I can feel it like a vise, slowly making its way up my chest and into my throat. My heart pounding in my ears, my field of vision slowly narrowing. I sigh again and force myself to get up.
One thing at a time. I pick up the square Magna Tile pieces. One thing at a time. I straighten out the chairs in the living room. One thing at a time. I carry the dishes to the sink. One thing at a time. One thing at a time.
And then, I start to feel better. Order and cleanliness help me; they are things that I can control. There have been many times in my life that I didn’t have an ounce of control over, which has left me with a lingering fear and inability to cope with unknown and chaotic situations. I get around this is by wiping, scrubbing, and cleaning my house until I reach a state of meditative calm. It’s not until I can see my clean floors and my clean kitchen and my clean dining room table that I can finally relax enough to focus, to fully enjoy spending time with my boys.