I wasn't going to write to you today but I couldn't help myself.
This morning I woke up later then I have done in months and I felt like shit. Whenever I oversleep I have the worst nightmares and today was no exception.
As I jolted out of my bad dream and into my day, I reached to check my phone. There was a WhatsApp message waiting for me which threw me.
My anxiety went from 0 to 10 in 0.1 seconds and it set me alight.
'Our reoccurring fear is that we'll suffer from our actions' says Sadhguru.
I thought about who I could call first for some comfort. Around 3pm the phone rang and I explained to my sister what had gone on. 'I've had the worst day!' I proclaimed.
A year ago a bad moment in a day meant the day was a write off.
Now I can box it somewhat and given enough time, my feelings of guilt garner some perspective.
But every bout of anxiety starts with me feeling like I've failed.
This feeling follows me around like a cloud. It's there on rainy days and hidding behind blue skies on sunnier noons.
It's much worse when I feel I've failed others.
I know this started when I was much younger, my Dad was really strict. He managed me and my two younger sisters in this fear like state. It's what most Indian Dad's did, they had this tone, this walk, even this glare which meant something bad was about to happen.
That fear sort of stayed around all day, even when you were eating dinner and hadn't misbehaved in days. There was this silent wave of fear which guided the family.
I'm not even sure it was deliberate or if he knew it was present, just lingering in the atmosphere.
My dads so much softer now but in those days having daughters was a real headache. Society thought so, well the Indian society did anyway and they were eager to share their opinion.
There was this burden that we would step out of line and no one would marry us. I'm not joking, even in London in the nineties there was this expectation that girls would dishounour their fathers, bring shame to the family and brand themselves as 'not marriage material.'
I get it, they came from a place where women relied on men for their survival.
What do we do now that we've moved mountains away from those ideologies? The fear that once nurtured us still lives within us.
Does all my anxiety stem from everytime my Dad would walk up the stairs slowly enough to get my tummy into knots.
Has that constant state of fear as a child meant that as an adult when I'm challenged or in a troublesome situation I can't cope.
The truth is I don't have the answer.
My childhood was a good one and now I'm a grown-up.
When I'm afraid and my anxiety flares up, I'll just have to sit with it.
I'm not going to die from anxiety am I?
Isn't that ultimately our biggest fear, that something will kill us? That this WhatsApp message will lead to a suffering so great that I will die.
Or is it an opportunity to put wrongs to right? Probably.
Right now, all I want to ask myself is... Was this experience worth putting my wellness on the line?
Was the suffering all my own doing?
I don't know. I don't even know if I'm asking the right questions or completely off track.
We'll find out I guess.