It’s been a minute, WordPress. Three jobs, school, and Delta Gamma have taken over my life. But it’s a new year and a new semester, so I promise to be around more.
I have been battling anxiety for a few years now, some of those years without realizing what exactly it was. Triggered by an abusive relationship, I spent the last five years of my life surrounded by carefully constructed walls that kept everyone at a distance. Close enough to seem as if I was fine, but far enough away to keep myself safe and warm in my little mental bunker.
The problem is, you cannot live life like this. Humans are built for companionship. God created Adam, then saw that he needed a parter and created Eve. Our entire existence, down to the reason we were created, is based in community. My bunker wasn’t as safe and sound as I had thought.
Not only was my premise faulty, but I slowly realized that it was not human interaction that triggered anxiety. It could be little things, such as a car cutting me off, a test not going as planned, and sometimes, it would be nothing at all. I would find myself sitting, happy, like any other day. Then all of a sudden, there was an elephant on my chest and the room was closing in on me. My walls could not save me. Scared inside of my own mind, I was desperate to get rid of the feeling that I was being suffocated.
Diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it was easy for me to think I was crazy. Surely no one would understand what it was like to be trapped, drowning in your own mind. But surely, my family and friends came to my rescue and poured out love and support. I was infinitely blessed, yet I was still trapped. The bunker I had built became a prison. I knew I was loved and that I had people who would talk me through it, but as anyone with anxiety will tell you, you cannot be talked out of a panic attack.
“Feeling alone in a crowded room” is such a cliche and I hate cliches. However, it is the only description of how I felt.
I want each of you to know something right now.. NOTHING IS TOO SMALL FOR GOD. Did you hear me? NOTHING you could ever do or struggle with is TOO SMALL to bring to the feet of our Savior. Be it anxiety, eating disorders, depression, suicidal thoughts, HE IS THERE FOR YOU. Yeah, there are a couple billion other people with their own problems, but HE IS GOD. HE CREATED AND LOVES YOU IMMENSELY. Now, I am not claiming God as a wishing well or a genie. The only way to true happiness is to seek Him, seek His company, and to seek His church.
This is what I have learned about God and anxiety….
1. God will always give you more than you can handle. That is the point. He will give you a situation in which your only hope is to cast it back to Him. I believe this is a way we show our trust and faith in The Lord. When life is so hard that all we can do is surrender ourselves and our lives fully to God.
2. Prayer works. He may not answer now. The answer may not be what you want. But He IS listening and He DOES hear you. Most importantly, HE CARES. Think of a parent with a child in a store. The kid is crying because mom won’t let them have a cookie when it is almost dinner time. The mother aches at the sound of her child’s cries. Not because she is annoyed, but because her maternal instinct is to comfort her child whom she loves. However, she has an obligation to her growing child to provide nutrition and to teach them how to lead their lives. Sometimes, you have to make someone unhappy in order to teach a lesson.
3. Anxiety sucks, but it is okay. You are okay. It will be okay. 90% of the time, my anxiety attacks are pointless. Those are the hardest to deal with. When nothing triggers it, I have nothing to talk myself down from. I’m left gasping for air and in pain until it ends. But I know in the midst of the storm that I will make it through.
4. Time with God is time well spent. Why wouldn’t we want to spend time with the One who knitted us together in our mother’s womb, who thought and loved us before we were even a possibility on Earth. Time with the Lord is calming, and it helps me find peace that surpasses all understanding.
5. Don’t push people away. Like I said earlier, we are made for community. use that as a tool to beat anxiety.
There are many hotlines for different anxieties, depression, abuse, and suicide. I am also here for anyone who ever needs someone to vent to or talk about anything with. People are here for you. With GOD, it will get better.