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{Exploring Identity} Anxiety Girl! Duh duh duh!

Day 13  Are you a worry wart?

Simple answer.  Yes.  Big time.  I’m not proud of this…

What fuels our worry?  Why do you worry?

Honestly, I can’t figure out why I worry so much.  But I do.  And I’m tired of it.  I need to find a way to cast my anxieties unto Him.  I know what I am supposed to do, but I don’t know how to actually do it.

I need therapy!

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Sadly, that is me.  ANXIETY GIRL!  My husband tells me sometimes that I am a “doom cloud.”  You know that storm you can see off in the distance (well, in West Texas anyway, where the world is flat), the storm that is impending and heading your way (or in our case, goes around us…grr!).  I’m a doom cloud.

I really don’t want to be a doom cloud :/  Help!

Worry can be debilitating.  When our minds are preoccupied with worries, we find it difficult to function and focus on anything else. 

My husband graduated in May with his phd.  He is currently on the job hunt in either a research or academic position.  Currently, he has about 25 applications out and we have heard from 4 of them, and he’s interviewed with 2.   The nature of academics is that they don’t start actually looking at applications til the end of the semester/summertime.  All the professor positions he is applying for have start dates of August of this year, which means we will have to move really fast, if that’s what he gets. The research labs take forever because they are government jobs.  Our future is in limbo right now. I want so badly to get back to Missouri to my family. I believe in my heart that God will get us back there. I just don’t know when.  It is now?  2 years from now? 5 years from now?  I know He has a plan for us.  But waiting for Him to reveal that is hard, especially when you are a planner like me.  In the meantime, I worry about our future.  Why?????? I know God will reveal it in His perfect timing!  I know He has a plan!!!

My husband pointed out to me last night that I need to focus on the positives in my life rather than focus on the negative.  And I whined back “that’s so easy for you to say, the one who is laid back and chill!”  But oh how I long to be like him.  He totally and fully trust in God’s plan for us in all things.

I have a confession to make.   I have OCD.  Literally.  I was diagnosed with it about 4 years ago, even though I know I’ve had it since I was 10.  When I was 10, my house caught on fire and traumatized me.  Since then, I became a “checker.”  Before I could leave my house, I would have to “check” and make sure the doors were locked and the oven was off etc.  Not once, not twice, sometimes 3 and 4 times, even though I KNEW the doors were locked and the oven was off.  Even though I KNEW it was locked, something in me told me I had to check it again (similar to the compulsive behavior of having to wash hands repeatedly).  I learned to deal with it.  Sometimes in nursing school, it was a blessing because I excelled in school with my obsessive studying!  But when my life gets extremely stressful, it gets worse.  So when I was nearing the end of nursing school, I talked to my doctor about it and went on generic prozac.  And it really helped!  But I only was on it for about a year and then went off.  And I did really well until recently.  I don’t check things anywhere near to the extreme I did before, but the OCD tendencies of needing everything to be perfect at all times (I hate dirty floors, dishes in the sink, clutter etc) really starts to get to me and just cause me an internal jitteryness.  Plus the stress of the occupational purgatory has really gotten to me.  I’m not “depressed” but I just have alot of stressful anxiety.  So last week I started Zoloft.  It is suppose to help with OCD tendencies of needing things to be perfect 24/7, and just lift the anxiety feeling that I’ve begun to live with over the past 8 months.   I don’t have panic attacks or anything.  I just feel a constant “stressed” feeling, that’s the best way to describe it.  And I worry about things that I shouldn’t be!

Because of this anxiety I keep feeling, I have had some very serious problems with my neck and chronic pain.  I have been going to the chiropractor for a year and half, and he has greatly helped me.  But now I am experiencing alot of tension headaches from the stress so he suggested I go to a massage therapist.  I just happen to have a good friend that is a massage therapist!  I have been going to her twice a week for the past 3 weeks to help strengthen and lengthen my sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle (which got messed up from the degenerative disk disease) and also to help with the tension headaches.  But as she said, if I can’t figure out a way to decrease my stress, the tension will just keep coming back, no matter how many times she gives me a massage.  Another reason to take the zoloft.  I went to see her yesterday and we are finally starting to see results.  She’s able to do a much deeper massage without me feeling like I’m dying.  So the SCM muscle is starting to get better.  We are getting somewhere!

I’ve been thinking about doing something about this for several months now.  But at first, I felt like a weak christian.  Why can’t this “anxiety girl” cast her anxieties on Christ and move on?  I told my doctor (who is also a Christian) about this.  I told him I KNOW what I am suppose to do (not worry, cast anxieties on Him, pray pray pray!), and as much as I try to do that, I can’t shake that stressful feeling.  He has experience with this as well and he has helped me realize there is nothing wrong or weak about taking something to help me.  It is not a shameful thing to be on an anti-depressant.  It will help me be able to do these things.

Hopefully it will help me to be able to cast my anxieties on Him.  Hopefully it will shake those jittery feelings.  Hopefully it will help get rid of Anxiety Girl!

Is your other identity also known as Anxiety Girl?  How do you deal with it?  Share in the comments!

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This is a blog series: Exploring Identity!  If you missed any of the others posts, here they are!

Day 1- Known

Day 2- What is Identity?

Day 3- You are God’s Masterpiece

Day 4- Are you hiding?

Day 5- God doesn’t make Mistakes

Day 6- Mankind makes a Mess

Day 7- Turning Heads

Day 8- Getting the Idea?

Day 9- What Jesus Knew

Day 10- Beauty

Day 11- Relationships

Day 12- Maid, Mother or Moneymaker?

 

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Hi Stephanie,
    As I was driving last night, I thought again about your post and my comment to you.

    There are times when medicines are needed to help us. Please don’t think I was judging you or anyone else. That really bothered me when I was taking meds. I felt guilty all the time because I took them. It’s a very individual thing between you, your husband, God, and of course, your doctor.

    Blessings to you!
    Laura

    • Laura,

      I cannot find what comment you are talking about! I didn’t see a previous comment from you so it appears as though it didn’t go through. Anyway, don’t worry. I too felt guilty for a long time, which is why I hadn’t gone to the doctor. But I am glad that I did. I am a couple weeks into it and I can see it helping lift the fog. It is not a permanent thing for me. I will go back off it in a few months. My husband and I really felt it would help me and it is. And I am thankful that I have a christian doctor (and friend) to help me 🙂

  2. I had to smile at the drawing of “Anxiety Girl.” Sure can relate! Many a sleepless night has passed me by while I would think of worst-case scenarios for whatever challenge I was facing. It’s taken years, and lots of prayer, to make progress, but God is truly faithful in working with us jars of clay and switching us from #TeamAnxiety to #TeamTrusting. Believe me, I’m a work in progress! My sleep is still jacked up, and the tension in my body is off the chain. I haven’t been to the massage therapist for a while; thanks for the reminder.
    Alison Hector recently posted…Procrastination = infestationMy Profile

  3. I think that God would want you to get whatever help you need for your anxiety…in fact, I bet he would say that is *how* you would be relying on him. Good for you for being open and honest about the way you are feeling…less scary when you give voice to those feelings. Stopping by from the SITS Sharefest on Twitter.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Pinterest Nightmare #728: MeggingsMy Profile

  4. I have anxiety too. I’m not religious at all, but worry a lot. Get stressed when we have busy weeks, I have a 6 year old daughter & she has so many things going on. I worry about getting her ready & being late. 2 days before an event I worry. It is very hard. I try to plan things ahead. Get things ready before. I make a lot of lists. Stopping by from SITS.

  5. Oh, girl, can I relate to this. I love that anxiety girl picture thing. That is often me to a T as well.

    I’m really sorry to hear about your OCD and medication stuff going on. That sounds rough. Hopefully the medication and treatment provide relief.

    I have been dealing with anxiety since before I was a Christian. Once I became a Christian and went to church, I realized how sinful and what a problem my anxiety was (and still is). I often thought that God would just magically take my anxiety and desire for perfection away because I simply believed in Him. Although He can do anything, I think His timing with healing is on a totally different timetable than I think it is. He IS working in me (and in you), and just because we struggle does not mean that His power is not transforming us.

    Although anxiety & worry is not fun to deal with and it can make us feel “failed” or weak, I believe that the struggle brings me closer to God. If I did not have this issue and my worries, I wouldn’t come to Him for help. It’s kind of a backwards way of thinking about it, but I do believe there’s a reason for everything.

    Hoping & praying for you!
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted…Banana-less Raspberry Oat SmoothieMy Profile

    • You are sooo right and your comment is very encouraging to me!!! His timetable is different than ours. I don’t want to have this problem anymore RIGHT NOW, but it’s something that takes time to overcome. I had body image problems and as much as I wanted an instant fix, it took me nearly a year to overcome that struggle (by God’s Grace!!!) No more stinkin’ thinkin!

      I believe our struggles certainly do, as Christians, grow us spiritually, if we allow God to work in us through those struggles. I’m certainly trying!! Thanks again for the encouragement!
      Stephanie Farley recently posted…Menu…TuesdayMy Profile

  6. Hi Stephanie,
    You will be fine. You have every reason to be anxious, not knowing what your future holds, and not being able to control what will happen. I think more people than we think suffer from anxiety. You are doing the right thing, verbalizing, writing about it, and taking medication are all good. I too, suffer from anxiety and I believe it is underlying fear of the unknown. Exercise helps me a lot, and prayer ,and taking each day one day at a time. Thank you for your transparency and for sharing, hang in there you will overcome this in Jesus Name. Love your blog, you have been a big inspiration to me. Prayers !

    • Exercise helps me alot too! And I pray often, because I know He listens, even if I don’t have any tangible proof. I know He hears and in His timing, he will reveal His plans. Thank you for the encouragement, the prayers and for reading the blog!!! *hugs*
      Stephanie Farley recently posted…Menu…TuesdayMy Profile

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    You will be fine. You have every reason to be anxious, not knowing what your future holds, and not being able to control what will happen. I think more people than we think suffer from anxiety. You are doing the right thing, verbalizing, writing about it, and taking medication are all good. I too, suffer from anxiety and I believe it is underlying fear of the unknown. Exercise helps me a lot, and prayer ,and taking each day one day at a time. Thank you for your transparency and for sharing, hang in there you will overcome this in Jesus Name. Love your blog, you have been a big inspiration to me. Prayers !

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