I Want to Break Free!

Posted by Bruce on October 14, 2012
Help and Support, Uncategorized

I spent the night last night having many dreams. Do you ever have those kind of nights? I had gone out the night before last with some good friends of mine. I hadn’t really hung out with them all summer and as old friends do, we had an absolute blast. It left me so exhausted for work yesterday.  I didn’t get home until almost 3 am. Mostly by fault of my own but the T.T.C bus driver who gave me the wrong bus schedule info didn’t help. “Oh yes he says another bus will be coming along any minute.” Well he was wrong and at 1:45 am I was left trying to figure out how I was going to get my intoxicated butt home.

Needless to say by 8:30 pm last night and after a long day workin it at Ben Moss, I was ready for “Never Never Land”.  “Excuse me while I make myself a tea.”……. “OK it’s steeping.”

So anyway, I went to bed and fell asleep before hitting the pillow.  I had some strange dreams.  I was at my Uncle Lynn and Aunt Sue’s place. Well a fictional place because I don’t recall what their place looks like since it has been many years since I have visited so the place in my dream was on a lake front and I recall many people there. All visiting one another. I was more interested in the water and spending time with the fishes. There were many all around me swimming biting at my toes. I think I was younger in my dream than I am today.

The night went on like this. I think at one moment I was back in their house helping myself to their fish tank, collecting species to fill my own tank,waiting for me at home.  When I was a child I always had fish tanks. Filled with all finds of wonderful exotic fish. I would sit for hours and watch them swimming. I found it so profoundly calm even at such a young age. An age before I was rudely interrupted by the drama of real life.

When I woke from my dreams and laid in bed, eyes still closed and recalling my busy night, my childhood and my youth was flashing through my thoughts.  I recalled freedom.  You see, I since the age of 21 have been a prisoner.  Not in a cell one can see but in my own mind.  Now don’t let me mislead you here. I do get to escape most of the time but every now and again and sometimes sooner than I want. I find myself back in that grey and lonely cell again.

You see I suffer from “Anxiety Disorder” I had my first anxiety attack when I was 21. It’s a day I will never forget. Before that moment, it seemed as though I were a different person. Life wasn’t perfect by any means but I handled it. I got angry. I cried. I laughed. I argued. I lived free from this bizarre affliction. One day, I guess I just broke. Between family issues, school life, my coping with my sexuality, religion, who really knows but one thing is for sure, my body and mind reacted. I was experiencing my first of what would be many anxiety attacks over the years.

With it came a plethora of other little inflictions, like the fear of flying, being on the highway, illness and the worst one of all “The fear of not measuring up or being loved.” So instead of living my authentic life. I began to live a life filled with fear and anxiety and that became my new normal.  Unfortunately, I have yet to become an expert in the field of crazy but something recently has begun to happen to me. I am beginning to “Not Care” so much.

Anxiety. What the hell is it? From what I can see it is the reaction one gets when they no longer feel they have control over something or someone or a situation. An example could be, “They discover their bills won’t get paid this month, the rent is due and their girlfriend or boyfriend is breaking up with them.” Instead of dealing with each problem, one by one the inflicted heads into what is called fight or flight. It’s the same feeling you get when you are about to drop straight down on a roller coaster but  the problem is, it’s associated with stress and loss of control in the negative sense so the body and mind react causing an anxiety attack.

For me anxiety attacks happen because we have been unsuccessful in clearing up the damage we have endured in our youth. I hear even some youth get anxiety attacks more and more. Imagine the damage they have been caused at earlier stages of life. Anxiety is not my fault or if you suffer from it, yours. I do remember life before it! You may as well.  My journey is to figure out how I am going to beak free because I want to break free! I’m tired.  Don’t get me wrong. I love my life and I have no doubt you love yours to, even if you happen to suffer from this crap but it is exhausting isn’t it.

I guess by now you may be wondering why I am talking about my dreams and my life with anxiety, well the easy answer is “because it’s real.” Most of us have experienced anxiety attacks or have anxiety and i just wanted you to have some hope and to remind you, it wasn’t always the case that you had this illness. We started out clean slates. Have you ever heard the term “Pressure Cooker?” Well believe me life is a pressure cooker. The demand is harder than ever with no sign of ceasing so we have to break free.

Do you a favour. Take an inventory on your life as you know it today. What is causing you stress. I am not talking about, the dog pissed on the carpet. I’m talking about that layer of crap that has been wrapped around you from peer pressure, career, religion, whatever it is and I want you to begin writing it down. Acknowledge it. Who did it. What happened. Until you acknowledge the damage, I believe you may be imprisoned by fear and anxiety. You can be new. You can and I can erase anxiety attacks. It’s a road trip but you have to get in the drivers seat.

You don’t have to please everybody anymore. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. We are one more moment away from the inevitable so grab life and tell the rest of the bull to go straight to the river!!

You have the right to mental and physical freedom. Take it. I am claiming mine! I think I’ll have some of that tea now! Until next week, keep on keeping on.


Hugh Smiley



I Want To Break Free “Live” 86′


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