Can I just say how not fun having anxiety is? To say it's pretty terrible is an understatement. In fact, some days it's utterly unbearable. Well, it isn't, because you are stuck having to bear it, but instead, it makes every other area of your life impossible to manage. It causes you to be unable to function. And for a girl with 7 classes, a job, a school in which I observe, and a fiancé, not functioning is not an option. Unlucky for me though, and those out there like me, I don't have a choice.
Which is why this week I faced my first complete and total breakdown of this semester.
It started slowly. Classes. Midterms. The realization that we still have no idea where Ray is going to be this May. Chris Lowery getting fired and being terrified that SIU Athletics will decide they don't need a student worker if there are no coaches which could leave Ray getting his current job cut. Getting engaged. Accepting the fact that I have truly lost my aunt and uncle from my life. Getting adjusted to a new apartment. Cutting my losses with the money I never got paid from past bills thanks to my old roommate. Trying to pick a venue for a wedding in order to get it booked. Coming up with a guest list that doesn't involve leaving people we love and care about out.
It just got to be too much.
Which is why the perpetual tears that have been rolling for the past two weeks turned into a massive hurricane and flood on Wednesday. I mean continual gut wrenching sobs for hours that just kept coming with every new thought that entered my mind. The idea that maybe I am not fit to be someone's wife, Ray's in particular. Especially when the idea of losing any part of my family still tears the center of my core apart.
But do you know what Ray did? He held me. For hours, and hours, he held me while I just sobbed.
And the next day when I burst into tears in the middle of the student center when I realized my book had gotten wet from the rain and simply because I couldn't take anything else? He held me.
Ray is incredible. My friends, like Courtney who is stuck having to see my breakdowns in person all the time, are incredible. My mom... words cannot describe that woman and all that she does and is for me.
But by Friday morning when I went in to take a make-up midterm that I couldn't take on Thursday due to the student center breakdown (Praise be to God for my professor and her understanding heart!), my head was clear. I felt fine. I went to my student-teaching interview following the exam perfectly ok. And I spent the rest of my day pretty much stress free. ...Well until I tried something to wear that night. But I think that's a battle I will just have to quit fighting.
Point is, anxiety is like a switch in me that I just can't control. It's as though suddenly my mind just can't process everything I need it to, and when I reach a certain point it just explodes, through tears and confusion and inconsolability for who knows how long. Then somehow, through God's grace and answered prayers, I'm fine. I'm functioning. Instead, I am just left looking back on the past few days wondering why I can't control my mind. Wondering what's wrong with me.
On the day Ray asked me out, I told him no. I informed him A. That I was tired of dating douchebags. And B. I knew I was crazy. (As confirmed by the aforementioned douchebags.) I told Ray that the last thing he needed or should want was someone as crazy as me. And believe me I. Am. Crazy.
Ray took my hands, looked into my eyes, and said, "You're not crazy. ...You're emotionally expressive."
And as I have proven him wrong time and time again, and as I have hit the point home through breakdowns such as the one I described here, Ray is still by my side.
Which is why I praise God. And I thank Him for these awful brain-breakdowns. Like the one I had today when I can't find pants to fit. (Ok, maybe not the same thing, but you get the picture.) I praise God for the ones I have had and will continue to have. Because in those moments, I am able to see just how much He has blessed me. How He has given me people in my life to be there, to love me, to support me, to care for me, to be patient with me until my mind comes off overload. I get to be loved by the people He placed in my life, like my mom (God bless that woman.), my friends, and my fiancé, who even though knows I can be nuts-o is willing to be the rock to which I cling in my moments that I feel like life is sweeping me away.
I am so thankful. And so blessed that God loves me that much, that He has given me people to carry me through while He works things out in my life, and that He can bring me a peace that nothing and no one else can. Because it's in the calm after the storm that I reminded that He works for the good of those who love Him; that He knows the plans He has for me, ones not to harm me but to prosper me, plans to bring me a hope and a future; that I can cast my cares on Him, for He cares for me; and that He loves me, oh, how He loves me.