Marathon running race, people feet on roadMy life recently has been pretty black and white. Either I’ve been living with intense anxiety or living in the absence of it.

In the absence of anxiety lies a space in which life can go on. I’ve been living in this space for several days now, and I’m beginning to grow in confidence that I might be able to spend some substantial time here.

It’s unusual for me to have that kind of confidence, especially coming off a week where I missed four days of work due to some pretty bad anxiety. But I’m feeling pretty good. I think I worked all the bad stuff out for now. So I’m trying to go with it. I’ve got a short week at work this week, which helps me feel like it’s manageable.

My wife is running a marathon out of town this weekend, so I’m looking forward to going along to be her support crew and cheering section.

It feels good to be looking forward to anything. Lately I haven’t been able to look past very much, the anxiety’s been so intense. Last week I was living in a world of fear from which I couldn’t escape.

Now that I’ve been out of that for a few days, I’m looking around and feeling like I have some opportunity in front of me. I have a chance to grow from what I’ve been through. This is a chance for me to work on my coping skills. I’ve put a plan into place that I can use to help me deal with the recent anxiety.

By being present and mindful, keeping myself occupied, compartmentalizing and not making any judgements about my thoughts and feelings, I can work towards having a healthier place to stand when I’m not suffering from anxiety.

And I’m practising those things right now. I go to work tomorrow and I’m not letting myself worry about it. When I get up in the morning I’ll get dressed, take a drive, then do my job. Step by step.

I’m not going to get ahead of myself. One thing at a time, sticking to the plan. I’m going to go through my life mindfully and take things as they come. It’s only with the absence of anxiety that I’m able to approach life in this way. By practising when I can, I will slowly build up my skills to the point where I can handle life in the presence of anxiety.

And that is when I’ll really begin to live again. When I can live more in shades of grey, rather than getting slammed back and forth by the on-and-off life I’m living with anxiety right now.
But it’s something else I’m looking forward to. It is part of the process of recovery. It is something for me to work toward. And for that, I’m grateful. In the absence of anxiety, I’m learning the lessons that I need to live my life more fully and more mindfully.

Jason Large,

Daily Zen.

Author Bio – Jason has suffered from depression and anxiety for over twenty years. You can follow him on his author’s page at Jason Large, Author or contact him personally on Facebook.