Dear Miracle Worker,
For many years I was challenged with extended periods of extreme anxiety and sleeplessness. These debilitating episodes could persist for many weeks, sometimes months. In between these extreme episodes I was more or less “okay.” These good times could extend for many years. I probably had 4 or 5 of these extreme episodes in my life. I don’t feel the need to document them precisely. I am very happy to let them fade into a non-existent past. "The only wholly true thought one can hold about the past is that it is not here. To think about it at all is therefore to think about illusions." (OrEd.WkBk.8.2) Good-bye past.
I have not had one of these extreme episodes for many years now. For that, I am very grateful. However one regret that I do have is sometimes relationships and friendships I had while going through these times didn’t survive. I will never know for sure if my living with extreme anxiety for extended times was what broke these relations up. I’m sure there were multiple factors. However I know that my nervous challenges were an important factor. I don’t blame people, but still it saddens me sometimes.
I certainly work at not being judgmental myself when people I am close to are challenged emotionally or exhibit mental health issues. My heart goes out to them. "Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?" (OrEd.WkBk.191.12) I always consider people with mental health issues among the bravest people I know. Pushing one’s self to get up and function after weeks of not sleeping is a gargantuan challenge. The message from me today is simple, be especially compassionate to the emotionally challenged. They are some of the best of us.
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #362, November 10 2022)
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