Giving Up Anxiety for Lent

I read some more of Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner and the two chapters/reflections that touched me were the ones on anxiety.

In one, she talks about checking obsessively to make sure her driver’s license is there when she’s on the road to the airport as well as worrying about if she’s turned off the stove and envisions her house burning down. I don’t have those particular two fears but I obsess about whether I locked the car door frequently and I’ve been known to worry about things happening in the future. She talks about her friend suggesting that she give up anxiety for Lent. Her friend’s wife asked if she was going to have a major panic attack come Easter if she does this.

In another, she talks about her friend suggesting that she give up anxiety for Lent. She finds a prayer in the Book of Common Prayer that helps her out with this and another friend tells her about distancing herself from an emotion for 15 minutes. All are good and she also talks about her experience with medication. She spoke of her experiences coming off of the medication (which are eerily familiar to my experiences with them trying to get me off of Effexor XR when I was pregnant).

This book (again) has been an interesting read for me just because I’ve been through a lot of the things she discusses. Even though I haven’t divorced Jon and my parents are still alive, I’ve dealt with crushing anxiety in my life and I can understand her reactions, even if they haven’t been mine. The physical toll of my anxiety are the weakening of my (already crappy) immune system and migraines. In her case, it was tingling in her joints. I’ve had severe panic attacks but none all that publicly.

I will be interested to see what the rest of the book has in store for me.

And no, giving up anxiety for Lent is not on the agenda.

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