Thursday, August 21, 2014

Living With Anxiety

 “Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but 

only empties today of its strengths.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

I have a confession. I suffer from anxiety. Many people do and it just so happens that I am one of them. The things I get anxious about are seemingly silly to most people and really don't seem to make sense...but the anxiety is real and is something I struggle through and pray over *often*. 

I will tell you what makes me anxious but warn you now that it probably isn't going to make sense to you. Picnics/Potlucks and functions with a lot of people....those things make my anxiety soar...to the point of tears. *But* before you label me with a social anxiety disorder...here is the truth: I like people. I enjoy my friends and family. I am not shy nor do I get nervous being in crowds (although I am not a fan of crowds...but who is?). 


The time leading up to going to a picnic sees me tense, sometimes irritable, and/or in tears. It really makes no sense...except for the fact that at home I feel safe. Safe from what? I don't know. Just safe. I feel like I can breathe. It honestly makes *no* sense to me at all and truly, I don't think it has to make sense. It is what it is and my family (especially Chris) lovingly helps me through. God is in control and *He* knows what is going on with this crazy little brain of mine. 


This anxiety used to debilitate me terribly. I had trouble leaving the house at all. There were other issues as well...and honestly, I'm not sure when it all started. I haven't always been this way. It could have started when I was 16 (when I was in a car crash that left me in a coma for a week) and just progressively got worse over the years..? Or maybe it isn't from that at all? I have *no* idea. Fortunately, when I was dealing with the brunt of these issues years ago, my mom encouraged me to look into medical help. After a lot of fighting that idea...I finally gave in and now take a pill daily. It helps relieve the brunt of my anxious thoughts and issues (OCD was setting in before taking the med). 


I will be the *first* to tell you that I did not want to be on a medication for this. I wanted to pray and seek God and let Him heal me. However, at that time, I couldn't focus enough to sit and read my Bible or any book really because my thoughts were just so *all over the place*. I am also the first to admit that nowadays there seems to be an abundance of people taking pills for something. I am *not* a fan of that either. However, that being said, I do recognize that sometimes, medications are necessary for things. Remember all the terrible happenings with the Andrea Yates story? Sometimes, meds *are* necessary. It's humbling...and admittedly embarrassing to admit it...but true. 


Although I still have anxieties over some things...I am not nearly what I was years ago, when my children were younger. Now, I *can* read my Bible, spend time studying theology, homeschool my children, pray and strive to live a righteous life to glorify my Savior. The anxieties can still be difficult to deal with... but because I can focus on God's Word and have the uplifting support of Chris, family and lovely Christian friends, I can deal with the anxiety that arises from time to time (summer is the most difficult for me...as there are a lot of picnics/potlucks/reunions etc!). 


I take a medication in order to help me better cope with things. It is not the answer to all my problems...but it is something I need right now. I hope to one day wean off of it...if the Lord wills. And if not, then I will remain humble and take it...and glorify God that He squashes my pride. He shows me that I am *not* in control...and had I been healed without medication, there is a good chance my pride could have swollen rather than properly giving Him the glory He deserves (we can tend to do that, can't we?). 


I share this personal information with you because if you are dealing with over-whelming anxiety/depression and are trying to "do it on your own" or "just waiting to be healed by God"...it may not happen. I do *not* counsel anyone to just get medication for whatever ails you...but rather, encourage you to pray, talk with your husband and your doctor. If your thoughts and actions could be seriously harming to yourself or others....please, don't let pride stop you from considering a medication to level things in your brain. 


I do want to caution you though...


Often, people have sin issues and *that* is what causes their anxiety/depression issues. If this is the case, it is a heart issue...and not a brain issue. No medication will help you with that...the remedy for that dire situation is throwing yourself at the feet of Jesus. Repent and believe that He is your Savior. He is your all in all. Only He can make a wretch into a saint. 


Although I am a child of God and live to glorify Him, I am still a work in progress. He is daily sanctifying me...I have so far to go and honestly, I struggle (deeply) with the realization that I will never fully be perfect until I live with Him. Again, this humbles me and always leads me to drop to my knees in awe of the One Who made me...because in and of myself, I have *nothing* that would make me worthy to be His and yet, YET, He lived a perfect, sinless life ~ dying in my place (and rising again in three days) in order that I can be made perfect in His sight. Practically unfathomable...but you open His Word...and there it is. From Genesis to Revelation ~ every word of it points to Christ. 


If you want to discuss this...anxiety, depression or the truth of Christ...any of it ~ please feel free to email me. My email is on my profile page or up on the left sidebar somewhere! ;) I would love to hear from you, truly. May the Lord draw those who need this here and now. If I can pray for you...please, please let me know. I will do so! 


And quickly, I will share a couple of places I went this past weekend that had my anxiety through the roof! But look! I survived and after all that internal stress....it wasn't bad at all. Oh how the Lord is teaching me! 


Chris's paternal annual family reunion....


 My love with our girl, Madelyn


Our church held a baptism service at one of our member's home. They had this beautiful, homemade pond! It was a gorgeous setting for a glorious time of worshiping the Lord through song and following His example of baptism...



Afterwards, people enjoyed food and fellowship and the children had fun on this zipline! That's my Jaxson flying down there...


Look at this God-made carpet! Outside of the pond, this moss was growing and made such a neat natural carpet look! It was such a beautiful place, truly!!!


 Thank you for visiting here and it is my prayer that if the Lord has brought you here and you are struggling with things as I had, that you will seek help in some form.

Warmly,
Katy

“Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith. 

I don't agree at all. They are afflictions, not sins. 

Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, 

our share in the Passion of Christ” 

~ C.S. Lewis


a-wise-woman-builds-her-homeStrangers and Pilgrims on Earth

16 comments:

  1. I am going to send you an email when I get a minute! I live with anxiety and know it all too well. You do not sound silly or crazy to me at all, I know how you feel about getting together with large groups of people. I could have written this myself and have been considering blogging about it at some point.

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  2. Hi Katie!

    I too suffer from the anxiety/panic that you described. It came on when I was in my early twenties. (I'm early 50s now) I do take a daily pill :) to help curb the edges. I was home bound at once and totally get the "feel safe at home" thing. I never told my mom/sisters (my husband knows) about it until a year ago. They all live a good hour away and get very angry with me that I don't make the drive to see them. Even after sharing my closely guarded secret with them, they feel like I can just"fix" it. :( Having support is important and having faith that Christ is walking along side with you is Everything! I am here also if you would like to talk and can give you my email if needed. :) God Bless you, Katie!

    Your south pa friend, Kathy

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  3. Hi Katie,
    Can completely relate. I, too, take meds for anxiety along with bi-polar meds and depression. This started for me about 4 years ago I get so upset when I know I have to go to the store for items and when I do I make sure it's early in the morning when the store isn't quite crowded. I, too, feel so safe at home, like I'm in my cocoon and I don't have to deal with the public or outside world. Crowds are a no-no for me. I'm learning breathing techniques in my counseling sessions and hope to implement them real soon. Having the faith that Christ is right along with us and will not leave our side is comforting to me and I know that he will be with me always. God bless and take care. Kathy from SW PA

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  4. Well, another one here with anxiety. I at times have gone off of my medicine with a false sense that I can do without it, because I so hate taking it!!!! I soon find out how much I actually need it and go back on it.

    The comment I love the most from your post is: "I will remain humble and take it". Just what I needed to read and remember. :) Thanks!

    Melinda

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  5. Very good post! Thanks for sharing about a subject that lots of us deal with!

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  6. I also have some anxiety. I don't do well in large social settings. Going to church every week is hard for me. I am fine once I get there and service starts. I just have to push myself to get ready and get there. I don't do small talk well and it makes me anxious just thinking about it! I have a huge anxiety with driving. I drive in my little area of the world and do most of my errands early in morning. The more traffic on the roads the worse my anxiety becomes. I have noticed that as I get older this has become worse. I have a super supportive husband. He encourages me in social settings and is willing to drive me anywhere I need to go when the traffic is heavy. So far I haven't had to take medication, but if it continues to worsen it is something that I would consider.

    Thank for sharing something that is extremely personal!

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  7. Good for you for taking care of yourself and being brave enough to share it. I, too, take a daily pill for anxiety and I'm a better mom for it. If I had diabetes I would certainly take medication to manage it and this is much the same, in my opinion. Best wishes to you :-)

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  8. Dear Katy,how my heart is swelling right now, i to suffer with anxiety, some days it can become extreme! I have spoke about it briefly on my blog but only skimmed the surface for fear of not being understood.
    There have been times when i just could not walk to the washing line to hang out the laundry. Next week i am going to Malta with a very dear friend of mine for one week (7 sleeps!), i go with my husband and childrens blessings but i am terrified having never left them before, who would have thought a couple of years ago my husband could not even have got me to walk our dog together.
    I also take one daily tablet to help alittle, i have often wondered what it is God is showing me,but after reading your post i can see things slightly different.
    Heartfelt thank you's to you Katy for having the courage to be so honest and open about this particular subject, i feel it is still of a somewhat ta-boo subject but it only takes one person with courage to speak out and that can make a huge difference to so many.
    Over the two years i have been reading your blog you have helped and comforted me immensely, you are certainly one of Gods vessels.
    Thank you, best wishes jacke.

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  9. Dear Katy,

    Thank you for you honesty. Thank you for wanting to further humble yourself and share your struggles. You are so not alone. There was a time when i could not leave my house or be alone. I will send you the scriptures when i can that were such a blessing to me during that time. And knowing that Scripture heros struggled also gives us hope in our precious Lord Jesus that He works and uses broken vessels. You are precious and i am thankful for your blog, been a reader for years. ~tammy

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  10. I too have anxiety and have to take a daily pill. I have tried not taking it because i dont like having to take it, but I have gone back on because it helps so much. Thank you for bringing up this very personal topic, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one, especially after reading everyone elses comments.

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  11. Dear Katy, I know this took courage to write and hope it may be a blessing to many out there who struggle with anxiety. One book that really blessed me was "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow.

    Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays and may God continue to bless you and your family.

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  12. As an RN I can tell you anxiety and depression are very common I take Lexapro

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  13. As an RN I can tell you anxiety and depression are very common I take Lexapro It saved my life. Pamela in Ohio

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  14. I echo comments made here for being so brave to talk about your anxiety issues, Katy. I always think of Paul and wonder why the Lord never revealed what his affliction was, nor would He heal him. I believe the Lord left it that way so no matter what we face in this life, physically or mentally, we can look to Paul and remember the Lord told him that His grace was sufficient. That doesn't mean though you can't ease the anxiety with mild medications. There are some natural herbs that take the edge off too. Keep looking up though cause one of these days all is coming to a close ..... He told us what to look for and that the generation that sees everything coming together, would be the generation that sees His coming. There lies our HOPE!! We are living in the VERY last minutes before eternity ... the world is getting darker and darker. Come Lord Jesus!!!

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  15. I believe that sometimes God answers our prayers for healing by leading us to the correct doctors and medications. My issues have been with depression and meds have been a blessing from God! I always thoroughly enjoy your blog, thank you for sharing.

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  16. I'm so glad that you shared this. Anxiety is something very real, not something we can just "get over." Blessings to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy