“Everything I fear and dread comes true. I have no peace, no rest, and my troubles never end.” – Job 3:25-26
I wrote the following post a few weeks ago during a time of struggle. It took me this long to summon the courage to post. I am posting because mental health awareness starts with me…
I’m not sure what to write today. I just know I need to do it. Maybe someone will find what they need in my words; or maybe I will, I’m not really sure.
You see, I’ve been hit head on by recurring anxiety and its corresponding depression; or maybe it’s the other way around. Again, I’m not really sure. I only know it is. It is painful. It is scary. It is crippling.
That’s why I love the Book of Job. The story feels real. Not only does everyone want him to give in or give up, he is angry. He’s questioning, “Why?” He can’t see anything else. He knows God is there, like me rationally. I absolutely believe love is bigger than anything seen or unseen after all. He just can’t see it. The only thing I don’t like about the book, in fact, as I sit here in my full humanity is that it all resolves too quickly. Maybe that will be my truth too one day. That’s my hope. Yet, in his humanness, and in my current brokenness, Job is me!
You wouldn’t know it by my surface, probably. The term I’ve seen mostly is high functioning anxiety. I’ll do everything I have to do just to make it through the day which really means I’ll actually accomplish very little. I’ll get my daughter off the bus, I’ll write this post, and I’ll do just about anything to keep myself distracted until my wife gets home and I can retreat into the background of another day survived. Heck, even as I write this piece, I’m simultaneously fighting off dizziness and debating whether I should share it or not because of the stigma around mental health issues. That’s a subtext worry too especially given my other more obvious physical limitations. That’s what my head tells me, anyway. “Don’t say anything. It could be really bad if others know the real you. Is he ok? Is he safe?” All those questions might pop into an outsider’s mind.
So, I’ll answer you, the reader, because no answer seems good long enough to ease own my mind fully. “Yes, I’m ok.” Trust me I’ve done every possible bodily check somewhat ritualistically of late; blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, blood sugar. So, yes, I’m ok. Everyone here is ok. It just doesn’t feel like it.
Underneath, there is a torrent of emotions, of feelings swirling constantly just below the surface as I white-knuckle my through my day. Maybe I should call someone, however if I call my friends as much as I feel I’d need to, I fear I’d become tiresome quickly. I already feel that way most days. Isolation, whether a result of physical or emotional difficulties, has a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.
For the record, I believe the avoidance of our own personal vulnerability and, therefore other people in unruly bodies, whether done consciously or subconsciously, is also a big problem. Still, that seems like a discussion for another time.
For now, I’ll conclude allowing, I have called somebody and begun my process of regaining better health. If any of this rings true to you as the reader, I hope you’ll do the same. Maybe we’ll both find beginning the move forward is the most difficult part.
Regardless, of what the rest of the journey holds I hope you’ll remember, as I’ll try too, you don’t have to go it alone no matter what fear tries to tell you. Remember, “Love is bigger.”