when I was in fourth grade, my mom and dad had a parent teacher conference with one of of my teachers from school. It wasn’t anything out of the norm as all teachers held conferences with parents at least once a year. But for me it was different. I was deeply convinced that my teacher didn’t like me as a student so she would say all these bad things about me to my parents. Anxiety overtook me and I made myself ridiculously sick for two weeks. That is my life.
This past year has been full of downs for me. Not because I am a debbie downer, but because it seemed like nothing was working out. I felt squished and worn down by the trials of my life. MDD has overshadowed most of my year, since the end of June. And as I lost traction I found every fear, every worry, and every anxious thought overcoming me like a riptide hellbent on dragging me under. I have been diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder, PTSD and MDD. And since I left the hospital all three, until this year, sat on the back burner, resting on a low heat, controlled and maintained in a somewhat healthy way. Until this year. Since the end of June I have felt like I couldn’t breathe, anxiety stripping me down to the bone, overshadowing me and melting me to the ground. I managed it until September, when even in my own job I was overtaken with anxious busy thoughts of everything that has happened to me. The second to last week of September I became very ill, and having been battling illness and a weak immune system since.
I never took the time to realize how my own anxiety was killing me, goading me towards death and despair. My anxiety, paired with MDD and PTSD has been slaughtering me since June. And tonight as I sat in my bed, I became painfully aware of that anxiety as I felt a weight pressing down on my chest, daring me try to fight it. Anxiety was my new years kiss. A kiss hello and a kiss goodbye, as I confronted the very thing that has tried to kill me for the very first time, and kissed it goodbye, sending it off to a far away place. I don’t have my anxiety under control. I’m not even sure what it looks like to manage it let alone conqueor it. But I do think I am one step closer to slaying it to death, simply because I acknowledged it.
I don’t have the wherewithal to stop doing the very thing that is PROMISING to kill me. I am dying in the middle of a battlefield because instead of accepting victory I keep running behind enemy lines. I keep getting stabbed. I am dying. And I don’t know where to go from here. The very thing I hate it consuming me because I don’t hate it enough to run for the hills.
Jesus help me run for the hills. Or just run to you.
Searching for Lucy, the kids dog, I stepped out onto the front steps. A sprawling entry way, covered in bricks and mums. The November mist kissed my skin and I looked up at the sky, the grey and black billowing clouds comforting in it’s consistency. I let out a whistle calling Lucy as I looked around me, knowing she hates the rain. The large, empty houses covered with fallen leaves left a peaceful yet dreary lump in my throat. I was overcome with emotion, words left unsaid, bad decisions finally catching up to me. Yet none of those things were the blow that my heart ached for. None of those things answered the pain that I felt.
Lucy ran up to me, but just out of reach. She hated being caught, she liked to be free and move on her own. I sighed, as she looked at me, and I looked back up at the sky. Every memory of the past few months coursing through my mind. Every shameful thought and action shrouded by the rain, hidden in the pouring rain. Looking down at Lucy’s baby blues, I found she was resolved and would only come in from the rain by her own free will.
I turned, and closed the door. And as soon as I turned the lock, Lucy came scratching at the door. Opening the door she came bounding in and I laughed a little at how stubborn she was, and was reminded a little of myself.
For the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve been drowning. This year has come so hard and so unclear for me, and the past few months I’ve been battling self harm and depression.
And then I opened my mouth and sang. Singing always transforms something in me. It makes my night into day, depression into hope, emptiness to overflowing. That’s what happens when I open my mouth. I get to move past all the things that scare me and feel like they’re killing me and actually see the light at the the end of the tunnel.
Last night while sitting on the couch I tried to keep my mouth shut, for many reasons, feeling guilty about my action these past few months, and the fact that I haven’t tried to sing at all. But I couldn’t help myself and I opened my mouth and words began falling out. And suddenly I felt a pair of strong hands grasp my waist and lift me up and I was taken into a vision. I knew Jesus had picked me up from the ground and I could see above all of my situations and problems. He lifted me higher and even though I thought I had set up camp at the bottom of the mountain, having given up and quit, he showed me that I hadn’t and that even through the painful process I had continued to climb up the mountain. He showed me the places that I had already conquered. Then he gave me this verse..
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, And sets me upon my high places. Psalm 18:33
This week I am exhausted. Not physically but mentally. I’ve been moving the chess pieces around in my life, hoping everything will turn out for the best when it’s not even something I can control. I like for everything to be planned out, consistent and not last minute. My week has been the exact opposite. Finances have run out. Emotionally riding a roller coaster and trying to plan a wedding.
Then my Aunt swoops in, saving the day. And the pressure is off just for a little while.
I’m used to doing, or at least trying to do everything by myself. I’m independent because I’ve seen peoples’ unstable reactions to my life events. Usually they want to hear, but then they freak out when you tell them what has happened. They back off, or they flip out in anger, or they give you examples of all the things they would do, “if” then back away if you don’t go with their suggestions. It scary, because these situations are so delicate for you. It’s your real life, but to them they can come and go as they please, like a summer breeze.
Independence and my own personal strength, of how much pain and heartache I can take have been my victory flag. I love testing my emotional strength. But not right now. I just want to be scooped up, and understood, nutured, and cared for. I’m not sure how to let that happen without letting someone in to do so.
My Aunt told me today that I have to make the decision to let God come in and save the day, to rescue me. I know that- in a far out distant, hands off sort of way. But I’ve never been brave enough to let it actually happen. Because strong people don’t need and or want rescuing. But I’ve just about had enough with pretending to be strong.