Sometimes when I look at my life I divide the years up according to whatever kick I happened to be on at the time. There were the sewing years, the ferret years, the kickboxing years. Then there are the therapy years. That’s on ongoing one divided up into subsets of therapies, I won’t go full frontal and reveal the numerous efforts because there just isn’t enough room on the Internet for that sort of TMI.
Therapy ain’t just a bunch of yapping, no there’s all sorts of stuff to go with it . One accessory is The Book. About ten years ago my Divorce Therapist, a dapper fellow named Rex, suggested I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. So I bought the book. And that’s about it. See, the thing about self help books is that I expect so much more of them. I always anticipate opening the book and in the first chapter seeing something along the lines of, “Greetings, Heather! I am ever so glad you purchased my book. You truly are AWESOME! Your awesomeness is such that you don’t actually need to read my book because tomorrow I will arrive on your doorstep and fix all the shit in your life for you. It will require no effort on your part. You simply are that awesome.” This sort of message is always delivered by the sing song voice of an Indian male. That message didn’t happen with the Now book. I found the first few pages empty of any sort of personal address and ever so dry. Uck.
Though I never read The Power of Now I have heard bits about it, and surmise from the name that it is all about being present. As a sufferer of GAD being present isn’t the easiest of tasks. Because anxiety is all about the what-ifs. What if my underwear is too small because I ate all those gummy bears over the weekend and now my muffin top will poke over it and make my bellybutton sweat? What if the tire falls off my car while I’m taking the kids to school and all The Other Mothers discover I skipped my scheduled tune-up? What if something horrible happens to the children before lunch today? What if Matt has another stroke and nobody is with him to call an ambulance? What if? What then?
When you have GAD the what-ifs are magnified to the point of terror. I understand full well that what-ifs can be reality. My father was out on a leisurely bike ride and died while crossing the street. Devon was born with a heart defect and actually died for a moment or two after his surgery. Matt’s brain vessels couldn’t hold up to the task and exploded one afternoon. A few weeks ago Cass got the crap beat out of her during a soccer game and now one leg is longer than the other. Shit happens. It happens now, tomorrow and all the next days. And for the most part there’s not a damn thing we can do about any of it. I’ve spent the better part of my life living in fear of all the what-ifs while letting the present languish. There truly is nothing other than right this moment and spending it in the corner of my closet behind my winter boots has grown old.
So my point with all this? I’m just trying to be present, man. I’m trying not to fret, worry that the kids are getting older and I’m not imparting any worthwhile wisdom upon them. I’m trying not to stress that winter is coming and we haven’t gotten Devon’s cold weather gear yet. I can’t make Cass’ back heal any faster than it is so I’m trying not to wonder when it will completely mend. I can’t control the future so the now is really just now. Deep stuff.