Playing in Murky Water

I haven’t written in awhile; admittedly I’ve been pretty caught up in my inner world lately. Sometimes in a productive way, other times purely lost in the muck.


I’ve been working hard on being a good protector for the Little Girl, and I’m proud to say I’m getting to be a much more reliable caregiver. Whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed or feel a rush of anxiety, I give myself a time out. I try to get somewhere I can be alone, use self-soothing, positive self-talk (“I’ve got you” “You’re safe”), and do a calming activity (colouring, meditation, listening to calm music, etc). By responding with compassion and giving myself the attention and space I need, I find I can decompress and return to whatever I was doing in a much calmer state. On bad days it has also helped me realize when returning to the activity isn’t the best option. At these times I try not to beat myself up for failing to return, and instead acknowledge that I’ve had all I can handle right now and be proud that I am doing what is best for me in this moment.

Developing my self-compassion has proven to not only be helpful, but absolutely necessary for wading through life of late and allowing me to delve deeper.


And deeper I’m starting to go. The “self-project” I’ve been trying to work on is addressing repressed emotions that I’ve been told could be destroying my life, as well as my intestines. Since I’m so beyond sick of being sick, I’m more than ready to try anything, including playing in the murky waters of my subconscious. It’s been slow going because I honestly wasn’t sure how to tackle this. I felt so oblivious I even resorted to googling it (hint; healthy tribe are much more helpful). I’m still not sure exactly what needs to happen to be successful in this endeavor, but I’ve started trying things anyway and it feels good to at least be taking a step.

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I’ve been having a rough time with the physical and mental effects of anxiety. Half the time I’m consumed by symptoms and stuck evaluating what they mean, and the other half is spent trying strategies to deal with them and address root causes.  In other words, it’s been murky.


I can feel myself slipping back into that place, I picture it when I close my eyes. I’m inside a water slide, desperately trying to grasp the sides to keep from falling down. The water keeps rushing into me and my hands and feet keep slipping. All I can hear is that horrible noise that happens when you rub too hard against wet plastic.

My panic rises. I know I have to keep trying to grasp this impossibly slippery surface. The wall sends electric shocks as I get close, taunting me with the futile connection that exists between us. Each time I lose my grip I fall further into the darkness, closer to the water below.

Pleading that this water stops rushing into me, pleading that I come across a chip in the wall so I can get a better grip. But the water is relentless, and the inside of this tube so dark that even if there was a chip it’d be too dark to see. I keep slipping further down. And the scariest part is not that I’m falling, but knowing I can’t swim.

The scent of plastic and chlorine flood into my senses so vividly I close my mouth so I don’t choke. Right then I open my eyes and wonder, are the memories of drowning enough to prove that I can’t swim?

It’s those small moments I keep finding, those light bulbs that flicker in the darkness, shining clarity or beautiful doubt into my awareness.

They are the gems hiding in the murky water.

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