Anxiety Comes In Waves

aerial view of ocean during day time
Kyle Loftus / Unsplash

There it is, I can see the light, finally I have a chance to bre- (a wave crashes down over me).

.

Okay next try, I can make this one without a doubt. I’ve done it! I reached the surf- (crash! back down into the water).

Now what…?

I’ve come close to drowning in a surfing accident once before and this is the best parallel I have for anxiety. It’s like something is tied down to you, (let’s call them memories for the sake of this) pulling you underneath the water making it a bit harder each time to come up.

But even worse than that is the feeling that you have made it out of the dark, out of the pit, out of the depression only to have another wave crash over you.

Welcome to my life post break up.

Generally speaking I’m a pretty upbeat person, but I’ve come to learn something about myself. And that is, I have one massive heart. That works for the good and bad. Good being that there’s not one person on the face of the Earth I would ever not want to get to know and be a part of their life. Bad being, when it hurts…it HURTS.

The thing about it happens to be, love isn’t really some type of switch I can just flip on and off. And with that comes a lot of pain when something”goes wrong.” I use the quotes because I trust in a God who knows what’s best for me and will take care of me through it all. But even with that, the wave after wave experience of anxiety leaves me feeling like I am drowning again. Try to go to sleep, memory of a baseball game, here comes the wave. Distract myself and rise above the waves a bit. Now time goes by and I try to eat, but wait a minute, here comes a memory of when we first met, the waves take me under further. Talk about it, pray about it and begin to fight my way back up. More time has passed, luckily I was able to sleep, but here we are 3 in the morning. Wide awake, fear takes over, heaviness sets in, try to fight it again, but to no avail, struggle, kick, stretch out…to nothing…to nobody…here comes the panic, here comes the moments of not being able to breathe. Alone, wondering why my best still wasn’t good enough here I float, wondering “when will this storm pass?” In due time…no storm lasts forever. Back to my surfing story, the biggest thing that saved me was removing the surfboard from my ankle. And once that stopped pulling me beneath the waves I was able to be set free to move around and beat the next set of waves from crashing into me. But it’s not so easy with memories, each picture, each nap we took wrapped in each other’s arms. Crash…crash…crash…CRASH! Why is this happening to me??? Since when am I strong enough for this? Honestly…never and maybe that’s the point. That I’m not the one in charge of my life. I think about God like a loving parent, when all a kid wants to do is touch the stove, any parent is smart enough to say no. Not because they don’t love their child, but because they know it would hurt their child in the end. The same reason we are not allowed to run with knives or put our hands into the fire. Not because our parents want us to be unhappy, but because they want us to be unharmed. That doesn’t mean they don’t love us though and that doesn’t mean it is the end of life as we know it. All it means is they have our best interests in mind and want to protect us. So as I kick and scream and ask God why, I’m reminded that He loves me and His plans for my life are far better than anything I could have wanted or planned myself.

So to anyone struggling as I sometimes do with the weight of anxiety to anyone who is worried as I am about what’s going to happen next. I want you to know that you are not alone. Life will move on and it will get better. I survived the surfing accident, I survived my first two heartbreaks, and I will survive this one…it just takes time. TC mark

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