Anxiety's Name is Money

So I’m sitting in the studio, working away on fun things – like vectorizing this awesome drawing of a woman with a braid, or researching moleskin journals to have embossed, or creating a wireframe for this new community center website.

Then, I remember it’s Monday, and that means admin. So I do the necessary things of creating some invoices for some recent projects and orders, returning some overdue emails and wrapping up some final files for some spec work I did.

But admin Monday also means I have to deal with real money. And this Monday, it means rent.

I handle all the moola stuff for the office. As in, paying all the bills, making sure we don’t get evicted for having a late rent check and collecting rent and utility money from my great office mates. But to do this, I have to do math, and that stresses me out. And I also have to look at my bank statement. Which means I have to see what the balance is. Which means…

Money gives me anxiety. Money also makes me happy. It’s a love hate relationship. But at this very moment, when I type my username into the little online banking window, and go to press Login, my heart literally ends up in my throat. My heart starts beating really fast, my pupils dilate and I feel dizzy, like I could throw up right here, right now. In an office full of people, clients included. In broad daylight, in my safe space, surrounded by people I love, I had a full blown anxiety attack.

You see, I know what my panic attacks feel like, and I can feel them coming on like a freaking freight train. I know I have a hard time stopping them, and most of the time, once I’m in it, I have to lock myself in a dark room and cry before it passes. To stop them, even if it’s at all possible, I have to distract myself. Fast.

I also have to make sure that there aren’t other underlying issues causing my freak out moment. And then ask myself if I hydrated myself adequately today. And have I had enough to eat, or is my blood sugar plummeting along with my sanity.

Ya, this ain’t my first rodeo.

And they are so stupid. To me, anyway. I mean, I just had an anxiety attack because I was too afraid to look at my bank account balance. I know it’s fine, I’m not overdrawn. I haven’t made any extraordinary purchases that would surprise me. I haven’t received an alert in my email telling me I’m too low, or that there was unverified activity, or that I couldn’t make a payment.

It’s fine. It’s totally fine. Yet, I can’t look. Physically cannot press Login.

So I didn’t. I gave up. I walked away. I went over to the couch and drank some water and looked at some photos of Joey.

Then I prayed. Then I remembered this conversation I had just hours earlier with a dear friend.

Just give it up to Him. Whatever your turmoil, your struggle, your fear. Give it up to Him.

Jesus is not telling me that in order to live a full and wonderful life, that I have to “face my fears.” He’s telling me that I need to let Him handle it. Pass it to Him, and give myself grace.

I gave my fear to Him today. Or at least I tried. Even as I write this, my hands are still shaky. I feel like I need a shot or a nap or a cup of coffee. I think I’m more frustrated that I’m not a “secure” enough person to look at my own bank account balance. That I manage. That I put money into, and take money out of. That number is not a reflection of who I am. Nor how hard I work. Nor my value to Him. It’s just a stupid number.

Anxiety can be so scary. It’s something I deal with Every. Single. Day. And money usually plays a part. Or lack of time.

And to those who also have this struggle. You are not alone. I am here, sitting on the couch, dealing with the aftermath of an anxiety attack, knowing that the rest of my day might be shot to hell because I have to deal with what feels like an anxiety hangover.

And to those who don’t… well… are there any of you?