Naming the Beast

There is power in calling things by  name. Standing up, looking something right in the face, and calling it what it is.

Anxiety is real. It lives inside you like a constant electrical charge, silently pulsing through your body. You don’t get to control it, but quite often it controls you.

My son was five when I finally felt like I had to do something. I remember the very moment of surrender. I hadn’t yet named the beast; I just knew that something had to change.

I was paralyzed by all of the negative thoughts in my head. I couldn’t leave a room with a light on because I wasn’t being a good steward. I couldn’t feed my kids without beating myself up because it wasn’t well balanced enough, natural enough, homemade enough. I wasn’t a good enough friend, daughter, mother, sister, neighbor, wife. I was never enough.

Those thoughts ran up and down my spine with every breath. The only variation was the volume and how well I could try to live my life inside the noise.

After so much effort of trying to deal with it through counseling, I decided to take meds. Much to the dismay of both my husband and my mom, as admitting weakness and seeking help was not a sign of strength.  But I did it  And I’ve never looked back.

What the medication did for me was unbelievable. Suddenly there was some quiet space in my head. The constant negative chattering was gone. The pulsing electric charge had stopped, and now I could CHOOSE what to tell myself. I could then say “You are a good human. You are a loving mother. You do make a difference.”

Like turning off a radio that had been blaring music filled with hate, the air was quiet. The silence allowed me to hear my own breath. I could hear the sound of singing- me to my children, them back to me. And laughter, I could hear laughter again. It was beautiful.

I looked the beast in the eye, and I called it out. I gave it a name. I began to own it. It no longer owned me!!


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