Friday, March 14, 2014

Anxiety anchors me

I've struggled with anxiety for a while now. Its always been a quiet companion my whole life, but festered into more of a friend than I would like it to be in my 30s now.

I've talked with people who have anxiety about different things. Many have generalized anxiety or only have anxiety when in public places or around large groups of people. I (believe) that I have panic attacks. Specifically related to car phobia and "What if" freak accident scenarios that I involuntarily play through my head. I feel threatened and therefore lose all sense of reality in a feeble effort to defend myself.

Driving in Dallas is torture for me. I literally feel like I'm about to die or get in a wreck at all times. My heart races, I get cold and shivery, and I cry. My husband is awesome. He has learned over the years to just let me cry and not say anything, and I have (most of the time) learned to not scream out to avoid a REAL wreck from startling him. He holds my hand, I cry, and he reminds me that I am still alive.

The "what if" scenarios that play through my brain can be quite paralyzing as well. I have to be very careful to not watch certain shows or look up certain things online about tragic accidents. Rescue 911 and Unsolved Mysteries were shows that gave me sleepless nights as a child. I also just try to steer clear from the news and certain links to these types of things on facebook. I imagine myself or my family in those stories in such a realistic way in my brain that I forget that its NOT real. One thought sparks another thought until anxiety is just spiraling rampant in my heart.

Anxiety does not control me all day every day. It just comes in moments. But the moments are powerful and overwhelming.

I feel a ton of guilt during anxiety too.

Guilt for not trusting God enough to take care of me. I fear that this anxiety is an indicator of a weak relationship with God. And to some degree I believe that is true.

Its amazing how my world can go to 2 opposite extremes in a matter of minutes. One minute I can tell you how good and faithful and provisional my God is. But the minute anxiety hits, I forget that. I would never tell you that God was bad in anxious moments, but I might tell you that He isn't enough.
Then once the panic attack subsides I am left embarrassed at my behavior and my subconcious thoughts toward the God that I love.

I'm not quite sure why I am writing this post or where I want to go with it even. Its actually 12:45 am and I cannot sleep. I believe this all started with me reading an article online about the lost Malaysia flight a few hours ago and who knows what happened in my brain after that. Dumb...I know. Its almost humorous sometimes.

I guess I can say that one thing good that comes from being aware of my anxiety is that it reminds me how very weak I am and how very much I need him. Its ironic that the very thing that makes me feel like God is not enough is also the very thing that anchors me to Him. And my sweet husband gives me a clear picture on a smaller scale of how my God responds to me in anxiety. He holds my hand and lets me cry and reminds me that I am still alive...but only in Him.