Take A Breath and Hold It In

Trapped, alone, tired, breathless, stressed, confused, etc. All the adjectives describing my life at points when I feel like so much is happening at one time. Anxiety about day to day things on top of this doesn’t help either. Sometimes I just need a break from everything and everyone.

Anxiety is something that doesn’t seem to exist for people who have never experienced it. But I promise, it is very real and very frustrating. You’re scared of things that are irrational, you have changing thoughts at the speed of light, your heart races uncontrollably even if you’re sitting still, you think of a million other things you would rather do than what’s causing your anxiety. It’s frustrating because once it’s there and in your head, it’s hard to change how you feel about it. It’s also frustrating when people think you’re being irrational and dramatic about something you’re afraid of, but those people, have never experienced the full fledged wave of anxiety that can come and go at any given second. Usually it happens at very inconvenient times.

Anxiety is something I’ve struggled with for a while now and until recently, I never sought any help. That was foolish. I want nothing more than to be rid of anxiety and not have to be afraid of the silver coffin aka an elevator, or stop praying every time I’m on the Subway that it won’t break down in between stops, or not be afraid to be in a huge open space, and to stop talking about all the traveling I want to do and finally just do it and not let boarding a plane stop me. Overcoming my anxiety about all sorts of things is something I’m working on day by day but it isn’t easy. It comes in waves and sometimes they swallow me up.

I also worry about regular, rational things like any sane person- money, relationships, health, etc. But these things don’t consume me and control my thoughts and actions like my irrational fears do. Still, sometimes I just feel so stressed on so many different levels that I just need to step back and breathe.

Everyone has a happy place. A haven for when they’re seeking clarity, calmness, and serenity. Whether it’s their bed, a beach, running on a treadmill, sitting on a baseball field, in the arms of someone else, a lake house, a church, whatever. We all have that place where we can go and feel absolute safety. A place to catch our breath. A place to feel okay, even if just for a few minutes.

My happy place is a bench in Sea Isle. Nothing special to the outside eye, but to me it’s a different world. The bench overlooks the bay near the Inlet. I found this place when I was probably 9 or 10 on one of my many stays in Sea Isle. It’s quiet, beautiful, and unknown. It’s like it’s mine. I come here whenever I go to Sea Isle to watch the sunset, think, relax and unwind, listen to music, and breathe. I breathe in the sight and the air and I feel okay and feel comfort in my life that sometimes is harder to find everyday as you get older. That bench is my saving grace.


(I don’t know who George Hutchinson Jr. is, but God Bless Him for having this bench dedicated to him).

So, as I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels like they’re at their breaking point, or trapped, or scared and confused, go catch your breath. Go visit your happy place, take a step back, breathe it all in, and hold it for a little and then let go. We don’t deserve to constantly feel stressed, we all need some comfort and relief sometimes, so go get it.


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Megan Keough

20something blogger from Philly voicing my thoughts on the real world, life after college and the trials and tribulations of adulting.

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