Brown Paper Bag Time.

Confession: I suffer from depression and anxiety. I suffer from it right now. I noticed a change in my breathing and my mindset on Wednesday. I could feel it coming on and I just couldn’t shake it. I don’t think my heart rate has slowed to a normal pace in the past 72 hours. I feel like someone is driving nails into my skull and there is something sharp scratching all over my brain. I can’t get a good deep breath and I can’t sleep. Being around large crowds of people makes my skin crawl. Being around small crowds of people makes my skin crawl. The thought of talking to anybody outside my immediate inner circle makes me feel all barfy and dizzy.

Other confession: it’s worse than it sounds.

I’m trying. I’m really, really trying. I talked it over with Caleb, who–after 12 years of dealing with me and my drama–was like: “how much coffee have you been drinking? Have you been exercising at all? Are you going to kill anyone, breathe deeply, drink ice water, and I’ll be home shortly.”

He’s so great, y’all.

I have prayed so hard about this. I try to joke about it. Somedays I can laugh at myself and other days I just want to rip my own head off and shove it onto something pointy like a stick.

Also some days I have absurdly violent thoughts.

Between driving–on the interstate–to downtown Oklahoma City to a house where I don’t know people in a neighborhood that’s scary, to listening to news stories about child trafficking and phony door-to-door salesmen, and people with guns, and home invasions, and race riots, and fighting and wars and global warming and also having an abnormally large amount of bugs in my house this summer, plus temporarily housing and caring for a friend’s pets (guinea pigs–Mia wants one for her birthday but I’d rather set myself on fire), my nerves are shot. Completely and utterly shot.

Like, raw. I feel raw. I cry so easily. I want the calming effect of alcohol–except I can’t drink just one drink, because one turns into 13 and before I know it, I’m throwing a chair through the wall. So no alcohol.

I just want to be in my house, with my family, doors locked and bolted, with guns at the ready. And I don’t have a gun, but it would be at the ready if I did.

Is it just me or is the world such a dangerous place? Aren’t people so effing scary lately? Kidnappings at ballparks and grocery store parking lots? How am I supposed to let my children outside at all ever?

I have an apocalypse theory, only instead of zombies, it involves mean people of the meanest kind. They will infect everyone and eventually take over the whole world, roaming in evil hordes across the country, banging on the walls of my house…

Aaaaaaand now I can’t breathe again.

I got to thinking, though: Wouldn’t the devil just love for me to curl up in the fetal position, especially at a time like now when there’s just so many people to help and there’s so much art to be done?

My anxiety attacks began on Wednesday–the very same day of the first art party downtown. Coincidence?

Jesus said a lot of cool things, including this encouraging gem in Matthew chapter 5:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

What the devil tempts me to do is easy–in this case give into my fears and my worries and my dizzy spells and my headaches, and just stop in my tracks. But God is all the time asking me to do the hard things, like breathe and take tylenol and suck up and just keep moving. No pity party over herrrrre, baby. My husband seems to have picked up on God’s attitude and for that I am thankful.

Please continue to pray for this project and that God will show us other places and people that we can help…and that I can remain calm enough to follow through with His marching orders.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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