Dealing.

I am running again, and it feels awesome. Except for in the morning like before 7:00 p.m., or whenever the temperature is above 80 degrees, and also I don’t like to drip sweat. A little sweat is okay, but leaving a trail is just unattractive, as is the heavy breathing associated with this type of physical exertion. But I do love running.

I’ve cut down on coffee. For instance: instead of drinking an entire pot, I would have only, say, 8 cups. But then Caleb caught on to my little game, and now I’m down to 1 measly cup and excuse me but that’s bogus.

Painting has been somewhat therapeutic, although, to be honest, when I start painting, what I really want to do is just drop everything and everyone else in the world and just focus all my energy and attention to the canvas. And when I can’t do that–simply take 24 solid hours to devote to one painting–my mind obsesses over every little detail that I DIDN’T get to finish. Kids? They can open their own Capri Suns if they’re still up at midnight.

Of course that hasn’t been the way of it. I’m putting my kids to bed semi-on-time. I’m making them drink milk and read books. We go to swimming lessons in the morning and ride bikes in the evening. No one is neglected, and no one is becoming a tortured manic artist who forgets to shower or eat.

Because I certainly remember to eat.

I wish I could explain anxiety. My mind thinks rationally for the most part, but my skin crawls and my blood tingles and my head pounds. And I feel like I have to yawn but I can’t–and then the thought of not being able to take a deep breath makes me try even harder to breathe, and then I really do start to panic because–holy crap–I can’t breathe.

And sometimes I can’t get my words out. And sometimes I forget what I was saying or doing. And I can’t focus and I feel jumpy. And also loud noises and crowded hallways and traffic jams and people I don’t know freak me out, because what if I can’t breathe?

Caleb says that this is the thing that he hates the most: “What do you mean you can’t breathe? That’s ridiculous. Yes, you can breathe. Just breathe. Just do it. Breathe.”

Sometimes my husband knows just the right thing to say. But a lot of times, no. Just…no.

I kid.

No I don’t.

But out of all the people who deal with me on a regular basis, Caleb gets the brunt of my funky moods. He gets the shrill, worked-up rant over the scuff marks on my church shoes. He gets the tossing and the turning at 4:00 in the morning, and the “What part of ‘I’ve got a freaking headache‘ didn’t you understand?” He comes home after a long day to a strung-out, unkempt wife, who cooked burnt pancakes for dinner, and who forgot to buy syrup.

Bless his precious, patient heart.

My friends are awesome. My folks are awesome. And God is awesome, because of course during this past week’s Sunday School lesson, we studied David and Goliath: a little boy, fighting for God, and overcoming a seemingly undefeatable giant. Goliath was big, ugly, and mean. Anxiety is scary. Life is scary. I have to face these things. But God will see me through it, and He will use these experiences of mine for good.

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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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