It’s been a while. I got a break for a few weeks – we weren’t at church for 2 weeks, then we showed up in the beginning of December (and he wasn’t there). Then he showed up in the middle of December, and I was exhausted.
We were at church for three days this week, and he was there for all three days. It would have been four if we went today, but we didn’t.
In those three days, I noticed a pattern – one that has been occurring for a while now. I felt anxious beforehand, but every time we reached the church, my mind shut off. The anxiety (I have no other word to explain it) was still there and I was shaking, but I also felt this fog. There were many layers between me and the outside world. I didn’t feel fully present. The stress settled into my shoulders until I had a headache. It was hard for me to breathe, and my heart was pounding for hours. It was painful and exhausting.
After these services, I was very tired. The nights were the worst. I had a few moments in which I cried, couldn’t stop shaking, and dealt with negative spiraling thoughts. I got out of those moments, but they were rough.
Even now, I feel exhausted and disoriented. I don’t feel like myself. I’ve struggled with acknowledging these feelings. I’ve tried to distract myself in any way possible, and I haven’t talked to anyone about how difficult this has been. I know I need to acknowledge these feelings, and I’m trying to take it slowly. Writing this update is difficult, but it’s my first step toward acknowledging all of it. I’m meeting my friends tomorrow, so talking to them might help me feel more grounded. I want to tell one of my friends about this, but I don’t know if I’m ready.
I’ve noticed that religious holidays are difficult for me. These holidays are a reminder of how I’m at church more often/for longer periods of time, and I put up an act. I spend time with family and keep in touch with my friends, but these holidays still take a lot out of me.
I feel like I’m going backwards. This year has been really hard. The rough moments from this year felt like the worst I’ve ever experienced. I’m aware of the positive things from this year; there have been so many that never fail to surprise me. I’m trying to remember those things and slowly feel like myself again.