It’s anxiety, you see. This feeling of dread, of a wedge slowly moving towards us, causing me to want to scratch my skin until it’s off, my stomach churning with nausea because I haven’t eaten anything in two days. Because I’m not sure I’d keep it down anyway.
Steve and I talk about everything. I mean, even when we were first getting to know each other, we talked about past sexual partners in a level of detail that not a lot of people would be comfortable with. But I need to know things. I wanted to know numbers and names, at least the names of those who’d meant anything to him or who I might meet one day (we’re from a small place). I wanted him to tell me about the girls he’d fallen in love with. Partly because knowing someone’s past is getting to know them, I suppose.
I told him I had the problem figured out, as I wrung my hands. It’s anxiety, I told him. He asked me about the root cause. Because there’s always a reason – you need to figure out *why* the anxiety is here, or else it will never go away.
That was Friday before he went to work. He worked until midnight that night, and I spent the evening soul-searching and crying and finally, praying.
Help me, help me, please help me. With strength or patience or understanding or bravery. I’m not sure what I need or what’s wrong. But please. Help me, I pleaded. It was the first time in… a long time that I’ve done that.
The next morning, I woke with the same feeling of dread in my stomach. My skin still crawling. Looking at Steve and doubting his love for me, regardless that he has professed it over and over and over again, especially within the past few weeks. We sat and drank our coffee together before he left for work and he told me something I know and have thought a million times: When you ask for strength, God gives you the opportunity to be strong.
And I felt my eyes burn as I looked at him and I thought that I just couldn’t be strong this time. I didn’t need the opportunity, I just needed some help. And as I looked him and consciously thought that this time, the strength would not come, it dawned on me. The reason.
Remember about two months ago when I missed my period? I was pretty sure that I was pregnant. Steve has made no secret about his lack of desire for more children, and I was scared that a pregnancy would make him angry, over-tax our bank, our relationship, our home. I was really, really worried about all of that for three weeks. And even after being definitively told that I wasn’t pregnant, the anxiety never really left. My worries of a baby causing a rift between us (which, admittedly, is often the exact opposite of what babies do), was replaced by the feeling of a rift between us. Silly, no?
Now, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a Christian. You’ll also know that I don’t preach. But how is it that a mere twelve hours after finally admitting to myself that this wasn’t going to just go away and asking for help, I figured out the problem?
It’s been a steady stream of better since Friday, I’m so, so happy to say.
And my, how I’ve missed being happy.
The mind is such a complex and intricate thing, playing tricks on us all the time.
I know that I’m prone to stress or anxiety or whatever you want to call it, and I know what makes me feel better. Running is a big factor in that. So I’m trying to get out a couple extra times a week now.
But it’s better. Things are better. And oh, how I’ve missed myself.