Thursday, September 9, 2010


that is my big, fat secret. the thing that i'm afraid of; the thing that keeps me from being normal and well-adjusted, just like everyone else. i am an anxious person.

it comes in waves. some days are really bad, and i wake up before my alarm is set with my heart already feeling vise-squeezed, and my mind and pulse racing. sometimes, the mornings are fine and it's not until i'm halfway through the workday that i am gripped by the familiar tightness in my chest, or it's on a weekend, or on vacation. i thought there were some places that anxiety wasn't allowed to visit, but now i know that's not the case.

lately, i've learned to be gentler with myself on those hard mornings. to get out of bed quickly after waking, because lying in bed only encourages scarier patterns of thought. i try to meditate and, failing that, slow my breathing and pray a bit.

i talk, too. sometimes it feels so goofy, and always it feels so vulnerable, vulnerable in a way that makes me want to wriggle and apologize for what i'm saying because i know i'm such a burden. and i always say the same thing, some variation of "hey, i'm feeling really anxious right now." i hate this because i think that it means i'm not strong enough or independent enough, when really i think it just means i want to be known and not in hiding.

if i just read the right books, i think, i'll find the secret that will bring me permanent inner peace. if i repeat the right verses to myself, do the right things, take the right job and marry the right person, then i won't experience anxiety. except i still do, and all i can think of in my best anxious moments is that God is with me, that at the very moment i am trying to find him, he has already found me.

i've had two panic attacks in the last month, and have tried to go off of medicine i've been taking for awhile, with bad results, and now i'm trying a new one. and this is super-personal, i realize, about as personal as i've ever gotten on the internet, and i'm sharing it all because i have hope that i am not alone, hope that things will get better, hope that no matter how things are there is still a good God who is close to me and close to you.

so, internet, and friends, that is my deep dark secret. i am filled with anxiety, often to the brim.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

some days

there are days when i bring a peach and some string cheese to work, and then feel disappointed in myself when my stomach rumbles at two o'clock.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

and the winner is . . .

carmella! congratulations, you've won a free copy of bittersweet. send me a quick email with your mailing address and we'll send the book to you (lkoturner at gmail dot com).

thanks to everyone who shared a bittersweet moment . . . i hope that they will continue to encourage...