For the last couple of days, I’ve felt like my heart has been racing. So I hold two fingers to my neck, push hard, counting to the rhythm of my heart. Sixty beats in one minute. That’s completely normal. Why does it feel so strange?
I don’t know where this anxiety has come from, where it was hiding until now, and how I let it out. All I know is that it is creeping in, all around me.
So I nervously clean.
So I nervously journal.
So I nervously pick at my cuticles.
So I nervously obsess about details that do not matter.
So I nervously lay awake at night, unable to sleep.
So I nervously wonder if I need to see a counselor.
So I nervously wonder if I need to be medicated.
So I nervously wonder what this mental state says about me as a Christ-follower.
So I remind myself, again and again, about all that is wrong with me - this anxiety being number one.
So I nervously try to fix myself. Someone once told me that I come off as emotionally unavailable so I Google, “How to be emotionally available” in hopes of a cure. I’m just trying to understand myself, my brain. I end up taking an Enneagram test and it says everything that I don’t want to say: I am anxious and loyal. I fear being abandoned or left alone and simply desire security and support.
Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve been living my last 20-ish months without much security or support. Maybe it’s because this getting older thing, man, they undersold how difficult it would be.
These days, I worry less about the pain the comes with physical aging and more about the wounds I wear from my nearly thirty years of human life. The rejection. The disappointment. The harsh words and harsh looks. The shame. The guilt. My slavery to things that I hate.
I’m going home soon and for the first time in a long time, I am anxious about it. Maybe it’s because I think I won’t want to come back. Maybe it’s because I have to emotionally pry myself out of the Pioneer Valley every time that I pack up my car and drive away from supportive family and friends I’ve known for decades.
Putting words on pages has always been a salve for me, a way to press back a bit of pain. I feel like I’ve been uniquely aware, these last few weeks, of the importance of mental health. I’ve been able to carve through some hard thoughts, write down some hard truths. It’s been healing but it’s also been unnerving. Pointing fingers at moments passed or words said or decisions made can feel that way.
I haven’t written much for other people to see in this season. I am far too afraid and far too aware of the power of written words. I am far too fragile to be vulnerable...but I’m trying.
Trying not to “be strong.”
Trying not to be cold.
Trying not to believe the lies that I tell myself.
Trying to cling to Truth.