On January 8th, 2017 Erwin McManus, of Mosaic spoke on a subject that I have been struggling with for some time now. The subject was LIFE and the conversation was titled ‘A Life Made Visible.” On October 17th 2017 I went through the archives of old podcast to find this very conversation. I have since then listened to it three times. Once on my way to work in Orange County while driving down the 405. The other two were when I was at home sitting alone on my couch and trying to get the motivation to get up and do something productive. The last few years have been pretty challenging to be honest. If you would of known me in high school I was the girl who was so outgoing, full of faith and didn’t seem to have any fears about much of anything. Sure there were anxieties even then in my life, however they didn’t seem to slow me down one bit.
Today, I am feel like a prisoner of anxieties, fears and the symptoms that make up the extremely crippling sickness called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (I have highlighted in purple the ones that I battle with daily…yes…that is ALL of them.)
Those symptoms include:
- Persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events
- Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
- Difficulty handling uncertainty
- Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
- Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
- Inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
Physical signs and symptoms may include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Trembling, feeling twitchy
- Nervousness or being easily startled
Like I said before, it wasn’t always like this. I relate to a song called Millstone by an amazing band called Brand New.
“I used to be such a burning example. I used to be so original.
I used to care, I was being cared for. Made sure I showed it to those that I love.
I used to sleep without a single stir, ’cause I was about my father’s work.
Well take me out tonight, this ship of fools I’m on will sink.
I’m my own stone around my neck. Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give.”
When I think about my teens and earlier 20’s I remember feeling so ALIVE. I was adventurous, dreamed of a beautiful future and wasn’t really all that impacted about anxieties because I felt that the faith that I had in God was bigger than those fears.
As the years went on, I became more and more anxious and I felt that the faith that I held on to so tight was slipping away. I still believe what I believed then, yet now I now feel out of control when it comes to my mind. That is what is the hardest part of being CHRISTIE. I feel at war with my soul and mind. My brain is telling me there is no hope, yet my soul still believes and wants to pursue what sets it on fire.
It is hard to explain to those who don’t deal with G.A.D. like I and many others do.
I KNOW that there is hope of a beautiful life and future and every now and then I get a glimpse of that and I feel so alive. Sadly those moments don’t last too long and I fall into the cycle of anxiety, fear and overthinking.
When I listened to the conversation that Erwin had with Mosaic about being ALIVE, it sparked that sense of HOPE in me again.
“We think we see life all the time”” There is a language problem.” – Erwin Mc.Manus
I have been physically alive, but I have not really been living. It takes every ounce of energy to leave my house, to smile (even when I am not sad….) and to be what is considered “NORMAL.” To me normal is going to work, hanging out with friends, leaving the house and enjoying the city I live in, reading books, writing my story, etc. I have to force myself to go to do these very things. I can’t really explain why. I know that I have a purpose. I know that I can accomplish so many things in my life. My therapist says that I have described to him the very definition of being DEPRESSED. Wow. I can’t even give a reason why I should be depressed, yet I am. An anxiety disorder has stolen LIFE away from me and left me just existing. I am tired of it. I want to be ALIVE again. How do I go about doing this?
Well, I am going to therapy once a week to try and work out the way my mind works and that has been very beneficial. I encourage everyone to talk to a therapist if you feel even an ounce like I do.
I was taking medication to help balance the parts of my brain that tell me to worry and make them behave themselves. I was pretty dependent on them. For reasons I can’t really explain right now, I was told to stop taking them. So now I feel as if I am fighting harder and harder.
I have noticed that finding a community of people to include yourself with that believes what you do is also wonderful. This is more of a Christian faith based part of my personal life that I hold to. I do understand that not everyone that is reading this may want to contribute to their lives, but it is something important to me. (If you are not one of the faith persuasion you can find people who inspire you and love you to surround yourself with. Those who make you a better version of yourself) Sadly, my anxieties have left me so afraid that I have mild panic attacks now in crowded places. I have not been to church in months because of this and it breaks my heart. What once was a place of refuge has now been stripped away because of this horrible horrible disorder. Luckily podcast and Youtube exist so I can stay up to date with Mosaic.
“If you want to be rare, be fully alive. We live in a world where most people exist and do not live.”- Erwin McManus
Like the quote above I want to be FULLY alive. I am tired of living in fear of things that don’t even exist. I want to be the bright light I was once before. I am working on that every day.
I am sharing this with y’all because I want to LIVE a life that is worthy of living. I want to be a light in a world that seems so dark. I want to again be one of those people that others say they are “inspired by.” I also want people who deal with anxiety and depression to know that they are not alone.
If you are like me and are struggling with please know I am with you.
If you are of the Christian faith I encourage you to listen to the podcast that inspired this post. Click HERE for the link.
If you are not really SURE about Jesus and the Christian faith I understand that.( You may actually enjoy that podcast tho! <3) I will never ever hold your beliefs, whatever they may be, against you. I am sure to always say this because it’s true and there are some people who would hold that against you and I am so very sorry for them.
Today on October 18th, 2017 I want the world to know that I am working on bringing LIFE back into my existence. I hope that a year from today I have a new story for you. <3
Love, Christie Gee- Kellems