Tossing and turning in bed at 3:00AM my thoughts race from one devastating tragedy to another. My father texting from the airplane moments before the crash. My baby being born without sound, no crying, no life. My spouse among the rubble of his office building demolished by a bomb. My sons both lifeless in a mass of crumpled steel after a car accident. My daughter disappearing under the wave, never to surface again. My arms failing to move, my legs stiff with pain, the cancer devouring my body.
I am healthy. My family is safe and happy. But now, the horrific thoughts crowd my head, causing my heart to race and my lungs to gasp for air. Hot tears flow down my cheeks. I am crying about tragedies that have never occurred . . . but they could. I worry that they could.
During the day I am fine, busy at work. My mind is occupied, focused on real-life tasks. I come home and find a moment of solitude, but then my idle mind starts to spin. The horrors return. I distract myself with the television and the horrors momentarily fade.
Anticipating the terrifying thoughts at bedtime, I self-medicate with alcohol or sleeping pills to get me through the night. It never works. I am up again at 3:00 AM, imagining all of the things that I know could happen. I worry that they will.
Sometimes I don’t know how I can go on. The risks are endless. The millions, no billions of ways that my life could end, that my loved ones could suffer and die. Nothing is safe. Nowhere is secure.
I shake my head back and forth. No, no, no! I feel as if I am just going to completely lose it. I am on the edge of insanity.
Your fears are real. Your anxieties are tangible. You are not alone. Any reasonable mind would agree that there are plenty of things to be anxious about in this world. In that way, we are all living on the edge of insanity. In fact, some of the most intelligent minds have fallen off of that edge. It’s very easy to succumb to our fears and “completely lose it.” You, however, will not do so . . . Continue reading