living with anxiety.

Yes, I realize that this isn't Monday.  This post explains a little bit about why I didn't post on earlier this week.

I have pretty bad anxiety.  I haven't had a doctor diagnosis this, but I know I have it.  I feel it every time I try something new.  I feel it every time my body feels a little different than it did yesterday.  I feel it every time I'm overwhelmed.  I feel it every time I think about college and the future.

I'm a very anxious person and it affects me physically.

1. I push through a lot of stomach problems.

I deal with a lot of nausea.  Don't worry, I don't suffer from some sort of gastrointestinal disease.  My nausea is caused by nerves.  Many days, I have to choke down breakfast before leaving for school.  I have to clench my hands together and make myself look like I'm not super sick the block before a test.  At the end of my freshman year of high school, I stayed home from school for 3 days because of severe anxiety-induced nausea (the plus side of this scenario is that it got me out of dissection in biology).  This nausea isn't something I can pray myself out of.  Sometimes it's there without the "butterflies in my stomach" telling me that I'm nervous.

2. I don't have a lot of energy.

Anxiety takes so much energy out of me.  Almost every day I come home from school emotionally exhausted, so I can't do much other than homework (barely), doodle (which relieves stress for me), and watch tv.  My family always gets on me for being tired all of the time, but coping with anxiety is exhausting.

3. Sometimes I can't reign in my thoughts.

You know those out of control panicky thoughts that go along the lines with, "I'm going to die"?  Sometimes I find those rushing through my head at lightning speed and I can't stop them.  No matter what I do to try to take my mind off whatever I'm freaking out about, I still freak out.  My mind wanders from the book I'm so desperately trying to get sucked into.  My mind wanders away from the comforting Psalms I try to read to calm myself.  (I'm actually having that right now.)

4. I freak out very easily.

One of my biggest freak-out triggers is people acting suspicious and my health.  For some reason, both of those things set me off.

5. The only person who can help me through this is God.

In Peru, I had a major God moment (well, moments) where I realized that I wasn't following God at all.  The trip drew me closer to Him, but not as much as the past two weeks have.  Okay, I'm going to go back in time for a minute.  On the Peru trip, there was something called Cry Night (basically confession night).  I gave up my fearfulness.  But the past two weeks, the Enemy has been attacking me with a lot of fear and anxiety.  The only thing I can do whenever that happens is to pray and try to read God's Word.  Basically, I could use a LOT of prayer right now.

Do you deal with anxiety?  What are some ways you cope with it?  Has it drawn you closer to God?


  1. Hey, Alea. *gentle glomp*

    I had a serious bout with anxiety and depression last year. It was my first time, and at one point I wrote in my journal, "The people who live every day with depression and anxiety are the bravest people." You are brave. You get up every morning, and your emotions try to kill you. You are a hero, battling every day with darkness that tries to lodge inside your mind.

    I will say that I think my depression was medical in nature, so if you notice anything else that's unusual, get a doctor's appointment. I have hypothyroidism, which is known to cause anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, and chills. So if you notice anything else, try to figure out the cause. Your body is so connected, everything affecting everything else.

    My depression last year passed naturally, I think, so I never really learned to cope very well, but there are a few things I learned.

    1. Your emotions are stupid. They are evil, malicious little beasts that want to see you murdered. And they. are. liars. Your emotions are just chemicals in your brain, and they do not determine truth. God does. And God says you are His beloved child. In times of darkness, remember what you learned in the light: God loves you.

    2. Try to get enough sleep. It won't help; you'll still wake up in the mornings and physically feel the anxiety settle over you again. But the last thing you need right now is to have other health problems in addition to this. Same with eating, even if you don't feel like it. Take care of yourself.

    3. Get someone you love and tell them how you feel. They are now your partner in this. You may tell them anything. On the days you don't want to talk, they can be looking out for you and praying for you anyway. Bonus points if they can hug you at regular intervals.

    4. Get out of the house. Sit on the front steps. Take a walk (but not alone, if you can help it). Plant some flowers. Just be outside in the sunshine and life. There is nothing stressful about outside. So get out of the dark, noisy, busy house, and breathe some.

    That's all I've got. If you ever need me, message me. Any time, anywhere. I'm praying for you. Hang in there, hero.

    1. Thank you so much for all of these tips! :)

  2. Agreeing with everything that Athelas said and her specific encouragements!! The enemy doesn't like it when we commit ourselves fully to God. I'm so very sorry you are being attacked with such fear and anxiety. I will be praying for you!! That:

    God will encourage, comfort and strengthen you. And that you will be reminded every day that you are one of God's "chosen people, holy and dearly LOVED" (Colossians 3:12)

    That you will be surrounded by God's people who can listen to you, love you well, point you to Christ, and help speak against the "voices" in your head that are filling you fear and anxiety. I know how hard it can be to fight against the voices and instead hear the truth of God!

    That God will heal you from the onslaught of fear and anxiety that you are experiencing - but also give you the wisdom to seek more counsel if you need it. There is a very physical component (just as Athelas said) to fear and anxiety and taking care of those needs can go a long ways to helping the problem. Praying for the ability to sleep well and have the time to refresh and relax in ways that help you!

    That you would grow in your faith and that God will deeply use your time in the Word and in prayer to grow your relationship with Him. It is a joy to hear how He used this retreat specifically in your life!!

    Thank you for your honesty. Your post will encourage many others. I will be praying for you!!!

  3. Girlfriend, I get EXACTLY where you are coming from!!! I get stressed and freaked out WAY too easily--and over the silliest things!!! And the Lord has been trying to get me out of this rut this past week, which has been hard, but when I follow Him and make sure I am doing His will--it is really freeing.
    Something that I've realized in the past month--if there are things we think we 'can't do' because we feel to nervous or insufficient, Christ is enough to get us through. If He went through the hardest thing any human can go through (dying for us) then as Christians, since He is in us, we can do ANYTHING (as long as it lines up with His will).
    I feel like some great testimonies are going to come out of this, girl, if you rely on Christ and fight against this fear with His help. I will be praying for you, Alea. Keep fighting the good fight!

  4. This hit close to home. I understand. And I will be praying for you!

  5. The inward battles are often the hardest ones to fight, and they are the ones others understand the least, but keep fighting <3

  6. Definitely praying for you, Alea. One of my favourite psalms is 91, which talks about God protecting us and fighting for us. He is fighting for you too, :)


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