Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Go ahead: be awesome (chihuahuas be darned)

I just met a therapist who told me to shoot chihuahuas.

He said anxiety is like a chihuahua yipping and nipping at our heels. We all accept that it's there, and no one does anything about it because we think we can't. But one day, you're walking along with your friend, the chihuahua yipping behind you, and you tell your friend to wait a second. You pull out a gun, and you shoot that chihuahua. (It's more of a rat than a dog anyway.)

I said, "Wait a second, are you saying it's okay to shoot chihuahuas?"

"Yes!" he said, bouncing in his chair. "Shoot the chihuahua!"

 Okaaay. He seems like a nice man, so I doubt he has a mass puppy grave under his tomato plants. While his metaphor is a little shocking, his message is even more unbelievable: it's possible to live without anxiety?

Yes, he says: without the fear of death or what other people think of you. I'm curious how that happens.

I do have less anxiety than I did in my twenties (See my first blog post), but this spring I slipped a bit. There was a lot of uncertainty with trying to find G a school for next year, a lot on my mind with the final edits on my book, the stress of working overtime hours to proof publications in time for an AGM, a little water in the basement, a pair of kids with ear infections, a dead water tank, bills, bills, bills. I had trouble sleeping, which fueled the cycle.

My book will arrive in the mail this week, and I've been having nightmares that instead of poetry, it turns out to be a cheesy murder mystery and my mom hides all the copies in her freezer.

Obviously, I'm nervous: will people buy the book? Will they like it?

I just remembered this from my daughter's last music therapist's report:

"I just feel like being awesome for a moment" is what she said before playing an amazing rendition of "He’s A Pirate" along with the recording.

That's my girl.

It's not easy being 14 and on the spectrum. She adjusted to a whole new group of teachers and classmates two years ago when she moved from public to private school, and now she's about to start over with a whole new set of people and expectations as she enters high school. We both have a few things to be nervous about.

This past winter, she wrote a song at the piano that goes something like this: "l am safe through the day because God washes all my demons away." (Then she complained that all her songs turn into worship songs even when she doesn't want them to. Officially, she's a skeptic.) 

Demons. Mental chihuahuas. It's hard to ignore their yap. But even if we don't know how to completely shut them up yet, why not enjoy a few minutes of this music instead:

I just feel like being awesome for a moment.

(Say it with me. Feels good, no?)

So here's the most awesome thing I've been working on for the past five years (and the main reason I've blogged so little): my completely frost-free non-murder-mystery poetry book about autism, Tell Them It Was Mozart (in bookstores Sept. 1, 2016).

Read the book's description here: www.brickbooks.ca.

Join me at my Winnipeg launch at McNally Robinson Oct. 17, 2016, at 7 p.m.
For more event dates, visit my other blog, 37 Mice.