get up from bed. I get most fearful thoughts…. Try to take deep breaths and thinking of childhood memories and live in a imaginative world helps me :)(I am weird that way)

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