Ask and ye shall receive, or so that’s what I’ve heard.
As I’ve noted, the past few days, weeks even, have been pretty rough for me. But, today, the clouds begin to part and I’ve got some clarity, and maybe, just a little serenity too.
After spending the better part of my weekend catastrophizing, isolating, and being generally miserable, I reached my breaking point. While waiting for Lars to come over, whom I hadn’t seen or really talked to in a couple days, I had a panic attack. My heart racing, my mind running at full speed ahead, I didn’t know whether I should cry or run out my door screaming. I thought about all the people I could call, and, most of the voices I wanted to hear were asleep on the east coast. I didn’t want to call my sponsor because I had bailed on her earlier due to my lack of sleep the night before. I felt trapped and more than slightly insane.
I didn’t want Lars to walk into my apartment and to see me like this, especially after the shitty way I’d communicated with him in the last few days. I knew if there was a way out of this, I had to distract myself from the severe shit storm whose vortex was about to touch down in my mind. So, I did what I always do. Clean.
I stormed from room to room. Picking up clutter. Folding clothes that were strewn over dressers and chairs. Picking up socks from the floor. Throwing blankets, neatly pressed into tight little rectangles over my couches. Picking up leaves that had blown in the kitchen door on blustery nights. Rearranging and straightening the pile of shoes that had come to resemble a tiny, rubber mountain. Fluffing pillows. Putting books on shelves.
Nothing. No change. My mind kept going. So I went into the bathroom to tidy up in there, struggling to manage my breathing. Then, I saw it. The tiny card I had shoved into the corner of my mirror with the serenity prayer printed on it. I had put it there after getting it at my women’s meeting last week. I told myself it would give me strength in my weak moments. But, I had walked by it all week, hardly taking notice, and, even wondered on some days if I should take it down. After all, wasn’t it weird I had a serenity prayer card shoved in the corner of a mirror?
But, there it was. On that little card. Just asking me to try it. To say it when I truly needed it, instead of before and after a meeting when, sometimes, all it is are words falling, meaningless from an unpointed tongue.
So, I said it, over and over and over again. First frantically, then, trying to interject breaths in between the recitation of each line. And then, Lars texted me saying he’d be a little later than I’d expected him. As if my higher power knew I needed a little more time to recover. And then, it passed. The panic. The stress. The paradoxical frantic-still immobility I’d experienced. It began to melt away. And, I felt my God, easing me back into reality.
All it took was a prayer. It took returning to the third step that I’d just completed. It took surrendering myself to his care. To ask that he be with me, because, it was just too much on my own. And, not only did I get company, but, I got relief. And, I could feel and recognize my God at work. A tiny miracle in the grand scheme of things, but, a huge miracle for me. A saving grace.
Last night put it all in perspective. My recent woes. The larger the problems, the harder it is for me to just let them go. But, it’s the only thing that I can do. And, releasing all that toxic energy has put me one step closer to understanding my place in all of this. Understanding His place in all of this.
And, truly understanding that, perhaps, I’m not meant to understand, now that my friends, is serenity.