I am feeling the flow of time much more acutely than usual these days; I blame my anxiety medication and my recovery work.
I began taking Zoloft four weeks ago, and my anxiety has decreased tremendously. Where four or five streams of thought used to compete for my attention, only one voice ‘speaks’ in my head now. Without the cacophony of these extra voices and the constant busy-ness they propelled me into, I find that I have far fewer distractions from the present moment. I have almost entirely ceased living in the past and future; I am much more aware of each moment as it passes. I can feel myself growing older. I am more aware of missed opportunities and the cost of my mistakes. Things which used to matter a great deal are losing significance, while things which seemed quaint are taking on special relevance and value. This is a feeling that will take some getting used to.
My program work is to blame as well. In Steps 4 & 5 I identified some critical character defects of mine, including the fact that I am a selfish, fearful person. As I identify, acknowledge, and confess these character defects God is peeling away my denial like the layers of an onion. As each layer is removed I can see a bit more clearly…my interpretive lens is changing and the world literally looks different. It’s hard to describe this effect to those who haven’t experienced it, but it almost feels like a physical change is taking place. As my denial is peeled away I spend less mental time and energy on the accusations of others. If an accusation is true, I admit it and move on rather than furiously defend myself. If the accusation is false, I allow it to pass me by rather than think myself in circles trying to determine if there is any shred of truth to the accusation. As with my reduced anxiety, the net result of my recovery work is a focus on the present rather than the past or future.
In a paradoxical twist, my decreasing preoccupation with things past and yet to come has lengthened my consciousness of time. I am beginning to feel…eternal. While I feel myself moving along the universal timeline in a very lateral way, I am also becoming aware that there is concurrently no movement in time; there is only now. Past and future events and ‘states of being’ may vary in circumstance but occur each in their own now. It feels a bit like God’s self-identifying statement, “I AM.” Time is moving from Creation to Revelation, yet because time exists only as streaming moments of now all time is one single point.