Anxiety is a spider at times, rolling me up in her viscous, delicate web. I am trapped in second-guessing myself, wincing at my sensitive personality. Berating myself for my reactions to things that "shouldn't be such a big deal for most people." Broken cars and worrying if I'll ever jump through all the travel hurdles of flight cancellations and hordes of people when I travel solo to Italy. Most people would be jumping for joy that they were going to Italy. Right? Then pummeling myself for being such a tech wimp. I just don't get "the cloud." It's like trying to read maps before GPS and the friendly voice telling you where to turn. And so it goes (or doesn't go) in my brain.
I yell stop. I quit thrashing. I have tools to slice through the silken strands.
First, I declare a few "reset" days. I cancel things that feel like too much "work" for my personality. I lean into the reality that I need swaths of alone time for regrouping and beginning the task of cutting myself free.
I remember that my brain loves music. (Yay! No maps.) I cue up Pandora.
I light candles. My brain is soothed by scent.
I pray, "God help me." "God have mercy."
I begin to list all the things that have gone right over the last few months, i.e., I finished the first half of the rough draft of my novel and completed the first edit; I started back to "live" church after two years away during the Pandemic; I purged my messy closet and even messier jewelry box; I maintained a good relationship with my husband, though he would really love it if I could finally wrap my mind around "the cloud." I worked out consistently and can now do a plank. You get it. Big and little things count. It is possible to be an inspiration to yourself. When I'm in the spider web, one of the best tools is remembering that surely there are a few bad, difficult days, but that doesn't make up my whole life. Try going back a year and calculate all the ways you've moved forward. This tool goes a long way in releasing the grip of the sticky threads. No more diminution of the gains.
Pandora is now playing The Door In The Air from the soundtrack of Prince Caspian. When I hear this song and think about the image, I realize there is always a confluence of God's mercy in my life, like a door of rescue that appears as if by magic.
My steps follow in the tracks of your chariot wheels, always staying in their path, never straying from your way. You will answer me, God; I know you always will, like you always do as you listen with love to my every prayer.~Psalm 17:5-6 (The Passion Translation)