That was one of the adjectives I pinned onto myself, and struggled with for a long time, after I started experiencing anxiety, depression and later, panic attacks.
Obviously, it’s clearer now, but at the time, I carried so much guilt, just from the simple fact that I felt that these issues I was dealing with caused me to waste so much energy focused on myself, and my fears, and my worries, and my anxiety.
When you are in the midst of anxiety/panic attacks, or are waiting for the next one, you feel disconnected from the world around you, and it becomes a blur.
So I continued to lie to myself, and tell myself that I was selfish, and that I really needed to get over myself.
At the time, I was involved in a bible study group. Actually, I wasn’t just involved in it, I was leading it, and I was keeping a daily prayer journal.
My faith was strong, but I felt that if it could just be a bit stronger, I would be free from my feelings of depression and anxiety, and the shame I felt from those feelings.
If I could stand on my tippy-toes, and stretch out far enough, I just might reach it…
but I couldn’t…
And I began to label myself with another lie.
It was during this time that I finally allowed myself to seek help for all of the messy feelings I was having.
I was tired of the other lie that I was telling myself: that it would all fall away on its own. I realized I couldn’t just pray it away – God wasn’t letting me off the hook that easily; there was work that I needed to do, and things I needed to learn. I had believed the fears and the lies for too long and I needed to go through the process and do the work in order to believe it for myself.
I began to unravel the truth from the lies. I started telling myself the truth, even if I didn’t believe it.
I am none of these things. Ok, maybe sometimes (trust me — if someone asks me for my last piece of dark chocolate, there is some serious inner conflict that occurs), but not all of the time, and they certainly don’t define who I am.
I slowly began to not just tell myself the truth about me, but to see the truth as well, and along with that, pulling off the layers of shame that I had adorned myself with.
I still have work to do. I admit, it’s still a struggle. But, I am still
And I am
*Right before I was getting ready to hit publish on this, this post arrived in my inbox, and within it was a link which lead me to this goldmine on fear, shame and anxiety. The odd thing, is that this is not what Sophie had linked to. It was only after listening to it entirely, and I went back to grab the link, that I realized that the link she was directing to in her post actually goes to a different sermon. Coincidence? I don’t think so ;)
This is the 11th post in a 31 Day Series: 31 Days to Peace: Finding inner peace for anxiety and panic attacks. Start from the beginning here.