So, I have struggled with anxiety for a while, this feeling of needing to be perfect was something that permeated my life at a young age. My older brother was bullied very often at school, and I mean he was ridiculed and near tortured. So, it was natural for me to want to not stand out. I wanted to make sure that I was as perfect as one could be. Though we were not a rich family, couldn’t afford the fanciest of clothing or pretty little hair style, I still worked to dress nice and look “normal”. I still have a fear of not measuring up when it comes to making and maintaining friends. I have a fear of my story never being enough or of my pain not being painful enough to share with others. The woman, the other half of a marriage was also affected; she began to regulate herself to make her husband happy, but not herself too. Little did I know that I became stoic. I didn’t want to bother others with my pain, sadness, or needs. I didn’t really notice my anxiety until attending one of my first college intensives. It was a week long class, in another state away from my family, a new experience. This was a counseling class meant to teach us techniques in counseling theories. I thought I was completely prepared for this class, the new adventure on my own was a willing one, and I looked forward to it.
Oh, my goodness gracious!
I didn’t know what was happening to me by day three; I thought for sure I was done for. Though my instructors thought I was doing well, progressing with the class as a whole, I thought I was failing. One afternoon, I even found myself in tears in the bathroom about to have an anxiety attack. I prayed on my knees, begging God to help me though this feeling of pressure, of failing and of not being enough. Even with the wonderful friends I made on my trip, I began to negate my importance and wonder if their friendship with me was as important as it was with the other ladies. I, after all, had nothing special to give. To this day, I struggle with anxiety, compound this with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and there are days that I feel like I need to bury my head under my pillows. Imagine if you will, a mother of four and caregiver to a mother, leaned over the bed with her head buried under the pillows. I am like an Ostridge trying to get away from the anxiety, the fear and depression that compresses my heart. Imagine my children’s faces as they try to understand what is going on with their mother and why she thinks that no one else can see her.
I am a woman of faith. I believe that there is only one entity that can truly heal; I have come to learn this on my own accord. I have had the blessing of discovering my faith through a lot of self exploration and education, which has given me the gift of making up my own mind about what I believe in. I have seen the grace of God. I have seen how prayer makes a difference and that pure coincide does not. So, this whole thing with anxiety, depression, and struggling from PTSD should not even be a factor in my life, right? I even chuckle now as I write this, I am learning how to handle all of these demons little by little, and may have to continue fighting for the rest of my life. I have learned that it is okay to ask for help and I have sought out professional help so I can understand where I begin and my demons end.
Some may wonder that if one believes in God, how can he or she suffer? Shouldn’t prayer be enough to whip someone into shape? Well, so here it is. I am human and with my humanity is a back story, a fragile mind and heart. I may be a strong individual, I may care for a health failing mother, four children, a husband, and attend school, but I struggle. I repent to the Lord and submit to the truth that I need to pray to him, that I need to trust him, but I am still human. God places individuals on this earth to help others, so as I mentioned previously, I went and sought someone out. It is not easy to be faithful and fight the human brain. There are days when life is like a tug of war and I feel ashamed. There are days when I feel fine then something overwhelms me, and I seek to understand why I feel anxious. I feel sad and scared when I drive down the road even though I have witnessed a true miracle. Little by little I have begun to learn who I am in context to the world that exists around me, but there are daily battles in the war my brain had started years and years ago.
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