Have you noticed that anxiety sometimes works its way up slowly, barely detectable until you notice life isn’t functioning so well? Then other times it comes in like a pack of wild dogs, snarling and eager to take you down.
Recently, It’s been hitting me in the mornings- before I even open my eyes. I’m thinking this cannot be worry because I was asleep!
A therapist said once that if we will take the time to look closely we will see there is indeed a starting point to our current mood.
Since mid-February I’ve been preparing to speak four times at a women’s retreat the first weekend in May. They want me to tell my story. Generally, my preparation style is to write out many details and various ideas on the topic. Editing makes the final product sensible and uplifting.
For the last 6 weeks I have been going over and over the long-ago past, not to share a sob story, but to bring out the hope, healing, and joy of it. The audience will not hear half of what I’ve written as the speeches are trimmed and shaped.
It’s a process that this time, has been taking me down a dark and ugly memory lane. At first I was frustrated, hating this ancient review of situations long forgiven and overcome. Once the gathering of ideas was complete, I thought it would start to be more fun, adding the positive and inspirational parts. It is surprising how much unwanted feelings are stirring.
It’s not that I am depressed, hurt all over again, or even struggling with the memories themselves. It is the anxiety of having to write it down, and pick and choose what is important to the point. This forces me to read old tales again and again.
Not. Liking. This.
It explains though, doesn’t it, why I wake up in the morning feeling anxious? Add normal anxiety about public speaking, an approaching deadline, and well, discomfort makes sense.
I’ve tried anti-anxiety medications. They happen to not have much of an effect on me, although I have witnessed other people thrive with this medical help. The calm I find (and might I add joy) when anxiety seems to have a mind of its own, is to sit down, open the Bible, read for awhile and pray for awhile.
This result is because God’s Word is powerful and touches the deepest regions of a willing heart.
Oh, how simple solutions are occasionally! If you are like me, anxiety in the moment seems as if that is all there is and ever will be. Then anxiety about having anxiety kicks in. Solutions do not appear simple at all.
I have two more weeks of writing and editing, then reviewing. I know that I know these talks are going to encourage many women with hope and peace of mind. The work is definitely worth it!
Meanwhile, I refuse worst-case scenarios, and focus on Jesus who has always had my back when I feel weak. Part of my story is the day I discovered God is not a tyrant, but tenderly cares about me, his cherished daughter.
Today’s Helpful Word
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -Jesus
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.