Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pie Chart for My Anxiety!

These moments are both painstaking and vicious.

My brain approaches cautiously but then ceases to understand or comprehend that there are actually moments beyond this one, so I am locked in a tunnel, swirling around in the vacuum of thoughts and feelings I have created within myself.

These moments are full of silent screams that echo through me and come out in a myriad of ways: short temper with my kids, lack of energy to do chores, angry tears. These moments define my life lately and I'm at a loss to even begin to understand how I can creep away from them with my sanity and my soul intact.

The children are only a small percentage of the equation. The hardships a mother endures as she is raising her children are justifiable and really, they are the norm. She faces the unmistakable conviction of wanting to do the absolute best she can to raise them to be servants of the Lord and takes it hard when she feels she is failing. Nothing is easy. Never in a million years did I think raising children would be. I remember what I was like as a child. I remember my 6 brothers and sisters, too. But I don't think I ever thought that it would be this hard. My mother is a freakin' saint.

If I could do a pie chart to represent all the things that make up my anxiety, that little sliver you see on similar charts representing the nominal cut would probably be that of my children. Really. Because while yes, they do create a sort of chaos to my life and it is definitely difficult to raise four children under the age of seven, there is just so much more that my anxiety is made up of. Often, my kids are my solace. Like this afternoon when I was trying to find Sophia (who just turned two) to put a diaper on her before nap. I wandered through the house looking for her because she disappeared off my bed in the time it took me to get a diaper from the next room... I found her hiding in my closet. I opened the door and with a delighted grin and a mischievious giggle, she declared, "I wos juiced hidin', Mawmy!" Times like these are what keep that percentage low.

The general subject of "children" really is only about 10% of my pie chart. So what makes up the rest you ask?

It's me.

Yup, that's right. My big fat rump sits covering the rest of the pie chart. I just can't seem to get out of the way. Part of it goes into the piece where I allow the reality of my small house to paralyze me when the four children - who are just being children - are running through it, and are under my feet, and are screaming and fighting over toys. I'd say that makes up about 40% of my anxiety. It's not them, it's my way of dealing with it. That gives me anxiety; the fact that I can't deal with it lately.

The next piece is also a rather sizable piece. It's the business piece. Our landscaping business is doing great. I know we're on the path God wants us to be on. But there's so much about running a business and there's so much that is put on my shoulders on top of everything else from our personal life. And this year, coming to the end of our third season, we are desperate to move on and start next season in a different place. Not just physically - like where we're located - but in general. Our plans for the next phase of our business include so much. Like having help. Like planting a tree and perennial farm. Like Joe being more involved with his customers and not having to do the maintenance end of things. This part is probably 35% at least. Because again, I don't know how to deal with it properly.

The next piece makes up the final 15% of the chart. It's my marriage and all the baggage that came with my husband. Of course, I have baggage too but we're not talking about me now are we? Oh wait.. Uhhh... Maybe we are? It's not really my marriage and my husband; it's me. It's how I handle things. The crazy cycle that my thoughts go through. My inability to trust. To cope. To heal. To love. I'm whacked sometimes. I have baggage. Really.

Soooo....Is my anxiety a direct result of my self-induction of it? Does that even make sense? I stress about not doing things perfectly and not having things the perfect way. And I squeeze myself into this tunnel and I create the vacuum and I lose myself in my thoughts. Is it easy here? No. Is it easier than out there?? No, not really. So why do I do it? I have no freakin' clue!

I pray about this all the time. What is wrong with me? Why can't I just let it go and give it to God and have peace about it? Is He trying to offer me peace? Maybe not yet. Maybe I need to just sit here in this uncomfortable place until I'm ready to take it. Maybe I just need to allow the viciousness of the moments pass so I can draw in the gentle nature my Heavenly Father has with healing me.


That Shelly Girl said...

It has got to be a full moon or something because I have been feeling the same way lately. I usually just push it back in and ignore it. And then ignore it some more. Because if you sit and analyze and dwell it becomes all consuming.

I believe that God gives you the tools to take care of yourself but leaving everything (like your emotions!) to Him is like that one story of the guy in the flood.

There's a guy in a flood on top of a room and someone comes in a boat and offers to save him. He says "No, God will save me" then someone comes in a helicopter and same thing. Finally he dies and he's in heaven and says "God! Why didnt you save me!?" and God says "I sent you a boat and a helicopter! What more did you want?"

So yes, you should leave it to God but not so much that you dont help yourself as well.

I am bipolar and I just got over a month+ long depressive episode. While on my meds. So I'm not sure what to think. I'm still "sore" from it if you know what I mean (I'm sure you do) I'm trying to decide if I want to continue playing medicine roulette. It's like "Oh! These 10 meds didnt work for you. Let's take another few months out of your life and try you on something else! And then another few months to wean you off and try something else."

So it's really hard. What to do? I'd love to hear your thoughts on meds.


Rebecca said...

Thanks for your comment, Shelly! Sometimes I wonder if I'm not somewhere in the bi-polar spectrum..... And actually, when I was younger, my one counselor unofficially diagnosed me with cyclothymia disorder so maybe just maybe it's really true for me. In any case, I really honestly think a lot of it has to do with my spiritual life and how much effort I'm making when it comes to opening my heart to God. I can't post it here yet but I actually have a story to tell you of something that happened recently to sort of make things a lot better for me emotionally....
About meds...I certainly don't think the way Tom Cruise does about them! lol And if I really felt like I needed them, I might go back on them (I used to be on 3 different ones a long time ago). But I feel like they can often be overprescribed and A LOT of people use them as band aids instead of getting to the root of their problem. I'd rather find the root of my problem and fix that than cover up my symptoms with happy pills. I understand that there are a lot of instances where they are definitely needed and I don't down that at all. For myself, if it's possible, I'd like to not have to rely on them to get through my daily life.
I have heard the story you mentioned before and I love it! So true for a lot of circumstances in our life when we're just like "God, where the heck are ya???"

Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website said...

Hmmm...well...let me just say...that in your search for perfection, you will be awakened to a new reality when you visit me tomorrow and see how very very very VERY NOT perfect our house is; as well as the people in it...then, you will go home feeling so much better! See? I knew God wanted us to have this visit! It's so that you can see how WELL you are actually doing by entering into our chaos for a moment in time. Hee hee.

Ok, jokes aside...the beauty of this post is that you are aware that most of your stress is self induced..."Change me, oh Lord...that I may be who You are calling me to be".

Love you and see you soon!