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Fear and Growing

One of the side effects of putting together a book composed of all the blog entries for the year is that I get to review the year just past and let me tell you, I would not re-do January through May of this year ever again. June calmed down a bit, but July and August were made out of crazy. I think I finally found my balance in October. There was just a lot of stuff, much of which did not make it into the blog. I’d say something like “rough homework time with Patch, I’m really tired” when what actually happened was four hours of crying, cajoling, scolding, and arguing because Patch could not be convinced to try to do homework. There was about 20 minutes of work to do. After that one hideously hard day, all the rest of the struggles were easier. Except there were other things. Thing after thing after thing without much respite in between. On top of all of that I was still trying to dig deep inside my own head to see if I could find the sources of my anxieties. The digging was effective. I learned the first half in April when I finally realized that I have value independent of what I do or don’t accomplish. The second half came in September when I finally knew that it is not my job to prevent my loved ones from feeling stressed. It is my job to love them and help them deal with the stresses as they come. Both of those are things I would have assured you that I already knew, but this year that knowledge sank deep and finally filled up the holes which believed the opposite. All the emotional chaos finally helped me open up enough that I could really believe when the quiet voice of inspiration spoke these truths to me.

It feels strange. I am not afraid. I am busy, often stressed about meeting deadlines, but I am not terrified that everything will fall apart if I’m not good enough. Last week was pretty exhausting. I was thoroughly worn out, all of my emotional reserves tapped to their limit, and yet I was only afraid in short flashes that vanished as quickly as they came.

I feel wary about claiming victory over anxiety, because I’m not sure that my battles there are over, however I do feel like I’ve gained some important ground. Perhaps I’ve constructed a fort, a better refuge for when I have to manage things again.

Hopefully I will never again have to manage all of these things in a two month span: a trip to see grandma in the hospital, a trip to the Nebula awards, remodeling my office, two kids having panic attacks at school, those same kids needing interventions with teachers, book release deadlines, a local professional event, a family vacation trip, major psychological realizations, a teenage relationship issue, and all the end of school events. We grow through hardship and this was definitely a growing year. I could do with a little bit of coasting for awhile.

Edited Dec 11, 2012 to Add: And then last night I had an anxiety attack which kept me awake until 2 am. Not fixed yet.

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