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  • I have anxiety. I can't begin to tell you the kind of fright I used to feel on trains (and that I still do, sometimes, when it's stuffy or I've had too much coffee or alcohol). Some days, the fear was like a heavy, wet, woolen coat. Other days, fast-flying bugs in a jar. It would come out of nowhere. The train would rumble into a tunnel, and I'd be struck by lightning. I used to think, "if I don't die on this train, I'll be braver next time." Next time, next time. Always the NEXT time I'd feel better.

    Why not this time? Why not now?

    I began to make decisions about my fear; no more shame. Instead of avoiding it, I let it in. I built it a small bower in me and let it go to rest. I let the bugs out of the jar and fed them sugar. I didn't miss any more friends' birthdays. I didn't put off errands. I moved. I go to concerts. I dance again. I take trips. I realize not everyone has the opportunity to make friends with their demons, but I have. Not all of them, and not all the time. But at least I can recognize them now.

    This is what I want to say. There's no time for next time. There's no time to save a draft and make it better tomorrow. Hit send. Move forward. You can do it. Not alone, and not immediately. But you can. You'll be ok.
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