How to Make Sure Getting Help…Helps

How to Make Sure Getting Help…Helps

homework

Good morning!

It’s Friday! In case you are just tuning in, Friday’s around here are all about anxiety relief. Today’s post is for EVERYONE. Those struggling with extreme anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders, everyone mentally ill (not as bad as it sounds.) In today’s post, I am discussing YOUR PART in the journey to peace.

If you have been reading this blog any length of time you know that my war cry is to GET HELP. You can click on the Anxious? tab above and probably any post you choose will be urging you to get medical help for your mental illness.

But it is crucial that you know that you have A LOT of work to do on your end. You can’t just go in for an hour appointment once a week or so and expect to get better. A therapist is crucial but their job is to educate and guide you in your journey. Do not underestimate the importance of this. Knowledge really is power and we are not meant to go it alone. I thank the Lord so much for doctors, therapists, and medication. They are truly blessings to all of us.

But here are three things that you must do to make sure that getting help actually helps.

How to Make Sure Getting Help…Helps

Want to Get Better

I struggled with anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, depression, and OCD for close twenty years. Geez, when I type it all out like that I was quite the mess. Haha! In those twenty years, I saw five different therapists. One when I was fifteen. One when I was eighteen. One when I was twenty-two. Then two in my thirties. I tried one but then switched to another that was a better fit for me.

So why did most of those bouts of therapy end up unsuccessful? Not because of the therapist. Because of me! It wasn’t until my thirties that I finally wanted to get better. I know that is hurtful to some of you because it was hurtful to me when I heard it back then. But it was true nonetheless. I had so many fears of what would happen when I let go of my disorders. I had no idea what was on the other side. Until you get to the point that you are so sick and tired of living the way that you have been and decide that you will take whatever is next no matter what it is, you don’t want to get better.

Mother’s sending your daughter’s to therapy because you are terrified you will lose them, know that it isn’t a waste of time and money. Many of the things they hear will stick and be applied later on. But do not be discouraged if the therapy is not effective at this time. Because right now, you are the one that wants her better. Don’t give up. Just keep praying that you will both have the same desires soon.

Tell EVERYTHING

This is crucial. You must tell the therapist what is going in order for them to be able to help you. I think of the times that I went in for a session when I was younger. The therapist would ask “How are you?”, I would say “fine” even though obviously I wasn’t or else I wouldn’t be there. I guess I just expected her to draw my problem out of my head. That’s pretty ridiculous, right? We can’t expect them to help us with things that they don’t even know we are struggling with!

Many times the reason it is so difficult to tell them everything that is going on is because we are embarrassed. When it comes to mental illnesses, things get WEIRD. Most of us experience a lot of shame and are embarrassed to share. Please, let me put your mind at ease. You are not alone my friend. Even if your therapist hasn’t heard your particular weirdism (my friend Sarah’s term), they either have heard something similar or will in the not so distant future. But most likely that have heard your issues before. Really. I need to make a post of a bunch of the weird things that my brain sent my way throughout those twenty years. I’m sure you would at least find it highly entertaining if it didn’t make you feel better about opening up in your sessions. Actually, I just shared one of my weirdisms the other day in this post! Check it out! I was obsessed with the apocalypse. 🙂

Do What They Say

Every therapist I saw gave me action steps to do until the next time I came to see them. Until my thirties, I did not give priority to them and therefore it wasn’t until my thirties that the therapy helped. DO THESE. We are all busy. We have many commitments. In my last post, I made a point to stress what we should actually be committing to. This is your wellbeing. DO THE ACTION STEPS.

I hope you all are well but if you aren’t, you are definitely not alone. There is help to be found and hope to be had. Please do not hesitate to ask me to pray for your journey. I would love to and promise I will!

Blessings and peace to you all,
Angela

 

 

 

Anxious? Suffering? How To Run To God

Anxious? Suffering? How To Run To God

 

Good morning!

I hope you are well but if you aren’t, you must run to God.

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I think many of us are confused on exactly how to run to God when tragedy strikes. We pray for God to fix our situation. We try to find verses that help us to understand what we are going through. We go to church and listen to sermons that hopefully help us deal. But while all of those things are good, peace is found when we fully humble ourselves before the Lord.

How To Run To God

Humbly Cry Out To God

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.
Matthew 17:5-6

When tragedy strikes, get on your knees and cry out to God. Tell him all of your fears. Tell Him all of your thoughts, He knows them anyway. There is no sense in not being honest because He knows every thought and every feeling you are experiencing. Be completely honest yet humble and reverent. He is the Lord of the Universe.

Ask Him To Open Your Eyes

Next, ask the Lord to open your eyes to what He wants to show you. Ask him to give you wisdom and knowledge and understanding. This is why we go through trials.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7

Open Your Bible

You are going to notice that most of the steps begin with “Ask the Lord”. This is because when we are suffering, we are to go to Him and nowhere else.

Open your Bible and ask the Lord to let you absorb every fiber of it. The Bible is God’s voice. Ask Him to give you understanding and He will!

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 
Matthew 24:35

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Suffering is the season of listening. Stop everything and listen to the Lord. Open His word,

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Relentlessly Seek God

The definition of relentless is “oppressively constant; incessant.”

This is how you are to seek God right now. When you wake up, in every free moment, before bed. Be thankful that God is asking you to do this because this only is asked of those He loves.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19

They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 
Hebrews 12:10-11

Have Faith

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
Matthew 7:7-8

I know without a doubt that if you are suffering and you humbly run to God you will receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. Then you will have no choice but to tell others about what happened. I know this because God reveals Himself through our weakness!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
1 Corinthians 12:9

So friend, run. Run to God and nowhere else.

Blessings,
Angela

 

 

The Searchlight of OCD

The Searchlight of OCD

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Happy Friday Friends!

I promised myself that once I made it through to the other side of the dark cloud of anxiety, I would tell my experiences so that some other obsessed Googler will happen upon them and be comforted.

Today I want to talk about the searchlight of OCD. OCD is an anxiety disorder in which the individual has repeated unwanted thoughts and is compelled by those thoughts to carry out certain behaviors to reduce or get rid of the thoughts temporarily.

Everyone, with or without OCD, has strange thoughts run through their mind. When waiting for a train at the station any given person may have a strange thought like, “What if I jumped in front of that train?”

But while the person without OCD immediately dismisses the thought and moves on with their day, there is a fear response that happens in the mind of the person with OCD. This fear response leads them to feel that there is significance to the thought. They begin to obsess about the train and may start to avoid train stations. They would then develop compulsions to deal with the obsessions in their mind. They may only walk into the train station at exactly 3:04 pm and stand 34 feet away from the train tracks until the train arrives. They do this because these numbers when added equal seven, a number that they have deemed safe. When the train arrives they take 25 steps up to the door making sure they sit in the seventh seat from the front.

As obvious as this all seems, someone can live for years in mental anguish without even knowing that they have OCD. The obsessions and compulsions are just a part of everyday life. It isn’t until trauma occurs or hormonal change like pregnancy occurs that the fear and anxiety becomes too unbearable to take on alone.

When I was struggling with OCD, I was sure that I had a reason to be so anxious about all of the things that I was obsessing about. Everywhere I looked there was proof. I couldn’t watch the news or be on the internet without having an anxiety attack that my fears were moments away from coming true. I couldn’t get through a conversation without crying because whomever I was speaking with never failed to say something that validated my worries. My stomach was constantly in knots and I felt that at any moment the proverbial piano was going to fall from the sky and crush me!

I shouldn’t have waited so long to get help but I did. I waited until I couldn’t shower for more than a few minutes without having to get out. On numerous occasions, I had to pull over to the side of the road and contemplate calling my husband to come to get me. Every time I walked into a grocery store everything would blur and I would feel like my legs were going to give out. Now not only did I have the focus of my obsessions to worry about but I thought I was dying too! The symptoms of anxiety are so physical!

I finally went to the doctor with dizziness and shortness of breath. The doctor asked me what was going on and of course, I burst into tears. He told me that he would do some blood work but that nothing was wrong with me. It was all in my head. I made an appointment to see a counselor the next week. God literally healed me through His word and this woman. I will tell you all the things that helped me because where I was, I never want anyone to be! So let’s begin with the searchlight.

See, all of this proof that I had for believing what I believed, as real as it was at the time, it was just my mental searchlight. When we are anxious our minds begin looking for proof of what we are worried about… and it finds it! So our anxiety grows and grows because we will keep seeing proof that isn’t really there.

So if this is you, next time you are watching TV or talking with a friend and that fear rises up inside of you because you are finding proof that your fears are valid, know that your mind is looking for that proof; no one else would see it. And second, make the conscious effort to find proof of the opposite. It takes practice but the more you do this the more your mind will begin finding proof of the opposite without you having to try.

I hope this finds you well! But if it doesn’t, know you aren’t alone and there is help to be found.

Blessings,
Angela

 

5 Thinking Hats Technique

5 Thinking Hats Technique

Good Morning Peaches!

As you know, I am learning to manage and alleviate extreme anxiety. One thing that has helped is finally and sadly switching to decaf. Ugh, I did not want to do this because I love regular coffee but my nerves can no longer take it so I had to switch. 😦 This is ridiculous but I actually put it off for a long time because Jason and I both drink coffee at the same time every morning and it would be a lot of trouble to brew both. So, I went and did the only logical thing and bought two coffee makers!

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Problem solved!

But on a more serious note (although I bet you will feel less anxious drinking decaf), today I want to share with you the 5 Thinking Hats Technique. A big part of our anxiety is that we are unable to live in the moment, we are always thinking about the future or the past. The 5 Thinking Hats Technique is something I learned from recoveryformula.com and have found it amazingly helpful. The purpose of this technique is to bring you into the present. You will be so amazed at how much better you feel just by being mindful of the present moment! It’s so simple and it works.

All you do is when you feel anxiety symptoms coming on, identify five things in the room. Then identify four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell. Then think of one good thing about yourself.

Easy! Here is a cheat sheet.

5 Hats Technique

This has been a blessing to me and I hope it is to any of you anxiety sufferers out there as well. Let me know if you try it!

Peace to your Monday,
Angela

Question:

Have you tried the 5 Thinking Hats Technique?