My world is falling apart. It’s all inside me; the outside is the same as ever. Outside my head, life goes on: Work, chores, cats, sleep, meals, family, writing. But inside, my mind is crawling with worms, my head aches all the time, my thoughts evade me. I know this space: it is the preface to an anxiety episode.
It’s been over a year since my last episode, the one triggered by love of a cat from hell. It took months to recover. Now that I again hover on that razor’s edge, it seems as if the sane time in between never happened. I see only the pain. Back through my life to childhood, back before I’d ever heard the word, anxiety. The crazy anxious me connects with those episodes like a string of misshapen and grimy pearls. My mind plays tricks, telling me I will never be free.
But there is another side to this mental illness which I cannot ignore. For whatever reason I begin down the slippery slope into anxiety hell, it comes with a lesson. It comes to force change. I cannot deny that all I’ve been thinking about lately, all the messages from my soul, have spoken of change.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
So can I pull myself out of the fire before the real panic hits? Can I see what needs to be done and do it instead of stand firm in the denial that will inevitably end me? Can I plunge my head in ice water and come up seeing a new direction? Inside myself, I know what is wrong, what needs to be corrected. It will be difficult – change always is. But do I have a choice?
Perhaps I am not falling apart after all, but merely transforming.