When I woke up this morning I was in a pure panic. I had many things to accomplish and I was in fear of missing a task, not having enough time, and disappointing someone, including myself.
I drive myself to a Torah study that I was invited to and on my way I worry that I’ll either be “too early” and/or be there before my friend who invited arives. I know that there will be food and I worry about eating in front of others. I am anxious thinking about the fact that I may have to read a part of the Torah portion in front of the group. I worry that I won’t be welcomed. I dread answering the questions about what I’m doing with my life because I am in a time that I am waiting on direction from God.
I arrive at the home 15 minutes early, but that’s “too early.” I drive by the location and one car is in the driveway and I don’t know what kind of vehicle my friend is driving and so I waste some gasoline and drive around the neighborhood for 15 minutes and arrive right on time. When I ring the doorbell I find out that the hostess have a dog and strangely I’m relieved and in the end Torah study was fine and I had a great time.
After I left Torah study I did a brief reflection of 2016 and remember that it’s been a great year, especially because 2015 was a wretched year. Life is good right now. This is the longest period of time ever that life has been good and my anxiety starts again as I wonder “Which desert am I going to walk through next?” On the car radio the Christian radio station starts playing song after song about trusting in HIM and I have some Shalom from God.
Fast forward to the evening. In the back of my mind I know it’s New Year’s Eve and the traffic could/will be bad. As I’m getting ready to go my dad says, “Be safe,” and tells me a story about how he saw a drunk driver this morning and to be extra aware. I zone him out when he tells his story because I know I will be even more terrified to drive if I listen to his story. I have a few places to go before the party, the traffic is heavy and I am overwhelmed. As I am arriving to my second destination, while trying to switch lanes, I am almost hit and my ability to keep everything together is quickly leaving me. I put the location of my party in my phone’s GPS and it cannot find the home. My anxiety is rising and I am frustrated and overwhelmed. By now I am late and it isn’t helping. My emotions are all over the place and I cannot handle going to a party after how my day has gone. I try to fight my anxiety but this time it has won. I skip the party and go into the nearest parking lot that I can find. As soon as I put the vehicle in park, I get into a fetal position and try to cope with the emotions of the day.
On days when my anxiety isn’t bad, I can handle these situations but today I can’t. I hope I can deal with life tomorrow. This type of day is all too common for those who struggle with anxiety. If you are struggling right now, I want to assure you that you are not alone and it is okay to be not okay and you are loved.