Rye, New York
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Suck in a deep breath. Hold it. Exhale slowly. Repeat... Repeat... Repeat...
The panic attacks and hyperventilation aren't as pronounced now as they were six months ago. But I have headaches. Knife-stabbing, brain-squishing throbs in my frontal lobe. I assume this is a side-effect of stress.
I chatted over lunch today with a friend. We sat in a booth at a Japanese restaurant eating rice and beef when one of my former students walked through the door. I love this boy. He is successful and sweet. He hurried over to see me.
"How is Russell doing?" he asked after we had caught up on his life, and I felt my brain pulsate.
Oh, God. He doesn't know! They were friends on my debate team. He and Russell shared many high school moments together. The news is not easy for me to tell.
I arranged what I hoped was a calm expression and explained Russell passed away in January.
He gave his condolences; my mind locked. I smiled, thanked him, and attempted to configure a brave face.
Now, safe at home, my brain constricts.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly now. Lord, let me have a moment where Russell doesn't dominate my thoughts!
Suck in a deep breath. Hold it. Exhale slowly. Repeat... repeat... re..peat....
Lord, hold me up as I go out into the world.