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This is such a stressful time for many people with the disruption of life caused by COVID-19. Many are anxious over their health or the health of others, their livelihood, their finances, their future, their business, their children.....any number of things.
So I thought this would be a good time to post my blog on my struggle with anxiety. I've had this blog sitting here for about a year. Just not sure when I wanted to share it, or if I ever wanted to share it.
I remember having anxiety as a child but didn't know what to label it. I think anxiety looks different for everyone. For me, it comes in panic attacks that I have absolutely no control over. I can be 100% fine one minute, and panicking the next. I have started to be able to sense some triggers but mostly it's very random. Stress, or big life changes can certainly be a cause sometimes, but on a daily basis it's neurological and medication manages the "chemical imbalance."
And I'm 100% ok with that.
Anxiety can be genetic, it can be brought out by outside factors and it can be part of your chemical make-up.
It doesn't mean anything is wrong with you or that you have to be defined by it in anyway. I still confidently believe I was knit together perfectly, fearfully and wonderfully made by God and that He makes no mistakes. I also believe He has given me everything I need to manage it and that includes my family.....even my dogs.
One of my favorite pastors, Matt Chandler, once said "Sometimes anxiety isn't a war we get to win, it's a battle we get to fight." I love that because we tend to always expect to win when faced with a challenge, otherwise we consider it a failure. But sometimes it's just a battle we get to fight. And just because we don't win, just because we aren't cured of our anxiety doesn't mean we fail, we just keep fighting.
There is one thing that I have found that helps during my panic attacks and that is doing something with the dogs. I have to focus my mind so it doesn't run wild with irrational thoughts. So in order to do that, I have to focus on a task. And a task like taking the dogs on a walk, or giving them a bath are the perfect low-key distractions for my brain. Then I crash.
This picture is one that my mom took after one of my panic attacks and I love it. I remember loving that Piglet was on top of me, close to me, protecting me and reminding me that nothing has changed and everything is ok. (Of course that is what I think she is saying, she is most likely saying "Move over mom I don't have enough room.")
My anxiety is another reason for me to thank God for giving us dogs. They are a reminder to live in the moment. They aren't stressed or worried that you might forget to feed them or what tomorrow might look like. They live in the moment. May I have the faith of my dog. Confident that God is going to take care of me, regardless of the fight.