Dancing with the Beast

fifties_dancers_3What a week! I’ve managed to complete everything that was required of me–on time even, but it’s not been easy. Since my last post, things have improved in some ways–and become worse in others. I’ve tried all kinds of strategies to improve my outlook, and from all outward appearances, most people would think I’ve succeeded.

At least this week, only a few people have had to glimpse into the reality of the negative energy that tends to sap my strength and my hope. It’s a constant give and take, but at times like this, it takes a lot more resilience to find my way to the surface again. And while it’s a struggle I am quite familiar with, it is only in the past week that I’ve likened it to a dance — dancing with the beast.

You see I’ve known for a long time that the beast will always be a part of my life. And at times, I’ve tried to “make nice” with him — which is probably sexist of me, but that’s the image I have in my mind. But in spite of my best efforts, we don’t always get along very well. And when we dance, . . . . . well, it’s not always pretty. I’ve had my foot stepped on more than once, and I’ve taken a spill or three. But still, we keep trying.

As we practiced our steps this week, I discovered that we weren’t alone. Another long-time companion, who I only recently identified, kept trying to cut in. So the anxiety guy thinks it’s great fun to trigger my insecurities and watch me squirm as I try to talk myself back into a vision of the world in which I’m actually competent. A world where stepping along with the beast at least feels familiar and where I can, given enough time and incentive, give in to the dance.