I am so good at fooling myself.
How many times have I sat down with my mother and chastised her for taking her diabetes medication and then eating whatever she wants? The conversation always goes something like "Mom, your medicine is not a get-out-of-the-hospital-free card to eat anything you want. It may keep your blood sugar down, but it is not good for your body. You're shortening your lifespan. You may not be here when my kids grow up and blah blah blah." Her reply is usually something to the tune of "get off my back". Only politely, of course.
Last night, as I lay in bed with the familiar feelings of pain in my chest and back, holding my breath constantly, and wanting to cry for no reason whatsoever, I realize that I have been doing the same thing my Mom does. I take my medicine dutifully every day, and then take no measures whatsoever to reduce the stress and anxiety in my life.
Then I am surprised when the panic attack comes. I take my medicine! I haven't felt this way in months! I am invincible now, right?! Oh, I shouldn't be planning something for every day of the week? Taking on new ministries? Falling behind on my housework only to beat myself up for it daily? Under planning for homeschooling and expecting it all to run smoothly? Allowing others to dictate my decisions constantly instead of putting my foot down every now and then?
Oh. I had no idea.
Stress and anxiety are still there? You mean the medicine is not a get-out-of-the-crazy-house-free card? I actually have to do some, gulp, changing?
And now you see why I have avoided writing the "A Year of Pursuing Structure" post, (in case you've noticed that it hasn't come yet...) because I know that my life is a bit out of control right now and I know that once I write it, I actually have to implement it.
Last night, my body reminded me. Today, my body is reminding me. I have to slow down. I have to learn to deal with stress rather than pretend it's not there. I have a very bad habit of asking other people to pray about a situation, and then pretending that situation no longer exists for me. Going on with my daily habits and purposefully (but not consciously) not thinking about them any more. Some sort of unhealthy coping mechanism has been developed, and I need to find a way to tear it down.
Stress and anxiety. Two things that need have no place in my life, and I give them a foothold constantly by doing something as simple as pretending they aren't there.
Just so you know, that doesn't work.
In case you were wondering.
Soon I will share with you how I deal with these times. Soon. After I write that post. And implement it. And change my life. Then maybe I'll have wisdom to share.
Photo Credit: Deborah Owens