I actually just submitted an article to The Glorious Table about my battle with people-pleasing. It should run sometime in August, and I will be linking to it, of course, when it does. But I spoke about something in that piece that I wanted to share, now, on my Blog, as a "teaser" of sorts.
In staying with my "keeping it real" theme on this Blog, I didn't hesitate to share when I began battling some anxiety and almost-taking-over panic attacks during the last few months. I can tell you that as of right now, I am doing really well emotionally. I was truly only "down and out" for about two weeks. As I have begun to heal, I can be honest in saying that this battle was a combination of:
- Physical: I was a bit run-down and not taking good care of myself. I needed more sleep and more quiet and peaceful times to make sure I was "healing" each day. I also did start on a mild anti-depressant again. I have not taken this since I dealt with PPD after the birth of two of my three biological children, but I felt it helped take the edge off a bit so that I could get to the deeper work of healing the parts of me that needed to heal. I do not intend to stay on this medication.
- Spiritual: I truly believe that Satan is real, and that he does not want good things for us. I truly believe that he is using mental "illnesses" to wound Christians left and right in our world. We cannot share Christ and be the person we are supposed to be when we are emotionally injured. I believe that If I am not physically, spiritually, and emotionally strong, I cannot combat this enemy.
- Emotional: I have been a people-pleaser my entire life. I have tricked myself into thinking I'm "beyond" it during times when everything is going good. If everyone is happy with me, and I'm not fretting, than I am no longer struggling with this. When in fact the truth is, this issue was simply lying in wait, festering under the surface. I refused to truly deal with it and put it to rest. And so whenever I became physically and spiritually exhausted, it would rear its ugly head. I really do think that the election was a major turning point for me because suddenly I could not "control" things around me -- this was something way bigger than me, and I couldn't stop the mean things people were saying. It started working me into the ground. Back in November I felt this coming on -- this breakdown -- but I didn't stop it. I just let it keep festering.
While I am on a little bit of medication to help me heal, I am really, really working to make myself stronger. I am working to be:
- Physically stronger by getting good rest, eating well, and exercising regularly.
- Spiritually stronger by putting positive in me as often as I can: scripture, worship music, Bible reading, scripture memorization, bookstudy. I wanted the truth to be what I thought of first every morning. I started memorizing a passage. I made a worship playlist. I am trying to put all things God first. I still have four little kids and life is really busy, but I am filling my tiny moments with Christ. I have removed negative from my Facebook feed. I have stopped reading the news and dwelling on anything negative.
- Emotionally stronger by surrounding myself with people who built me up. I decided to put the emphasis on the people who truly mattered. Like the famous Dr. Seuss quote says: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” I realized that my inner core of people accepted me completely and utterly without question, and that I didn’t need to be careful with every little thing I said and did when around them. Those were the people I needed to focus on and spend time with. And I needed to stop worrying about those who truly didn’t matter.