I am utterly, absolutely, completely, totally terrified. Terrified of life. Of what is to come. Of how I’m going to make it. Being alone makes it worse. Being alone is terrifying in and of itself. Everything is harder. Everything is darker. Every dark moment is more overwhelming because there is no light. No helping hand. No words of encouragement. No one to help you find your way. Or to help carry the load. You are left to listen to your own thoughts as they go round and round..and to drown in them. You can’t leave yourself behind no matter where you go or how hard you run. You can’t shut off your brain (or, at least, I can’t). You can challenge what you are thinking for a time, but the brain is relentless. You can’t counter every negative, every fear, every worry, every pain, every concern. You can’t even counter most of them because most of them are unconscious. You can capture a few of the conscious thoughts and challenge them when you realize they are emerging. You can try to tell yourself certain “truths” over and over in an attempt to dislodge beliefs. But you won’t always recognize what your brain is processing or where it is stuck. And you can only deal with the one fish you can catch. The ocean of fish that remains out there in the murky depths continue to have an impact, even though you aren’t aware of each one of them. There are too many and your net is too small. They swim through your vast unconscious mind doing what they will, going where they will, taking you to dark places where there is no air. I don’t know how to overcome. Terror doesn’t feel good. It grips the heart and squeezes hard. It paralyzes. It is dizzying. It’s like being wrapped in layer after layer of a dry cleaner’s plastic bag. You can’t get out and you can’t breathe. Stops you in your tracks. Destroys you. I deal with terror quite a bit. It jumps me frequently when I least expect it. It usually starts with my dismal financial situation and spirals to new depths from that point. I try to trust God…for my finances and my future. I do work a full time job, so it’s not like I expect Him to drop a pile of money in my lap, though I would be incredibly relieved if He did. I don’t buy much. Mostly, I pay those never-ending monthly bills and have all the additional cash out due to medical needs, things that break around the house and car repairs. Things break often. My car is old. I’m getting there (old). We all need to seem a great deal of maintenance. There are economic considerations. As in, the economy, sucks. My job is shaky because the company I work for is being sold. There aren’t many jobs out there. What will I do if I lose my job? How will I ever manage? Then, there are the emotional issues, for lack of a better word. Depression. Eating disorder. PTSD. Trauma from childhood sexual and physical abuse. Counselors, therapists and medication. It’s a constant battle…trying to rethink, relearn, recover. Heal. It takes most of the energy I can muster. Getting out of bed each day is hugely difficult. Most of the time, I manage. Some days are more productive than others. Some are not productive at all, which frightens and depresses me. I see no end in sight. When I start thinking about how I will never be able to retire and how I’m in this totally alone, I am done for. Last night, I had to move myself into the “moment by moment” mode of living. If I can just make it through this moment, right now, I’ll be okay. If I can just make it through this half hour. If I can just make it home. If I can just pay this one bill. Whatever I encounter, when I encounter it. That’s what I deal with…no more. Denial? I don’t know. I may actually be on to something. Not sure. But I felt a little bit of a release. I told God that I couldn’t handle what I was going to do at retirement age…or when my screwed-upness kept me from being able to work any more. I couldn’t handle what was going to happen to the company (and my job) after the sale. I didn’t know what I was going to do when my car wouldn’t go any more. Or when the AC went out. Or my refrigerator died. I can’t afford ANYTHING. And I can’t handle trying to figure out what I’m going to do to handle those things right now. I feel like it’s all up to me and I can’t deal. But maybe that’s okay, for now, at this particular moment. I’m doing the best I can. It’s not great; not even close. But it’s the very best I can do. Right now. So I thanked God that my car still ran and that my refrigerator still worked (we’ll talk about the shorted out over-the-range microwave some other time) and that today, I don’t have to replace my AC unit. I have groceries, utilities are paid, at least now, I still have a job at this very moment and I put in a full day of work that I could be reasonably happy about. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do my best to meet my obligations and handle problems. Tomorrow is another day. It didn’t make the terror go away. But I did avoid the endless spiral that normally gets progressively worse as it plunges downward. I did manage to get about 4-1/2 hours of sleep last night. I did get up and come to work this morning, even though I’m exhausted. But I made it. Through this moment. Then the next. I’m wondering if that’s a step in the right direction.