Intense anxiety.

“I often feel like I’m a bad Christian.”

Let me explain. I’ve dealt with anxiety disorders the majority of my life, but they’ve really peaked within the past few years due to a number of known and unknown factors. I’m mature enough in my faith to know that God doesn’t always completely remove your struggle, but will give you the strength to endure in spite of it.

Some of my recent struggles are due to my first minor knee surgery last month. The anxiety I’ve been experiencing hasn’t allow me to sleep through the entire night and has made me lose my appetite. Most days, I’ll wake up without being hungry for breakfast or lunch and have to force myself to eat. When I’m in bed, I pretty much just toss and turn and look like that D.W. exhausted meme whenever I wake up the next morning. It feels like a never ending cycle.

I’ll remind myself of who God is to me and of His work on the cross by fasting, listening to worship music, meditating on certain scriptures and etc… but then, still sit here and struggle with crippling anxiety every day. Sometimes I feel like a failure. There’s been times where I wished I wasn’t here anymore or self sabotaged myself in numerous ways, but God has still kept me here. For something better and greater than my pain. It’s hard for me to be brutally honest about how I’m currently doing… but this is a level of vulnerability that’s still pushing me out of my comfort zone to post this.

I know in hindsight I don’t give myself enough credit for handling what I’ve been through and what I currently juggle. But this deep fear of fear itself, something going wrong, or something that catches me off guard is what keeps me up at night and my head on a swivel throughout the day. I feel silly even typing that out but it’s true.

After I moved, I knew I needed to seek out further help. The anxiety I experience can lead me to some unhealthy coping mechanisms when not taken care of from the jump. I swallowed my pride and started taking medications again. To be honest, it’s been helping to an extent, but I still struggle with hope sometimes. Hope that I’ll truly be okay and that everything will truly work out. Day by day.

But doesn’t it always work out? Why do I worry and fret like I don’t have God on my side? A lot of people think of others as standoffish if they cancel plans at the last minute or seem more animated via text rather than in person. But please know there’s a lot of us battling intense anxiety. Sometimes it’s easier to pull away to avoid sharing that uncertain, shaky energy with someone we don’t really know well. Someone we’re not sure we can be truly safe with them. Emotionally safe.

I really don’t have a cute, cliche way to end this post. It was just on my heart to be vulnerable and publicly note that I don’t always have it together. I still need help from God and from my friends around me, virtually and in-person. My hope is that someday, the anxiety I experience will feel more manageable and that my mental health will continue to improve over time. I know this feeling isn’t forever, but it can be hard to decipher what “forever” means in the moment. But I still choose to hold on.

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