It sets in slowly so you don’t notice it. You just think maybe you’re tired or the weather has been gloomy for weeks at a time. You wake up one day and realize, there really isn’t anything in it. It’s a day like yesterday.
Starts to form. “I should do something today. I should do something worthwhile.”
But you can’t. Weakness settles in your limbs and anxiety wells in your core. Your systems start firing up.
Numbness in my cheek – yes
Light trembling in my body – yes
Basic worry present – yes
Escalation possible – yes
Counting hours until someone is home – yes
Scanning body for signs of medical issues – laughable – always
Has been “defeated” but I contend that if you’re not vigilant, you can relapse.
Practicing awareness is helpful. I know what can trigger panic and meet it head on. There was a time I couldn’t. I avoided it. I lived in my tub because it was the only place where panic couldn’t run me down. It was tranquil. It was a break.
Then I had a face off, if you will. One night my panic flew so far out of control it crossed a line. I was done running from it. I was done living each day in terror. I took control.
Panic has visited on occasion since only to be met with an understanding.
“I know who and what you are and I refuse to give you the time. Be on your way.”
It moves away and I don’t look back.
A sense of isolation
Being home every day is a lesson in being alone every day.
There is no one to talk to. No one to voice fears or worries to.
There was a time I LIVED for some alone time. I cherished it. It was rare but ultra rewarding. I love my family but sometimes you need some time by yourself.
Then I developed panic, anxiety, OCD….(I won’t bore you with the list)
and I became afraid to be home alone for more than a few minutes. I planned my activities and worked late to avoid it. It was a difficult blow to my self-esteem.
Since I have been off work I have been forced to deal with being home alone for hours and hours.
At first I stayed super busy doing what I was able to do. I made up projects and became heavily involved in them. It was about survival.
As those projects have become stale, I wake up with a little worry.
Sitting around isn’t good for me. Being out and about is okay in short spurts so where does that leave me?
It leaves me sitting here listening to yet another thunderstorm – alone – pondering what in the hell happened to me.
I won’t bore you with that speculation today.
Anxiety seems more stubborn than panic. It wants to hang on. I’m sure a day might come when it too crosses the line and is abolished but until that day, we have to live together the best that we can.
When I am asked about anxiety and how often I have it, my response is pretty simple.
“Every time I take a breath.”
They keep eye contact for a few seconds. I don’t budge. I look back with intent. I want to be understood. I do not want to be misquoted.
Every time I take a breath
We all hear it and some think it. “So, what if you stopped breathing”.
Yeah, I know. But, I’m still not wired that way. It doesn’t excite me to live each day like this but it doesn’t excite me to inflict emotional damage on everyone left behind either.
Guess I’m the perfect martyr. I would rather absorb pain then inflict it on another.
Besides, who really knows what God thinks about it. I sure wouldn’t want to do something like that and find out that if I had only been a touch more patient, my world would clear and the path I am supposed to walk for Him would appear. That would suck.
So I trudge along in hopes I figure out what all of this torment is for. In hopes I will find who it is supposed to benefit.
My truest happiness is helping others. I have to hope this will benefit someone at some point. God wouldn’t allow this if there wasn’t a plan.
Our trials and bumps in the road are put there to learn. I believe they are put there to serve another.
When its all over, we probably emerge like a butterfly leaving the cocoon. Lighter, brighter and spreading joy as we make our way through the world.
This is what gets me through.