My Anxiety Story Part 4
"This is your new normal."
My mom said this to me one day. I had been filled with dread and unease at the prospect of a million thoughts. I clung to the fear in my heart. Would I die of a heart attack? Who would raise my kids? Did I have some incurable disease? Was I going crazy? Would I ever feel normal again? I had counseled with her numerous times. Her calming words relieved tension, anguish and nervous jitters. But hours later I would find myself worrying once more, feeling the nerves tinge and the fear build. I would fall back into hysteria and remain fixated in the fact that just weeks; now months ago, I was "normal." I hadn't experienced anything as strong or overwelming before that first panic attack.
I analyzed and obsessed. When I caught my body relaxing I found myself acknowledging the fact and wondering if I was cured. Minutes later I would be in a stupor of waste, muscles trembling, body aching, throat tightening. I would play into the sensations, drowning in it's dark effects. I tried anything to releive and distract me from it...
exercise...blogging....church activities....preschool with the kids.
But anxiety followed, like a looming black cloud it weighed me down, suffocated the hope. Looking back I am not sad for this. I am learning so much from this experience. And accepting it, has helped. These are the first steps to my healing, and I must feel these moments and impressions like I do the pain. This is my path back to health and these are the steps I urge those going through the same trials to take:
1) THIS IS YOUR NEW NORMAL: No sense in trying to change it or obsess over it. Allow your brain to wrap around that ideal, that maybe, just maybe we don't have control over everything, and this is okay. God is giving you a trial in which you can learn from. Accept it and be humbled.
2) EXERCISE: This always helps to de stress, Consistent workouts no matter how long or short, is good for your well being. It has saved me many times. I always felt better- if but for a short time-after exercising.
3) PRAYER & TRUST: God has a plan for you. He knows what is best for you. If you were die tomorrow, well that would be because it was part of the plan. Find peace in his omnipotence, because he loves us and will protect us in the best, most superb way. He has the full picture the well rounded perspective. We see only a blip on the screen and go into a frenzy if all is not right. But the only way I have found true peace is when I fully rely and trust in his plan. It has required prayer, much cries, pleadings and thanks to God. It is a constant, consistent thing I must do, because when my faith and prayers weaken, the fear seeps in. I find when I hold firm to his faith, I relax and feel relief and an overwhelming calm.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-304) PATIENCE: Things do not change over night. Small consistent changes in your faith, trust, attitude, and health will change you, but not over night, not even over the weeks, or maybe even months, but you will get there. Give yourself time, don't beat yourself up and remain consistent in the small positive changes.
"The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord."
Lamentations 3: 25,26
"For the Lord will not cast off forever." Lamentations 3:31
I have plenty more things that I do, that are changing me. They are unique to my challenges. But I have found they have helped me, and hopefully they will help you too as I find the courage to share them. Which path do you choose to take, one towards hope and faith, or one towards pain and anguish?
To Be Continued......