Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My personal story- anxiety

Bloggers, like everyone else, tell you what they want you to know about their life. You get to see the parts we choose to tell you about. Most of the time, my blog is a happy place. And I'm not going to be sad today- I'm going to be honest. I hope with this honesty, I help someone else...




You see, I've always been very hard on myself. Even in elementary school, I remember being super disappointed with my first B. I remember the knot that developed in my chest by the time school was over. "What would my parents think?" I always stayed in at recess in middle school to double check my math tests, for fear I'd done horribly. I cried at piano lessons because it was "too hard". I remember doubting my relationship with Christ as soon as I'd committed to live for Him. I cried in dance class (even as an adult!). I prayed and prayed all the time as a teenager but could never release the tightness I felt in my chest. I had a hard time breathing deep enough to feel like I got enough oxygen. I thought this feeling was normal and that EVERYONE felt that way. 

The earliest I remember feeling that tightness in my chest was about 10 or 11 years old. It continued into adulthood and worsened as I got older. It followed me into my dating relationships. That ever-present "tightness in my chest"- I began to associate with conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

One day, I had gotten so tired of the tightness in my chest, I called a sweet friend and shared with her. She  told me she didn't feel that tightness in her chest and that was probably not a "normal" reaction to life. I'd lived with that ever-present, unable to breathe feeling for so long - I'd accepted it as a reality. I then called another friend who is in the medical profession an shared with her. Again, a second friend told me, that feeling wasn't normal and perhaps I should visit with a doctor. 

I was scared. I was fearful. I had mentally beaten myself up and begun to believe everything I thought. Every thought that told me: I wasn't good enough. I wasn't pleasing enough. I'd begun to fear the future. I was scared to "grow up". I was afraid I "liked the wrong boy". I believed the lies my anxiety had told me. 
 



Naturally, living in the world we live in, I googled the heck out of everything to do with anxiety. You know how it is when you google stuff.... even when you don't google stuff - I was this lady---


 I  bravely nervously anxiously scheduled an appointment. The days until the appointment I continued to overanalyze. "What if there's nothing wrong with me?"  "What if it this is normal?" "What if I never get fixed." " I can't tell people. They'll think I'm crazy." "I can't talk about this because no one will understand. " "What if my doctor tells me this is all in my head..." I finally visited with my general practitioner and she patiently listened. When she looked at me and said, "Well, it sounds like you're dealing with a little bit of anxiety." It was such a relief. I felt such relief! I felt like I could breathe and I felt less crazy. She prescribed me a low dose anti-depressant and within 2 weeks, I felt like myself again. 

Old patterns are hard to break. My brain was trained to think negatively and jump to the worst conclusions. With continued prayer, patience, and support from my then boyfriend (thanks to his persistence and patience, now husband) I was able to feel like me. I was able to become less scared and fearful. I began to pray more and am now able to breathe.

I've been off my medication the last few months and thankfully, I'm fine. When those nasty thoughts start to creep back in, I remember that I struggle with anxiety. I remember that's okay. And thankfully, my Heavenly Father loves me anyway. 

For now, I'm mentally healthy without medication. If there comes a point in time where I need to get back on medication, I'm not opposed. I am thankful for friends who encouraged me to visit with my doctor. I am even more thankful, Christ is a healer. It's okay to need help sometimes. There are people who struggle with anxiety and as someone who's been there- I know it can be difficult to deal. You're not alone. You're not crazy. And it's going to be alright... 

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8 comments:

Lisa said...

Jana Faith, thank you for sharing your struggles. I love that you are open in sharing about it! Proud of you. It is not easy to open yourself up for all to see. I struggle with depression and anxiety, myself, and am taking medication and going to therapy to help train my brain to think differently. I am most excited about therapy. I didn't think I would be. :) Way to go, Jana. Love you.

crayolajennie said...

I love all the inspiration verses and sayings you used! Now if we can just all remember then when life hands us lemons!

Renée said...

Thank you for sharing this. I struggle from anxiety too, I used to stay awake at night because I was afraid that my heart was going to stop. That tightness in your chest...I use the same phrase all of the time and feel like it doesn't make sense to most people. I'm so glad to hear that you're dealing with these feelings and in a betetr place than you were :)

Jana Faith said...

Thanks, Jennie. It's always a choice. Glad you're a friend.

Jess said...

Haha the part where you talked about over analyzing the appointment. I feel like I can't do ANYTHING without those little "what if" thoughts creeping in. I'm so glad it's easier for you to deal with now. I wish you the best. =]

Jess said...

I'm so glad you shared this - that probably took a lot of courage! Good to hear that you're feeling healthy now!

Jess - J's Style
fancypants514.blogspot.com

Jana Faith said...

Thanks - it was a little scary but I know how it's helped me to hear other people's stories. Thanks for reading!

Becca Acker said...

I think we all go through various forms of anxiety. I've self-labeled myself with social anxiety. But our God is awesome and even though I fear at times, He is able to carry me through ANYTHING and I can do ALL THINGS through Him! I'm trying to depend on Him more and learn to step out in faith.

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