Sunday, December 3, 2017

Small Victories on a Good Day

It's almost midnight.  I'm exhausted, in a good mood, and I almost typed the word "happy." 

Almost.  I stopped myself and deleted the few letters I got out.  I mean, I don't want to get too crazy here. 

I left my apartment. 

I don't normally do that.  There's a little girl I'll leave it for but that's about it.  She's very special to me and I love being her creepy uncle. 

Today, for the first time in well over four years, I left my apartment for a destination that was more than an hour away and new to me.  I was so anxious the night before I didn't sleep until 6am. 

When the time came to leave, I was even more anxious.  Anxiety is like a big, dark monster riding on your shoulders, licking the back of your ear as it delightfully tells you all the awful shit that is waiting for you outside the door. 

You can hear it smile as it sings in whispers about all the things that will go wrong and how horrible it will be. 

You believe it because you remember.  It's hard to forget things and you know what's out there.  It's even harder to ignore and just go on with your day. 

But I left my apartment. 

It wasn't easy.  I had to work up to it and because of that I was running late.  I slept late, too, because I didn't sleep at all the night before.  Such is the penalty of anxiety. 

The road trip was supposed to take three hours. 

On the way there, I saw a cow giving birth not more than 20 feet from the road.  Nobody was there to help or do anything about it.  Such is Wisconsin, I guess. 

There were several times I almost stopped, turned around, and came back.  I was so uncomfortable with what I was doing it was almost too much.  But I brushed aside those thoughts as false and just kept on going. 

I made a few wrong turns on the way.  Instead of three hours, it took me more than four to get up there.  And I couldn't stay long because I have to work tomorrow morning.  Oh joy of joys. 

I even audibled mid-way through and changed the route.  Instead of bypassing Madison via county roads, I got tired of following tractors, and went through Madison anyways. 

But it was nice.  I made it safe and sound. 

Here's the weird part that gets me--the anxiety went away once I got about 1/3 of the way there.  Even when it was clear I'd made a wrong turn here and there, I wasn't nearly as anxious as I was when I first got into my car.  That doesn't make any sense to me but that's the truth of it. 

Today had some great moments.  Not only did I leave my apartment and go someplace new, I was able to tilt my steering wheel down two positions for the first time.  Since I've had that car, I've kept the wheel tilted up all the way.  Just four months ago, it was rubbing on my belly.  Today, I had several inches of space to work with, and I was able to tilt that wheel down. 

That was a good moment.  It meant progress for me.  Tangible progress.  Instead of feeling like I've lost weight, I had something to measure, and show. 

I feel like I've done something today.  A milestone of sorts.  I unlocked an achievement and levelled up. 

And it feels good.  I can honestly say that.  It feels good.    

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