It is such a relief that many have now become aware of the importance concerning one’s mental and emotional well-being. And not just the body.
Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5: 7-9 (TPT.)
Since my teenage years I’ve battled with anxiety, panic attacks and the fear of being alone. Not so much in the sense of feeling lonely, but being afraid that something bad would happen to me if my “safe people” were not around. Or nearby. This fear stemmed from an incident when I almost lost my life at the age of seventeen. Long story short: I was at a party and took a drink that was laced with illegal drugs. I knew better NOT to take anything offered there, but I did. This was one of the bad choices (one of the worst choices) I had ever made. This was also the time when the chronic anxiety and panic attacks began. The agoraphobia too.
Fast forward to the present.
Even though I learned my lesson and have grown wiser over the years, I still struggle with anxiety on a daily basis. As for the panic attacks, they only occur a few times a year. Thank God. Still, living with constant uneasiness, always feeling wary, affects my sense of safety and independence. My self-esteem included. The weekly tension headaches, the chronic stiffness in my muscles and joints, and the everyday stomachaches and exhaustion are repercussions of the anxiety as well.
Despite the effects I mentioned, they pale in comparison to the power of panic attacks. If you’ve ever suffered one, my compassion goes out to you. But if they happen to you continually…I EMPATHIZE because I know the damage they create over time.
The dread of when the next one will strike.
For me, this is what happens while experiencing a panic attack: a rush of unbearable fear courses through every fiber of my being while chaotic and dreadful thoughts hijack my mind. My vision blurs in and out as my hands tremble and sweat. A flood of iciness rushes its way to my feet and then back up into my stomach, chest and hands. My breathing becomes erratic too. Even in the comforts of my home, I can’t help but to feel threatened. Trapped. I become more frantic with an eagerness to escape as the fear increases (along with the adrenaline and cortisol). I desperately try to find a way out, but how can I runaway from the dreaded enemy that lives inside me?
No matter where I am. Or where I go…fear always tags along.
Eventually, it does go away. But only to hide itself in the depths of my soul, waiting to ambush me at another time. A time when I’m not expecting it. Besides the trauma I experienced as a teen, the root of fear is not the only culprit as to why I deal with chronic anxiety. There are other roots in the garden of my soul that create the unwanted/negative thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that I continue to strive with day after day.
Recently, I discovered the underlying causes of my anxiety. The driving forces behind all my fears, negative thought patterns, moods and beliefs. They are the CORE issues that have been manifesting themselves into the chronic anxiety, the occasional panic attacks, and the other struggles I’ve been living with:
I realize it’s going to take time to uproot (to change) these toxic trees/mindsets. And to plant (to replace) them with healthy ones. After all, it’s taken twenty-some years for them to grow.
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things. Philippians 4:8-9 (TPT.)
External circumstances, including certain individuals, can play a role in feeling anxious. But there may be an underlying issue (s) that is causing it as well. Just like the core issues that cause most of my anxiety.
If you struggle with anxiety, and/or panic attacks, let me know in the comment section below. And if you have coping skills that work for you, then please share those as well. There may be someone reading the comments who need your encouragement and advice. Someone like me.
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2 thoughts on “Will it Ever Stop? (Living with Chronic Anxiety.)”
I wish that there was some ‘cure all’ that made everyone with Anxiety feel better instantly. 😦 But just as no two anxieties are alike, no two coping methods are alike. It took me about nine years to find out that the smell of peppermint oil helped to ease the upset stomach that always accompanied my panic attacks, and a good stress ball (or really anything that kept my hands occupied while my mind raced) surprisingly helped a lot with keeping the shaking away. There is nothing I can really do about my racing mind, but I find that a good routine and some morning affirmations help a bit with that in the long run.
Hi Deanna! 🙂