It hit me like a lightning bolt. A gripping fear that something bad was about to happen. It feels so real in the moment. It’s terrifying. When anxious thoughts strike sometimes I have a trigger, and other times I don’t. This time I did, and I knew it. I had read a Facebook post from a friend about keeping her kids home from school because there had been another threat against the school. And it gripped me. Even though we homeschool, our oldest goes to school once a week. And immediately, I felt like that post was a warning to our family. “What if this is a warning that Ishould keep my child home from school this week?” “What if this is a foreshadowing of what’s to come for our family?” Wave after wave of anxious thoughts. Anxious thoughts that I knew had no foundation in truth, yet were real all the same.
When You Think You Are Okay…
The anxious thoughts were a surprise to me. A year or two ago (or three or four), this would have been a normal reaction for me. At that time my brain was truly not functioning correctly. The most innocent of statements could have triggered a huge panic inside of me. But lately, I’ve been doing much better. The truth is that while my life used to be somewhat defined by intrusive thoughts, anxiety, and panic, lately those bonds have been broken bit by bit. Where I used to have anxiety throughout the day plaguing my every move, I now have a lot more peace and calm in my life. But the truth is that these anxious thoughts are still a part of me and that I need to guard myself against them.
When Anxiety is a Part of You
While I don’t like it, I’ve come to realize that anxiety is something that is a small piece of me. Thankfully, and with the help of God and family, that anxiety has become a smaller and smaller piece of me. But I’m still prone to those anxious thoughts and waves of panic. I have to constantly be on my guard to not let myself slip into thinking intrusive thoughts that literally paralyze me with fear. I struggle to not take on the thoughts and experiences of other people. It is a constant learning battle of reaching to be sympathetic and caring to others, without making their burdens and experiences emotionally my own.
It also means that I have to be on my guard always with logic and reason. The moment I let go of logic and reason, and the moment I stop actively casting away anxious thoughts, that’s when I fall. For me, I have to make a mental choice daily to not accept anxiety with all of its intrusive thoughts. It’s hard. But it’s worth it.
Recovering from Anxiety
I’m not sure anyone fully recovers from anxiety. It’s a type of disease that is always lurking. It’s just whether or not we fall to it. Sometimes that means you may need a therapist’s help, medication, or anything that your care team has come up with. And that’s okay. For me, at my current stage in life, it means being ready to make a choice. To make a choice that I will do my best to counter every anxious thought with reason and logic and trust that God holds me in His hand and will care for us. That doesn’t mean that bad things won’t ever happen. We live in a world when bad things do happen. It simply means that I daily choose to not worry or cave to the anxious thoughts that pop into my head. It’s not easy. But it’s worth it. Because it brings me freedom to enjoy the present. And the present moment given to me is a gift that I choose not to miss. Want to know more about my story and my life? Head over to my Instagram page and follow my day to day living!