The Anatomy of An Anxiety Attack
Okay, I just had an anxiety attack. I know what they are now, I know how they feel when they're coming on, and I know they will resolve themselves. And that I will live.
I am beginning to find it rather fascinating that the mind has to override the body with such sternness, and that it can. The body thinks something is terribly, terribly wrong. The mind firmly informs it that nothing is wrong, and stop it right now.
I was working on two sermons for Sunday. I am preaching one in the morning at the usual worship service and the other in the evening, on the occasion of an ordination.
I worked on them a long time. I got help from friends.
I am sure they're acceptable. I wrote them with love and sincere intent to minister to those who have gathered. Psalm 19, and so on.
The anxiety was just one of those unreasonable whompers that happens. It's not rational. It just happens. After the effort of finishing the work, my mind, freed from the constraints of composition, went into a mad spin-out of self-doubt. It's happened before and it goes something like this, "Both of these sermons stinketh mightily. Not only do they stink, they stink and rot for about two pages too long. When you leave that church people will joke for years about that woman who came that day and bored them out of their minds not just once, but twice, and for about ten minutes longer than was strictly necessary."
And then you see reddish gray that takes up your entire field of vision, and then the body floods with heat, and the pins and needles prick up and down the torso, and the breathing occurs through a tiny straw.
So you immediately get up and leave the desk and walk out to get some fresh air and sit on the grass, mostly for the green antidote to red it provides.
I'm fine, it happens, it helps to write about it. I spend a lot of my life looking for evidence that other generally productive, hard-working, ostensibly sane people are as crazy as I am. If you're looking for that evidence, too, well, here's some with PeaceBang's regards.
Having had this whomper today, I feel like I scored big: maybe I won't have any anxiety on the plane tomorrow or Monday.
If you'd like to comment, I hope you will not feel its necessary to offer pastoral support, but it would be very interesting to hear about your experiences with anxiety if you'd care to share.