Tag Archives: anxiety disorder

And Anxiety Comes ‘Round Once Again…

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Frozen. Upset stomach. Butterflies. Yes, that’s it, butterflies.

Monstrous, warring butterflies.

Racing heart, pounding head, quivering hands – you see the signs and know something is up, but what?  You berate yourself again. “I shouldn’t feel like this. There’s nothing so scary going on I can’t handle it.  This is ridiculous.”

Oddly, it would seem better if anything but anxiety was the problem.  “Maybe I’m having a heart attack. Should I go to the emergency room? Nah, I know what this is – it’s an anxiety attack.”

Difference between nerves and anxiety

When I am scheduled for a public appearance or radio interview (oh let’s be honest – almost any social event), I feel the butterflies.  Like many of us, I fear saying something stupid.  When I am speaking to an audience, my greatest concern is that I not say anything that would cause someone else pain. In general social interactions, that concern is more ego-centric. I do not want to cause myself embarrassment.  

Being able to define pre-public appearance anxious thoughts is different from the rising unsettled feeling as described at the top of this blog post. For me, this disordered anxiety comes post-public appearances, sometimes a day or two later.  It seems there is no cause and comes from nowhere. Within minutes sometimes, I am forced to adjust the day’s plans to make room for dealing with disabling anxiety. 

What works for me to ward off disabling anxiety

I have had some panic attacks, however only once have I gone to the ER thinking there was something wrong with my heart.  Not listening to my emotions and asking questions of them on a regular basis leads to anxiety attacks. For example, not pursuing the why of my tension, waiting for it to go away, denying there is anything upsetting going on or that I have the right to feel upset, leads to depression and anxiety. 

Once it has gone that far, I have to dig my way out.  For any of us with anxiety, it is simpler (and healthier) when we acknowledge life’s struggles and the emotions that go with them before they grow into monsters.

Monstrous, warring butterflies.   

Today’s Helpful Word

Romans 8:38

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

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Comments are always welcome (see tab below).  NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*butterfly heart by NELLA, cross pic by BA1969 – on rgbstock.com

 

 

Full Circle: A Week of Miracles Part Two

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Law and justice concept gavel

A week ago today I was in a courthouse watching my marriage of 35 years come to a final close.

Our separation began in September of 2013 following 2 1/2 years of marriage counseling. In the nearly three years since, my husband filed for divorce, and settlement and support discussions and hearings ensued. Last Thursday ended all that with our signatures on a decree stating the division of assets. Now we wait for the final paperwork.

Today’s blog will state nothing negative about either my husband or the Pennsylvania court system. As in any dispute, there are two sides to the story.  Instead, I want to share with you miracles of provision and peace that culminated last week.

It probably does not need mentioning that this process has been an emotional one. There were times of great fear concerning my future. You see, I have multiple doctors and a therapist stating I have a disability due to Major Depression Recurrent and Anxiety Disorder. In their opinions I cannot hold a regular job. One went so far as to say this is permanent.  A quick look  through my work history testifies to this as well depending on one’s point of view.

I do not want to believe disability prevents me from working a steady job. It is an uncomfortable prognosis. However, I have watched these professionals closely for over five years and not once seen them backtrack or deceive. Their personal as well as professional lives are ones of integrity. Each of them have thirty-plus years of experience. I have to take them seriously.

Most of all perhaps, I know they care about me. None of them would twist the truth for a court hearing because that would hurt me! Almost beside the point is the fact they stand to lose their careers if they throw out willy-nilly professional opinions. My husband’s lawyer is an ex-therapist and knows each of these people personally. He told me he would not dispute the disability factor because he knows they do not lie!

Long before anyone used the term “disability”,  I approached Always the Fight Ministries (begun in 2012, officially named last February) with caution. Over the years there have been times I could barely function. These episodes also prove my need to take it slow. The amount of promoting one needs to invest for entrepreneurial success has suffered because of these limitations. Attempts at seeking regular help have not borne much fruit although all along the way God has provided people on occasion when needed.  Usually I feel overwhelmed and unproductive.

Yet here I am. Despite all the above, speaking and writing is bringing in more earnings. A new radio show begins in August. Nervousness comes and goes because what if I cannot manage all this? What if a crash and major depression result again? What if I am disabled?  That is why moments like last Thursday are so poignant.

Entering the courthouse as a self-representative, I knew Who was my lawyer.¹   With face turned down so as not to appear mocking, low-key smiles broke out periodically at the visual of mere mortals, including myself, trying to negotiate justice. I knew Who gave each of us our mouths to speak.²  Any authority practiced in that room was from Him.³ As such, I had to smile. It was actually fun to watch Him at work, and all the more when I kept silent. (see qualification below)

Finally, I saw the fruitlessness of this particular discussion and asked for 30 seconds to prepare an answer. Bowing my head, I asked my Heavenly Father who has never once let me down, what to say. As I gave my offer, I sensed a shift in attitude in the room. If I am correct about that, it may have been because there was no gouging or attempt at revenge. I asked for what I believe God told me was right. It is not even enough to pay my bills.

Disabled. Not capable of regular work. No stable income. Not enough money to live. Sound bleak?

I know who holds my future! As I see it, God has a plan that is fun to watch unfold. Parts of it are revealed already. Instead of the negative what-ifs, I am asking new questions. Certain God led me to ask for the amount I did, I am equally positive there is a reason. What if I can? What if I have no more crashes that take me out of the game? What if I am no longer disabled? Most importantly, what if I cannot and God accomplishes everything through me anyway?

What is the miracle referred to in today’s title? Peace. Whether things seem to go poorly or splendidly, I KNOW there is a purpose.

I am not afraid.

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

– picture from Kozzi.com

Qualification on noted comment – This is not a theological statement intended as a right or wrong way of defending oneself in court. No offense or judgment is intended toward any readers who have been through the court system, work in the legal field, or advise others to use the court system. This was my experience alone. It was a moment of clarity for me personally as I learned once again to let go and let God. I had already stated my case. It is important for justice to take place that people have a voice.

¹ From  Jeremiah 51: 36. “…I [God] will be your lawyer…”

² From Exodus 4:11. “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak…? Is it not I, the LORD?”

³ From Romans 13:1  “…all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

 

 

What is Real?

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2015 Nancy Virden

photo-24745211-woman-and-cell-phone (1)What is it that takes over and makes us so afraid sometimes?

In the world of psychology, it might be diagnosed an anxiety disorder. A chiropractor’s assistant told me it was due to spine issues. One doctor whose practice is popular  online blames the sugar and food industry. In some churches it is called a spiritual problem, and to the extreme, even possibly demonic.  

At present I’m listening to a radio station where the hosts are suggesting Facebook makes us more anxious.

I don’t know what brings on severe anxiety. I just know that on social media we can paint our life picture however we want and look really put-together. Social media is fantasy. Real people in real pain, like you and me, look online and compare the fantasy others have presented to our very real experiences.

Everything posted is out of context. We are not challenged by real relationships, and we can live in the lies quite comfortably. But here’s the real truth. We all hurt. Sometimes we hurt very badly. Anxiety catches up with us and we can be afraid to admit it.

This morning I didn’t hide my anxiety. Instead, I reached out and asked my Christian friends to pray for me. I know the strategies for combating anxiety and keeping it from becoming overwhelming. I know how to distract myself from pressing matters that may be triggering it. I know how to do the best I can in the face of it. But I do not know how to live life successfully on my own.

I’ve tried to have surface friendships. Decades have been used up while I struggled silently. IT DOES NOT WORK.

So this morning I reached out to a friend for help who came over, and prayed and talked with me. It is in practicing real relationships that we are challenged and grow, becoming more capable of offering and receiving real love. Without that, our hopes of living a mentally healthy life is limited.

So what’s real? God’s love. Eye contact. Sharing misery and joys with a person who is in the same room.

Real is better.

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Comments are always welcome.  NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*picture from qualitystockphotos.com