anxiety attacks and the fallacy of linear progression

IMG_0913Exactly a year ago, up here in the mountains, I fell upon reading Katharine Welby’s blog, and began to admit to myself that I wasn’t “just blue” or “tired” or “having a tough week”–I was depressed.

Katharine Welby-Roberts had been suffering anxiety and depression for many years, and wrote with such clarity and compassion that I was both horrified (at how much I identified with her experiences) and comforted (there was actually something wrong, but it was something at least somewhat treatable which I was suffering, and which millions of others suffered too).

In the ensuing year, as has been cataloged in this very space, I’ve started medication, sought healing through less work and more prayer and yoga, and continue to pursue honesty along the path I trod.

So, a year out, I had my first anxiety attack in several weeks just yesterday. Continue reading

Quotation of the Day


Psalm 37 knocked me off my feet this morning.

do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.” – today’s memory verse (v.9b, BCP)

I’ve been reflecting on my worry-wort habits recently, and keep resolving to find some verse to refocus my mind when it wanders toward the worry-wasteland. the resolutions have fallen flat till now–I have a verse!  Therefore, today will be completely different (no, not really. today may be a little better, and tomorrow may be a little worse. we just keep trying, bringing our minds and spirits and intentions back again, and again, and again).

pouring yourself out

This morning, we threw away a carton full of raspberries.  They were big and juicy and red and just the right amount of tart (a week ago).  I was saving them for something special.  I never did discover what the special thing was, and while I was working hard to save them–seeing them taunting me on the refrigerator shelf every morning–they grew moldy.  All my difficult work, saving them up for something special instead of enjoying them NOW, ended up to be for naught.  My effort to enjoy them later ended up meaning that I never got to enjoy them–though I’m sure the mold spores enjoyed the berries very much.

Reflecting on moments and phases of life when I’ve been more generous with my time and energy, I know that those are the times I’ve been most happy.  Then, more often than my generous moments, I get grabby with my time.  I want to protect my moments and hours, to save them up for something.  But why am I saving this precious time?  Where is it all going?  It goes into watching netflix and lolling around the house, into using up the energy on my wandering, worrying mind–which is not fun at all.

It’s like on high school track team, when our coach, Mr. Barney, told us to leave it all on the track at the end of a race.  Why else had we trained our muscles for weeks and eaten carefully for days and stored up our energy that morning?  I remember always being afraid that I would leave too much on the track–that my strength would give out before the end and I would just fall over, or that I’d just stop, or… whatever it is that happens when you really get to the end of your physical rope (can you tell I never really quite got there?).  Because of course a 16-year-old who’s in decent shape should be worried about falling over after running half a mile (see “worrying mind” above).

Let’s worry less and leave more of ourselves in the moments of our lives.