Anxiety. Seven letters. A couple of different meanings. A ton of symptoms.
If you google the word “anxiety”, you’ll find this definition.
“Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”
You may even find this definition right underneath it.
“Anxiety- a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”
For those who suffer with this disorder, you know that anxiety is more than just those definitions. You associate it with the uneasiness, the insomnia, the shortness of breath, chest pain, the lonesomeness, the irrational fear 24/7, etc. Or like in my case, the need to be in control all the time. It’s all of these things and more tied into one.
Now, I have suffered with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder my whole entire life. I’m even starting to believe that I’m borderline agoraphobic. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve began to learn to explore different options to help ease these feelings and these attacks that I get. Besides me having this disorder, so does my mom and both of my sisters. It’s just something we have all had to deal with so we’ve grown to be accustomed to these things.
We’ve all learned how to somewhat cope with these attacks and we all have certain hobbies that can help calm us down. One of mine is cleaning. I absolutely love to clean. Doing laundry is just something that takes my mind off of whatever may be causing me to be anxious. I know, it sounds CRAZY but it works. It’s something that I can do to eliminate those feelings and it doesn’t require medication which I’m against. At a very young age, I had to take Xanax for my attacks. Then I was prescribed Lexapro and Hydroxine Pamoate. But, I never wanted to have to depend on a medication just to feel “normal”, so that’s when my cleaning obsession came into the picture.
But, even with all of these things that could help, I put myself into a category. Carmen = Anxiety. Carmen = Panic Attacks. Carmen = Impulsive Decisions. I believed that this defined me. I would always carry these things with me because it’s what I have always dealt with. Not saying that I still don’t struggle, because everyday is a battle. It’s like chronic self-destruction that can not be shaken. Even though I have these things that I fight against, it does not describe who I am as a person.
Anxiety does not call me by name. Worry does not call me by name. Doubt does not call me by name. Fear does NOT call me by name.
God calls me by name.
I am His. His child.
I am worth far more than rubies.
He has a plan for me, to give me a future and hope.
He knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Created in His image.
I am altogether beautiful, I have no flaws.
I am clothed in strength and dignity.
That is who He called me to be. Carmen = lively. Carmen = worthy. Carmen = His.
That’s what I’ve had to pray for. This understanding that I am more than what the enemy has tried to make me believe. But this goes for every disorder, every illness, every attack/battle that anyone faces. You are not your addiction. You are not your bad decision. You are not your parent’s failure. You are not your cancer. You are not your eating disorder. You are not your financial situation. You are not anyone or anything else’s. You are His.
“By the grace of God, I am what I am.” 1 Corinthians 15:10