Hard to believe that it was back in 2009 that I went through an anxiety workshop. You can read what I learned in that workshop here. It's a little frustrating to me that eight years later, I find myself at nearly the same spot. I'm a bit frustrated at myself about that -- that nearly a decade later, I haven't grown more than I have.
But I'm using this opportunity right now to grow. I have learned SO MUCH about anxiety from my husband. I am hoping he will help me write a Blog post on this at some point. He sees patients in the ER non-stop for panic attacks and has truly learned how to educate people about what is happening to prevent these events from occurring.
Here is what I know. People who deal with anxiety, have a "trigger." For me, mine is conflict. (Some people are triggered by fear of flying, fear of germs, or fear of death or dying.) In my case, it is conflict. And it doesn't even have to be real conflict. It can be pretend conflict. It can be someone saying something to me that they didn't even realize was an issue at all that sends me into a tailspin.
When I am healthy, I am able to handle these blips without incident. But when I'm floundering a bit, I face see the tiny blip and spiral. I make it all about the "issue" (which is often not an issue at all) instead of realizing it isn't the issue that is the issue. The issue is the anxiety that accompanies the issue.
(Did you get all that?)
But knowing that and convincing your brain of it is two different things.
Either way, I hope to write more about this in upcoming days/weeks/months. For now I have a husband who is logically and physically standing alongside me, and I have many, many of YOU who are praying and encouraging me. I also have a dear family friend who has walked this road that is standing with me in this valley. What a gift that is.
And here is what I know. Like all things in my life, climbing through this valley will make me stronger. It will make me better. It will make me more Christ-like in my love, compassion, and understanding for other people dealing with this.
As always, when you share, people share back. Just yesterday I ran into a casual friend in a random location who as I started sharing, started sharing herself. And suddenly we were both crying as we shared how what people saw on the outside wasn't how we felt on the inside. Here we were, both looking put together and on top of things -- and we'd both had major breakdowns earlier that day in the privacy of our own homes.