My journal entry in May 2020: “These past weeks, especially with significant steps being made for my future, my anxiety has been through the roof. I’m so worried because it’s so crippling, I can’t even concentrate to practice for my exams because instead of paying attention to what I’m reading my mind is going over 50 scenarios of why I will not make it. I don’t know what it is but I’m so afraid and I keep seeing and dwelling on the negative things. It’s like I will be reading and then my mind suddenly is like what about this, what if they (admission’s committees) see this and won’t consider you? Oh remember this part, how will u respond to this if they ask you about it. It is like my brain is nitpicking at all the bad things about me and chooses the most random, hard times in my day to bombard me”.
It is October 2021 and things are not much different. Therapy and my journey with Christ have been of tremendous help but with the new challenges this chapter of my life presents, I feel like I am regressing.
My constant state of anxiousness is more pronounced: it’s getting harder to pull away from things intensifying my anxiety (the line between life and school is super blurry right now and that’s something new for me); it’s getting harder to realize that this emotion does not translate to the reality of things.
There are several devotions that I’ve read to help me navigate my anxiety. Even the current one I am working through right now states regularly that there’s no need to be anxious for God will always provide. Matthew 6: 34 Jesus states “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on its own (Literally if I may add).”.
However, somehow in those moment when something triggers my anxiety severely, those moments when the stresses of life get overwhelming, it’s like I experience a memory loss. I can’t remember all these things that God has said. I forget that He is with me. I forget the many previous episodes He has seen me through. I chase to control everything, trying to solve every problem on my own, which makes me feel even more isolated, forgetting that I’m not alone. It’s like I am chasing to gain control over things that I cannot do anything about.
I even worry about how anxious I am. I worry about what I can do to ease my anxiety, I worry about why I’m not “normal”, about how after all this time I still haven’t “solved my anxiety”, about how I am facing all these things, why I can’t seem to get things in order. It’s a constant I, I, I, I, I, I.
And then the guilt sets in. I remember that I shouldn’t be worried if I have faith in God. I feel guilty because I pray and say I leave my worries to God but then I don’t. I can’t. They just keep coming back. I feel like I don’t have faith in God, I am doubting His power, even though he has shown me time and time again that He will come through for me. There is no need to worry. If I had faith how could I worry constantly about everything? If I lived a life of faith I wouldn’t have anxiety, panic attacks, I wouldn’t let the stresses of life get to me so much.
Connotations about “do not worry/fear” are mentioned so many times in the Bible, it’s literally God’s catchphrase. Gratefully, God always pulls me out and I am reminded of his grace, I am reminded to pray, journal, talk to other people and leave it in His hands. And I always find comfort in doing so. I just do not know why I don’t do that sooner when I feel the panic coming. Why don’t I immediately surrender to His way rather than tackling it on my own.
I know that anxiety is not a sin. Emotions are there for a reason, and we have to feel them. But where is the point where it crosses over from healthy expression to damaging? I find it difficult to sometimes not let my anxiety steal the joy out of my life. And that pisses me off because I love my life. I am blessed in so many ways. We all are. But sometimes the truth is clouded by anxiety.
I have to remember and I’m here to remind you that if you have anxiety, you’re not alone, your feelings are valid however they are not a permanent, realistic portrait of your life. You’re more than that. God is more than your anxiety and He will pull you from it.
Write it down, pray, let it go. Go for a walk or something.
To watch: Uhmm… the new season of The Morning Show is out? What else should you be watching!