The weather is a tricky thing. You can watch it and think you have a good handle on what is going to happen. You dress for it. Cute jean shorts and a soft white tank top, paired with Grecian sandals will look stunning today. You curl your hair and use just the right products. Today’s forecast is a perfect 74 degrees with an occasional high cloud and a gentle breeze. The day was made for walking around.
You’re out on the patio laughing, having a cocktail with your friends when a cloud appears. You notice it but it’s nothing to alarm you. Yet, you feel the air pressure start to change. The others might not notice but you’re sensitive to this change. The hair on the back of your neck starts to stand up. Could the forecast have been wrong? The day looked so perfect? You looked at the map! Clouds tumble in from every side and suddenly it is pouring on you. Everyone is scattering around yet there you stand, helpless letting the rain soak your core. All the work you have put in has been ruined…and you never saw it coming.
Sometimes, you will sit for days watching the Weather Channel. Storm predictors, wall clouds, El Nino…you will stock your cupboards, collect kerosene, have candles. You will have everything possible prepared because you know the storm is coming. You know in advance trees are going to be uprooted, floods are going to occur, lives are going to change. You are thankful when you are in the eye of the storm. Thank you Weather Channel for giving storms names.
Mine is Anxiety.
I wish my storms were always predictive. It seems as of late they are the 74 and sunny kind. My storms are the ones that are coming in the middle of my sleep that wake me from the toy soldiers trying to march out of my chest. My storms are coming in the names of loneliness. They come with moments of suffocation and raining eyes. My storms are coming in the names of darkness. They are coming with moments of deafening silence in rooms full of noise. My storm is anxiety. I wish it was predicative.
When I don’t know the storms are coming, everything in me stops. I am caught in the rain. I’m standing on the patio stuck. I don’t remember how to make my way inside to save myself. I know the rain is hitting me. I can feel it. I know there is danger of lightning all around me. I see the people running. I know I should move. I know standing there, the rain fall is going to drench me. I am going to get sick. I can’t help myself in that moment. I want to call out for help. SAVE ME! I want to scream it. I can’t remember the words. Is it really that I can’t remember the words? Or do they get stuck on my pride? I watch everyone save themselves from the storm. The patio has become a pool and suddenly I’m drowning. My storm is anxiety. Please save me when I can’t save myself.