Oof. It's been an interesting few days. I read that book that had me all freaked out about everything in my little universe. I tend to go a little overboard at times, and this was one of those times. But sometimes going overboard is okay. Maybe because when you call for help (even if not to a real person but just to the world more generally), you get responses that serve as little life preservers. It's all simply a matter of asking.
While freaking out, things started happening. I spent Saturday night just meditating. Not in a new-age Buddhist way, necessarily (though that would have been okay, too) but just in a sitting back and letting go kind of way. I decided to pay more attention to my own self-negativity and counteract it when I found myself thinking this way. Then things got interesting.
1) A friend had called on Friday, and I hadn't heard the phone. I noticed the call later on, but didn't notice the voice mail. She called again when I was out on Monday, and that time I noticed a voice mail, so I heard both back to back. The first one was just a sweet simple message that she had thought of me and found something I had given her a long time ago when she was struggling. She wanted me to know how much that meant to her and that she was glad to have me for a friend (um, one who hasn't yet called her back, but I digress). I cried a little at that. The other message was an offer to give me something she had from her mom who recently passed. Very sweet.
2) Then I had another voice mail (I have a habit of not leaving my cell phone where I can hear it--so sue me). It was one of my cousins who just wanted to say that he thought it was great that I had lost weight and that he and his spouse are trying, too. It was just a spontaneous call from a cousin I don't normally hear from, and it was so very sweet and thoughtful. And made me feel really good, too.
3) I was talking to some friends about my prior post topic of anxiety, and they both completely related. They understood and could provide similar stories, so now I don't feel so unusual or crazy. We're all highly functioning adults, so maybe the anxiety doesn't really rule us after all. Maybe I can let that go now.
4) The author of the book that had me freaked out quoted a poet named Mary Oliver, and the quote was really meaningful to me. I had been given a book of her poems from a friend awhile back. I struggle with really understanding poetry, for some reason, so I had started it but not finished. After reading this quote in the food book on Sunday, I went to my shelf to look for the Oliver collection. I couldn't find it anywhere. I figured it would turn up eventually and forgot about it. Then on Monday, I went to my nightstand cupboard to look for a pencil (I'm always losing them). I had cleaned the nightstand out a couple of weeks ago, so I knew there was one in there. I found it, but then I noticed a book in there, which I hadn't recalled putting there; I thought I'd put all the books back on my shelf. I pulled it out...it was the Mary Oliver poem book. I opened it up, and the only poem that was dog-eared (I do that for ones that I particularly like) was the poem that was quoted in the food book.
5) I got an email from a childhood friend who has been very ill, and things are really starting to look up for her. Tests are coming back in her favor, she's feeling great, and her kids are adjusting to school...her daughter even wants to play the flute like I did! Yeah! I was hoping for good news, but the email radiated it from every letter. I just really needed to see that well-deserved peace from her to remind me that all those angst-ridden teen years, those years of anxiety, also produced some of the most joyful and meaningful experiences of my life, and that they will continue to do so for many many many years.
So, from moderate despair came a series of messages of hope. It shows that my attempts to start afresh and be the happy person I deserve as much as anyone to be are not going unheeded or unnoticed by god or the universe or whatever label you want to put on it. Now I just have to keep it up...that's the hard part.