Defying Shadows: If Anxiety Could Write You a Letter

If Anxiety Could Write You a Letter

Anxiety? Anxiety is a jerk.

I met him years ago, but it wasn’t until after I was being treated for major depression that I recognized him. Sounds ridiculous, right? Especially for someone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, for crying out loud.

What do you mean I suffer from anxiety? Me? #socialanxiety Click To Tweet

You mean those times when, in a group of people, I couldn’t speak, that was ANXIETY?

Don’t even get me started on grocery stores. For a while they were far worse than malls. A laundromat?!? 

Anxiety. I’ve often wondered how much of my stress in public places stems from my time helping care for my undiagnosed agoraphobic, emotionally unstable, chronically depressed, never-properly-medicated mom after a very sheltered high-school experience. I had no social life. I didn’t learn how to be independent, like go to the grocery store, or just about anywhere else, for over six years. I was there. With my mom. And my father. And, for a while, my Grandpa.

But my social anxiety started long before that. I can’t pinpoint when. But it’s made me look ridiculous. And rude. And arrogant. More often than not, I freeze when really anxious. Sometimes when I’m feeling the most overwhelmed, I appear the most serene. As a teen, I was once complimented as demure. There was also the less complimentary reserved and the icing on the cake was socially retarded. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want that thrown at them?!? Of course there are the other anxious times when I’m a complete quivering mess. My frazzled and my anxious can look a lot alike.

A few years ago I remember feeling so defeated, sitting in the car. Alone. Having walked out of McDonald’s because trying to choose something to order on that pit stop on the road with my family was just. too. much. It wasn’t the first place I’d fled that summer. Having to choose food in pubic when I was hungry was near impossible.

Don't ask me to choose something to eat right now. I just can't. #anxiety Click To Tweet

Yes, eating at regular intervals and staying hydrated are particularly important when dealing with seasons of shakier mental health. Turns out my system just can’t tolerate antidepressants.

So, yes, anxiety. We’ve spent waaaay too much time together. The sneaky, obnoxious… so-and-so (in lieu of bleep).

Maybe he’s been your unwelcome companion, too.

What would anxiety say if it could write you a letter? #anxiety Click To Tweet

Well, this week he wanted to write you a letter, so I helped him out a bit over at Defying Shadows

If #anxiety could write you a letter

Hello,

You’ve been expecting to hear from me, haven’t you? Maybe not today, but you knew I’d be back one of these days. You’re never quite sure when you’ll hear from me, are you? And that’s just the way I like it. I like to keep you on your toes. Although sometimes it’s fun to just let you do your thing for a while. I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch. I’ll move out of your line of sight. Then, when you least expect it…

Hop over and read the rest on Defying Shadows! Maybe what he has to say isn’t all bad

13 thoughts on “If Anxiety Could Write You a Letter

  1. Anxiety is so real. Such a weighty burden to carry. So hard to explain to others because it absolutely does not always make sense. I think the enemy is using anxiety with more prevalence in our culture today than ever before to cause women to walk in defeat, completely immobilized. While we may not have control over the physical part of anxiety, I always pray out loud against the spiritual part of it. May that help you too! Thank you for sharing this all too real picture.
    Ashley@achildseyes recently posted…my story of infertility and miscarriageMy Profile

    • Thank you, Ashley. Anxiety and depression are more common than we realize, because so many try to hide their struggles. I often think of mental illness as my thorn in the flesh. As with Paul, at least for now, God chooses not to just heal me, but my weakness reminds me that I am indeed weak and NEED God. And God, being God, uses what may have been meant for evil for good. The spiritual aspect of mental health is huge. It’s sad when people leave that out.

    • Thank you, Robin. I think my head would explode if I didn’t have somewhere to put at least some of the words crashing around in my head!

  2. Wow. I admire your courage in dealing with, writing about and even personifying anxiety. Moving piece. Yes, you can beat anxiety by God’s grace. Keep being strong and courageous!

    • Thanks, Pia. God is still God even when it feels like the room is shrinking and I don’t know which end is up!

      • Yes! Psalm 46:10 (“Be still and know that I am God.”) and John 16:33 (“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”) come to mind 🙂

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