My fourth CPE unit started yesterday. I was surprised how anxious and nervous I was, but then again I wasn’t. Right now there is only myself and one other chaplain to cover about 160 patients over about 5 counties. I am trying to see my own patients, schedule the patients covered by our missing chaplain between the two of us remaining, interview new prospects and fight to get them hired, go to meetings, do bereavement work, meetings etc. It’s hard and busy on normal days. It feels impossible now – like my foot is on the gas and I can’t take it off. Plus we’ve had a lot of things break at the house, including my printer (which involved a great waste of time and money before getting a new one) and most notably my car.
While not yet broken, its creaking scares me, as does the $900 it will be to get it to pass inspection next month. Therefore I’m getting a new one. But as is my custom I have gone completely overboard with researching cars, trying to find the best fit of cost-reliability-age-likeability, which is impossible. I’ve been frustrated in that when I find the “perfect” one it is either gone or not nearly as perfect as it initially presented itself to be.
All this anxiety and fear for no good reason. And when I get anxious like this I don’t sleep well, don’t take care of myself, become even more tired and distracted, and withdraw from other people. I find now, and have in the past, that anxiety for me causes as downward spiral where I’m afraid to get off the treadmill for fear of what will happen, yet I’m too tired to go on.
Again, Merton was helpful today (haven’t read him in weeks). He mentions his own anger, striving for clarity and freedom from attachments and pride. We never really get rid of these, and remembering that a solitary monk still struggles with them helps me not wallow in it.
I try and rely on God, knowing that more often than not when I’m open to His plans and prodding, being patient all the while, my anxiousness leaves me. Even just stopping and writing helps