I’ve decided I’m not very good at describing my emotions or my situation. I think I am tired, yes (for good reasons, like: pushing myself in my physical rehabilitation). And I haven’t been creative in far too long, which is a bad thing, and shows up in strange ways, like feeling inhuman.
But I’m not actually losing my mind. And a casual reader might think, “Yeah, whatever. I knew that. Hyperbole.” But it does matter, because it matters to me. “Losing a freaking mind” is an actual state that actually can occur. Is that or is that not what is going on? Actually, it is not what is going on. Despite the sometimes rocky road, the truth is, I am a little better every day.
There’s a sign I read that says, “Be careful what you say, because you are listening.” We tend to think we’ll feel better if we vent, and maybe for a brief moment, we do. It’s a little visceral to yell, even if just in a metaphorical sense. But we are kind of listening. I’m losing my freaking mind becomes the title of the chapter we’re living.
Now, I’m not going to suggest that we change the chapter of the title and, voila!, life gets better. But I think we are responsible for being honest, even to ourselves. I’m not losing my freaking mind. I made it through the last three weeks. I will likely make it through the next three weeks. I’m not in acute danger. My mind is actually relatively at ease, which is why I can worry about the future 365 days in advance instead of the next 5 minutes of “how am I going to wash dishes/take a shower/remain upright?”
Being honest with yourself is hard, but that’s no reason to let yourself off the hook.
Someone told me over the weekend that I had anxiety. Not as in “the emotion that humans have” but as in a title, like “ADHD.” My first response was to get mad inside, just like the LAST time several years ago someone told me that. Because just because I’m anxious most of the time doesn’t mean I “have” anxiety, it means I’m in circumstances that would make anyone anxious, that’s all!
It didn’t help that the person who was suggesting I had a condition had just absolutely lost her bananas in anxious-land on account of getting a puppy she’s been wanting for years. Whereas I had been in a clearly more valid state of anxiety over unknown rehabilitating illness, uncertain future, uprooted vagrant with no clear path to even the next step.
See the self-justification, the defense, the condemnation of others? Maybe I do “have Anxiety,” I don’t know. What would that change, really? I just don’t want (pride) the stigma (and vanity) associated with being A Person With Anxiety. I’m not an anxious person. I got my stuff together. It’s just sometimes life gets hard, that’s all.
Well, maybe you don’t have your stuff together. How about that, hm? I wonder why it is so hard for me to accept that. I suppose, if you were one who believed we were shaped by our upbringing, it would be because I’m so often bailing everyone else out that some part of me feels like I have to be able to count on me, because who else can I count on?
But if you don’t like theories like that — I don’t; they make me feel uncomfortably lot like I am trying to blame anything but myself for my character short-comings — there’s the plain fact that, as usual, there’s a lack of trust in God and a defiance of being dependent on Him. Period.
I don’t like that answer either, because it seems to leave very little room for encouragement or grace. Your fault. Did it wrong again. Still not enough faith.FAIL. I guess the only thing I can really come up with is that the focus is still me, me, me; I, I, I. Maybe the point is, stop thinking about you. Your anxiety. And start thinking more about God, who, quite frankly, you ignore on a regular basis.
Paul says, “It is not troublesome for me to remind you again. . .” Maybe the point isn’t in learning new things, but in remembering the steady, constant things. God is good. God is near. God is faithful. God is in control. Maybe I need to just stop fixating on me, and consciously practice fixating on Him.