If you have read any of my previous posts then you know what demons i struggle with and you know the financial toll being disabled by them takes on me. What you don’t know, at least not yet, are some of the daily activities and new experiences that inspire me.
I titled this “The Voice Inside” because that was the title of the sermon I sat in on today at my local church. I attended this sermon not as a member of their congregation or a devout worshiper. This church runs a food pantry, giving food to those in the community in need of assistance. I’ve gone to this pantry before but I must have arrived after the usual sermon.
Going to a food pantry for help is a new experience for me. I have found it to be beneficial in more ways than just getting food. I’ve tried going to a couple of different places. The process varies slightly but one thing each has in common is that they are packed with people, there is waiting time, and you often stand in a line, and are in close quarters with complete strangers. Since just leaving my house or my comfort zone neighborhood is sometimes hard, you can imagine how each one of these things is a tremendous challenge to me. I’ve left many times unable to bear the anxiety and panic that can set in under these conditions.
I view each attempt as a therapy exercise, some I frequently fail. I fight the voice within me telling me to leave and go home. Thoughts flood my mind and I have to employ all the tricks and self talk to get me through the panic situation. Sometimes I have to sit off away from everyone to calm my pounding heart, stop the cold sweats, or just to steady myself from the dizziness that accompanies my panic. Each visit is exposure therapy, and the reward is food. Sustenance for body and mind.
Today’s sermon was about listening to the voice inside. The voice of reason, security, and logic. The voice that keeps one from getting into a fight, lashing out at someone, or doing something wrong or even criminal; the voice some interpret as their gut feeling. The Pastor’s sermon was general and the crowd of around 50 or so seemed to understand exactly what he was referring to.
I understood too, but perhaps from a different angle. I know there is more than just one inner voice. There is the inner voice he spoke of, the gut instinct, that keeps you from harm and guides you in the right direction. That voice is often ignored and overridden by the circumstances of the moment. Overridden by ego, want, and false righteousness. How many times do you feel in your gut or hear your inner voice telling you the correct path to take, only to take another? It happens to all of us multiple times a day.
The other voice I refer to is the additional internal voice of someone with anxiety, panic, and depression disorders. Ants; anxious negative thoughts. Ants swarm us with all kinds of thoughts and emotions, feeding upon each other until we are in a panic loop. It’s this inner voice that often trumps the normal inner voice. It’s with these voices, we, those of us who suffer from these illnesses, must converse and argue just to get though a situation. A situation that to someone who doesn’t suffer from these conditions is ordinary.
If any of that made sense to you then you understand what I go through on a daily basis. It’s just one of the reasons having these conditions can be so physically exhausting. All those thoughts, conversations, physical manifestations, and struggles playing like the largest and loudest orchestra; only I’m the only one who attends this music appreciation class.
So, today I got a little food to help sustain my body, made it through a tough situation for someone with my conditions, and got an unexpected reminder of the inner voice to stimulate my mind. A good morning indeed.