*** Note..... I wrote this a couple weeks ago. It took me a while to get the courage to post it. I was starting to have another episode tonight and I just came back to this post. After reading it over, again, I felt better and decided to just go for it.***
Fact about Jessica......
Fact about Jessica......
I am a control freak.
I've talked a little about this, before. It's the reason I took years to tell TG how I felt about him. It's the reason I never get drunk. It's the reason I am so cautious in almost every breath I take.
See, I'm actually known as being a really laid-back person, despite some of my anal tendencies. I'm known as being easy-going..... go-with-the-flow.... relaxed. And, I am.
As long as things are within my realm of control.
In church the past several weeks, we've been doing this awesome sermon series. The main point of them is how to give up control to God. Praise Him, Trust Him, Rest in Him, Give Up Your Burdens to Him..... all about giving up control to God.
Several of my bloggy friends have posted about this, recently. Each time someone posts about it, I can relate........ we give up control, but then take it back.... and it's this continuous cycle.
My thing is that I know I'm not in control. I know that HE is. I get that.... I'm comforted by that.... I like not having the ultimate control.
What I don't appreciate is not having the illusion of control. I want the illusion of being in control.
The reason I'm so easy-going is because I can nod my head, smile, and then do what I want to do. It's very passive-aggressive of me, but it works. As long as I tell myself that I'm doing what I want to do and not just what another person wants me to do, I'm golden.
Lately, though, God's taken all illusions of control away from me.
It really stresses me out.
To the point that I suffer panic and anxiety attacks.
The sentence above..... another fact about Jessica.
I won't go into all the various things that I don't have control over, right now. The point is, my illusions aren't there and it's causing me to literally panic about it.
It all started when my stepdad Mike was diagnosed with cancer. I don't remember the first one, but I remember the first time I noticed that I was having a continuous thing going on inside of me. I was driving home from school (college.... a 45 minute commute) and I could barely breathe. My hands were gripping the steering wheel so tight that I thought it might break in half and tears were forming in my eyes. It lasted for a few minutes and then I was able to get past it.
This continued for a couple of months. These quiet episodes. Then, one day, I had one when my family was around..... full out. Let's just say it wasn't one of my better moments.
Throughout his illness and eventual death, they kept coming. They continued for a full year after his death. I didn't just gain a ton of weight, I was also having multiple attacks a month (sometimes more than one a week). It never stopped me from living.... I still went to school and work. It just made it a little more difficult to get through.
As my family and I started healing, they started subsiding. Over the past five years (he passed away 6 years ago), I've done pretty well. I'll go months and months without having one. Then, I'll get into a certain situation.... a situation where I have no illusion of control.... and I start to have anxiety. If I can get myself out of the situation, it won't escalate. If I can't get myself into a different situation, it's really difficult to keep the panic internal. Most of the time, I can.
Lately, like I said, the illusions of control aren't there. So, my panic and anxiety is coming back, closer and closer. Just tonight, I was sitting.... watching TV.... and something hit me. All of a sudden, I was having trouble breathing and my hands were itching to squeeze something.... I'm sure everyone is different, but the squeezing is an external sign for me. If my mom is paying attention and sees that I'm clenching or wringing my hands, she'll immediately ask me if I'm OK.
I sat there for about ten minutes to see if I could get it to go away. Then, I went to the kitchen and poured myself a 1/4 of a glass of wine. Just enough to calm me because I was getting to the point where it was beyond my control (pun only slightly intended). Yes, it's a slight form of self-medication..... once I get to a certain point, I need something to take the edge off or I'll escalate to full meltdown. It's either a pill or a bit of alcohol. My doctor knows this and has advised me to know my limits. The good news is that I don't get drunk........ I'm a control freak, remember.
After my 1/4 glass, I was calm enough to pick up the computer and start typing. I don't know if I'm the only person that goes through this or if there are others out there. I probably sound like a complete nutcase.
The point is that once I was able to calm down, I was able to realize why I'm loving the sermon series so much. I completely relate to it. It's an exercise for me to practice giving up my burdens to God. I'm glad that I'm getting some direction for it.
Giving up full control is probably the hardest thing in the world, for me. Including my weight-loss issues. God is really pressing me right now to just. give. it. up.