Hopefully everyone had a great Independence Day! To be honest, it isn’t exactly my favorite holiday. I know the fourth of July is supposed to be a day to celebrate freedom… but every time it rolls around, I feel anything but free. Something about the big loud fireworks makes me feel so anxious, and no matter how many times my family tells me it will be okay – my body doesn’t really believe them.
A lot of the time, my loved ones can calm me down and help me feel okay about things… But as the booms got louder and closer together, I just couldn’t think of anything else.
Sometimes we just can’t talk ourselves out of how we are feeling… and I think that’s the worst part of it for me – it really takes over.
I’ve had some time to calm down, I’ve been taking a moment to reflect.
To be fair, this year was a bit better than last! Last year, I ended up using the bathroom in the house a few times (sorry if that’s TMI)! This year, the accidents were close to none! That’s definitely a measurable change!
Last year I was crying and confused, running around the house.
This year, I snuggled up with my sister and also with Berajah who kept hugged me tighter during the big booms. It really helped to have a comfortable safe spot, and closeness.
Last year, love ones didn’t expect how hard I would take it – but this year they were prepared and gave me a helpful medication that took a bit of the edge off. They had all my favorite treats on hand, and even though my appetite was not what it normally is, it did bring a bit of comfort.
I think what I learned is, although I probably didn’t feel “less” anxious this year, the experience of anxiety was better.
Even if it still felt just as intense, it was made better because we were prepared. The steps we took didn’t take away the fear, but they made it manageable.
I think, most importantly, the people around me treated me in such a loving and mindful way that even though it didn’t make me feel “okay,” it made me feel “okay not to be okay.” Does that make sense?
I thought for a moment about all the scared animals outside who didn’t have the same comfort, and my heart broke. I know this is a truly terrifying holiday for some animals (and people too!) and I wished I could give them cheese, blankets, and snuggles too.
I really realized how the best medicine sometimes can be loving connection… and that’s something I’m going to think about moving forward.
Anyways, I just wanted to share my thoughts with whoever’s interested! I really do wish you all a happy Independence Day, and hope that this year we learn to become more free in our own important ways!