Anxiety. I’m not talking about the butterflies in your stomach before performing or a job interview. No, anxiety linked to PTSD. Where your body becomes so tense nothing you seem to do can relax it. You can hardly breathe and you feel the world closing in. Your thoughts become irrational.
Like if the weatherman is predicting snow or ice and you have to drive somewhere you just know your car is going to be the one to lose control and hit other cars causing a terrible accident that hurts and possibly kills people. Then you end up in jail for involuntary manslaughter. Totally irrational thoughts. That kind of anxiety. Paranoia. It is what we feel with PTSD.
You are not alone if you have anxiety. Sexual assault can most often lead to PTSD, especially with repeated abuse, and therein lies the anxiety that goes with it. It can cripple you and your ability to live.
There is medication you can take, and I’m not going to say right how I feel about that. I’ll save that for another post because I’ve experienced being on it and going off and experiencing withdrawal.
Maybe you are on medication and still experiencing anxiety, maybe you’re not on it, or maybe you’re also experiencing withdrawal. Wherever you are in your experience with anxiety it can be crippling to our desires to interact socially, frustrating with how long it’s taking to heal, and when you’re in the middle of the feelings of anxiety I understand it feels like you could die.
Life closes in. People and voices are magnified. Our fight or flight modes kick in. I tend to go into flight mode. I flee if I am able to. Yesterday I met a friend for lunch and while waiting inside the people and noises became too much and I began to feel trapped. I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out. So I fled from the restaurant back to my car where I broke down and cried.
What I never thought to do was cry out to God. It didn’t hit me until later to ask Him to help me, but He understands and it’s okay that I didn’t think of it in the moment because I was in “trauma mode”. My mind simply needed to get somewhere safe. It was not something I could pray my way through right there in the restaurant as some might tell me to do.
I’m not at the place I could handle it yet. We need time to work through what happened to us for our anxiety to get better. To heal. I believe God can work miracles and if He wanted to He could heal each of us right now, but that hasn’t been His plan for my life. He’s using it in other ways.
I don’t really like to hate anything, but I can say I hate anxiety and how it makes me feel. What I hold onto is God’s promise He will heal me as I process through my trauma. I may not have called out to Him, but He was still with me. As He is with you.
Through each day filled with anxiety I hold on to the fact that this place is not my home and that one day there will be eternal glory beyond my most vivid imagination that will make all this pain, heartache, and anxiety gone forever.
Always remember, you are not alone.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.