It's that flutter in my chest. The one where it feels like a bird is flapping against my sternum, trapped behind a cage, begging for freedom.
It's when I put my head back on a fluffy white pillow and feel my breath go shallow, and for a moment I wonder if oxygen has just been vacuumed out of my room and I take a slow draw of air.
It's when my knees go out from beneath me and I catch myself on the door jamb, squeeze my eyes shut and see the white stars flash behind my lids.
It's called a panic attack. An agonizing burst of anxiety.
The unforeseen emergence of everything I've felt but didn't actually feel.
I've tried taking deep breaths, yoga, baths, walking... and still almost every evening, the sun sets and my chest pounds.
I'm not good at this. Not like you think I am.
I'm not that strong, or brave, or grateful, or content.
I'm restless from twilight to dusk. I'm begging for sleep. I'm praying for grace for the next day. I'm longing for some of that peace that passes understanding. I hope for some of that Psalm 34, some of the "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." I could rattle off the "His power is perfected in my weakness" stuff, which is absolutely true...but it still means I'm weak.
Because there's some stuff I can't tell you. Some things I'm unlucky enough to have to hide away and cage in my heart, for now. There's things I can't explain, and I just hope that maybe you have some patience to extend my way, some gracious knowing nods to let me know you're not about to walk away.
So that's the truth. In case you wondered.