Annie had been anxious and fearful for as long as she could remember. She was sure that some of it had to do with her chaotic upbringing that included abuse and neglect. As Annie grew into teenhood, then young adulthood, it seemed the anxiety and fear had become ingrained as bad habits. The risks and dangers no longer dominated her world yet Annie remained on edge. She was tired of feeling that way all of the time.
While waiting in line at the grocery checkout, Annie noticed a neon yellow flyer on the bulletin board with, “Tired of being Anxious and Fearful? Learn how to stop feeling on edge all of the time.” Annie felt goosebumps going up her spine, almost as if her need had been put out into the universe and now a solution was presenting itself to her.
Annie stopped on the way out of the store and read that the, “Giggle in the Rainforest” support group met every Wednesday evening at 7pm in the public library’s conference room. The library was only two blocks from her house! Annie decided to attend that Wednesday.
Annie was surprised to see a few people she knew there. One was her dentist, wearing a salmon-colored track suit. As Annie only ever saw her dentist wearing conservative slacks and a white lab coat, she was taken aback. Her neighbor from the end of the block who raised chickens was there also. Both women smiled at Annie and she was feeling less fearful already.
When 7pm gonged on the room’s clock, Misty Morrison and Hester Deere, the co-facilitators of the group began. The anxiety and fear were described by Misty and Hester as being like layers of an onion that should be peeled away only one layer at a time. The dozen or so people assembled seemed so open and carefree as they shared bits and pieces of their worlds, and as each person spoke, the rest respectfully listened and gave feedback only with permission. Annie knew she had been led to the group; at the end, as the group bowed their heads for a moment of silence, Annie felt like giggling in the rainforest.