I struggled for years with the idea that my anxiety disorder made me a weak person. A bad Christian. A shameful woman. I felt I had done something wrong and needed to be forgiven day after day for it to be alright. However, no amount of prayer, conversation or willingness would make it disappear. I began to feel like a failure. As if God didn’t and couldn’t love me, and I didn’t love Him, which I desperately did.
Many times throughout scripture, it says to cast your cares. Do not worry. Be anxious for nothing. Since I was unable to cast my cares it made me a bad Christian. Right? Wrong! My disorder has NOTHING to do with my faith or my worthiness as a woman.
I spent many years feeling guilty and ashamed, but I now see that it was in vain. The chemicals in my brain do not define me! The decision to love Christ and those around me cannot be judged on the fact that I carry the burden of an anxiety disorder. I am so much more than that.
God uses everything we experience in our lives to help others, and my anxiousness is no exception. Now that I have fully accepted it as a part of who I am (just a small part not all of who I am) I am finally able to see how He has used it as a blessing.
A part of me is sad that I felt guilty for so many years, however I believe I am not alone in this struggle. Many of us feel ashamed of our mental disorders because some small part of our mind thinks we did something wrong. I am here to tell you that you have done nothing wrong. You are perfect! In fact, you are stronger because of your disorder! Embrace yourself for all that you are!