Anxiety, a War of Being.

Tesseract have an album out by that name.  It’s their most recent one.  It’s a bit of a slow burner, I liked it at first, but then the novelty wore off, but some how I couldn’t leave it alone entirely and now its rhythms and melodies, sometimes heavy, aggressive and shouty and sometimes the most hauntingly beautiful and pulsing seem to flow through me on a fairly constant basis. 

It’s a concept album, however, I have no idea what the concept is, but the more I think about it, for many, that’s what life is, a war.

A ‘War of Being’. 

It shouldn’t be that way.  Many of us are managing difficulties, whether that is a physical disability or a mental one. We are managing what we feel we are, or should be, or even want to be and if that isn’t enough, we are also managing these feelings alongside what we feel other people think we are, should be or even want to be.

We are at war, a war within ourselves, a war of being.

You probably know my story, my ignorance of my difficulties, and numbing them with alcohol. However, since I discovered what my war was about, anxiety, I had one primary personal focus, to have peace within myself, and having largely found that, to then help other people make better choices than I did for 30 years.

However, so many people don’t seem to want that insight.  They seem to thrive on ‘victim’ mode.

This is why I find it so hard not to get preachy and condescending.  I guess that’s now ‘my war of being’.

Having been given a platform to help anyone access our greatest resource, the outdoors, the countryside, free of charge. Woodland workshops. I see it as my responsibility to offer it to as many people as possible, in particular those who have the strength of mind to say I need help.

As there was a local ‘drop in centre’ for men, I thought I would go along and see what help I could access, I am aware I don’t have all the answers, and if I could offer these workshops to anyone there.

Within four weeks I was asked to leave.  I was told ‘You don’t have any mental health problems’ and that this was not a platform to pinch people for my group, and that as I have a CIC I was in this for money and they didn’t do that.

I have to confess this saddened me. Not for me personally, but for everyone in the group.

Why does our society seem to be content to live in victim mode and see fear in every attempt to make change, even change that is for the better.

It is OK to say ‘I am not OK’ definitely.  Acknowledging who we are is crucial, it is vital.

Deciding to be OK with ‘victim’ mode is not!

The average life span these days is eighty years.  That is nothing: in the greater scheme of things that is nothing.  There has been life on this planet for millions of years, and if we don’t mess it up, there will be for millions of years to come.

It is not OK to be miserable, or a ‘victim’ for those eighty years. Our number one priority, as long as its not at the expense of others, is to be happy.

To do that, we have to accept who we are.

Accept that we have whatever difficulty it is we have. Accept it utterly, whether that is a physical disability, or a mental one and then work out how to manage it.

I have difficulties with anxiety, sometimes its horrible, but for me the first step is the phrase I have used before, ‘F*** this sh1t’. I refuse to be dominated by it, I have it, I don’t suffer it.  The unexpected attacks I just have to endure until they finish, the real killer then is the exhaustion that follows. The one that comes from over thinking I have trained myself to manage. I have strategies in place to find peace and calm on the inside.

In the movie Immortal Instruments, city of bones, Luke Garroway, the werewolf, would lock himself in padded cell with a timer on the lock for the full moon, so that he wasn’t a danger to anyone.

An extreme example from fiction, but the premise is the same. Acknowledge who and what you are, what are the elements that make you ‘you’ and learn how to live with them so you can be an asset to society, which ever society that is you choose to be a part of.

It can be hard to grasp an offered hand, but when it is offered, grasp it and try not to prejudge the person who offered it.

It can feel like a war sometimes, just being.  Don’t engage in that war, learn how to be you.

Accept, don’t suffer.

Simon Pollard  Urban Countryman Feb 2024

Picture by Jodie Lingard of Dover media group.

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