Do you know what the most common mental illness in the United States is? Forty million adults struggle with an anxiety disorder, and women are more commonly affected than men.
This is huge, and chances are you probably know someone, or even you suffer from it.
While anxiety is a normal human reaction to stress-like an upcoming test or a talking in front of a group of people, this anxiety is quickly relieved after the event is passed. An anxiety disorder persists and causes effects in everyday life.
An anxiety disorder can strip away the joy of life.
My Experience with an Anxiety Disorder
I can say this because I had an anxiety disorder. Driving, leaving the house, and being fearful of my kid’s safety were effects of my anxiety disorder. For six years, I struggled off and on with this disorder.
Anxiety consumed my every waking moment, and for weeks at a time, it consumed my ability to sleep.
Honestly, I never thought I’d enjoy a normal life again. I didn’t think I would be able to attend events outside the house without sweaty palms and a pounding heart, or I’d grasp a steering wheel without white-knuckles the whole time.
The hardest part of anxiety for me was my thoughts and the lies I believed.
Your kids deserve a better mom.
No one cares about you and they wouldn’t miss you if you were gone.
A Whirlwind of Feelings and Symptoms
For years it was an up and down cycle. I’d feel almost normal and think I had beat it, only for it to return even worse than before. When you think you’ve outwitted it, and then it returns it’s enough to make yourself question your sanity.
[bctt tweet=”My initial reaction was to question God, and then as it prolonged, to get mad at Him. I really couldn’t understand why He wouldn’t heal me….why couldn’t He heal me?” username=”Juliealoos”]
Sweet mom, if you’re here in the throes of anxiety, can I encourage you?
What Anxiety Can Teach Us
- God can use us even as anxious moms.
- God has already prepared help for us in the Bible. Have you ever noticed the amount of Bible verses about anxiety?
- Appreciation of the good days and thankfulness of God’s presence in the bad, anxious days.
- Where to find God’s peace during anxiety.
- God is always with us, especially in anxious moments.
- Share our anxiety with our kids and teach them how we depend on God when anxious.
What You Can Do for Anxiety
Get into God’s Word.
Learn to replace lies with truth. Get rid of those negative thoughts.
Aim for obedience, not perfection. Recovery from anxiety isn’t linear, somedays we will mess up and return to our previous anxious habits. Setbacks are part of recovery.
Believe in God’s healing and recovery from anxiety.
Practice patience. Anxiety didn’t happen overnight, relief and recovery won’t happen quickly either.
Talk to a professional.
Accept medication if necessary. We don’t need to bash ourselves if we need medication. God blesses us with the ability to medicate if it is needed. We wouldn’t keep insulin from a diabetic, please refrain from shaming others or yourself if you need medication.
God will use your anxiety for something good. Maybe you’ll be able to support and encourage others in their struggles, or maybe God will grow your faith in Him and use you to minister to your children.
You’re important mom…even with your anxiety.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28, NLT)
Your sister in Christ,
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Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years.
She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes.
You can find her blog at www.unmaskingthemess.com.