All posts tagged: #anxiety

Ostinato

“For I have known them all already, known them all:  Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,  I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;  I know the voices dying with a dying fall  Beneath the music from a farther room.                 So how should I presume?” – T.S. Eliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The stack of purple and blue pill organizers crushed me. Seven doors on seven organizers, each filled with different vitamins and prescriptions. Open the seven doors, drop in the tablets and capsules, close the doors, empty them in little bowls for each person at breakfast. Every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. Maybe someday we wouldn’t need to take pills. Maybe someday would be different. But not today. I tossed the clothes in the dryer, filled the dishwasher, looked for my wallet, yelled for the kids to get their shoes on, and loaded the car. Maybe someday the kids would empty the dishwasher without breaking anything. Maybe someday my youngest would tie her shoes. Maybe someday would be …

The Waves – 20 Years of Marriage

One hot night in late July, a few weeks before our wedding, 20 years ago, I could hardly look at my handsome fiancé at dinner. He was happily talking about our new apartment, new jobs, and our honeymoon. I was trying to keep my food, and my long-held secret, down. He grabbed my hand, rubbed it with his calloused thumb, raised his eyebrows, and said, “You okay, Aim?” I felt the waves crash hard. Me:  “I don’t think I can do this.” Chris:   “Do what?” Me:  “Get married.” C:  “What do you mean?” Me: “I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to get married. I’m a lot of work. I don’t take very good care of myself, so I know I wouldn’t take very good care of you. I really don’t think I should get married.” C: [Silence] His face went gray and slack, he searched my eyes and then the floor. He listened to me repeat sorrowful variations of “it’s not you, it’s me.” After a couple minutes he said he …

Being the Best Blessing EVER

I distinctly remember walking into a dentist appointment thinking, “I want to be this hygienist’s favorite patient ever.” I already flossed and brushed my teeth, gargled, and blotted my lipstick. I smiled broadly, asked and answered questions, complimented her technique, and thanked her for her hard work. I left with a new toothbrush and a sense of accomplishment. Before I went home to cook the best dinner ever for my husband and friends, I interacted with the cashier at the store, tollbooth attendant, and neighbor the same way. I did everything I could to be the best customer, toll-payer, and neighbor they ever had. I wondered if they would go home and tell their families, “You’ll never believe how great this lady was today!” For my husband’s birthdays I would brainstorm a million ways to show him lavish love. I’d cover all 5 Love Languages – big gift, very long letter full of loving words, celebratory physical touch, sacrificial service, and lots of uninterrupted quality time. There could be no doubt I was a great …

I Stopped Praying for My Kids

Some people pray like a troubadour. Beaming about all the great things the Lover of their Soul has done. Their love is mutual and glorious. It’s dramatic and flowery, stomach flips and sighs. I’ve prayed like that, when my chubby baby smiled up me, and when I caught my husband looking at me from across the room. Some people pray like a tenant, leaving post-its on the landlord’s door. They roll their eyes whenever something breaks, knowing that whenever the scruffy, absent ex-con gets to it, it’ll be too late. They wait for him to come over smelling like cigarettes with a roll of duct tape, but normally end up fixing it themselves. Which is what the landlord was hoping for anyway. I’ve prayed like that, when my friend’s cancer didn’t get healed, and when my friend’s divorce was finalized. Some people pray like a child, asking for big things with big innocent eyes. They ask from the safe place on their daddy’s shoulders. Daddy is always patient and trustworthy. He can fix anything, and he …

Fighters

I hate The Walking Dead. Many very smart, sensitive, and spiritual people love the show, like my husband, but not me. It’s not the haunted house make-up or the constant gargle of zombies that bother me. It’s that in order to survive, you have to kill. I hate it. We now live 15 minutes from where the series is filmed, so I’m trying to watch this season. I’m also trying to win Best Wife Ever. I ask about 35 questions per episode, but Chris still invites me to join him every freaking time. A couple of weeks ago I groaned, “I cannot take it. If the zombies come, honey, just kill me. I wouldn’t want to live like this.” Chris set his jaw, clenched his fist, and looked at me as if I just confessed an affair. He said, “Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. We are fighters. We are survivors.” We told the kids about the attacks in Paris on Friday night at dinner. They asked if it was ISIS. I reluctantly told them …

What I Did Over Summer Vacation

Moving to Georgia has been hard. We pulled up to Sweet River, our new home, grateful and curious. The kids ran around laughing. The truck came, our house filled up with boxes, and I got to work. I stacked plates, organized books, admired long-lost treasures, and commissioned my husband to spend his weekends hanging pictures. It took a long time. I pushed. I got really tired. One night my husband was talking about where to host the Fantasy Football Draft. I tuned out. He asked me some question and I put down my drink, slammed my palm on the couch, and huffed, “It’s not happening, hon! You can’t do Fantasy Football in Illinois! We live here now. Come on! It’s over! It’s dead. Let it go.” It was quiet after that. Chris followed me into the kitchen and I started vigorously scrubbing some dishes. He asked, “Are you ok?” And I huffed, “No. I’m not! I’m exhausted! [scrubbing] But this is what we signed up for. Just gotta get through it.” He said, “That doesn’t really sound like a plan, babe.” …

A Little Note About Anxiety

Earlier this month I mentioned that sometimes I worry. When I do, I imagine all my tasks and woes on a long curling list and I surrender it to Jesus. Jesus takes the list, and my mind and body can rest. This simple picture has radically changed my prayer life. But then there’s anxiety. Anxiety is the ticker tape banner at the bottom of the news screen. The constant stream of things that have, can, and will go wrong. Sometimes I imagine that list scrolling off the left of the screen into a wheelbarrow Jesus is expectantly holding. Somedays that is not enough. I didn’t know I had anxiety. I thought I was smart. A thorough thinker. Always prepared. Realistic. I hoped I wasn’t a dream squasher and a balloon popper for all my optimistic, visionary friends. But seriously, how did they really think those grand plans were going to happen? Anxiety is about living on the defense in a dangerous world. Those of us with sensory issues have brains that tell us there is always …