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The Power of Touch
Sometimes touch can say more than words ever can. This intimate form of unspoken communication can convey feelings of love, safety, and comfort. Some people may even have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal that they turn to for comfort.
I used to underestimate the impact that touch made in my life. I, an adult man, sleep with a stuffed animal to help keep the nightmares at bay, but never really thought about how much holding other objects can help calm anxiety during the day. Items that have been passed down make you think of the person that gave it to you. They remind you that someone out there understands and loves and cares about you.
I learned more about tangible after my brother passed away in May of this year. I had been following a Facebook page called LGBT Ems and Friends and been following the admin EMSNinjah!’s cancer story, I always thought it would be cool to meet her, but never dreamed it would be her driving me two hours north and dropping me off to be with my family. We got to know each other through texting in the couple of days preceding our road trip and found that we had pretty much the same taste in music and both love the Boston Red Sox. I told her not to take it personally if in the car I stuck to one or two word answers in the beginning because that’s how my anxiety works. Much to my surprise that wasn’t how the ride went at all. We talked with ease and were picking on each other like we’d known each other for years.
During the trip I have a few moments of anxiety as I remembered the purpose of the ride and all the emotions I would be dealing with over the next couple of days. The Ninjah! Told me about tangible items and how much they’ve helped her in various circumstances. She explained how she sent courage and strength stones to people who were feeling drained in those depts. A little over a week after our road trip, I received two stones and a note from the Ninjah. A note I still have to this day and I’m pretty sure she has no idea that I still have the note.
In times of high anxiety I find myself reaching for these stones and focusing on how they feel in my hand. I focus on how the stone is cool at first, but warms up quickly after just a few seconds of holding it. The smoothness of the polished stone with exception of the roughness of where the wording is engraved, the small little imperfections in the stone that only seem to add to its beauty. I’ve woken up from nightmares, grabbed the stones and woken up the next day with them still in my hand. When I look at them I am reminded of the stranger that became a friend. I am reminded that people understand.
The power of touch is a wonderful thing.