To be honest, I have been hiding out from the world at large; not the small everyday world around me, but the big overwhelming, sky-is-falling world. I have pulled in and shielded myself and it has made a big difference.

I think sometimes you have to pull the blanket over your head in order to order your own life. For me, hiding became a necessity.

Just before Thanksgiving, my husband lost his job after a nail biting few months of mayhem at his work. We saw the writing on the wall and he was looking for other work, but nothing would come his way until mid-February. It was a subdued holiday season and a long period of financial stress that hasn’t fully abated and won’t for some time.

Add to that a surgery that has been seven months in the making. I am about two weeks out from that surgery.

Add to that the painful process of suddenly trying to figure out how to pay for that surgery that has been planned for so long.

Add to that the everyday challenges of life.

If you add in politics and disease and climate change and all of the other topics of global crisis, it quickly becomes more than a single person, even without mental health challenges, can handle.

So, I pulled back. I put my newspaper subscription on an indefinite hold. For the most part, I stopped looking at the news; via social media or otherwise. I put up a bunch of boundaries for things that triggered anxiety. I circled my wagons and only associated, as best I could, with those people and practices that supported me and brought me peace.

Because, everywhere else in my life, I was putting out fires.

I’d like to say that I have handled all of this with admirable stoicism, but that’s just not my style; subdued hot mess is probably more accurate. But, given my track record, I will take today’s hot mess over any I have been in the past. Progress.

So, I guess if I have learned anything from the last few months it is this: sometimes it is a good idea to hide under the covers and let the monsters of the world rage on a while without you. When you finally emerge, you will be better equipped to fight them.

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

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While the articles are written to inform, entertain and support those who visit the site, the Anxious Artist is not a licensed medical professional and the information on these pages is not intended to replace regular medical care. Research and testimonials may show promising results with alternative treatments for mental illness, but these should always be discussed with a qualified medical practitioner before being implemented.

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