Welcome back. You belong here.
The last few months have been very stressful for me. In July I felt heart palpitations for 3 straight weeks while in LA, a lot of it from the fears and stress of being back at a place I consider painful.
Since then, I’ve been dealing with stress at work, criticism, feeling inadequate. Turning 40 this year has been a huge deal for me, it’s made me feel old and like my body is falling apart. I used to be in great shape (two years ago), but the last year or so have not been great. I’ve eaten too much and not exercised.
Vericrose veins, overweight, teeth problems, other stuff all have bummed me out. Then my wife began to work full time for the first time in our marriage and it touches that loneliness part of me, it’s been a huge change.
Moving here to CO a year and a half ago has been hard, a lot of great things, and I always feel bad because people really want your experience moving to their area to be nothing but glorious, and some of it has been. But I left the comforts of home, relationships, the affirmation, I was at the top of my game in all areas – physically, artistically, professionally, realtionships, connections, longevity, respect, etc. But the hole in my soul got exposed and the “bringing you down from the clefts of the rock” (Obadiah) began.
I have dealt with anxiety and depression my whole life. I fear dying like people in my family have, I fear I’m inadequate in my skills, I fear being left alone, I fear failing as a person, husband and father. I’ve been in counseling over these issues, I’ve just begun to scratch the surface, I’m trying to see another counselor here soon.
So with all that as backdrop, last week I began to get dizzy, Vertigo type symptoms. I’m still dealing with it. The doctors have done some tests, blood work, nothing. No CT scans or MRI’s as of now, the dr. says I don’t need it, that it would be very strange if I had a brain tumor or such, I’m too young. He gave me a sedative to relax.
The weekend before the Vertigo, we went up the mountains, I had been feeling pretty dehydrated all week long, then the temperature dropped about 30 degrees overnight and the Vertigo kicked in.
It could be an ear issue, it would be anxiety, it could be “who knows”. I’m trying not to fear the worst, being that my grandmother died of a brain anyurism, but truth tells me that’s not me. But I have a hard time believing the truth.
In Jan-Feb-March of 2006 I dealt with almost the exact thing. A lamp fell on my head in Nov. 2005, a mild concussion, not much came from it, I felt fine. Then the 1st year anniversary of my abuelita’s death who died from a brain anyurism Jan. 3rd 2005 at age 78 wacked me out, and with my head feeling a bit off, I went into a downward spiral. Dizzyness, Vertigo, panic, anxiety, fear, very similar to what I’m dealing with now. That went away on its own after a few months. I have not hit my head recently or anything like that, but I have been dealing with some major stress and anxiety.
The lessons I’m trying to get into my head are two:
1. What is TRUE. True in all my areas of fear, what are lies from Satan and tapes I play that I am swallowing hook and sinker. What can I do to believe the TRUTH. It doesn’t mean ignore my symptoms, but it means taking it one day at a time and not overdoing it with my fears.
2. Stand against the Lies. Satan, tapes of my past, all these things haunt me and I believe them so easily. Sometimes I’d say I’d rather believe the lies than the truth, because it feeds my “I can do this without God” syndrome which is like my addiction. My whole life since being a little boy, I have felt I’m on my own, I have to take care of myself on my own. God is sort of trust worthy, but to “walk into the propeller” or “face my fears” is not fun. I’d rather take control and maybe things will get better. This is not working for me.
So I’m in the process of believing God again. Can I trust God if I fall apart? If I have to face my fears of past failures, of inadequacy, of death/illness of being left alone. I know the answer is yes, but I don’t believe it half or almost all the time. The other day I was sitting on our bench in the front porch and I realized this was a decision of “Do I believe there is a God” or “Do I take care of this on my own”. How do I know I love Jesus and believe in God? That day I once again said to the heavens, “God, these are the times I know you’re real, and yes, I believe in you, help me”. To me that is real faith.
I find that when I cry out to God he comforts me, doesn’t fix it, and this anxiety is not going away, but like Psalm 131 “I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, so is my soul within me.” I have found that God is a “stilling” God, the God who as my mom says makes me “calmadito” (calm).
The other day I spoke to a friend about all this. He said, do you have resolve in any of these areas? I said yes, this one. He said, then move it over. It’s no longer in the “fear column” or the “I’m in control” column, move it over, in my words, to the “God has it” column.
He also told me that at some point in my life as I age, I need to stop looking at the past and look at the future, to say “How can I live differently from here on out?” That has hit me between the eyes. I often think, “40 more years of this! I can’t do it!” I want to change for the sake of my health, my amazing wife, and our three beautiful children. Plus the call upon my life to do something significant, and wait, not to DO, but to BECOME a more peaceful, less critical, less fearful, less anxious, less selfish man. That’s what I want.
I am struggling to do that with my health, getting older, feeling inadequate, thinking of past choices I’ve made that haunt me. But I am trying each day, each moment, to stand against the lies and pursue the truth, call the lies what they are, lies, resist the Enemy/Satan, hang out with some great friends (hopefully funny ones) and strain to hear God in the middle of it all.
Have a great day.
Into the future,