Anxiety.  The only way I know how to describe it is that it’s like a gnat that swarms your face with that loud buzzing occasionally bumping into you.  In either situation, a gnat or anxiety, it’s just really annoying.  I’m pretty sure I struggled with anxiety even as kid looking back at things.  When I was in Elementary School for several years I had no problems going to school the first day but then the next day I would start crying and I would tell my mother my stomach hurt.  Just little things like this that make me realize anxiety has always been a part of me.

When I entered adulthood and mainly after I graduated college and went out on my own, my symptoms really became exacerbated.  I think it was the fear of facing adulthood and the struggles of being newly out on my own as well as entering the workforce as a social worker and coming in close contact with situations most people would never believe is real life for some.  I started eating more, worrying more, sleeping less.  I went through a period a few years ago when I entered a new relationship that my anxiety became so bad I almost destroyed the relationship before it even started.  I went on medications went into therapy, the whole nine yards to try and fix this.

It’s not fixable.  Not really.  It may go away for a while but then eventually it rears its ugly head.  When I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart and changed some things about my life style I did manage to get my anxiety under control to the point where I went off medications and I just try to take vitamins to assist with calmness and sleeping.  I’m not saying medications are wrong I personally just like to stay away from them if possible. 

Things really changed for me when I started noticing the older my nephew got the more he became anxious about things.  It broke my heart because I knew exactly what he is going through.  He gets nervous around a lot people, embarrassed easily and new environments don’t tend to sit well with him.  I just knew that he was going to miss out on so much if he couldn’t over come this. 

I started looking at my anxiety as a blessing not a curse as I once did.  God provide me this gift for a reason.  I’m not exactly sure what that reason is yet as God tends to have an interesting sense of humor, himself, but maybe its to help others including my 6-year-old nephew dealing with the same issues.  When I look back at some of the situations where my anxiety was exceptionally affecting me, I noticed a pattern of flags.  It was almost like my anxiety was a caution signal saying “whoa enter at ease I see some barriers.” For example, that relationship I mentioned earlier that I almost destroyed before it even really got started ended up being a toxic one and I was having anxiety over things that just didn’t seem to sit right with him. Instead of looking at what was causing my anxiety and realizing this may be a real problem to be concerned about, I was focused more on fixing my anxiety so I didn’t destroy the relationship. Next time I’ll know that the anxiety may be trying to tell me something a little more.

Another blessing of my anxiety is meeting so many people and forming such close bonds out of it.  When I was faced with a new obstacle and wasn’t sure I could do it I always seemed to meet someone I could share how I was feeling and they were able to help me get out of my comfort zone and face my fear.  Now my life is filled with so many of these wonderful people who I call my closest friends.

I still struggle.  This week was a particularly bad week with my anxiety which is probably why I felt it on my heart to write about it but I know when it happens I need to look at it differently.  It’s not a curse, it’s a part of me.  It makes me who I am and I like who I am.  When I look at the situation differently it doesn’t seem as if the anxiety lasts as long or becomes as difficult.  I hope this helps some of you who struggle with anxiety as well.  There is really no cure only ways to cope and the people who could only ever truly understand are those who carry the same “blessing.” ~Jessie

“Never be anxious about the next day for the next day will have its own worries.” Matthew 6:34