Some of my current issues with anxiety are due to an irrational fear of death and dying. It’s not irrational in the sense that I have experienced a lot of loss. Over the last five years or so logic has flown out the window and I can often be found lying awake at night either watching my wife’s chest rise and fall or seriously spinning out of control thinking that I will not wake in the morning. I can go for periods of time without the suffocating fear and most recently, I realized that news of death, generally of someone I have known is the trigger for up to a week or more of sleepless nights… for me and my wife! So what does this have to do with today’s prompt Sound? Everything!
We sleep with a box fan at night, not for comfort but for the “noise.” In the middle of a panic or anxiety attack I have a really hard time being present, so I have picked up a few tools to bring me back into the moment, most recently I found that when I force myself to concentrate on the whirring of the fan, I can drown out the incessant, untruths that are creating stories in my head. On Monday afternoon I learned that an acquaintance had passed away in his sleep; he was young, my wife’s age and there was not a cause of death listed. That evening I slept fine and Tuesday, Valentine’s day was actually amazing… but something happened between a great evening and getting ready for bed that started the cycle. I know the fan helps me to self-soothe but sometimes it’s hard to get to that point because the thoughts in my head are that much louder. So I turned the fan up and tried my breathing techniques and focused only on the sound. It must have helped because I don’t remember when I finally fell asleep and look: here I am this morning tired but alive.
I don’t know how to escape the fear but I am grateful to sound for being a self soothing tool that I can utilize until I can conquer it.