#7 Grateful for Claustrophobic Journeys

My nan is staying with us for a few weeks, she’s 90 and she’s incredible. She’s takes zero medication (apart from iron supplements but as an Aries like me, her iron levels are the first to deplete with stress) and she still does everything herself (the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking etc.) her energy levels are enviously high and she gets in and out of the car like an excited kid. So, as she’s with us and likes to be out and about, we headed out of the city to visit an old church (900 years to be exact) just to take a look around and soak in the local tranquility.

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On our way out to the country we went though a part of town that triggers a million of my anxiety feelers. I’ve always found the energy stagnant and unsettled. It’s very close to the first secondary school I attended but left due to bullying after a year. It was the go-to place for teenagers wanting to cause trouble or just ‘hang out’. Neither I wanted to do but both I tried as I was young and wanted to fit in. Needless to say, it didn’t last for long, the bullying started because I didn’t want to scare old ladies in the dark so ended up going to another school with better energy and a less intimidating environment. Today, again, this place triggered me. I am 34 yet still feel physically and mentally triggered by memories of feeling totally powerless and vulnerable. I am an avid believer in embracing fears to find understanding within them. If you just ignore, fears NEVER leave and manifest in ways that may appear un-related to the original stem but nonetheless they sprout from buried pains. Not always easy and can make you feel like you’d rather die than do it but today I had no choice other than to feel contracting feelings. Once the feelings rise, the words of encouragement in my head dim a little, all seems to lay low to let the influx of busy, anxious, low buzzing energies flow. The car was full, the dog was grumbling because he wanted to go to the toilet and the clouds above were low. All closed in.

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The car had to stop, to pull over, letting me open the door to breathe. To feel my feet on the ground and stare at fallen leaves and bare branches. It’s the only way to resume some colour, to slow down, to focus and breathe through the rise of thorny physical sensations. There is a positive to this experience, I didn’t want to go home, to curl up and beat myself up for ‘letting panic take over’. My colour returned, we carried on to the church, I walked into the field behind and smiled at the glorious powers that can whip us, beat us and heal us all at the same time.

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I am so grateful for this claustrophobia to rise within me today. I found a strength I knew I had but was afraid to tap into. I delighted in the outdoors and knew the air was my medicine. For an agoraphobic to feel that, well for me it’s pretty exciting stuff. I also recognised my trigger. I understood what was happening and why. I was able to smile at my reactions and tap myself on the back for being the human that I am. That was enough for me today, surrendering to the human I am. I don’t need to ‘change’, I just need to embrace every fleck of colour surrounding the pupil of my soul.

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