Let yourself be deeply seen,
love with your whole heart,
practice gratitude and joy…be able to say ‘I am thankful to feel this vulnerable because it means I am alive’,
and believe ‘I am enough.’
You are worthy of love and belonging.
~ Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability
It’s like arriving home and the cat’s not there. You run around looking for it, thinking that it must be there somewhere, lurking behind something, under something, because you know that’s what cats do, they hide. You become almost frantic in your search: where is the fucking cat? But you really can’t find it, and eventually you accept that it’s not hiding, it’s just not there. It’s gone. And so you sit and wait. You sit and wait for it to come home, because you assume that it will, it must, it always does. Every now and then you get up and peer out the window, call for it, softly. And although it never comes, you can’t stop believing that the very next morning you will wake up and there it will be, lying on your chest, as though it never left. Because it’s been with you for so many years, how is it possible for it to not be there, for it to disappear, just like that? But the cat has fucking gone. And it hasn’t gone temporarily like all those times you thought it had but it was only sleeping, hidden. It has truly gone. Well, fuck the cat. And the analogy. It’s gone, the anxiety. Well, fuck the anxiety too. The anxiety that has been living, in a shifting form, in my body for the last ten years, fuck that. Fuck my shaking hands and racing heart and cracking voice and the right foot that won’t stop tapping and my mind that changes directions quicker than the metal ball flinging around a slot machine. Fuck the people who don’t believe anxiety is real. Fuck the friends who didn’t – don’t – understand, who are friends no more. Fuck all that and let it go. Fuck all that and send it all love instead. To the shaking hands that are still your own, even though they move to an unknowable beat – send love. To the dread that anchored itself deep inside your body – send love. To the face you look at in the mirror – send love. To the people who didn’t – don’t – understand, who aren’t so kind, who expect you to be someone you’re not, who say ‘awww’ as though you are a small child who doesn’t know how to live – send love. Send it – them and you – love. It really is the only way.