Saying the Unsayable

There’s a happiness and sense of freedom I am currently experiencing that I haven’t felt since I was a kid, riding down a hill on my bicycle.  The wind frees the curls in my hair, as I coast carefree to the bottom.  How far can I go without pedaling?  Will I go farther than my sister? When will the bike start to list? These questions are the troubleless thoughts that run through my childhood mind.  

Sailing through life with no stress allows enjoyment and gratitude.  Nature can be absorbed like a fresh breeze across the face that tugs at the corners of a mouth, resulting in a smiling crescent.  

It’s crazy to have these feelings as a middle aged woman approaching sixty.  Who ever would have thought?  Am I being selfish in my simplified life of retirement with few woes?  At times I feel I earned it.  I’ve reached this age in spite of a surrounding, constant cloud of anxiety and depression.  Pharmaceutical cocktails are amazing.

Research shows that anxiety isn’t all that bad and some anxiety can lead to even greater performance, but everything in moderation, and my anxiety is/was not.  It carried my mind through a maze of unrelated thoughts as dark as a blind man looking for a black cat in a lightless room.  It gripped my insides as a five year old child who worried about failing in kindergarten art.  

My first recollection of anxiety, gripping despair occurred at an elementary school before I was of school years.  My mother walked me to a room filled with other children my age, preschooler’s who were supervised by young teenage girls.  One of the teens tried to get me to smile.  This girl was a nuisance, a mosquito that buzzed in an insomniac’s ear.  She reached out her hand and put it way too close to my face, insisting that she had caught my nose.  She even tried to show it to me, but her thumb in fist was clearly not my nose.  My nose remained attached and fulfilled its task.  I could smell the thick wax from the spilled crayons on the round table nearby.  That was where I wanted to be.  It looked like a sanctuary.  I could dabble with color and turn a white page into a rainbow of happiness.  But I wasn’t happy.  My mom was far away and had abandoned me in a strange room with pesky and irritating people who wouldn’t leave me alone.

Where am I today with anxiety and depression?  Again, pharmaceutical cocktails are amazing, and mine keep me balanced and tolerable of life’s downs.  I get back on my bike and soar up and down the hills filled with appreciation, gratitude, and a feeling of freedom  I haven’t felt since childhood.

By nancyrsantucci

Newly retired Texas educator who loves reading, exercising, cats, and hanging out with her husband.


  1. Love the homage to pharmaceuticals for anxiety and depression, bearing witness to their ability to offer you “happiness and sense of freedom” (adore the bike riding metaphor, too, how carefree this felt as a child!)…happy retirement! happy writing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could feel myself on a bicycle going down a hill as I read your intro! I’m sure you have earned your retirement and wish you many years of happiness and the simple life. Thank you for sharing your struggles and successes. Wishing you well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So great to share this! Wow! Does everyone have that experience with the nose grabbing? Where do they learn to do that to kids? What if the kid really believed in it? The kid would cry! Honestly. Anyway, I am so happy for you and your bike. Enjoy it, Nancy. You are worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pharmaceuticals. YES. It will be nice when the world figures out that the illnesses we see as “mental” have just as much basis in biology and chemistry as any other…I will say that you brought us back so beautifully to that moment of being dropped off – the “got your nose” game, the air thick with crayons. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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