The following was written one year ago in the middle of a panic attack. I had recently gotten fired from my job and was floundering. I was taking medication every night just to fall asleep. I was clearly depressed, but hadn’t admitted that to myself yet. This was right before I did. Every time I read it I am reminded how far I’ve come. If you have ever felt like this, please know, as I know now, that you have to keep asking the questions and more importantly, learn how to listen to your heart for the answers… because He is telling you everyday, in every way, where He wants you to be.
I’ve never felt so trapped in my life. I’m prone to wild swings in emotion and so I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is accurate but I know for certain that it is real. It is real because my anxiety always starts in my chest. My heart pounds against my sternum and creates a full, heavy feeling like something is either sitting on me or trying to get out of me. Either way, it’s suffocating. I feel nervous, like the world can read my mind by just looking at my face and these thoughts are lethal, like bullets. I try to control my bullet thoughts. No dice. They become obsessive and quicken to a deafening pace. I shake on the inside. My hands are steady and my legs aren’t moving but I feel like there’s an earthquake happening inside my body. The instinct to escape and find safety is overwhelming. “This too shall pass” My inner voice says. “Hurry the fuck up” I reply.
I know what a wild animal in a trap feels like. Only I didn’t get caught, I built the trap around me one mortgaged brick at a time. I think my original intent was to keep myself contained where I couldn’t be a danger to myself or others, like a prison of responsibility and status quo. Even though it was self-made I think I would chew my arm off if it meant I could get outside. But, like a prisoner suffering from Stockholm Syndrome I kinda like my walls; at least some of them. They are a place to hang my hopes and dreams for safe keeping and they remind me of what hard work can do. But they also keep me from seeing, let alone going outside.
I sit with this feeling for a minute. Questions start to bubble to the surface like thick, black oil. Am I scared? The answer to that one is easy. Yes. Am I hormonal? I don’t know, but does that matter or is that just a convenient excuse to not take responsibility? Is this a crisis of the existential kind? Am I being self-deprecating, self-righteous or just selfish? For sure I am confused. I don’t have any answers and that has always made me uncomfortable. I have never lived easily in the space of the unknown or unknowable which is the essence of life in general. For me, understanding and truth are as essential as breathing and right now I lack all of those things. The anxiety in my chest, my heart, my center leaves room for little else including my lungs to breathe. But breathing is the only answer I do have. That’s not true. The other answer I have is that God is here and that I may never know all the answers but someday I will know the only one that matters and that is what my purpose shall be. And so I ask again, the only prayer I’ve ever asked… use me God. Use me.
I’m not where I’m going, I’m not where I’ve been, but I’m on my way.