Power. This is a big word to some people, and to others, inconsequential.
What gives us our own power and who or what takes it away? A handful of times in my life, my power has been taken away; however, this only instigated me learning to defend myself. Personal power though, even when one has to defend oneself, is still left unguarded. So what happens when you are somewhere that you normally feel safe and your power is taken away? Recent experiences have dictated, at least for me, that I go into anxiety overdrive. Things that normally don’t bother me suddenly make me flip out for no apparent reason. Food is hard to keep down. Noises of any type make me jump. These are not things that I want to embrace or welcome into my life. Anxiety is pretty much my least favorite thing on the planet, and when you take into account the 13 years of playing piano in public, I have definitely had my fair share.
This is pretty much me when put into any performance-type situation (as well as after any traumatic event, which is interesting that I lump “performance” and “traumatic event” in the same category). Because I am prone to anxiety, I can literally go from completely fine to every worst possible outcome in less than a minute. Do you know what psychologists say helps? Aversion and exposure therapy. I’m sure those work for some people, but apparently not me. Many people like to say, “oh, you just have to perform more and it’ll get easier.” Really? Five times a month for 13 years isn’t enough exposure to performance?
I’d like to think that if the stress-induced anxiety was under control, then maybe when I encountered situations where my power is at a loss (though I hope I don’t have any more of those), I wouldn’t spend the next few days freaking out about anything and everything. That being said, maybe because it IS stress-induced, I’m just going to have to learn to deal with it in a different way. Do I know what that way is? No. Today though, it included lots of X-Files, at least five rotations of the Bach Cantata 4, fish tacos, a prickly pear margarita, and some hilarious conversations with a friend. Obviously that’s not something I can do every time I get into a stressful situation (however nice it may be). As it turned out this past weekend, the hike at Bandelier was exactly what I needed for my then state of mind…so maybe when the anxiety comes, I should be doing more communing with nature. The desert, specifically, can heal pretty much anything, I’m convinced.