I guess Fridays have become my day to blog about anxiety. That’s fine!
In case you are just tuning in, I have dealt with OCD for most of my life with especially terrible bouts after having each of my kids (postpartum OCD).
In today’s post, I am hoping to give some of you obsessed Googlers out there just a little relief. (No offense, I was said obsessed Googler.)
Having an anxiety disorder is like being placed inside a nightmare. In a nightmare, you don’t know that it isn’t real but you wholeheartedly believe it is. Because it seems real at the time, you end up scared out of your whits until you wake up and realize, that thankfully it was all a dream.
Your brain is amazing. When you are in a real-life dangerous situation your brain sends you warning signals telling you to run! It’s a life-saving defense mechanism. But when you have a chemical imbalance, these “warnings” go into overdrive resulting in an ongoing feeling of doom and fear. There isn’t any real threat, but because you are overcome with the feeling that something terrible will happen, you wholeheartedly believe it! When you refrain from running because you happen to be, you know, trying to live life and be an active member of society, you are hit with sweat, rapid heart rate, dizziness, feeling faint, and all of the symptoms of impending death that does absolutely nothing to help the already existing anxiety but only makes it worse because now you think that if the office building doesn’t blow up any minute like you feel it will, your days are numbered anyway because there is obviously something physically wrong with you.
Man! My mind spends just reliving it! Haha!
But sufferer, rejoice! Those who deal with extreme anxiety, when they finally make it through to the other side, often times they actually end up mentally stronger than someone who never had to deal with it. This is because they have had to force themselves to live life for months or years on end through all-encompassing fear. I keep trying to describe it for those of you who do not have a chemical imbalance but it’s the kind of pain you can’t explain to someone that hasn’t gone through it. Like childbirth.
So now, given you have a chemical imbalance, we have to remember that you cannot do much about that until you receive help (CBT, ERP, medication, etc.) just like a person with a broken leg likely can’t mend it without a cast (and think about trying to do that yourself!) This blog is not to take the place or professional help but is just a vessel to hopefully direct you to it and a place of encouragement and relief.
So here’s today’s “relief” message.
Your Feelings Lie To You All The Time
In our feelings driven society, our first response is to give significance to our feelings. Most people do this, not just those who have an anxiety disorder. Let me put your mind at ease, your feelings are not facts. They are feelings and they lie all the time. If the Lord wanted us to be led by our feelings, He wouldn’t have given us a written Bible.
When you receive a feeling, bad or good, do not be quick to believe it.
Challenge Your Thoughts!
When a thought comes into your mind, know that doesn’t mean it is true. Step back and challenge the thought. Your brain will try to prove that it is true so your job is to actively prove that it is NOT.
It takes work to do these things but when you do them day after day, guess what happens? Your brain begins making new pathways and begins thinking this way on its own! Isn’t that amazing? I am always so fascinated by how God has created us!
I hope you are at peace today, but if you aren’t, don’t give up! Pray, reach out, and know that there is a purpose in your pain.
Have you suffered from an anxiety disorder?
Have you ever had an anxiety attack?
Brave ones, describe your experience. Anxiety is a LONELY place. Please help those who are suffering now by sharing your story.