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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Facing My Demons

     Although I have faced some demons in my life, the ones that still haunt me are the ones that live in my head.  They wait just behind my consciousness to attack me the instant I stop being "perfect."  They have been in fine form lately as my life has been spirally out of control.
     I am used to living with controlled chaos and pride myself on my ability to manage everything so well it looks effortless to the casual observer.  Just don't look too closely at the person behind the mask.  For some reason I haven't been able to do it this time and the more balls I drop, the more controlling the demons are.  I have been miserable and unsure what to do to fix it.  The more I tried to control things, suck it up, and carry on (the usual things that somehow worked), the more out of control things got.
      I ended up in a dark hole where I couldn't get anything done.  I was mean and snapped at people for silly things.  I cried for no reason.  I slept for days at a time and called in sick more times in a month than all of last year.  The doctor said my heart sounds stressed.  Finally Mandy said, "How many signs do you need to know you need to let go?"
     Last night a time change, a missed calendar date and some bad scores pushed me ever further over the edge.  I put my head on the table and sobbed.  Then I shut down the computer and sobbed in bed.  The demons were at their best.  "You are a failure.  No wonder you aren't good enough to be loved.  You are letting everyone down.  What about the kids who say you inspire them to keep going and not quitting?  What about the people at work?  They are going to know you are a failure.  They will all know you were just faking all this... It went on for a long time as I listened to them and cried.
     Then there was grace.  A white light.  A calming.  A voice that was louder than the demons said, "Would you talk to someone who was hurting this way?"  I was horrified at the thought of treating someone else like this.  Then the voice said, "What would you say if you actually loved this person?"  I began thinking of all the things I would say to someone I loved that was in this much pain, and the demons went away.  The voice said, "That's better, love.  Choose you for a change."
      I am still struggling with anxiety today.  I'm not naive enough to believe the demons won't be back, but I am putting my life back in order today.  Thank you to all of the people that treat me so gently and lovingly even when I have been far from my best.


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