I believe that coming to terms with ourselves takes time. It may take an entire lifetime, but it something we must strive for or else we cannot grow in love. It has taken me years to come to terms with my anxiety disorder. Years to love myself, just as I am. If we cannot love ourselves, how can we expect to love others? We cannot.
Each day is a learning experience and I strive to make the most of each precious moment. In the past, I have prayed over, and over, for God to take my anxiety. To lift the burden from my shoulders and let me just be “normal”. For years I was angry with Him because anxiety continued to haunt me. I felt as if my faith was not strong enough. That I wasn’t praying correctly. Or, perhaps, I was doing something wrong. I constantly stayed in prayer in hopes that he would take away the thorn in my side. However, He had something different in mind for me. Something bigger than myself. He showed me that my anxiety is not a burden.
I am now seeing that my anxiety is part of who I am. There is nothing wrong with my faith, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t love God. My prayers have shifted in focus over the years and I now ask to see how I can use anxiety to help others instead of asking for it to be take away. I never imagined that my disorder would be helping those around me. I never thought it could be a positive thing! Now that my perspective has shifted, I can now see it as a blessing. It is part of who I am and I can finally accept that.
Whatever your burden is, see if there is a lighter perspective. Is there a way it can be used to the benefit of others?
I have touched on this topic in the past, but it has been brought to my attention again, and I believe that it is something that should stay in the forefront of our minds. We all go through hardships in our lives, some more than others. There is nothing we can do to change what has happened in our past, but we can change what happens in the future. After we have finally made it to the other side of our struggles, we are able to reflect upon them and discover that we are stronger. We are also able to support others who are going through the same struggles. No one understands more than someone with first-hand experience.
Since my anxiety manifested itself in my adolescence, I have always prayed for it to be taken away. I always thought there was something wrong with me, and that I was doing something wrong in my life because I continued to struggle with it even though I felt as if I continually prayed for God to take my burden. Over the years I became disheartened and fell further into anxiety. There were times when I had no anxiety and I was so thankful! However, it kept returning and I kept wondering what was wrong with me.
After years of thinking I was doing something wrong, God has finally made it clear to me that it is NOTHING I have done. I am not a bad person. I do not lack faith. It is purely a biological imbalance. I do not want to say that it is a flaw, because I do not believe that God makes mistakes. Do I wish that I didn’t have anxiety? More than anything. However, I am at the point where I am able to see that my anxiety has a purpose. There is a reason why my struggle is anxiety. I think that it is so I can help others who suffer from the same affliction. I have always had the gift of gab, combined with the inability to be embarrassed. These qualities combined allow me to open up to others and share my story. Provide hope for those around me who feel as if they have nothing left.
I am here to tell you now that there is something left. You have so much to give, even if you are flawed. Even if you are afraid. We are all afraid at one time or another. What matters is what we decide to do with that fear. Will we allow it to tear us down and defeat us? Or will we use it to propel us forward and overcome the hardships? What will you choose?
As a teacher, I have many students in my classes who do not have supportive environments. I try my best to provide them with a classroom that they can all feel safe and valued in, because that may be the only place they experience that sort of care. Even though I have an anxiety disorder, it was caused by genetics, not an unloving home. I was spoiled rotten as a child, and continue to be treated as such by my husband. My heart goes out to all my students who crave love and have no where to find it.
When you are feeling inadequate, remember that God has created you for a specific purpose. You may not have the skills that the person next to you has, but guess what?! They weren’t created to do what you can do! You are unique and your talents will surprise even yourself!
Don’t forget that YOU are special! YOU are going to do something great!
I challenge you today to do something positive for someone else. Take a moment to break outside of your normal routine and do something unexpected for someone. It may just be a small thing, but you never know how badly someone may need a positive uplift! Good luck and have a fantastic day. 🙂
Being back in the place where I grew up, I have been experiencing feelings of nostalgia as I look at enjoy the decorations, wrap gifts and watch our favorite family Christmas movies. I am reminded how wonderful my childhood was, and how much love the four of us shared together through the years. I am so blessed to have a family that is exceptionally supportive and loving. It has been an amazing journey to come back home for Christmas and be able to enjoy time with my family WITHOUT anxiety! It is freeing to be able to feel joy spread through all of me, without the hinderance of my disorder. I feel so much deeper and love even stronger!
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! If this is a difficult time for you, reach out to those who are closest to you and and let them know. Love is stronger then you may think, and it will bring healing. Christmas symbolizes the birth of our salvation and with that, the security of peace amongst the chaos.
When 3am came rolling around today, I found myself wide awake. I was filled with stress concerning all the things I had accomplish at work over the the next few days! I had to grade papers, write lesson plans, write sub plans, read essays, set up centers, write IEPs/FBAs, emails staff members, meet with students… Oh man, there was so much! My mind was racing and I could feel the anxiety rising up in my chest. It started to feel overwhelming! I couldn’t imagine relaxing, let alone going back to sleep because the only thought that filled my mind was, HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS!?
The hour rolled by and it was suddenly 4am. Then 4:30. At this time I was getting annoyed because I knew my alarm was going to go off in less than an hour, and I had barely had 5 hours of sleep (I personally prefer a solid 8). As I kept stressing out about time, the stress about my responsibilities began to worsen and I felt like I was stuck in an endless trap! My anxiety was rising and I wasn’t sure I could handle it…
Then suddenly, as my stress reached an all time high, I remembered something I had heard the other day. I heard we should be thankful even during our times of stress. Take our stress and turn it around to be praise. It seemed crazy to me, but instead of thinking “How am I going to do this?” I said, “Thank you, God, for helping me to do this in the future.” I began to thank God for his strength, and focus on the positive instead of the negative, and suddenly I felt lighter. I didn’t feel burdened down by the stress. I felt freed. I knew I would get it all done. And guess what, I did! YAY! God is good!
Try and turn your negative thoughts into positive ones, and see how things in your life start to change.
I have really struggled with coming to terms with my past encounters with anxiety, and I have discussed the details at lengths in my previous posts. However, the idea of growing stronger due to hardships has been brought to my attention once again. It is a lesson we can always learn.
Remember, when you are in a dark place, you are growing. You are being groomed for something. You experiences in the dark are going to lead you to an amazing future. Joel Osteen explained it beautifully. He said that a seed cannot grow unless it is planted into the darkness of the soil. In our times of suffering, we are the seed growing into a beautiful flower.
We all go through times in life when the darkness is all encompassing. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone has turned their back and we feel utterly alone and isolated. The good news is that There is always hope! Hope for a new beginning. Hope in finding happiness. Hope to bask in the light once again and feel peaceful to your core.
I was trapped in this thinking. I was lost to darkness and despair. I felt there was no way out of it and I would be trapped in sadness my whole life. However, my God and Savior reached out to me and gave me a new hope. He reminded me that I was strong and I could push through. Even though I was still followed by anxiety and fear, I pushed onward and never gave up. Now I am healing and I have days where I feel no anxiety. However I know it will always be apart of my life but My strength is supernaturally provided and I will motor on.
You don’t have to live in darkness. There is always hope. Don’t give up.
Facing an opposition head on can be a terrifying and intimidating idea for those who of us who struggle with anxiety. The mere thought of going against the fear that consumes our minds triggers tight chests and shortened breath! Speaking from experience, someone with anxiety would most likely prefer to go out of their way to avoid their fears instead of facing them.
In real life avoidance may not be possible. Opposition may be something we cannot hide from, so we have to decide to take back control. Our fears will no longer control us! We push onward in spite of the anxiety we feel.
Fear will not keep us from living our lives, it will only force us to be stronger!