A picture I took in May 2015, moments before the mesocyclone hit. I was brave that day….


Waking at 3 a.m.
From a dreamless sleep
Legs restless
Arms tense
Chest feels tight
Heart pounds in my ears
My stomach is tied in knots
Why is it so hard to breathe?

I thought I was through
With anxiety
I thought I had healed
Far beyond this —
Why have I
Gone backward?
What is my problem?

Deep cleansing breaths
Don’t help
Going to my imaginary “Happy Place”
Does not work
What in the heck IS that?
Reciting Psalms
Praying… and Praying… and more Praying….
Makes no difference

I turn on a light
And try to read something
But the words are meaningless
Incoherent, jumbled together
I read the same paragraph
Over and over

I want to SCREAM —

I thought I was past this
I thought I had conquered
Anxiety, fear, and worry
Years ago, in therapy
But now I feel
Like my insides
Are all tied up in knots

The sun is rising now
Four hours have gone by
Since I was awakened
By this senseless dread

Please, God
I just want to relax
I want to breathe
I want to sleep
But I don’t feel safe

Why don’t I feel safe?
I do not know

Please help me, God
Please protect my children
Please protect my grandchildren
Please protect us all
Please protect the whole world
Dear Lord Jesus
It is SCARY down here!

Where are you, God?
Are you there?
Do you hear my cry?
Do you care?

Thy will be done, Lord —

~ ~ ~

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