Abby didn’t want to be anxious. She really tried to fight against the all-consuming awareness that she wasn’t in control. Being anxious helped her to stay focused on the false comfort that she was in control of her circumstances, but what she couldn’t control were the other 99 percent of the people and circumstances around her.
What if? What if? What if?
This lead question was always at the forefront of Abby’s mind, teasing her, pursuing her, and not letting her rest. The what-ifs about the circumstances of her job tied her stomach in knots, as well as the barrage of attention her anxiety gave to the little details in life when she wasn’t preparing to go to space. The questions the rest of us face every day without the excess anxiety tormented Abby. What type of bread should she buy that is healthy? Where she should invest her money without taking too much of a risk? What shoes look right with this outfit and were they made in the USA or were they made by a child in a third world country who had no food except what he or she had to beg for on the street? If you asked Abby to list the things that gave her anxiety it would be easier for her to list the things that didn’t give her anxiety.
Abby wondered sometimes as she tried to fall asleep if it was always going to be this way. She eventually resigned herself to the fact it probably would. She didn’t remember a day in her life when she did not feel the physical symptoms of anxiety. As she got older, she realized how tiring being anxious made her, and that in itself was getting old. Anxiety drained her and left her feeling tired and exhausted. Exhaustion is unhealthy when you are an astronaut flying into space.
The rest of Abby's story will be included in my first book, Approaching the Throne of Grace, to be released in the near future.