He worries like someone driving a long straightaway in an open country

with nothing but clear skies ahead, and he the only car.

Windows down, crisp, morning air.

On his flanks, nothing save open land,

brown, rocky expanse,

mountains far away, cherried white,

looks like Mars – like that nothing.

But the road before him is still before him.

And it’s straight, easy.

No surprises, no exits, no junctions.

No blind turns, maybe one weird bend, other than that…

Still, he holds knuckle-white, every mile is every day and it’s been for years;

he rides the brakes and with the eyes of an owl he watches for deer

and squirrels, cattle crossing, boulders falling, field mice -anything,

everything, nothing. Oh it takes forever.

This makes no easy drive, makes no easy life.

I learned of hypervigilance on my own. Primarily because I found myself living it without knowing what it was. Later, I read books on trauma and PTSD and they clarified what I was experiencing, why I was on high alert for anything and everything, dates, memories, objects, conversations, that would trigger my trauma. There is a Swedish Proverb that reads, “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” I tried not to do that yet failed many times. With time and acceptance (boy that’s such a tough word), things get better. And with Jesus, there is comfort and mercy.

Featured image attribution, “The open road ahead,” by ND Strupler is made available via Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0. The image has not been changed.

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