By Gigi Taylor
Having anxiety is a battle in and of itself. Now add being a prison wife into the mix. It’s like a double whammy. How do you deal with all the obstacles of being a prison wife and add anxiety on top of it? Well one thing I have learned is that you need to find outlets and ways to cope. If not, it will eat you alive. I have gone into full blown panic mode plenty of times, and unfortunately, I still do. It is great having a community to help you out as a means of support, but ultimately, you have to be the one to deal with it. There are a lot of emotions that come with being a PW (prison wife)such as anger, frustration, depression, defeat, etc. All of these can get into your head and begin to fester like an infected wound. One thing that is important to know is that it is absolutely Okay to feel these things, but the one thing that seems to help us make it day to day is how we deal with it.
There are many different ways to help manage stress and anxiety with this life. I will admit that last week I got into a dark funk in my head. There was a tiny space of negativity that was crowding my mind like a dark thunderstorm blowing in. I had to take a minute and regroup. I took some deep breaths (deep breathing really helps me break out of the anxiousness and control how I’m feeling in the present moment), and thought “How can I curb these thoughts and express exactly how I’m feeling?” Well, one thing I like to do to express how I am feeling is to write or journal. I feel like once I get my thoughts and feelings down on paper it is like the anxiety is unchained inside of me and released.
So last week, I was reeling. I sat down in one of my classes while the kids worked and decided I needed to “Take a Break.” I wrote two poems in my journal about how I was feeling at the moment. Imagine knowing your loved one might never come home or the state might put him down like a stray dog. Add to the fact that you are missing him like crazy, and that you will live the rest of your life alone…and BOOM — panic mode sets in.
I did one acrostic poem (lines spell out a word) and one four stanza poem…see below. I will say that this process was so therapeutic for me. Suddenly, my heart rate decreased and my chest began to decompress from the tight knots that plagued it before.
Always without your love and touch.
Loathing those couples that can always be together.
One day, I hope to feel you next to me when I wake up in the morning.
No one can understand this pain I feel.
Everywhere I go, there are reminders that I am without you.
I miss thee.
I know I say I love thee all the time,
But do you know how much I miss thee?
You not being here leaves me empty inside.
Like my heart misses it’s other half.
I miss thee like the parched riverbed yearns for water.
You not being home leave my house vacant.
No arms to hold me,
How I miss thee!
No sounds of you to fill the room.
I am alone in the silence,
and I miss your soul.
My heart misses its other half in the dark stillness,
and it bruises my tortured soul.
My body burns because I cannot have your embrace.
Your arms feel like the safest place in the world.
They feel like my true home.
A place for my soul to rest.
But alas, I am homeless.
A soul without a shelter all because,
I miss thee.
It’s all your fault.
I blame you for my sorrow.
You left me here to fend for myself.
The weight of our love on me.
All because I adore thee, I cherish thee, I love thee,
And I MISS THEE.