This is going to be a very difficult day. Were the situation any different, I would choose to just draw the curtains, pull the blankets up and crawl into a hole until, maybe February. At minimum tomorrow. That’s not a choice though. I slept through my alarm this morning. As I write this I’ve been up for half an hour or so. Meds are on board. I’ve already taken my first Xanax. Anxiety is gripping me so tightly that my hands are so numb I can barely write this. My entire body is tingling. My chest is constricted and aching. Each breath is a focused effort. Just another day in wonderland. So here are the plans for today. An early Christmas Eve dinner with my girl’s family followed by a candlelight service at a nearby church. The dinner itself may be tense due to the fact that my girl and I had some issues a couple of months ago. Everything is copacetic now, but her family is protective. I have no problem at all with that, in fact I applaud it. Every girl deserves that. They’re good people too. There won’t be any open hostility. Once everyone sees that everything is okay, I think that everything will be fine. It’s actually the church service that’s on my mind. I haven’t stepped into a church for any kind of religious service in almost sixteen years. Not since I lost my Mom. January will be the anniversary of the date she took her own life. I still remember clearly coming back from the morgue where I had viewed her, ran my fingers through her hair one final time. At the house some pastor I did not know put his arm around me like we were best friends. “Don’t worry son,” he said. “God won’t put any more on you than you can handle.” That was it. That’s all it took. The sheer hypocrisy of his words were the detonation that blew me away from organized religion. And now here I am. My girl has been looking for something to reconnect her with her faith. She’s angry at God too. We have separate views on how things work. She believes in the Holy Trinity. I was raised the son of an abusive, sexually marauding preacher and long ago lost the ability to take things on faith. I believe in a higher power, a God. I’m not sure what his name is. I believe that many people call him by many names and the has had many prophets, Jesus among them. My girl worries about this because she doesn’t want me to compromise my faith by going to a church with her. I’ve told her I’ll go to any church she wants, because I love her, and I can find feel love whether I’m in a church, a temple, a mosque or a synagogue. But as to my faith… I don’t know what it is. I believe in something, I know that. It wouldn’t be so difficult if I didn’t. Whatever it is that, I suppose my path towards discovering it will begin tonight. Faith. It’s really a beautiful thing. I’d love to have it again.