I look back now and I shake my head, I was in total denial.
” I’m not that bad, really” I said to the doctor 4 1/2 years ago.
He grabbed my hand, my husband put his hand on my back as I sobbed.
“You’re pretty bad, Sarah” the doctor responded carefully. I was shaking uncontrollably, the conversation had to be halted while I waited for a panic attack to pass. The doctor stayed in the room for 45 mins. I was… pretty bad.
After years of babies, single motherhood, gallstone attacks, Pancreatitis, and illnesses this was the first appointment I needed my husband to come to with me. I needed his support and I needed a doctors guidance.
“Even Jesus got weary” my doctor comforted.
It was the first moment I came to the realization that I was really that bad. I was very ill.
Do you know that anxiety affects approx. 18% of all adults in America. Did you also know that over 30% of all people who suffer do not receive any help?! Heartbreaking.
Did you also know that I wish someone had told me sooner that I was heading for the cliff of a nervous breakdown. It all began for me, just feeling very, very tired all the time.
The thing is, so many of us walk around so broken not realizing we even need help, because, you know, we’re not THAT bad. Some of us are resistant to admit our severity because of shame or fear. Some, because we have lived with it our whole lives we think it is just who we are.
Today, I want to hold your hand and if you fit any of the list below I would say to you “Sweetie, you are pretty bad”
(Feel ashamed? Alone? I have bolded every symptom of anxiety below that I lived with.)
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder – (Source: Mayo Clinic)
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary. They may include:
- Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
- Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
- Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
- Worrying about excessively worrying
- Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
- Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
- Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
Physical signs and symptoms may include:
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Trembling, feeling twitchy
- Being easily startled
- Trouble sleeping
- Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
Panic Attack Symptoms (Source: WebMD)
- Difficulty breathing
- Pounding heart or chest pain
- Intense feeling of dread
- Shortness of breath
- Sensation of choking or smothering
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Trembling or shaking
- Nausea or stomach ache
- Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Chills or hot flashes
- A fear that you are losing control or are about to die
Social Anxiety (Source By Mayo Clinic Staff)
Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include persistent:
- Fear of situations in which you may be judged
- Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
- Concern that you’ll offend someone
- Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
- Fear that others will notice that you look anxious
- Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
- Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
- Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
- Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
- Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
- Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation
OCD Symptoms (By Mayo Clinic)
Obsessions often have themes to them, such as:
- Fear of contamination or dirt
- Needing things orderly and symmetrical
- Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others
- Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or sexual or religious subjects
Examples of obsession signs and symptoms include:
- Fear of being contaminated by touching objects others have touched
- Doubts that you’ve locked the door or turned off the stove
- Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly or facing a certain way
- Images of hurting yourself or someone else that are unwanted and make you uncomfortable
- Thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately that are unwanted and make you uncomfortable
- Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
- Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind
As with obsessions, compulsions typically have themes, such as:
- Washing and cleaning
- Following a strict routine
- Demanding reassurances
Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:
- Hand-washing until your skin becomes raw
- Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
- Counting in certain patterns
- Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
- Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
I’m not sure if you’re reading this and are just realizing you have severe anxiety. Perhaps this is something you have lived with your whole life and you could have recited these to me. Maybe, you just touch on a few but feel you are heading down a spiral, I want to help.
Everyone of those statements I bolded, everyone do not affect my life anymore. I live in complete freedom from anxiety, panic and OCD. Sure, I feel nervous from time to time, or worry about my kids but this list above doesn’t control my life anymore and I walk in the wholeness God promised me.
I want you to know that as a Christian, I found it so hard to find any resources that addressed this severity of anxiety that was practical & spiritual. That is why I created the online course, why I blog and why I have such a passion to see others set free.
I want to invite you to join me personally on a journey off this list. Today, the cart opens for my Fearless Traveler Course. This will be the last time I launch this course as a hands on experience and I don’t want you to miss out. I am so sincere in saying that this course would have saved me from months and years of battling. But this course is a result of months and years of me battling severe anxiety all condensed into 12 weeks.
If you think you will benefit from this once in a lifetime course JOIN ME HERE and take that first step into freedom!
Join the Fearless Traveler Today CLICK HERE
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