Its a whisper. Deep down in your brain. The thought you just can’t shake. Even though you know its irrational…the whisper tells you otherwise.
It reminds you of the things you’ve said today. Yesterday. Two years ago. Remember those things you said? Just add a couple of those up. Guess what? You could have hurt someone with what you said. And guess what else? You probably did. That’s right. You’re an insensitive jerk. Don’t you realize how many people you hurt all the time? I bet you don’t. Because you’re careless.
It reminds you of that encouraging text you sent back and forth with a friend a few days ago and that tweet you sent out last night that, when combined in a completely unlikely and irrational way, that tweet must have hurt your friend.
It won’t let your mind rest. It won’t let those thoughts go away. Did you realize your husband is 30 minutes later coming home than he usually is? He probably died in a car crash. He probably is having an affair. He probably doesn’t care about you.
You hear a noise and wonder if this time its a person breaking into your house to kill you and what picture will they use on the news when they say what a young tragedy you were?
And you lie in bed at night willing sleep to come quickly so those intrusive and painful whispers might go away, and it just keeps reminding you… You were a horrid mom today. You know that? Remember those things you said? Your kids are probably damaged forever for that. They probably don’t know you love them. And I bet you don’t anyway.
Those whispers come and go. Some days are better than others. Some days, you feel the weight of the world on your chest and you feel responsible. Somehow responsible for not praying enough, being kind enough, being more intentional…whatever it is. Somehow everything is your fault. And you believe it. Good god, you believe it.
You’re sitting enjoying a life-giving blog post and you hear — Your kids are only going to remember you for the back of your phone. How awful are you?
It taunts — Your son is watching a movie and eating cereal from a cup and you think spending time to write a blog post about anxiety is worth that? Worth turning your son into a technology dependent child at the mercy of the TV babysitter??
It spirals. Those whispers. They spiral you down an evil vortex of shame. You can’t tell anyone about this. They’ll surely think you’re crazy. They’ll tell you you’re too hard on yourself. They’ll say that you need to do less. Worry less. Pray more. And what you don’t tell them is that it isn’t that easy. You can’t say that because they’ll think you’re making excuses. So you just smile and stay quiet.
Its easier trying to be perfect than admitting anxiety and then having people tell you all the things you should be doing so you don’t feel that way. Its easier to dodge the fixers by just being okay.