Saturday, 1 April 2017

I am mostly fine.

I am mostly fine, at the moment. I am mostly fine because I can go day to day without feeling afraid or unnerved and I can leave the house and go places and it's all fine. Of course there are moments when it feels a little bit not fine, but even those moments are okay simply because I say they are.

See, that's the first step, to being fine, accepting that it is okay when you are not. Not berating yourself, not trying to find a time limit, not hating yourself for it. All of those things increase the bad feeling, the tightness of your chest, the stinging sensation of tears about to come in your eyes.

But the other day I was on the tube in London and I was able to remind myself that I was absolutely okay in a moment where I felt absolutely not. I was on the tube in London and it was hot and it was busy. I kept having those awkward encounters with people's faces and my backpack because the train was packed and the air was just recycled from other people's lungs and it was unpleasant. And then I started to feel sick, and my palms started to sweat, and I was managing to convince myself that I couldn't breathe properly. An awful, sickly, panicky feeling started to manifest itself in my chest and I was convinced that I was going to throw up or faint and get lost in this tiny sea of people and feel humiliated and need desperately to escape right now.

It could have been a really terrible moment. I could have decided to get off at the next stop and go home and give up on my day out with myself. But I didn't, because I made the decision to completely accept the feeling inside of me and stay on the train all the way to where I wanted to go. I'm pretty sure that's how it eventually went away, because I let the feeling wave over me and didn't fight it or resent it. It happened and I moved on. I didn't tell myself when I had to feel better by, I accepted that eventually it would go away. I didn't tell myself that I was silly for feeling it, I accepted that this was my mind and body reacting to something. I didn't tell myself that I should get over it and pull myself together, I accepted that it was happening and that everyone feels not okay sometimes and I let it ride itself out.

The feeling, of course, did go away and I got on with the rest of my day. I didn't hate myself for it, I wasn't embarrassed. It was just the way my body and my mind had felt for a moment and that is fine because that's how human bodies sometimes feel. You know how no-one really has an answer for the feeling of love? No-one really has an answer for the feeling of anything.

Accepting that human experience does not just involve constant happiness and joy or that sadness and fear is something you 'shouldn't' have is a healthy start. Unfortunately it doesn't solve everything, and it doesn't make the bad things stop, but it makes them more bearable. It lets you to know that painful feelings will end, and it allows you to observe them in a new light. This is me, this is what is happening to me, this is my present. And that is okay.