I go to lock all the doors. Five minutes later, I check again. Within minutes, another round---just to be safe. And finally, one last quick check.

I lie down head to bed and try to rest, but how can one rest when the restless thoughts take over and the constant worries consume? And I spend the night tossing and turning, afraid to get out of bed, to turn on light, to walk around house, to be alive.

I sit in car to drive but driving is so hard when you fear that death is at your doorstep and another car will come from out of no where and destroy you. And you fear that thing, that death, your death, so badly that all you can think of is death and you forget to remember to live.

And the anxiety grows deeper into your heart coloring in the shade of shame. How can you feel like this? How can you act like this? Why can't you get over it? And so I stay silent because I am the only one I am sure, and others would laugh I am sure, and something is wrong with me I am sure.

The doctor asks me what is wrong, why this body is not acting properly and why these attacks are coming more frequently and I try to spit out the nasty, shameful words quick because they taste bitter in my mouth and they sound embarrassing in my ear.

And so I say the words quickly so that bad taste will leave the mouth.

But suddenly the paranoia is out in the open and it can no longer hide and the words are still bitter and still embarrassing but I don't mind saying them so much. And God has me call her, the woman who has often talked to me about anxiety, and we meet and wait, what? other people are scared to leave their own home? Others feel this constant panic? Others have these attacks? Others find it hard to get out of bed? Others feel helpless? Others lose feeling in hands and eyes blur over? There are others?

And the days are still long and the anxiety is still there but hallelujah I am not alone and you are not alone and we can fight together.

author's note: I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for about a year and a half. I have never been so blunt about them on my blog, but was inspired by a dear blogger friend's beautiful and raw confession of her own struggle (here). There is the everyday worries we all deal with, and there is the consuming fear and paranoia some of us struggle with. Please talk to me if you need a friend in the fight. Please talk to someone if you need a friend in the fight. The peace of God is a beautiful, beautiful thing that has become more prevalent in my life these past three months and it has silenced the fear significantly. He promises this peace to you, too.

image: found on tumblr.