My Journey Through Darkness |Behind Anxiety|

7:36 AM

Honesty. Healing. Hope. 

Hola readers!

I'm starting a new series about my journey discovering truths about mental illnesses, mentoring, encouraging someone who's struggling with depression, anxiety, among other things. I want to be honest, for others to see they are not alone and that healing is possible, and for those who have never dealt with a mental illness to see through the eyes of others.

Let's begin, shall we?

January of 2017, I woke up with my heart racing and my palms sweaty. I lay there in a panic, convinced I was going to die. My breathing was shallow, the air sucked from my lungs.

This was my first official panic attack.

I don't know what caused this attack. I like to blame the medication I had been put on for my ulcers since I got all the symptoms from the little pills, which were similar to that of a panic attack. But after I got off the pills, days after, the attacks remained.
And they're not fun.
I experienced them most out in public when I was surrounded by strangers or when I was in a chaotic situation. I hated that feeling of losing control of my body, of succumbing to the attack and allowing it to run its course.
I thought the attacks were brought on by the medication and that they would eventually disappear, but as time went on I discovered that they were brought on by something much deeper.
Everyone can get stressed and anxiety and panic. I've talked to a lot of friends who've experienced high-stress and anxiety and will tell you that they suffer with anxiety.
It's a common issue.
But it's a much deeper issue then simply 'panic' or 'anxiety.'

Behind every moment of anxiety, there's a reason. For some it can be they hate being around people, for others it's the idea of losing control, past abuse, death of a loved one, the fear of letting go, the fear of failing, the fear of not being loved or accepted, or even some part of the brain you cannot control and must take medication for.
I'm not trying to underplay anyone's panic and anxiety attacks. I'm not trying to make it 'better' or saying we have control of it.
But the things that cause us immense anxiety and struggles, normally has a far deeper reason then simple 'panic.'
One day I was hit with the realization that I needed to break my anxiety down. I didn't want to deal with this for the rest of my life.
I began to get a panic attack when I was in crowds or chaotic situations. But why?
The rooted answer was this: when I was in those situations I began to feel the attack when everything was out of my control, when I thought of the worst things that would happen and when every pressed around me. I hate losing control, I hate appearing 'out of of element.' I like to be well put together, all awkwardness aside.
When I didn't keep these struggles in check, when I ignored these seemingly little issues in my life, they stemmed into far bigger issues. They became ulcers in my stomach from worry which later became panic and anxiety and attacks.
A few seemingly small things like, 'not wanting to lose control,' and wanting to be 'well put together' and continually worrying and stressing over these heart issues, delved into something more serious and much less controllable.
Again. I'm not trying to underplay anyone's struggles here. I'm not saying that your anxiety comes from anything that is preventable or that can be broken down in 'whys'.
But it was that way for me and it is that way for others.

Looking back, I see how when I was younger I let go of God in many situations. I didn't see my need for control as much of a heart issue but more of 'how I am.' I saw it as how I was born and how I was going to be. I didn't care about changing. I liked the feeling of control.
But it took me away from God, and it took me down a darker road then I could have ever dreamed. This was the heart check that I needed. I needed to see where I was weak in order to see HOW to be healed. I realized that the first step to healing was seeing where I was wrong, where I was struggling and by seeing that control isn't everything.
My need for control made me let go of God
Because you simply cannot compete with the Ruler of All.
You just can't.

And this is what began my healing.

Do I still get anxiety and attacks? Do I wake up with my heart racing? Did this fix everything when I'm in public?
I still struggle. Everyday. I'll admit that after some extensive research, taking supplements and talking with others, I've definitly begun to see the attacks lesson in their severity. But I do struggle. I don't like going into public alone because I always fear what could happen.
But something HAS shifted.
I've learned to let go so that God can catch me.

Bible verse photos credit: Google search

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17 of your thoughts

  1. Wow. This really resonated with me. A year ago and a good length of time before, I would wake up in the middle of the night with panic/anxiety attacks. It would be hard to go back to sleep sometimes and it was hard to breath. It was scary. Also, I think I might have been considered depressed. I never wanted to say that because I felt like it was something I could control. Which was my problem. When I finally gave everything to God, I felt better. I was at peace. Yes, I still stumble. It's a daily struggle. But if I wake up each morning and dedicate my day to God, things will slowly heal and get better once more.

    Thank you for this post. It's beautiful. I hope a lot of people see this. <3

    ~Ivie| Ivie Writes

    1. Yes, I think there's a piece of us that wants to have it 'under control.' No one wants to admit to themselves that they're struggling or that they can't heal themselves. It's a long process, isn't it?
      I love the quote from C.S Lewis that talks about each day having to rely on God all over over. It's so true - it's a daily process, baby steps.
      Thanks for being so open and honest. Be strong, darling.

  2. Wow this is a powerful testimony.

    I also used to have some weird panic attacks as well as my heart rate increasing creepily quick. And as you described it was always some sort of situation were I felt like I had not control or was afraid of something. Sever Anxiety is a lot rarer for me these days, I still have the endless pacing and surging in my head sometimes but I have found so much peace in letting go and giving my worries to the Lord. "If He cares for even the sparrow so much more does He care for you" << that's my power verse.

    Thank you so much for opening up and sharing, the verse you made into visuals were so powerful's a cliche thing to say but every time someone opens up and shows us what they went through it helps the others know that they are not alone and that there is hope. It's like rays of sunshine peeking out through broken glass and flooding what's past with light. Thanks for doing that <3333

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment! Giving God my worries is a number 1 to do. Conquering this stuff wouldn't be the same without Jesus. <3
      Continue being such a light and fighting the good fight.

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey with anxiety, Kara. I too struggle with anxiety and I know how difficult it can be to fight against it. My anxiety began in preschool and has continued to follow me as I have grown older. I am so glad God has helped you through your anxiety just as he has done for me. It is still a struggle, but I feel like God is more in control now than my anxiety is. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure many who read this will relate to and find strength in your words just as I have done.<3

    1. And THANK YOU for being a light on my feed this afternoon! I really appreciate your honesty. We're in this together, Eve. <3

  4. Take note of how quickly you got comments. And from some of the most interesting bloggers online.

    This kind of anxiety is common to the point of almost being universal. Late teens is the most frequent age of onset. Why? Because adulthood seems impossibly difficult. Trust me, it isn't. You'll handle the future just fine.

    Of course I hate hearing that you've had any sort of problem. But the talk of ulcer medications and supplements really worries me. In November 2016, I entered a hospital ER with heart and kidney failure due to a supplement I'd taken. I thought it was perfectly safe. However, I was lucky. I've recovered. Be VERY careful of supplements, Kara.

    BTW, you seem to me like someone who'd be well justified in feeling confident and self-assured.

    1. Thank you for your comment Ray!

      Adulthood does at times feel difficult, but I'm learning that I've got my Jesus and I'm going to get through the changes of life okay.

      As for the supplements, I've very careful and I'm off the ulcer medication. The supplements are something I've well researched and I don't take it lightly at all - I've learned in natural living and healing and it's something I enjoyed reading up on in the last few years when it comes to herbs and all that jazz.

      Thank you for your thoughts - as always.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story, Kara. It was an encouragement to read about your journey with anxiety and how leaning on God has changed everything. Though I'm not in exactly the same situation, this blessed me. xx

    1. YOUR comment blessed me! Continue to be a shining light. <3

  6. This was so encouraging, thank you for being brave enough to share. <3

    1. Your words mean a lot to me Gray - thank you for your friendship in this blogging world. *Hugs*

  7. thank you for sharing your story about anxiety and being so vulnerable. Im so glad and proud of you for being able to get to the place you are now. I admire you for that. I think a lot of people deal with these issues, and we should talk about them. continue to do so.

    very encouraging :)

    1. YES so many people struggle with issues the Church is often willing not to talk about. I really hope to continue bringing topics such as anxiety up on my blog. And the comments are also a blessing - to be there for each other and realize that we're never alone.

  8. Oh, Kara! You may be broken, but God is definitely turning it into beauty! I love the heart behind this post. I relate to your story to a certain degree, but it was also really helpful to understand what others go through. And this line was the perfect conclusion: I've learned to let go so that God can catch me. I'm learning too, and it's the best thing. xx

    1. WOW your comment means so much to me Jessica. Thank you for taking this broken journey with me, friend. We're in this together - keep letting God catch you. *Hugs*

  9. Thank you so much for writing this, Kara! I might not necessarily count what I've experienced as anxiety attacks, but I've definitely experienced something similar, and this post was a timely reminder to read.


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