Sheila’s calm inner voice advises her not to brood on the disquiet of her mind, although it’s hard not to when she’s spent years living with nervous tension. Can’t go out; might faint. Can’t go out; might have palpitations. Can’t go out; might have a heart attack. There’s nothing wrong with her except for her infernal racing brain. Not racing with anything productive, only worry, worry and, oh yes, more worry. It’s so exhausting. When she thinks she’s worried something to death, along comes something else to get her teeth into. Well, not her teeth, more likely to be her constantly firing synapses, habituated into longing for the physical symptoms of too much adrenaline coursing through her body, like a heroin addict searching desperately for their next fix. Sheila’s brain makes a mockery of her body: makes her feel nauseous; light-headed; gives her a headache; makes her think she’s going to die of a heart attack.
Sheila keeps pacing, eyes focused on the cracked grey paving slabs below. “I will go out; I will do what I want; I will live my life” she tells herself. “I refuse to bow down to this irrational worry. What a waste of my life. Aside from the constant stress, it’s also incredibly boring. I’ve bored myself senseless with the persistent negative thoughts, boring family and friends with my constant refrain of how anxious I feel”.
This has to stop and it has to stop today. The years she’s wasted; the opportunities she’s squandered; the times she’s said no to something because of anxiety, fear and worry.
Sheila thinks, “today, I’m going to lift my eyes from the confines of my small front garden and I’m going to turn my nervous energy into something productive. I’m going to look forward with excited anticipation to where the path might lead. Goodbye irrational fear. Hello life. Here I am, ready and waiting to say yes to what you have to offer, to look around and be thankful that I am alive, creative, valuable and worthwhile. I’m going to take the first few steps to liberating myself from crippling panic. I’ve spent so long imprisoned in my self-imposed brain cell that I’ve missed out on what the world has to show me. It’s time to throw off the shackles of the dark room and feel the fresh air of a new dawn”.
Sheila opens the garden gate and steps out into the street.