Monday, October 10, 2016

Holding Mama Mary's Hand

If you're following me on social media then you might've already seen me asking for prayers over the weekend. I had a lovely week -- made lovelier by good news from the doctor -- but things started to fall apart on Saturday. For once, I'm keeping the exact details to myself; only a few close friends know the full extent of what's going. Let's just say that it's a mix of a new health (heart related) worry for me, seeing things happening to Mom that are beyond her control and completely unjust, and a number of other things that created the perfect storm of intense anxiety.

I literally could not sit still for more than 4 seconds most of Saturday evening and night. I would sit down and immediately bolt up and pace the length of my apartment. That's how intense the anxiety was. You'd think that I'd eventually calm down enough to sleep it off, right? Big fat "nope." Our new next-door neighbors decided to throw a party on Saturday night that lasted until the wee hours on Sunday morning. After they calmed down, I was still so wound up that I just couldn't fall asleep. Having to get up at 4 a.m. that morning was a massive pain after sleeping very little. While my anxiety got a bit better during the day, I still couldn't fall asleep last night and, again, slept very little.

I've tried taking naps yesterday and today but it hasn't gone smoothly. During the first hour or two of the attempted naps, I've kept waking up (and sitting up) suddenly just as I was drifting off to sleep. I knew I had things to do both yesterday and today but I simply couldn't stay sleep, no matter how exhausted I've felt. Finally, I remembered the words that one of my best friends said to me when I told him what was going on and what my fears were: "Clutch our Mother's hand." I got the idea of holding Rosary beads in my hand as I tried to rest and both times that I've done it I've been able to drift to sleep and rest for at least an hour.

Has anyone been in a similar situation in which their minds and/or their hearts were troubled with something and nothing was helping ease the worry? I pray the Rosary on a daily basis but I sometimes don't feel at peace as quickly as I'd like. I'm not sure if holding the Rosary beads helps me drift off to sleep because, psychologically, it's a sort of security blanket during times of trials or if it's because Mama Mary is there with me, helping ease my anxiety. I'd like to think it's the latter. All I know is that imagining that Mama Mary is, in a way, holding my hand while I feel helpless and alone (when I'm physically alone) is very soothing. I've often wrapped Rosary beads around my hand when I've had horrific anxiety attacks but this is the first time I've held them to help me fall asleep.

By the way, please don't say "don't worry!" or "trust in the Lord" because, as well-meaning as they may be, I really don't want to hear those words. It makes me feel like a complete failure when my anxiety gets so bad that I can't stop worrying. I do try but sometimes it gets overwhelming. I ask God for help and I do trust Him but sometimes the mind is weak, especially when it's sleep deprived and can't think rationally.

Anyway, this was a quick blog post to share this in hopes that this may help someone else in a similar situation. If you can't pray the entire Rosary or even a decade, I highly recommend holding a strand of Rosary beads and praying any way you can. Even if it's as simple as "Lord, have mercy on me" or "Blessed Mother, pray for me" -- prayers don't have to be fancy as long as they come from the heart.

I should go eat something... and study. I really hope my anxiety (and the issue that is causing my anxiety) get better soon because I have two exams coming up next week and I really need to concentrate. Ain't nobody got time for your shenanigans, anxiety!

To those who've prayed and continue praying for me: thank you! I know that it's due to all your prayers that I haven't had a full-blown panic attack because this situation is intense and I would've already had a major attack by now.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and that you have a great week! :D

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


AnneMarie said...

Thanks for sharing this! That's really cool that holding the Rosary and invoking Mary brings you such peace. Often, if I'm struggling with falling asleep, I'll pray, "Mama Mary, please cover me with your mantle of love and protection, close to the heart of Christ" and I'll picture myself snuggled up next to the Infant Jesus on Mary's lap :)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Ooh. That's a lovely image -- snuggling up to the Infant Jesus on Mary's lap. :D

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely post! When I am having trouble sleeping, I usually begin praying the rosary and drift to sleep while praying. I actually had a couple nights this year when I couldn't even do this, so I just grasped my rosary and prayed what little I could (mind was racing SO fast). It is such a blessing to have something physical to hold on to while praying!

I recently read the short prayer (may not be exact words): "Mother Mary, please be a mother to me now." She is always our mother, but I liked the simplicity of the plea. It makes me think of being under Mary's mantle, like AnneMarie mentioned.