I sat at the stoplight and didn’t want to go forward or turn around and go home. I tried to pick up my cellphone and call my husband to get me. Without warning, anxiety overwhelmed me.
“Jesus, help me!”
I cried out with a few tears in my eyes; my foot gently pushed the gas. My mind saw one thing, the road to church. With great effort and trembling, I made it to the turn ahead, and north. I pulled into the parking lot with a pounding heart. Hiding behind my sunglasses, I walked into the Sanctuary in perfect time with the first song, closed my eyes, and immersed myself in worship. That was my medication for the day.
Returning home, I knew I had to work this out. I couldn’t stay in this state. It hasn’t completely dissolved, but things improved. I tell myself nonstop I’m okay. Breathing is both involuntary and voluntary. Stepping away from a situation is now familiar.
After two weeks, my chest hurts less. I made two days without feeling my heartbeat in odd places. It may seem small, but it’s a success to me. I shared this unfamiliar experience with a few people. Recognizing and sharing seems to be my kickstart to recovery.
Will I always be recovering from a mental health crisis? I long for a season of peace. I trust God to enjoy one eventually. Until then, I remain the same joy-filled broken believer I’ve always been. When the day of peace arrives, I will probably have anxiety about what to do with it.
I wasn’t afraid to cry out to Jesus. I had no fear of asking for help.
I am reminded of Carrie Underwood singing “Jesus, take the wheel…”
This past Sunday, on a crowded Highway 52, Jesus took the wheel and drove me straight to church. He took a breath for me and became the strength I needed to go. He took the wheel of my car and the beat of my heart and said, “Just move.”
So I did.