You Are Safe
"Body, calm down. You are safe here. No one will hurt you. No one is even paying attention to you. There aren't twenty grizzly bears surrounding you. The music is uplifting. The sunshine is warming. It is okay for you to be here. There will be no fight. There is no threat.
B r e a t h e.
Release the tension in every cell of your body. Unclench. Smile. Breathe some more. Let peace be yours. Let yourself unfurl. Open yourself to enjoying the present moment. For in this little corner of your world, you are safe here."
I wrote this while sitting in a microbrewery, eating a pizza and sipping on cider. I was like a fish out of water. This eating on my own while being out in public on my own is a very foreign, unfamiliar, anxiety-inducing experience for me now. It highlighted to me how different life has become and how dependent I am, and have been, since Central Sensitivity Syndrome took the reigns. Given that I need someone to drive me anywhere I go, I can't remember the last time I was out in a social setting without the family member or a friend who drove me being present.
But here I was, out, just me, doing it despite the anxiety that gripped me before stepping out the door. And while sitting there, I could feel the tension. I could feel my hyper-sensitized central nervous system screaming on overdrive with so much more external stimuli to process. At all times, except when I'm by myself in the quiet at home or in the float tank, my body reacts to its surroundings as if I were facing twenty, very angry and very scary grizzly bears.
Recognizing that, I began to write. A form of gentle communication with myself. And for the rest of my time there, I continued to read and re-read these words, being curious about the experiment, and gradually releasing some of the tension.
In a way, it felt like a form of exposure therapy, which intrigued me. Perhaps this is something I need to do more of, this sitting with myself in a public setting, working to change the typical physiological response I have through mindfulness and reassuring my body that it is in safe hands with me.