the will to live

by

“This business of being a writer is ultimately about asking yourself, ‘How alive am I willing to be?'”
– Anne Lamott

I had my first anxiety attack two months ago. It was not a good feeling. For those of you familiar with anxiety attacks, you’ll understand the understatement.

I fell to the floor. Overcome by fear. By doubt. By misgivings generated by my own fear of the unknown. Of questions unanswered.

And it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

affirmation

That anxiety attack preceded a second attack two days later. I was at work when I felt it start to set upon me. There was no collapsing this time around. There was no giving in. So I did what came naturally.

I found a quiet space and I wrote.

Within 50 words the knot in my stomach had unraveled into something akin to utter contentment. Before I was halfway down the page of my little journal I was soothed. All was literally right with the world. Well, my world anyway.

It’s moments like these, moments of intense crisis and panic that can be a determining factor in our lives. I’m not one to degrade the day-to-day, the pleasures of breathing in and out, or the supposed banality of daily living. But sometimes there come moments in our lives where we are defined by crisis. Where we see what we’re truly made of and what it is that truly matters in our lives.

For me, that answer is writing. I knew it before. I know it now.

a life of action

A book rests on my shelf entitled Way of the Peaceful Warrior. (if you haven’t read it, I recommend it – the ending seems a farce but the messages within are invaluable) One of the quotes of that book spoken by the protagonist’s mentor, whom he’s sardonically dubbed “Socrates,” is, “A warrior’s life is that of action.”

Now don’t think warrior in the classical sense — the sword-wielding, armor-bearing, rebel-yelling warrior — but rather someone who consciously strives to live the most virtuous life possible. And in the above quote, much of the bare essence of that peaceful warrior is revealed.

In hindsight, my anxiety attack was brought upon by my own inaction. December was not a fruitful month for me in the way of the written word, and this came to a head in early January when I was unable to come to terms with my own idleness.

Now I’m not saying don’t stop to smell the roses. If anything, this “life of action” encourages you to do just that. To take in all that is around us as we move forward in our lives, not living a life of idle speculation. Take advantage of all that beating heart has to offer us. Experience anything. Everything.

For me, my primary course of action is writing, and getting unforgettable experiences under my belt to feed that continual need for something new, for something creative, for something adventurous (define adventurous in your own terms).

I write to live. I live to write.

Not everyone’s answers are so simple. I’m sure mine ultimately aren’t. But for now, it’ll do.

What’s your answer?

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One Response to “the will to live”

  1. Nakia Ruwe Says:

    The entirety of the connected indicators of the panic disorder spring from the stimulation of distressed nerve signals that are created by the brain. The signs of panic attacks are rather regular and also without any type of damages. These signs are not poisonous, however they are not good. As we react in a different way in a response to the same stimulus, so the signs of the panic disorder vary from person to person. The signs of an anxiety attack can be connected with breast pain, light headiness, too much sweating, quick heart beat, abdominal restlessness and lack of breath. *

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