November 10, 2013 by Courtney
The feeling of panic. That thought that everything is falling apart. My heart racing. Feeling as though everything I do is wrong, all the time. The knot in my stomach. The weight on my chest. The knowledge in my head that nothing’s really wrong, but the feeling in my heart that everything is wrong. Feeling as though I’m just annoying everyone around me. The frustration of knowing how I *should* feel, but not being able to make that happen. The constant self-criticism that causes even more anxiety. Knowing that the more I think about my anxiety, the worse it gets, but not knowing how to stop. Feeling like the walls are closing in.
I had such an amazing week the week before last, but this week has been tough. I don’t know what about it was so tough, but it was. I had many anxiety attacks, and I feel as though I’m just always annoying everyone around me with it… which just makes it worse.
I’ve come to the point in which I am pretty sure I have found the “right” medication, but my anxiety is much more than what medication can help. I went to my psychiatrist on Thursday, and she said that we are going to continue on the treatment that I am on for now. I went to my counselor a few hours later and felt as though I was falling apart. Though, the “exercise” that we did truly helped me and I spent the rest of that day feeling much less anxious. And Friday as well. Yesterday, the anxiety hit me again, full on. And this morning when I woke up, it was there very strong as well.
I think it’s time to start working on some of the “homework” that my counselor gave me. So many things to work through…
While this time of my life is incredibly difficult, I believe that working through these difficult things instead of just trying to move past them will bring the true healing over time. It may take a long time, but I am hopeful that it will come. I’ve seen glimpses.
Typically, when something is too difficult, I find a way to end it. That’s why I’ve quit my jobs so many times. Because teaching is incredibly difficult. I have made the choice this time to work through the difficulty… to persevere. I’m praying that I grow through that decision, and that God will bless it. I desire for Him to be glorified through all that I struggle through, and I am confident that He will be.
My desire to shut down today is very overwhelming. I’m sitting here knowing that I should take the kids to church (Robert is there working right now), but the ability to get up, get myself ready, get them ready, then head into a very large/crowded church makes me feel more anxiety. So instead, the kids are enjoying themselves by playing with homemade pumpkin spice playdough, watching Christmas movies, and being kids. We will have a devotion/praise time at some point, but in the meantime, we are just going with things this morning. And I will not beat myself up for not taking them to church. They go every Wednesday, and that’s good :-).
My homework these next two weeks involves working on self-compassion. Quieting that constant self-criticizing voice in my head and heart and realizing that until that voice is quiet, I will always deal with this anxiety. The voice that I always hear in my head is what I hear from everyone. Even though most people are incredibly full of mercy and grace, I can’t hear that. All I hear is criticism. The reality is that the self-criticism is the voice that I hear from God as well, which is incredibly skewed.
There’s a lot more that I’m working through right now… including the reality that I know God sometimes chooses to not heal people, to take lives, and to allow very difficult things to happen… So much hurt and loss in my life and the lives of family and friends… and that’s so hard to bear. My counselor and I are working through this as well. My heart is not hard, but I’m in a place of not understanding and questioning. I see so many around me hurting, and I want so desperately to be able to pick up their pieces, but I can’t. God will see me through this, just like He’ll see them through it. He is bigger than my questioning. I know that.
Those that are my close family and friends, please know that I am fighting through this and will not give in. Please know that I love you and truly care about your life situations, but sometimes I don’t know how to see past my anxiety and/or I can’t take on anymore hurt at the moment. I love you all and know that God will give you what you need in the midst of your hurt and loss.
And know that even though I may look like I have it all “together” on the outside, that’s not the truth. I just choose to fight every day (which is exhausting). God has been faithful to give me what I need, when I need it… even when I don’t feel like He has. Even on the days in which all I can do is go to bed at 7:00, He’s there. Even when I feel like not going anywhere because I can’t handle being around a large group of people, He’s there. Even when I feel like just yelling, He’s there. I fight through the anxiety most days and try to be the best mommy that I can to my kids, the best teacher that I can to my students, and unfortunately, sometimes my hubby has to pick up the pieces at the end of the day. I’m working on it. I can’t be all things to all people, 100% of the time.
Here I am, bearing it “all,” asking for prayer and compassion. The reason why I share is because I know I’m not alone, and because I know being honest is what will help with my healing. Healing… that’s all I want. I want to live a life of peace more than just here and there. I want God to be glorified through my healing, and I trust that He will.