A couple weeks ago I had a birthday. I didn’t do anything to celebrate it because my plans to set up a private krav maga session fell through. (It was the perfect chance for Grammy to learn some tactical martial arts…) Yet my birthday turned into a birth month and ended up being really great. My friends and family surprised me by each planning a separate fun thing for us to do, letting me spend quality time with each person. That was the best present.
But looking over the collection of gifts I noticed an odd similarity. I got three self-help books and a pint of Crown Royal whiskey.
Did they know something I didn’t?
Yesterday as I laid on the couch, helpless to stop silent tears dropping from my eyes, the answer was obvious. I am falling apart. Whether my friends knew that I was going to break soon or just thought I might need inspiration some day, they were on to something.
Yesterday I had my first-ever panic attack.
It’s a strange sensation. My lungs wouldn’t work even though I was surrounded by air. I was shaking and frozen. I needed a break. I needed to breath. I needed time to stop so I could come closer to catching it. But it never did. The only thing that broke was me.
Kasey laid next to me and let me stroke her fur, helping me cling to reality until my friend made it to the house. In one tight hug, he squished together pieces of me that had orbited like chunks of an asteroid caught in Earth’s gravity.
I couldn’t pull myself together. I needed an outside force to push and tell me everything was okay.
As a Christian, I feel like a failure. I’m supposed to be content—no, joyful—in every situation. I’m not supposed to need anyone to comfort or support me, rather I should be strong enough to stand alone because I only rely on God, and he will never abandon me.
What happened to finding peace?
Comfortably, I believed it was impossible to snatch the “most horrible year in the history of awful years” award from 2016, but turning 27 brought some fun surprises.
March became one of the most spiritually, emotionally, and mentally challenging times of my life—and it’s not over yet. But these struggles are different from the ones that hammered 2016. Three years ago I had to find out what I stood for and decide what I wanted. This year it seems I’m going to be challenged to find the perseverance to stick to those decisions and not dry up like a plant in a sun-scorched desert.
I don’t know where to go from here…
Am I supposed to know?
I wish I had better advice to share. Or some epiphany of how to love life faster. But at this moment, all I can say is if you’re losing sleep replaying scenarios and questioning decisions, you’re not alone.
Cling to the ones who show you they love you.
And for the good of all mankind, take a break.
There must be a good reason why God told us to take a sabbath—a day of rest. Maybe it’s so we don’t break down like this.
This is a pretty short post, but I think it’s important. I shared this struggle so maybe I can help someone who’s also having a rough time with anxiety and depression.
I’d like to write more, and I plan to keep sharing, but right now I feel like a squirrel balancing on a butter knife on top of a fence…ya know?
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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