Suddenly I was slipping. It was on the freeway. Fear was a spider crawling up my spine, and on it’s back was Despair.
I turned up the radio full blast. Pop, Christian Pop. Anything to regain my footing. But I was skidding. That thing was coming close to my neck.
It wasn’t distracting me enough. I hum a Celtic tune that usually puts me to sleep, but it doesn’t soothe me.
I pray. I pray to God asking Him to please to save me. I apologize that my faith isn’t strong enough. I beg him to keep my from skittering off the wet stone that was my mind. I ask him to keep the rising panic at bay. I say I’ll try harder.
Why am I scared? Well, I do know. It’s because the future looks bleak right now. I don’t know how I messed up my plans this much after trying so hard, so truly and sincerely.
It’s coming. Oh Lord, it’s making its way into my heart. What will I do once it gets here? I am crumbling to the ground. I don’t see the traffic lights. I don’t feel the seats.
There’s a way to run without moving, which is what I do. But even mental running can make you tired. One can bob and weave fear for only so long.
When that happens, I wonder which is worse: to fend off the attack all while stumbling, breathing hard, and pleading or to simply let it happen.
I decide to park somewhere. I rub the leather of the steering wheel. I stare into nothing. They say sometimes the fear is worse than the thing itself, and to be honest, I actually don’t know what the latter really feels like.
Maybe it feels more like relief than anguish. Once it hits and I start crying, perhaps, I’ll realize that delaying the panic was like the long and anxiety-ridden trial you just wanted done. And giving in might feel like finally receiving the sentence and walking peaceably into your jail cell.
So I turn off the radio music and let the panic grip me. But when it does, it feels nothing like fear.
Instead, it is the tremendous disappointment and loss of turning into an adult.
I mourn the kid who could not wait to enter the wide world only to have been burned and now scared senseless of it.
The feeling always passes.
You’re able to breathe and drive back home. You forget it at the beginning, though. When the panic mounts and mounts, you don’t know what’s behind it. But you know it’s not good. That’s why you scream and run from it. But let me assure you that while what the fear is hiding isn’t pleasant, once it reaches you…it’s not horrifying.
It’s just a long cry.