The Hard Stuff… Processing Through My Fear, Falling into the Gospel

I have had yet another long few days thanks to anxiety.  I will feel good for a few days and think that I’m “over the hump” for it to all come flooding back even worse than before.  This over-breathing/hyperventilation syndrome thing is a beast.  It hurts, it’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming, it’s frustrating, and hard to truly put into words.  I think the hardest part of it all is that no one knows about it!

On a similar note, I got a call on Thursday with the results from some blood work that was done earlier in the week and I think that had something to do with why my anxiety picked back up (along with a few other reasons).  My cholesterol/triglycerides/LDL are all way high, my kidney levels were high, and my thyroid was high (I’ve been asking this for a long time).  I have an appointment on the 28th to discuss this.  The nurse on the phone told me that she will want to put me on cholesterol meds (it has been high for like 4-5 years no matter how healthy I ate or how much I exercised) and she will want to put my on thyroid meds especially since I have a lot of symptoms.  I’m really, really hoping that it will help my mental health!  There’s a good chance!

Anyway… moving on.

I talked with my counselor yesterday morning through text.  I asked her if unresolved grief can cause anxiety.

I woke up at 3:30 yesterday morning after having had a dream in which I bawled and bawled about my brother’s death.  I have only cried a handful of times since he was born and only bawled maybe once or twice.  It felt like a huge relief to get that out.  It’s weird.  I woke up not feeling as anxious so that’s why I asked her.

She said hmmm, but anxiety is usually based around fear.  So then it sent me on a mission to figure out what it is that I’m fearing.

I was talking to my friend and neighbor through messenger and I said this:

“It pretty much all boils down to my perfectionist nature. I must have everything worked out for now and through the future, my kids must make good choices, my house must be clean and laundry caught up at all times, I must eat healthy, I must exercise, I need to spend time in the Bible every day, I need to pray more, I need to read aloud to my kids more, we need to make more memories together. I also think that a lot it is how I feel others view me. And I worry about the future and that I need to control all things. The anxiety causes the issues and the issues cause the anxiety. And I have a HUGE lack of trust because I have seen and experienced some really hard things so I feel like God hasn’t been faithful to taking care of us.
After I had Levi I kept thinking he was dead when he was just sleeping because my brother had just committed suicide and I thought God would take him away too.
So yeah, lots of fear.”
I would add I also worry about my kids struggling and/or being behind in school.

She reminded me that “Jesus has paid it all and done it all. We don’t have to strive and “try” and be good enough and do enough. God the Father is satisfied with YOU because he is satisfied with his Son.”

For me it’s not about “knowing” this, it’s about living it out.  I just don’t know how.  I have tried for years and I’ll be doing well and it comes back.

A little bit ago I just happened to be listening to JJ Heller and “Who You Are” came on.  I have heard it so many times, but I feel like I heard it for the first time today.

My fear boils down to several areas:

  • Fear of not being perfect; fear of what others think
  • Fear around finances
  • Fear of living with terrible anxiety for the rest of my life
  • Fear of loved ones dying
  • Fear of my kids struggling
  • Fear of my kids being behind in school (which, I think boils down to the part about fear of what others think… it’s stupid)

I have a lot to work through.  I think I will take these one at a time.

As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a teaching called The Gospel- Our Source of Contentment.  I will come back to this teaching towards the end.

These are the specific things that I have been struggling with the past several days:

I feel like I need to eat perfectly so even though I’m not to “food habits” yet (in my Balance 365 program), I’ve been focusing on what I’m eating.  A few reasons for this are 1) The call from my doctor’s office telling me that my blood work is abnormal in a few areas so it makes me want to fix that over night (not possible).  I had terrible anxiety Friday night as I processed through that.  2) I weighed myself Sunday and I lost 5 pounds so oddly I feel like I need to make this happen faster.  Doesn’t make any sense.

I spent the past 2 Sundays doing major food prep and showing it off on social media.  I feel somehow accomplished by doing that.  It’s a little bit much and I need to back off a little bit (at least not sharing it on social media) but it’s hard.

I continually feel that my house needs to be clean and laundry caught up.  I have felt this way for years and I don’t know why.  I know that when my house is clean and laundry is caught up it helps my anxiety but I don’t know if it’s just because of what people think or if it truly just helps me despite not caring what people think.  I’m working through this.

Then there’s levels of Karis’ curriculum.  I have been going back and forth about the level of The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts.  I have been obsessing about it.  I decided Friday that I would go back to level 3 because it teaches some things in grammar that she doesn’t know yet.  Then yesterday I thought I would need to do level 4 because it is independent (level 3 isn’t).  I also worry about starting her on too low of a level because of being behind.  Then this morning I woke up thinking about it again.  I talked to Robert about it today and he told me that I’m WAY over-thinking it and to just do the level that she tested at.  Move on.  Simple as that.  The curriculum creators have already thought about that when they created the curriculum and assessment.

Also, the levels aren’t grade levels.  She is where she is and forcing her to do something on a level where she doesn’t belong will just frustrate her.

Everything boils down to the fact that I over-think EVERYTHING.  But I don’t know how to stop.  And a lot of this is in my over-care about what people think.

 

These are take-aways from the audio that was listening to (I only listened to half today because it was a lot to digest):

These are things that bring her contentment (and I can relate):

  • Approval
  • Control and management of things
  • Comfort and rest
  • Getting it right, performing well, feeling good about herself

“In Christ, I already stand approved.  Jesus is King so I don’t have to be.  He offers me rest from proving myself.  I don’t have to get it right.  I don’t have to get it right because Jesus already got it perfectly right for me.”

“Because of the gospel, I have a new identity (adopted beloved children of God).  I am loved and nothing can change that love.  I am a new creation.”

“I have nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to hide, and nothing to prove.”

 

It all boils down to the fact that I’m not alone and the gospel is the answer.

Jesus loves me where I am, He knows my fears and struggles, He may not heal me in this life but He promises to be with me, and the work that He did on the cross is enough.  I need more of Him.  I need to fall into His grace and love.

This is easier said than done.  I still have trust issues.  But spending time with Him will be the way to overcome (well, and blogging to process, counseling, and medication).  He provides all my needs.

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