And a lot of time to sit with my hot coffee and stare at the beautiful trees, heavy with snow, watching the dog try to forge a path to his potty spot, the cat try to make himself skinny enough to fit down the narrow snow-free path along the house. And in my staring at all the beauty around me, time to reflect on my last month.
What a doozy. To say my world was turned upside down for a time would be very accurate. Just in the last week I've come to a place where I can start processing it, trying to sort it out and make sense of it. I asked Brad recently, "What happened to me??" I don't have all the answers, but the bottom line is I am getting better, a day at a time. I'm creeping back to my normal. If I compare myself today to me 3 weeks ago? Drastically, radically better. If I compare myself to me 2 months ago? Not quite there yet. But I'm believing I will get there soon.
"Patient in affliction"? Trying. Patience has never been my strength, especially with myself. "Joyful in hope"?? That's returning. The joy is 95% back. "Faithful in prayer"? Oh, yes. Pleading, begging prayers that were sometimes just one word: "Jesus". Or "please". Or even "huh-uh". The beautiful thing is that He knew the meaning of everything I uttered in my bound state.
And the equally beautiful thing was the people who prayed on my behalf. Friends who lovingly, attentively, and faithfully supported me in the simplest of ways. They were a lifeline. To be able to send a simple text: "I'm really struggling," and that's all I needed to say.
And my sweet husband, who took such gentle care of me, who was so patient with me. The thing I find most comforting in this world, hugging my husband, I couldn't do. It makes no sense, but it felt suffocating, like my insides were even tighter, like I couldn't take a breath. And he understood. I wanted him with me, I needed him with me, and yet he was helpless to make it better. And yet his simple presence, his prayers whispered over me, his patient presence was my anchor.
And my kids were sweetly understanding, even while not understanding. They were patient, encouraging, loving, kind...I hate that they had to be all that, but I'm so proud of them for treating me with such gentleness when I needed it. They are good people.
I don't even know how much I want to share on here. I've struggled with not mentioning it, or telling it all. But to just hop back on and ignore such an impactful time in my life seems so shallow and insincere. Do I share everything about my life on this blog? Absolutely not. But do I write this as a scrapbook of sorts of my life? Yes. And I do want to remember this time, for me. I want to continue to figure this out and part of that for me is being able to reflect and process it.
It is such a long, tangled story. The bottom line is I have been deeply struggling with anxiety. And by anxiety, I don't mean being a little worried. I mean paralyzing, heart-racing, ending up in the E.R. anxiety. Medicated to get through the day anxiety. Losing 8 pounds (over Christmas!!) anxiety. (I've gained back 4, not to worry.)
My brother kindly analyzed me and I think really accurately diagnosed a root of this, and I know I have a strong family history of anxiety issues. Maybe I'll get into my feelings of the "why", maybe I won't. But for now, I'm unashamedly taking medication, getting lots of vitamins, getting my exercise, eating healthy...approaching this from every possible angle. I don't ever, EVER, want to go through what I've been through again. The compassion I feel for those who feel this or have felt it brings tears to my eyes instantly. It's a horrible way to live, and I don't wish it for anyone. If you read this and have no understanding of what I'm talking about or think it's "all in your head", give a little prayer of thanks that you have no understanding of it.
To those sweet people who loved and prayed me through this, I love you all right back, and I have prayed many times that the Lord would count every word of prayer said for me and bless you richly. I have learned a lot about who my friends are and how to be a friend to someone in need. I am so very grateful for each and every prayer, text, phone call, email...when I say they were a lifeline I really mean it.
That's enough for now. I'm done with this subject today and going to enjoy my family and the peaceful beauty around me.
"He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him..."