I have anxiety. It's drowning me.

Dear Lucy,

I have anxiety. It's drowning me.

I've tried everything. I go to counseling, I eat healthily, I do yoga, I surround myself with helpful friends, I pray, I meet with my deaconess, I take my vitamins, I journal every day, I go to Church and Bible Study, I remove unnecessary obligations so that I am less busy, I sit in front of my happy light, I tell myself all the right words and I do my deep breathing, but it doesn't work. There's no trigger. It's just everywhere. I try to hide it. I can't break down. Not here. Not now. But I can't control it and it still happens. It happens in my room, it happens at church, it happens at class, it happens in restaurants. When I'm alone and when I am not. But even when I am around others I still feel so lonelier.

I'm scared. My body is constantly full of the anxiety and it's always there, picking at my heart, even when I'm "happy." I feel like I'm drowning and my soul is dying from it. I feel like I am different, but I know this is normal. This is normal. This IS normal. It is.

I'm going to start medication next week. They did a test to see which ones will work best with my physiology, and they'll know next week. After I had the test done, I felt so happy, because it meant hope. I want hope. I want to cling to it. But I'm so scared it'll fall through the cracks in the floor and I'll be left alone again, sobbing into my carpet in the middle of my room, hyperventilating, silently screaming, my chest twisting into knots. Again.

I want to feel better so badly. I want all this terror and pain and hurt and suffocating sense of melancholy and panic mixed together to go away. It scares me. It keeps me from doing the things I love. I don't know why my brain decided to be different and I'm scared that others will notice. I'm scared of struggling and having to be vulnerable and let people in and trust that they will try to understand. It's scary.

I know that there is good in it. I can't see it now. Right now I'm just waiting, waiting. I feel so much disappointment on my shoulders and it's curling my spine in and my chest hurts. I'm scared that something will go wrong and I won't be able to go on the medications or they won't work and what if I don't ever get better. Those are toxic thoughts, and I don't want them but I can't get rid of them and my heart hurts so much. I am putting so much faith in the medication, and I try not to, because I need to put my trust in God, but I want to be healed and I want this to work because I can't just reach out to touch Jesus' cloak. I'm scared it won't work, but I want it so badly. I want hope.

It's hard to accept that this is part of me now. It's hard to accept that I have no control. It's hard to accept that there's so much unknown. It's hard to accept that there is good in it even though I can't see it.

I'm scared. I want to be courageous, but I'm scared.

I don't know what to do.

I want to find hope.

 

 

 

 

Listen, Lucy.

 

I feel so joyful. I've had three good days in a row and I can't remember the last time that happened. I started medication for my anxiety and depression three days ago and even though I know the medicine will take a while to kick in and stabilize, I have so much hope because I know I'm on the right track now. I have done everything else I could do. I wrote in here about that a few days ago. A few days ago I felt very hopeless. I was drowning. Now I'm breathing. My head is above water. And soon the medicine will kick in and it'll hold me above these waters so that I can learn how to swim.

I am happy. I am joyful. I cannot express how grateful I am right now to my Lord. I just pray that He will give me the strength and the courage to trust him when a dark time comes again. Because I know they will still come. But I also know that that's okay.

This is part of who I am and I'm finally, after months and months, becoming okay with that. It's in my physiology. I have a long allele and a short allele (basically, my serotonin transporter gene is different than normal) and my serotonin firing sequences don't last as long as those of people with two long alleles. It feels so good knowing that. Just being able to pin it on some aspect of my biology comforts me and reassures me and tells me that I am still beautiful. I am broken, but God is making a mosaic out of my brokenness. This is part of who I am, and maybe more than just one short allele, but it's still part of me. That is okay. It's more than okay. Because I'm doing the things I need to do to handle it, and I'm learning how to balance my life and listen to my body, to take better care of myself, to respond to difficult situations, and that is so beautiful and I am forever grateful for it. I have been hurting so much, but today was a good day. Today was a good day, and I have hope, I have faith that I am on the right track and that I am going to learn how to manage this and how to turn it into something good. I have had three good days in a row. That is so beautiful.

Always remember that there is hope. Even if all you find is one good day, or one good hour, or even one good minute, rejoice in it. The pain you are feeling cannot compare to the joy that is coming. (Romans 8:18)