I am in a place I haven’t known for about 10 years. A place of overwhelm with anxiety over some current circumstances.
The last time I felt like this was when marriage #1 was falling apart and my now ex was ending things in the most abrupt and painful way. I couldn’t believe what was happening and I was in constant horror, anxiousness, and preoccupation with what was going on. I feared for the future and felt of little value.
Amazingly though, in time and as life progressed, I all but forgot those times and feelings of 10 years ago. Much has changed. Life has recovered so significantly that it seems like another lifetime that all of the pain and turmoil happened in. It in fact seems like someone else’s life.
Yet, for the first time since then, I am on the verge of some very similar, although I will say a muted version, of those same feelings.
Our business, which has been a success and grown steadily over the past 5 years, has suddenly taken a completely unexpected slow-down. We have been working to understand why, but the best we can do is identify a short list of possibilities, as the root cause is not clear.
I find myself in a version of the same horror, anxiousness, and preoccupation in this situation as I did in the last one. A tremendous fear for my future has welled up, in spite of the fact that there are many options and opportunities I can switch to if our business flounders completely. Which frankly is entirely unlikely, but the fear gets a hold of you and the worst comes vividly to mind…. and tries to stay there.
I am not far off 50… in just a couple years …. and all of the benchmarks that were “supposed to” be reached feel like they are not. Not financially anyway. The anxiousness has been a real effort to deal with, yet I know the worry is inordinate. At least in my conscious mind. But my subconscious is having a heyday with these few small indicators that our business may be in trouble. Even though we may just be in a peculiar lull that is not easily explainable and may turn around at any time.
Yet unlike 10 years ago, I am grateful to say I am dealing with this situation sober, and with a collection of resources to help me get through that are making it more bearable than last time, including:
- The practice of living a day at a time
- The practice of fellowship in reaching out to others
- The experience of having gone through a number of big challenges in recent years, all of which turned out ok in the end
- A more practical understanding of how God works in spite of the outcome of the circumstances
- A distrust of some of the voices of my internal dialogue
- A trust of some of the more reliable and time-proven voices of my internal dialogue
- An awareness of my tendency to “awfulize” minor negatives into huge catastrophes
- A belief in my own ability to persevere and do what needs to be done, even if it doesn’t feel like I am getting anywhere
I guess what I am saying is that fear is trying to move in. And it has made some inroads. I don’t want to lose what we have worked so hard to build. My fears try to tell me the worst.
The truth is though, even if the worst were to happen, I still have many blessings in my life including my marriage, my health, my employability, my sobriety, and my veteran status of many of life’s most painful and challenging battles.
I simply wanted to put this out there. To reach out and share what I am going through. It has always helped in the past.