Sunday, 23 December 2018

Fallout

 I've had anxiety my whole life. Thinking about the symptoms, and when and where it started is impossible. I've been anxious as long as I can remember. On the anniversary of the day that I was diagnosed with lymphoma, I had a panic attack. It was intense, and took hours to recover from. Over the following four weeks, I experienced several more. The symptoms were becoming immobilizing and all consuming. My face would tingle, and I wouldn't be able to move. They were unpredictable, and my anxiety only increased. 

It has been this crux that has compelled me to ask for help, and I realized something. My perspective was totally and completely fractured. I've grown up believing that the worries, fears and anxieties that have plagued me were sinful, they were the result of weak and wavering faith. I've learned that rather, this anxiety is a part of who I am. It's not a part I enjoy, but I know it's not going to go away. It's something that I need to live with, and I have a choice. I can continue to experience panic attacks, guilt over feeling that my faith isn't strong enough, fear that I am not a good mother, that I am teaching my kids that anxiety is "normal". Or, I can accept it. I can learn about what I'm dealing with, and start to use the tools at my disposal to change the way my brain functions. To allow that "fight, flight or freeze" response to work in a more regular way. 

From a faith perspective I know that God loves me the way that I am. I know the anxiety doesn't come from him, and that he loves me in spite of it. That he doesn't want anything to come in the way of our relationship, and that in the dark moments, when the fear builds and the panic comes that he is with me too. That he never leaves. 

It's a journey. It's about me taking a step today, to confront the things that I have been taught that have led me to believe things that are wrong. It's about me teaching my kids that being healthy isn't just in your body, it's in your heart and mind too. 


Merry Christmas, and hopes for a brighter New Year.


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