This is another post about anxiety. I've been wanting to write this post all week, but I've also been scared to write it. It scares me to open up about these things because I'm a grown woman. I have a job and other responsibilities. People depend on me for things! I don't want people to read this and think that my anxieties make me less capable of fulfilling all that I am asked to do.
I finally decided to write this post because I'm trying so hard to erase the stigma that anxiety and depression is something to be ashamed about. When I keep quiet, I'm telling myself I should be ashamed. I'm not keeping quiet any more!! I am still capable of fulfilling my responsibilities. I am still a wonderful person!!
There are two previous blog posts I need to reference: my thoughts on my favorite Book of Mormon story, the Jaredites traveling to the promised land, and my thoughts on overcoming anxiety and depression the first time.
On Monday night, I started feeling like I was having a heart attack. My heart was pounding and I couldn't breathe. I knew it wasn't a heart attack, so I went to bed. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I felt like I was being crushed by anxiety. It felt like I was having a panic attack. All I wanted to do was stay home and cuddle my baby, so I got a sub so I could stay at home. The feeling didn't go away. I was hopeful that it was just something about that day. Tuesdays are my hardest day at school, so I thought maybe for some reason I had a lot of anxiety that particular Tuesday. I thought for sure I would wake up Wednesday and the feeling would be gone. I have come SO far in terms of anxiety, I thought there was NO WAY I was slipping down that slope again.
Wednesday I woke up to the same feelings of a panic attack. It made me so sad. I spent the whole morning crying, regaining my composure, and crying again. I was so sad that it seemed as though I was sliding back into anxiety. That was the hardest time of my life! I did NOT want to go through that again. Not with a sweet baby who relies on me! Not with a husband who has already nursed me through a dark time! Not with a wonderful job that I love! Not with sweet girls who I love to play with every morning! I spent the morning praying to the Lord to steer me away from this trial again.
While Eli took his morning nap, I decided to read the scriptures. After I read a chapter, I felt prompted to read the parts of the October Ensign I hadn't read yet. I flipped through until I found an article I had missed the first time.
Oh. My. Goodness. This particular moment was an incredible, direct answer to my pleadings to the Lord. The article is called Upon the Top of the Waters. It is written by a man who had a season of life where he struggled with anxiety. THAT'S ME! This brother even quoted Ether 6 and made the same connections I have made to the Jaredites! ME AGAIN! Then, at the very end of the article, he says this:
"For now, a few years after this experience, my winds of anxiety are no longer gusting and my waves of depression have ceased to bury me. But if and when the tempest returns, I will call upon the Lord and be thankful, knowing that calm seas don’t carry barges to the promised land—stormy seas do."
That hit me so hard. I have talked and talked about what a wonderful blessing my struggle with anxiety has been. It's blessed my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with my husband, strengthened my testimony, helped me relate to others, etc. But when the winds returned, I forgot about my blessings and focused instead on how hard the trial was. Isn't it funny how that happens?
I am so grateful that the Lord is mindful of me and directed me to something that helped me regain perspective. I don't know what is going to happen with my anxiety. I am going to do what I can to stay grounded, but I now remember that the Lord is blessing me with trials that will only lead me toward the Promised Land.
I go to see Matthew K Money tomorrow. I'm excited to see him and tell him all the things I've accomplished since he took out half of my thyroid. But I'm scared he'll tell me that I need surgery to put tubes in my ears (seriously, at 25, who needs tubes??). I'm even more scared that the reappearance of my anxiety means I'll need the other half of my thyroid removed. But I have an increased resolve to remember the Lord is in charge, He is mindful, and the winds and waves of life will bring us closer to Him if we let them.
|Spencer is so good to me. He helps me remember that I need to stay active, get out of the house and DO things, even when I'm feeling down. ESPECIALLY when I'm feeling down. We went rollerblading yesterday :)|