Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
A couple of months ago I was invited to a party which I was very anxious about attending because I knew some of the guests but a lot of the others I did not know, so when the host, who is a friend, asked if I would be coming my response, as always, was I’ll try my best to make it.
It has been so easy to hide behind that little apostrophe mark! It is such a safe word, as it makes me sound like a nice person, but it keeps me from having to commit. I’ll try, I’ll see, or I’ll think about it are just a few of the examples of how I made excuses to cover the anxiety and fear I have of so many things. I know I used my husband, Rich, as my security blanket in these scenarios. He was the gregarious one, he didn’t know a “stranger” and was a great conversationalist. It was a way for me to stay in the safe “I’ll do it one day” life.
I always felt like a square constantly trying to fit into a circle. I always have watched and admired others, but I just could not get the courage to say I will. There were those that thought I was too hard on myself, not confident enough, or just a big chicken. After all, I was funny, outgoing….whoever would have thought I was extremely anxious? Yes, I did a good job of hiding it.
Hiding behind the apostrophe and being allowed to avoid was my normal, but it upsets me, I do want to venture out and try. Staying safe in the “I’II” was actually making me ILL. It has been remarkable to see how moving that apostrophe can change that little word and having the WILL to add just one little letter can change the meaning completely. I know I have to work on these anxious feelings.
With a racing heart, but a smile on my face, I attended the party and had the most wonderful time! I actually knew more people than I thought and was able to reconnect with some that I had not seen in a while and met some wonderful new people. By the end of the afternoon, I was so glad that my friend pushed me to say yes.
I continue at times to hide behind the apostrophes and still have a long way to go and lots of fights with anxiety to get through. I WILL persevere! I am making lists of things I want to try to do, and some of them I WILL do soon and some may take a little more work. I’m still working on fitting into the circle more comfortably, but I am not as anxious of venturing out as I once was.
I’ve had a lot of “I’LL try” days but I am blessed to have several very special cheerleaders who are strong women in their own right and have helped me on this journey. They make me want to stand up and cheer I WILL!
Anxiety is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.