I'm up late tonight. Not really a good idea because tomorrow is a really big day but, not much I can do about it. When I lay down, my tongue starts to swell up and I get butterflies in my stomach. I get hot flashes and start to 'freak out'. If anyone has had an anxiety attack, this is what mine start out like. They go downhill from there.
I've learned in the past year or so, as I've begun to study my attacks, that they don't often coincide directly with periods of great stress. They are often the day or two after I've been completely overwhelmed. Today follows that pattern. I was on emotional overload both Sunday and Monday for a few different reasons that I won't go into here, but now I am suffering the effects. I won't have a seizure tonight both because of my medication and also because of my CBT. (Cognitive behavioral therapy) I'm teaching myself to get control of the anxiety and dissapate it. I'm learning - the art is not perfected yet by any means but I feel more in control of my epilepsy as I get better at controlling this early stage of the seizures.
Normally, when this feeling begins, I eat something because the tongue thing really freaks me out. I remember laying in bed growing up in Copperopolis, feeling my tongue swell and wondering what was wrong with me. I would chew on my tongue and try to get it back to its regular size but it never seemed to work. I remember getting up nights and trying to read in order to think of something other than my mouth. Usually I could read myself to sleep but sometimes it was too much to ignore and then I would get sick. These nights, I now know were seizure nights. Interesting the things you learn as you educate yourself. :)
I hate knowing all the fear and stress that I felt, even so young, but I'm coming to grips with the fact that I was not in control then and, honestly, I'm not now either. God is the one who holds the world in His hand, and He is the One orchestrating this play called life. In a way, its terrifying to let go of the false sense of control that I feel but on the other hand, its freeing to know that the huge responsibility of trying to protect and control all the people I love is not mine after all. I want to protect my children and I want to keep them from pain, but I can't do that. They are in God's hand and I just have to do my best and leave the rest up to Him.
Anyway, the circumstances that have led me to begin learning these hard lessons were a huge portion of the stresses in the past few days, but they are all working for my good, aren't they? Because I love Him and because He loves me. :) What was my point? Oh yeah, through all of this, I've been "emotionally throwing up" on my computer. I've written quite a bit of raw material that I'm going to use for my book. I've begun the process... Startling, I know. I don't know how long I'll stick to it before I become totally freaked out and stop working on it altogether, but for now, the writing of my feelings and thoughts, dreams and fears has been very theraputic.
We've been talking a lot in class about how the issues that we have as individuals will come up in our sessions with our clients if we don't deal with them now... The therapist will need counseling! :) So, I've been praying for the strength and opportunity to deal with some of my issues.. (Stupid prayer, I know! :)) But God is being completely faithful and answering them. I am using His power, because it is made perfect in my weakness (and Lord knows I'm weak after some of these dreams...) and because my own power to deal with the depth of some of my pain is woefully inadequate. I need Him and that's the way its supposed to be. So, Lord, here I am, on my knees, knowing that whatever You need me to go through in order to be the servant that I was created for may be painful, but I am willing. I stand on Your promise that You will not give me more than I can handle and that You will freely give of Your unending reserve of power so that I can deal with my struggles and weaknesses. I only wish to bring You glory, Lord. It is only because of Your grace that I am here, working to help others. Lord, it is my prayer that You continue to teach me the lessons that I need to learn in order to be an effective witness of Your grace and mercy and that I can be freed from the emotional entanglements that may be a hinderance to my ability to counsel. I love you and I thank you for the trials that I've endured as I know they will enable me to empathize with so many. Thank you for using me.