3:30 am “Are you doing okay?” my husband asks. “It seems like you are having a hard time sleeping.”
“I just had to pee,” I respond.
Statement that quiets the other’s worry.
Words designed to make everyone (including myself) believe that “I’m okay.”
I have what’s best described as Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
It hasn't always been this way.
I was the teen who drove to Canada to see my boyfriend and slept in the back of my beat-up Ford Pinto without any thought to the dangers of a young woman alone at a rest stop.
I was the young adult who left home after college, delivering pizza while looking for work, and sleeping at friends’ houses with only about $20 in my pocket.
I was the young mom who allowed her preschool children to play in our cul-de-sac without supervision, never hesitating to think they might be snatched, hurt or fall into the river that was only 50 feet into the woods behind our house.
Not someone you would classify as anxious. Far from it.
But I will never forget that morning.
Just as I was getting out of bed, my left leg collapsed right out from under me.
My heart raced and I panicked.
"What was happening? Did I have a brain tumor?”
I was crippled with fear almost in an instant. I was pretty sure I was going to die.
A battery of tests for brain tumors, lyme disease, and MS.
With each waiting period and diagnosis in the clear (my leg was probably just asleep when I fell), I thought I would have some peace.
I only got worse. The final diagnosis: a full-blown nervous breakdown.
For three months, I lay in my bed, cried, couldn’t leave the house, and had what they call depersonalization, the feeling of being “out of body.”
I thought I was going crazy. It was the darkest time in my life.
Years and years of...
counseling on-and-off medication progressive muscle relaxation audios exercise comforting Bible verses on sticky notes deep breathing begging God for relief yoga chamomile tea close friends and a husband who shared my pain healthy diet not watching the news or clicking on WebMD
You get the picture. Fighting it from every angle.
Seasons of relief and seasons of being back in the fight.
WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS??
Because this is actually what happened.
3:30 am “Are you doing okay? my husband asks. "It seems like you are having a hard time sleeping.”
“I just had to pee," I respond.
3:31 am My thoughts race.
[If he only knew.] [Don’t want to talk about it.] [Maybe I should write to get this sorted out.] [Would others read it?] [Would they love it or stop reading all my future posts since I don’t have my act together?]
[Maybe it will bring this stuff to light.] [Maybe someone will feel understood.] [Is it worth the risk?]
As you can see, I believe it’s worth the risk.
I believe that I am not alone. I believe that bad stuff thrives in the darkness, in the hiding. I believe in bringing it into the light, telling the WHOLE TRUTH.
A glimmer of hope arises in my heart that I have just taken another step towards healing.
And maybe you can too.