Anxiety is a Sneaky Bastard….

If you live with anxiety, you know that it is more than worry. If you don’t, please allow me to educate you.

Anxiety is a physical, mental and emotional reaction to outside stimuli. (disclaimer…not a physiologist, just a human).

The thing you have been longing for happens and you are excited beyond belief until…..It sneaks up on you.  You are okay with failure because you are used to it but now it is happening and you are on sensory overload.

For me it begins physically. Last night, I thought it was a hot flash, as I laid in bed and chewed my lip raw trying not to cry, wanting to run at 2 am, thinking of all the what ifs, you try to stifle the scream building up inside you.

You wake up and even the smell of your coffee makes you sick.  You try your best to be excited or at least normal. Then you find someone you think will understand and the word vomit begins.

Things don’t always work out as planned. Your silent pleads for understanding are not heard. You need to tell someone yet you struggle to find the words to make them understand the storm going on inside you and you become more anxious until you are in tears.

Your head is telling you to stop. You heart is begging you not to let them see. Yet you can not stop. They roll down your cheeks as you try to control the sob rising up in your throat.

The more you speak the deeper you dig the  hole until you see no way out, so you stop talking.

You suck it up and deal with it the best way you can, on your own. You use those coping skills you have learned. For me when it gets awful, I need touch. I have to have a stress ball, play dough, something that is forgiving to work with. Sometimes, I need to feel the bark of a tree, moss, something created by someone bigger than me.

People don’t understand that you really have no control over it. You really try to, but you don’t. You cope.

The best comparison I can think of is my aunt. She is totally blind. She has been for years. You can’t tell someone with anxiety to stop worrying any more than you can tell her to see. She has eyes. Her eyes are open, she is coping with her blindness but she can’t see like we do. She uses her hands to “see”. Telling people with anxiety to stop worrying is like telling a blind person to see. You can tell them until you are blue in the face and it won’t change a thing.

Advertisements

And Then Came Peace…

In my last post, I wrote about my pastor. What we were afraid was going to happen, happened. His transition has come. Sunday night just before midnight, he left his Earthly home.

My folks called and told me. They called the other members of the church and told them.

Sleep did not come that night. Plenty of tears but not a moments sleep. The next day was my great nieces birthday and we had planned a girls day to take her to breakfast. My mom questioned if we should continue on, we decided that we should.

We went and had breakfast. I didn’t eat a lot. I had no appetite. I went back to my mom’s to take a nap. It never came. I rode to town to speak with my supervisor in case I needed to take off work. My person wanted to go have lunch. Once again, not hungry for food just his company. I told him what I was thinking. The loss, we as a collective group, was feeling. How it was effecting my parents. I just needed to be near him. I needed to know he was there.  I was tired. I hadn’t slept much on Sunday and none on Sunday night. I wasn’t much company but we were together. It helped to talk to him.

I worked last night. I had plenty of time to think. I firmly believe that we as humans are eternal beings in a temporary flesh dwelling. We are not meant to stay here forever. We are here for a limited time. Yet, I still struggle when someone I loves leaves their flesh house.

I use the term flesh house because a house is a dwelling. Not to sound cliche’ but home is where the heart dwells.

I wrestle with what I know and what I feel. What I know is that they are relieved of pain and worry. What I feel is selfishness, plain and simple. That is what grief is. We have lost that familiar. We have lost that thing we never thought we would lose yet here we are and we helpless and out of control; because WE ARE. We don’t control anything.

Today, I got ready for work and I hadn’t  been  around people. Something kept telling me that I needed to go to my church which is just outside town. I drove up there and I was listening to the song “something in the water. “

As I stood there, I took a picture of the three crosses in the church yard. There was a  cloud looming behind them. As I stood there, a light mist of rain began. It was almost as if there was something in the water. Peace, peace came to me right there on the side of a hill.

When The Heavens Cry With You….

My pastor is “dying”. I prefer the term transitioning to his permanent home.   He was sent home this morning, from the hospital with Hospice care. He was transported to one of the big hospitals on Thursday. This morning his wife and children heard the words I have heard before. “We’ve done all we can do”.

That very moment is when you start functioning in survival mode. You have arrangements to make. You have to make sure someone is there to care for them. Luckily, this is a family of a wife, 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren who are old enough to help out.

When he heard the news, he told them that he wanted to go home. So they went home. Last report, the nurse was with him where he resides getting him settled in.

We live in a small mountain community and we are a very small but loving congregation. We have been in constant contact for the past three weeks since he got severely ill.

He has been at our church for 23 years. He has driven 50 miles, three times a week to preach to us. He made numerous trips to the same hospital and others when things were going wrong in my world. He has been in my home when we were facing death to let my husband know that he was loved and cared for even when his own family would not come around.

When my husband died, he was right here in my home providing love and comfort.

After making sure my parents were okay after getting the news, I went for a long drive. I was alone and I could cry as hard as I wanted. It was raining buckets almost as if the heavens themselves could feel my pain.

I cry for his wife and his children knowing what they will be facing. I cried for our church, we have a heartache that unless you have felt it, you don’t understand. My tears are not for where he is going. He is heading to Heaven, where his heart and lungs will not be an issue. I cry out of selfishness. I will miss him.

He has been our spiritual leader, our burden bearer, our under shepherd taking care of  the flock. You have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him.

We are independent. We don’t have someone to come in and fill that spot, not that anyone could take his place.

So for now, we as a collective group try to carry on. We will have a fill in preacher tomorrow. We do what we have to do to cope. One lady went and rode with her husband in a dump truck so she would not  be alone. My mom carried beans to the can house to stay busy. I went for a long drive and had a good cry.  We all handle it differently.

My prayer for his is that his crossing be gentle. He has been a faithful servant.

My solace??? I can just imagine my husband looking at him when he crosses and saying “Well Preacher, what are you doing here?”

 

Whatever State You Are in , Be Content…..

Usually, when I work on Saturday night, I don’t go to church on Sunday. This Sunday was different.  I started my vacation that night. There was only one thing I wanted to do on my vacation. I wanted to just go on a day trip to one place. I hinted to it but it hasn’t happened. It isn’t but a 3 hour drive.

As I sat there, in church, I listened as the preacher  read my moms favorite Bible verse. He talked about God providing for our needs but we as human beings don’t know sometimes the difference between needs and wants.

We feel like it is a need but is it?

My anxiety level was high. I had a program the next day and it had been a year and a half since I had worked with kids. Did I still have it? Was I going to fall on my face? I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep. At all!!

I went to church and went out to lunch with my parents. Came home and laid down. Couldn’t sleep. Posted a sale on my jewelry. Dealt with that. Went over my talk with the kids in my mind. Went through the stuff I was taking on last time.

I knew I was as ready as I could be, yet, my anxiety was still high. Anxiety feeds off anxiety. You get lost in your own thoughts and it lead to sheer misery at times. This was where I was at. I just wanted someone to take me and hold me. Not just anybody. Him. He was busy, he was working on a project and he was kind of quite. I really wanted to talk to him but he needed to do what he needed to do, I get that. I didn’t want to bother him, I feel like I bother him too much as is.

I began to cry my eyes out. I couldn’t stop it from coming. I was trying, believe me. I finally started praying. And somewhere deep inside me I heard the words, be content.

This was about 4 hours before I was supposed to get up and get ready for the program.

All went well. The kids were happy, the people who hired me were happy. I was happy.

Within 30 minutes, I received a phone call that I needed to meet with some people about some of my jewelry that had been jurored. Once again, the anxiety level went back up. Once again inside me I hear the words, be content.

That night I slept like a baby. I asked him if he wanted to come with me but he never responded until I was there. I would have liked the company as he is more used to this than I am but it wasn’t meant to be.

I had the meeting. It went better than I figured. I was happy about that. I then came home to  an empty house. I played in the dirt resetting some plants. I went and got dinner and ate alone. I was kind of sad there was no one to share it with in person. I sat and I ate in silence. The words came back to me. Be content.

I am going to hold on to those words of life with everything I have inside me. If I am alone or with someone, be content.

If things are going well or life is beating me up, be content. For you see I am never truly alone. There are things I want but do I need them. Lonesome is a state of mind. I just work until my body tells me to go to bed. Then I lay there and think of the good things in my life and I am content.

Humbled….

When I came into work, I was kind of down. That is okay it happens. It was one of those really busy nights. That too is okay. Made the night go by faster.

Always when I am down, something happens to allow me to see the greater good in life. Tonight was no exception.

There was a man under a bridge at an odd time of night. When someone stopped and spoke to him he said he had left a certain city  and was going to a certain city. I don’t want to pinpoint so I won’t name the cities.

He said that his girlfriend was sick. He was trying to get to her. The only mode of transport he had was a bicycle and he had spent all his money to buy an inner tube for his bicycle.

His total trip is going to be 161 miles. He has ridden 75 of those miles, partway was mountainous terrain. He was give a ride to our office. He was given food and slept in our lobby.

I thought about what I had seen this night.

A man who loves a woman so much he will ride 161 miles to be with her when she needs him. Real love does still exist.

Another man who went out of his way to make sure the first man was not cold and hungry. Charity does still exist.

I sat here and I prayed for this man as he continues his journey. The woman he is trying to get to as she lays sick, I don’t know who she is but I prayed for her as well. Faith does still exist.

When you think about, the little things we worry about are just that, little things. It’s those big things that this man is facing that are the big things and after speaking with him, he is determined to reach this woman he loves.

That is a big thing, in and of itself.

Today, I Feel Small…

Judging by the title, your train of thought could go one of two ways…another weight loss post or what it actually is, I feel like I don’t matter.

I have spent the weekend working. I have worked on my taxes, a good business woman I am not. I like the creating, hate the book keeping.

I knew I needed to get some images of my jewelry out there. So when I woke up two hours before I should have awakened, I decided that I should take photos instead of making more jewelry. I went into my studio and began to work. I got some good images and have gotten good response from several post on different social media sites. Even got a very nice comment about the bold colors I use.

I realized that there were pieces that all I needed to do was put the finishing touches on. I packed those into my bag to work on tonight.

I went out into my yard and pick up a few stray sticks scattered about by the wind of recent storms.

I went in, got dressed, got my things together for work having talked to nobody. I let calls go to voicemail. On my way out the door I talk to my mom for a moment.

I drive through my small town, all the restaurants were either too peopley or I didn’t want their offerings so I just gave up and went for a walk.

It was when I took the first photo that I realized I feel small today. I was looking down. I know why and that doesn’t matter, it just needs to stop. Don’t look down darling your crown might slip. Raise you head high. Look up. So the next photo took was a photo of a weed with a blue sky in the background.

Oddly enough, I had parked at the office and walked to a place to walk where a great deal of pain had been inflicted on me. It was the place that the things that happened there caused me to have to turn my world upside down.

Sometimes you have to face things you may not want to but you need to. You need to look those things you dislike right in the eye and remind yourself that you are bigger than what you have endured. You are bigger than you feel at times. You are bigger…the last photo I took was of my own shadow, it was bigger.

I finally went and got food. I will eat it at some point. I ate my fortune cookie first, just hoping for some good luck.

The Nights Get Long….

Today is my “day off”. I say that because I work night shift.

I have to stay awake until morning so I can sleep tomorrow.

I have “The Big Bang Theory” playing in the room I am in. I occasionally laugh at something Sheldon says, simply because.

It is thundering in a distance and  the rain comes in bands pounding the side of the house.

I am working on jewelry, it is work on a piece and wait, repeating the same process yet not exactly getting the results I want.

I write in my journal about the day spent with him. That person who makes me so very happy.

I read a book on how to journal differently, he found it at a used book store we went to today.

I think about a conversation with a friend last evening. My snarky little brother figure. He is dealing with some things right now and I say a prayer that he will feel better soon.

I think about my family and friends who are dealing with things in their lives. Another prayer goes up.

I let my mind wander some miles away where the person who holds my heart is sleeping. I imagine him sleeping in his bed. His mind and body relaxing from the projects he is working on, hoping some of the ideas we batted around today add to what he is doing. I want to help him as much as he has helped me.

I wonder if he lays there thinking about me. I wonder if he feels the same way about me as I feel about him. I am more verbal in my feelings, I choke on them if I don’t. I always said I would have no regrets. I don’t want to leave this earth with him wondering if I truly love him, because I do oh so much. I let my mind wander to other things as well, I am human after all.

I am half way through the night. I need to make it just a little longer then sleep can come so my mind and body can prepare for the long weekend ahead of me.

I guess you could say at nights I feel lonely. While everyone I know sleeps, I bowl against people around the globe; someone some where is awake. It might be one of you for all I know.

If it is, thanks for being awake.