The other day I was convinced that I had the flesh eating bacteria. I had a small cut on my foot and had gone outside to grab something out of the freezer. I came back in and noticed it really hurt. I put some neosporin on it and went and laid down because I was tired from my allergies kicking it into high gear. I remember falling asleep and thinking that if it still was bothering me when I got up I'd have to call the doctor, and also hoping I wouldn't lose my foot.
Now, I have actually known of three people who have suffered with this, and I am not sharing to make light of it, but to actually share that I have anxiety issues.
I have struggled with anxiety the last couple of years. During pregnancy is when it is worst. During my pregnancy with Anne I thought my husband was cheating on me. I didn't share this with him until a year afterward. But we were working on our house and in the evenings he would leave after supper and go work on the house. I was home alone with the kids and after I got them in bed, my mind would wander. And I had this whole story made up. I would have myself so worked up until he got home. Then after I had Anne, the worst was to come. As you know, if you've read Anne's birth story (here) you will remember I had some minor trouble with bleeding afterward. That evening after my midwives had left and my husband was passed out beside me, I had this dark, heavy feeling come over me. I was convinced that if I got up to use the restroom, I would bleed to death. I could hear the voices in my head telling me I wasn't going to live to raise my children. It was the hardest, loneliest, darkest weekend of my life so far. Just that heavy, anxious feeling.
A couple of days later, after my mom had arrived to give me a hand, I was working in the kitchen and the thought came to me, "Some days I just feel so attacked.." Wait a minute. I think I am on to something. Of course, I am being attacked. That moment I spoke out loud and said "No." No, I am not going to continue listening to these voices in my head. I am not going to give them access to my heart...to my mind. I started praying and quoting Scripture.
I wanted to share this because I know I am not the only one. Anxiety runs in my family. And I am thankful that I know it, and I am starting to see the warning signs, the triggers. I can give it over to the Lord. Now, there are times when anxiety has to be treated with medication. Maybe not forever, but at least temporarily. Maybe for years.
But I have found power and comfort in speaking aloud. If we keep it inside, we can become a slave to our thoughts, to our anxieties. God has promised us freedom. And there is freedom in speaking out loud the promises of God. Of telling the thoughts they have to go. Of verbally taking our thoughts captive.
I still don't have it all together, per the story up above, but I have a hope. And that is what I cling to.