Due to recent circumstances, and to preserve our sanity as parents, we decided to sign up to the Disney plus app. It has been with us less than a week but has already been worth every penny. Having mainly spent its time playing princess films on loop, we decided to see what else it had to offer and discovered the National Geographic section. We have already established many times before in these blogs that I am a geek so please don’t feign surprise at my channel choice! So far we have rediscovered the Titanic, explored the tomb of Jesus and briefly watched (and then stopped watching) a bunny having a nose job...there's just no need to watch that. The other night we decided to wind down at the end of a long day and watch “The Miracle of the Hudson Plane Crash”. What better way to destress during a viral pandemic than watch a plane crash documentary?! There was a part in the documentary that really stood out for me and reflected my experience of anxiety, which as you can imagine is a little heightened at the moment.
As the plane began to descend, the cabin crew repeatedly shouted a simple command: “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE” This word, repeated in the right tone and at the right volume, communicated clearly to every passenger that they needed to curl up into a ball and hold on tight. For the passengers of flight 1549, the brace position was definitely required but I find that anxiety regularly shouts this command to me even when there is little danger around. “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” Anxiety likes to keep me in this brace position to protect me. It thinks it’s helping me out when in reality it freezes me in time. “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” I can’t speak for others, but part of my battle with anxiety is dealing with the shame and embarrassment when it takes hold. I see myself as a fairly intelligent, capable woman who can logically assess situations and calculate risk, but anxiety doesn’t care about my credentials at all. “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” I see people looking at me “whittling” (a Yorkshire term for worrying) and telling me not to worry but this has little impact on the volume of the brace command: if anything it increases it! “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” My worst nightmare is the tilted head or the confused face as I struggle to stop myself from taking the emotional brace position. Again, I can’t speak for others, but for me this current season of understandable anxiety is bringing into play every strategy I’ve ever learned to stay sat upright in my seat, enjoy the view and wait for a safe landing. There will be lots of people like me at the moment who are praying, deep breathing, exercising, visualising, journalling, scripture reading, social media avoiding and applying every strategy they can to avoid… “BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!” As I’ve often said in these blogs, I don’t have a neat bow to tie this up with. I’m certainly not after any sympathy…heaven forbid…if you’re even slightly thinking “bless her” then I’ll run for the hills. I suppose I’m just a little tired of letting my anxiety make me feel flakey!
Many anxious people have an inner strength that is missed by others.
Many anxious people have a resolve that has grown through repeatedly overcoming their fears.
Many anxious people are full of faith and trust that God is with them when their anxiety strikes.
Many anxious people are a valuable resource for navigating these difficult days.
If these troubling times are causing you to fear, then you’re not alone, many anxious people are here for you right now and I’m one of them. We’ll land safely together! “Be anxious for nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Is this what he meant? Not exactly. He wrote the phrase in the present active tense, which implies an ongoing state. It's the life of perpetual anxiety that Paul wanted to address. The Lucado Revised Translation reads, "Don't let anything in life leave you perpetually breathless and in angst." The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional.” ― Max Lucado, Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World