I wasn’t going to write this post for a couple more weeks. It is one that is very personal and I feel very vulnerable sharing it. But this week, I have ran into a few people who have shared with me about their struggles with anxiety. When I would share that I too struggle with it, they would give me a shock look and tell me they didn’t know that about me. So here I am, sharing with you about what I have been struggling with over the last 4 years.
Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
8 years ago, I got a text that changed my life. (It is not my story to share. I want to respect and protect my family, so I will not share what happened.) Still to this day whenever my mom text me to “call her”, my heart rate speeds up and I feel the anxiety start to come over. After the “event”, I didn’t sleep for 6 months. I was worried about my family, fearful of the worse case scenario and trying to take care of everyone. I was doing all this, and still planning to move overseas to do mission work for 2 years.
A year later, I was on a plane heading to Central America to start my 2 year commitment. I had thought that I was “good” because my family was good. But what I had done was remove myself from my family and the situation. The “out of mind, out of sight” was real for me and it did last while I was living in Central America. But when I moved back to California, I soon realized that I had never dealt with the “event”
I came back to California in December of 2015. I came back knowing that this is what God wanted me to do, but also I was burnt out from ministry. I took a 3 month sabbatical when I came back. During my 3 month sabbatical, my last living grandparent past away, there was drama with my extended family and I was trying to figure out where I fit in with church and friends. It was not that restful, but I was thankful that I had that time to process through things.
I had started to work again in the Spring of 2016 and thought I was “ok” . That my sleepless nights were because of work, never wanting to go anywhere after work was because I was tired from work and this anxious feeling was because I was just readapting to life in the states. The problem was that as the months went by, the sleepless night increased, isolation increase and my anxiety got worse.
I was struggling and no one knew.
I was ashamed to tell anyone that I was struggling with anxiety. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t get it under control. I did all the “Christian” things that I was supposed too. I prayed, memorized verses, pray some more and still it was not getting better. I missed friends weddings, baby showers, dinners all because of my anxiety.
I kept asking myself, how I could be a Christian and work for a church if I was struggling so much with anxiety. I just didn’t know what to do, or how to overcome it. I felt like I was stuck in this quick sand of anxiety and couldn’t get out of it. I couldn’t see a way out.
I knew that needed help when one day, I woke up knowing that I had to get ready to go to a wedding. It was a wedding were I would know pretty much everyone. And I couldn’t do it. I sat crying the in my living room with my roommates wondering why I wasn’t going. I just sat there, filled with so much anxiousness and couldn’t get under control. I knew I couldn’t keep living life like this. I needed help!