Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and My Anxiety

As most of you know, today is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today we commemorate the day that Our Blessed Mother's body was taken up to heaven by her son. If you didn't know, today is a Holy Day of Obligation (a.k.a. one of the non-Sunday days you are required to attend Mass)... but, unfortunately, I will have to miss Mass because of my anxiety. :(

I've had a lousy week of anxiety following a week or so of absolutely no anxiety whatsoever. I have a lot going on in my life (which can contribute to the stress) but I've been even more stressed in the past and have not had this reaction. It's bad. It's "waking up at 4:15 a.m. with a horribly anxious feeling all over and not being able to fall asleep again until nearly 6 a.m." bad. It's "confined to staying home all day" bad. It's "how the heck am I going to get a job with this darn illness?" bad.

This morning, when I woke up at 4:15 a.m. with horrible anxiety, I had a hard time falling back asleep. I couldn't even drive my mom to work in the morning -- and for me not to do that means I'm in pretty bad shape. She took a taxi to work and I stayed home and tried to sleep. I watched my favorite guilty pleasure TV show (which luckily airs at 5 to 6 a.m.) but it didn't help. Finally, I just thought about what day it was and how, wearing the Brown Scapular, I knew I had her protection. I started to visualize (a very important skill I learned in cognitive-behavioral therapy) Our Blessed Mother wrapping her mantle around me and holding me while I just cried and let it all out. Soon after, I fell asleep. While I still woke up feeling anxious (though it's less than this morning) and have continued feeling annoyingly anxious throughout the day, I know she's still holding me together.

While I was praying the morning part of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I have been doing the post-Vatican II version but will be switching over to the pre-Vatican II version soon), I had two thoughts pop up into my mind. First, that maybe this is all a blessing in disguise. There has to be a reason why I'm going through what I'm going through. I may not know what it is but I am sure God has bigger plans for me and this anxiety is just the cross I have to carry for as long as I need to. I remembered how, during my reversion six years ago (happened during the summer, too), I had bad (worse -- 3 times in a week in the Emergency Room bad) anxiety and how I decided to dedicate my life to my newly rediscovered Faith. Maybe I just need to go through this in order to help figure out what my new stage of life is. Like I've said, I have no idea what God has in store for me but I'll do what He wants me to. I feel a little embarrassed to admit this but, in the past, I've told God that if having anxiety is what it takes for me to get back on track with my Faith, that I would happily endure it. Maybe that's what's happening. Only God knows.

The second thought I had was actually two separate things that I am putting together. First, maybe I should spend a little more time in conversation with my adopted 'big brother' Bl. Pier Giorgio. I don't know why but I have a feeling that I should be asking him for help (through his intercession). Between his intercession as well as Our Blessed Mother's (and my own conversations with God), I can make sense of what my next step should be. Then I thought "Wow, I really, really want to read Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila"... but then I remembered that I still have two Tolkien books I need to read for review (and I'm way overdue for those) so I can't just yet. New motivation though. ;) Angelica was kind enough to send the book to me for my birthday last year but I still haven't had a chance to read it. Maybe it's time that I do it, before I move onto other books.

On this day, I will remember that I have my Heavenly Mother looking out for me. Though I cannot make it to Mass to celebrate the day on which she was reunited with her son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, I know she and God know that I want to be there. It took this day to remind myself that what I am currently suffering here on earth is only temporary and that, if I try to live a better life (hey, I'm human; I slip up more than I'd like), maybe one day I will join them in Heaven and all the suffering I went through on earth will seem like a distant memory.

Anyway, sorry... long rambling post. Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I think better when I write it all out... and I don't mind if you guys get a glimpse into this part of my life. :) I'm going to go drink some more tea and try to distract myself from this darn anxiety. :)

I hope y'all are having a great day. If there's anything I can pray for for you, please let me know. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D


Alejandro Sanchez said...

I, too, struggle with anxiety. However being a new husband and father makes it much more difficult to avoid occasions where I'm fearful of an episode.
I once prayed that if it was His will that I continue to suffer, I would do so proudly; but He would have to make it known to me that it was truly His will.
I think that for the first time since my own re-version, I felt a momentary peace after this prayer because I knew that He knew I meant what I said.
Anyway, He made it known that it was not His will that I suffer and I felt encouraged that one day, in this life, I would suffer no more.
The beginning of this road for me began with understanding 1 John 4:18 "perfect love casts out fear." I am convinced that if I had Christ's love in my heart I would not worry so much.
So this is where I find myself, begging our Lord to pour out His love in my heart and fill my mind with His peace.
I'll pray for you to-day and I ask the same. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I also have anxiety, I know how it is. It sucks. :/

I'm Lutheran but I believe in the Assumption of Mary and I believe she is our Mother. I love your blog, I've been reading it for quite a while. :)