It’s back. The debilitating anxiety has returned. An unsuccessful attempt to lower one of my medications (as recommended by my naturopth) has landed me back in the throws of darkness. Honestly, I had forgotten just how bad it could get. These past few months have been relatively anxiety free. I’ve still been dealing with insomnia, but the anxiety seemed to be contained.
Nausea. Foggy brain. Tightened chest. Exhaustion. An inner tension screaming from my insides. It’s relentless. It’s frightening. It’s here. I try my best to force myself into the day, going through the motions of being a mother and a wife. I make breakfast, but I’m far away from the messy kitchen and my beloved children. I’m inside my head, saying safe phrases over and over in my mind. Accept. Float. Breathe. In for 4. Hold for 7. Out for 8. I am calm. I am safe. I am loved. The amount of effort it takes just to make it through the next hour is almost too much to bare.
Panic and doubt gives the evil one easy entrance into my consciousness. You’re back to square one, Laura. Might as well give up this time. You’re never going to get better.
I fight back with everything I’ve got…namely the name of Jesus. I say it out loud. I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ. And for precious moments, the voice stays quiet. I meditate. Try to expand the gap between my thoughts. Positive thinking. Bible verses. The Serenity Prayer. Anything to get through.
Then the what-ifs begin. What if I can’t get the girls to school this week? What if I can’t work and we have to sell our home? What if I feel this way forever? What if I can’t sleep? What if I never get off this damn medicine that’s not even working. Why did I even try to get off it in the first place? Oh, please help my Lord, Jesus.
I lay on my bedroom floor and sob for 30 minutes. Then I get up, put in my headphones, and finish dinner. A shell – that’s what I feel like. I’m here, but I’m not. I force myself to breathe and try not to let the negative thoughts take over by going over what I know to be true. I know that Jesus is with me. I know that I am unable to restore myself, but He is fully capable. Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday. Let Him love you, Laura. Listen to His voice. Please be bigger than my fears, Lord. Use this for Your glory. Help me not give up. Make a way, Lord. Please.
I pick up a book that I’m giving as a gift. I happen to flip to a page where the author is laying in bed preparing for the next day when her baby girl will be born. They know she will not live. The author spells out her life-long struggle with fear. It sounds so familiar. And the Lord tells her to Praise Him. Praise him? When she knows the baby in her womb will die tomorrow – may not even take a breath as she enters this world. Praise You, Lord?
I take a deep breath and raise my arms into the air. I will praise you in this storm, Lord. Give me strength to praise you…I surrender. I trust You. I know that I am loved.
It happens again. My Bible lays next to me, open to a random page. But no, it’s never random. It is meant for me. The answer I seek:
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. – Psalm 63 1-8
Dear ones. If you should happen to read this, I welcome your prayers. I know nothing is impossible with God. He. Can. Heal. Please let it come quickly!