I am sitting here drinking my iced coffee, listening to the mostly silent sounds around me.

Occasionally I hear the maintenance men outside near the shed, laughing and cutting up with one another.

But sometimes silence can be deafening.

Affirmations for anxiety

Like when you ask an important question of someone, and you watch them attempt to dodge it, their eyes scurrying around the room as though looking for an exit.

And you know right then that whatever they are about to say, whenever they gather the courage to say it, you will wish you had not heard their answer.

But this silence is peaceful and transformative in the way it is calming me.

After yesterday I think I understand the words “bone tired.” I was both physically and emotionally exhausted by the time we got home from the vet’s office.

I felt like too much information was coming at me. My emotions were all over the place. Skittering around the room like mice looking for a hole in the wall.

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” – Arthur Somers Roche

Charlie on the couch

Waiting for the vet to run the tests, from time to time I’d feel tears of worry gather. And I’d take a deep breath and force my mind to things I needed to do at home. Mundane every day things.

I still couldn’t help but think of the two Boston Terriers I lost four months apart years ago.

I couldn’t help but remember that I got my first real scare about Charlie’s health just five days after Abi died.

I couldn’t help but remember that my grief over losing Abi is still a sharp edged tool waiting to prod me at any moment.

I held Charlie and whispered to him. Told him it would be all right. That we would go home soon and I would feed him.

I was trying to calm both of us. I was trying to be positive.

Worry quote

We are not given promises in life. We take things as they come because we have no other choice.

Just because we know that no one lives forever, that immutable fact does not stop us from hoping against hope that the ghost of death will not visit us any time soon.

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb

I think of that cartoon where the character, I think it was Bugs Bunny, got run over by a truck. The rabbit would flatten like a pancake.

Then, like magic, he would spring back up again like a maniacal jack in the box, good as new.

worry quote

I’m so tired. I feel like I’ve run a marathon. I’m so weary of my emotions and fears seesawing up and down, calming for a bit, and then spreading again like wildfire.

“Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.” – Ana Monnar

And so I am going to try to divert my mind from all the things worrying me, mostly about Charlie’s health, and try to live for today.

I am going to love him and enjoy him and laugh at his antics and try not to think about the day when I will no longer have him.

I know that worry will creep around the edges of my mind like light appearing around the pulled shades of a window.

I am just going to try my best to find peace for today, take a deep breath, and have hope for tomorrow.

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39 Comments

  1. Not funny how your past experiences are often just around the corner lurking and of course worry settles in. I have a lot of work to do in this department! I have to work at it because often it will stop me in my tracks and has made me physically ill. I agree with one on the comments you receive about the quality of sleep you get. Sleep is very important for me any way. The Anne Monnar saying you have here is one my husband repeats to me. I’ve written many of them down and re-read them when I’m anxious. I pray Charlie will be with you for a long time still. I know that pain….never easy.

    Take care
    Jeannette

  2. Oh Brenda this is so hard. I’m sorry. Hopefully things will turn around. I never could figure out why our sweet pets have such a shorter life span than we do.
    Give him lots of love and he’ll stay strong for you.
    Hugs

  3. I wish I could hug you both too. !
    I am so sorry you are going thru all this .
    I agree with everything everyone said we are all here for you and we feel your pain !I love today’s picture of Charlie boy .It is precious .
    Classical music helps me to relax if you have an NPR station you can turn to it might help .
    Sending healing vibes to u !

    1. I used to listen to NPR in the car. But I haven’t turned on the radio in the car in many years. I like silence. I don’t even have a radio indoors. I’m sure with all the technology I could summon up something but I really like the quiet.

  4. I’m so sorry you’re both having to deal with this so soon after losing Abi. Life is anything , but fair. I wish I could hug you both and make it all better. Please remember how so many of us are pulling for you.

  5. Well, I can’t really think of anything to add to all the empathic posts today. Anxiety is very familiar to me, too. In fact I take medication to deal with it. Mostly, it is just mildly intrusive but even with the meds it can become quite acute as I experienced last summer when I tho’t I might lose my house. I think all of the suggestions from readers are helpful; you just have to find which ones work best for you. I find listening to music helpful to me. But, thinking back to last summer some of the time I had to just distract myself with busy work to keep the fear under control. I’m glad you are sleeping well because worrying takes a lot of energy that you may not be aware you are depleting. There’s no way around it, worrying is hard to deal with. Anxiety is not fun. Fear just wears us down. I am sending love and healing to you and Charlie and imagining him as a healthy dog for a long time yet.

    I am sending love and healing to you and Charlie and imagining him as a healthy dog for a long time yet. Will check in again tomorrow.

  6. I can totally relate to all of this. I am a worrier and I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Deep, from-from-the-belly breathing – even counting the breaths as you inhale and exhale – help. It calms the nervous system.

    1. I was practicing those deep breaths yesterday at the vet’s office. I take anxiety medication so that definitely helps.

  7. Words of wisdom from Scarlett O’Hara via Jan today….”I’ll think about it tomorrow”. Perfectly logical.

  8. Brenda I do understand how you are feeling. It is difficult to stop the mind from skittering too and fro, thinking of the worst scenario, etc. I have been there myself.
    it does not help me that I am a terrible worrier. I think it comes from so many ups and downs in my life, so many unhappy things that happened over the years, and how I had to figure out how to deal with them all alone with no one to lean on.
    You would think that at our age, we would have figured things out and be able to quiet our mind and have some measure of peace. But if you are like me, you think of the worst that could happen and have a hard time stopping that train of thought.

  9. it’s all been said. far better than I ever could add. he’s a courageous little bundle of energy!
    your Charlie Boy!
    in that picture above he might be listening for his favorite nemesis to walk the fence teasing him.
    every day on this planet… every single day… we simply live and love and put one foot in front of the other. that’s the best we can do. and hopefully there’s some laughter in each day. it truly can heal.
    we are all cheering for you. even we fellow introverts! xoxo

  10. Easier said than done, but try to relax Brenda! All the tests aren’t in yet, so think positive and get some sleep please, so you don’t get sick! Try to enjoy your weekend with Charlie!

  11. Brenda, slow down and take some deep breaths. Please try not to get all worked up about Charlie until there is something to get worked about – this is just draining you emotionally and physically. You are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. Relax, enjoy snuggling with Charlie and settle into a good book or if it’s not too hot, go outside and do a little gardening, you know Charlie likes to look for those pesky squirrels. I hope you can have a quiet, peaceful Labor Day weekend my friend.
    Carol and Molly
    xoxoxo

  12. It must give you some measure of comfort to be able to express your feelings so eloquently here. It is as if you share your personal journal with us each day.
    Take care of yourself and Charlie, as I am trying to do with my sick kitty Peanut. She gets canned food now so I can put her medicine in it. Today I put an extra folded blanket on her bed to ensure she is comfortable. (Ironically she does not look or act as if she has cancer.)
    All you have to do is get through today.

  13. Brenda,

    There is nothing I can add to your words of wisdom. You said it all so well. Allow yourself many deep calming breaths today.

    Susan

    1. I look around myself like “Is she talking about me?” I guess many of us have a hard time thinking we are strong.

  14. Worry is that thing that will rob us of allllll peace …. I know it is so very hard… because of the great love you have for your precious furbaby…. But enjoy him…. each moment in the day … going about your regular routines… just enjoying the day ..

  15. What a gift you have to be able to express yourself and your innermost feelings so beautifully and truthfully. Your words are a comfort and a time of reflection for all of your readers. I find myself thinking about your posts as I go through my day and realizing that I often feel the same way you do about issues, problems, etc but am unable to express myself as well as you do. As I read and digest your words, I am often more able to convey my thoughts about “near and dear” issues to my loved ones. Thank you for allowing your readers to be a part of your life.

    Charlie is so very lucky to have you in his life (and of course we know you are lucky to have little Charlie). Enjoy your time with this handsome fella; so many wonderful memories are in the making.

    Take care and enjoy this holiday weekend.

  16. Well, I disagree with at least part of the Affirmations for Anxiety that you posted. We aren’t in control, because outside forces, other people, other events, others’ actions, and just the nature of time, all impact us in both unexpected and sometimes expected ways. What we ARE in control of is the way we respond to the events of life that happen to us. When you think of it, Brenda, that’s a mighty powerful thing to be able to control. How are you sleeping? I have found that sleep is a wonderful re-balancer. Sometimes we just have to get away from EVERYTHING, including ourselves, and the only way to do that is to sleep. Sometimes events seem to be punching us around like a beach ball that twenty kids are kicking, hitting and throwing around endlessly. Ouch, ouch, OUCH OUCH OUCH…. But, as trite as it may sound, I have found that the older I got, the more I realized that Scarlett O’Hara’s famous words from “Gone With the Wind” were absolutely true, “I’ll think about it tomorrow…” Tomorrow always brings a new perspective, new balance, new resolve, deep breaths and you get on with it. We’re with you in spirit. You have to walk your own path, but you’re not alone.

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