‘Tis the season of giving thanks and showing thanks and making at cheery and bright. Grosgrain ribbon is a popular adornment of the season because it cuts so cleanly. One of my favorite things to do is to pull at one of the small ends and pull until the weft is loosed and the warp is freed from it’s interwoven supports. Eventually the weft snags and the whole construct is lost and there is a snarl of ribbon left to be thrown away with the ripped paper. This time though, I’m not the one pulling the uneven thread and I feel powerless to stop fate from tugging at the carefully woven ribbon until nothing is left but the warp.

It has to be the season plucking at my anxiety strings. My thoughts blink from one dire situation to another. For example….I am sure I can keep my job if I just keep working yet I’m still terrified they are going to find out I’m a fraud and fire me. I’m making plans, deeply committed plans for my future, and I’m terrified I’m going to sprout a tumor or die just on the cusp of realizing my life’s ambition. What if Sammy dies? My control over what I can control is spiralling again, though I’m not binging at pre-apocalyptic proportions, I’m eating more of what I shouldn’t than I should. I’m forcing myself to eat because I’d rather just not. I want to just go to bed and stay in bed and be done with it.

I’m not that person any more, and I know it. Yes, anxiety still plucks at my strings trying to create a soothing melody for me to stay abed but the melody is discordant to me now and is more like scratching on a chalkboard, but it’s still there trying. Trying just as hard as I am not to give in, but it offers chocolate, and I succumb. I don’t know where I am in the unraveling process, at the begging, the even free flowing warp or the snarl of disposable threads of what is left. Wait, I just realized, I’m not the ribbon in this metaphor, it’s a part of the package, but it’s not all of me. I am the gift, wrapped in God’s love and support and even when anxiety tries to snarl my decorations I have confidence in me and in Him that even through the most stressful season of the year (in a year of stressful seasons) the whole of me won’t be warped, maybe just frayed around the edges for a short season.