It announces its arrival with an early morning restlessness that pulls me out of bed before the alarm. My breath quickens as I begin to feel the familiar sensation of twisting and burning in my stomach. The sun is not yet up, but already the day is looming.
As the twisting turns into tightness, I strive to make sense of the illogical response my body has to simply waking up. My hands fumble in separating coffee filters. I lose track of my morning routine. Did I already pack my lunch? Where is my phone? I should’ve been on the road 10 minutes ago.
My thoughts gallop towards an undetermined finish line for a race in which there are no winners. I breathe deeply and rehearse my inner dialogue. This is irrational, but my body has been commandeered by a powerful adversary. Reason and logic are being overpowered by a dose of fear and worry mixed with a hint of panic.
A shaky hand twists the silver knob on the car radio in a futile attempt to drown out the intruder of my peace. I sing along to mindless lyrics in hopes of slowing my thoughts. Maybe a veneer of calm will settle in before the work day begins. Maybe this will just be a morning episode that fades away by mid-afternoon. Maybe I will conquer this one day and attain a lasting sense of peace. Maybe.