Anxiety

We drove over a bridge the other day that last year I could barely bring myself to cross. It made me reflect on this last year and how many of those little things and bigger issues have changed.
A year ago I was reaching the height of my anxiety which started after Goldie’s birth. I didn’t have much knowledge about anxiety before experiencing it myself. And in my naivety couldn’t help but feel a bit of “suck it up” when people were incapable of certain things due to anxiety.

Right after Goldie’s passing I felt strong, I felt like God carried me through this devastating time and realized that He really can carry me through unexpected tragedies of life. But as great as that “bring it on” feeling was it wasn’t long before it felt as if that confidence was completely turned against me. I took a flight and spent the majority of it anxious, nervous and crying in the bathroom which wasn’t like me. I started to become more anxious about every little thing and I wasn’t strong enough to shake off all of those worst scenarios that went through my mind over little things on the daily.

I would have heart palpitations forcing me to sit down out of breathe over little things like dropping Poppy off at Sunday School, driving over a bridge, or other completely random situations. Most nights I slept with a golf ball under my ribs using the discomfort of it to distract from the tightness in my chest keeping me from sleeping.

Some weeks/months were better than others. Sometimes I would feel carefree and happy and other seasons overwhelmed me. It’s gotten better over the year, the pregnancy helped with feeling like I had an idea what to expect for the near future rather than so many unknowns. As I approached the end this last pregnancy I was preparing myself to feel pretty low after. To return to the frequent afternoons without motivation to get out of bed and a lot of tears. But it hasn’t come.

Skipper’s arrival has been so peaceful and healing. I don’t know why, I can only thank God for this great blessing and the community we have around us that prayed for us in this season. I’m more joyful than I remembered I could be a year ago. And I know well enough by now to enjoy this high season while it lasts because it’s a roller coaster.

This post isn’t much more than just putting this out there. I thought I would share in hopes that it could be encouraging to anyone in their low season right now. It’s hard, and sometimes is not really even motivating  to look for a brighter side. And it may feel never ending but I hope you find it in time.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The first half of this verse was a strong theme in my last year, a lot of prayer and supplication, begging God to help me escape myself. And I’m thankful for the peace I’ve received over time, beyond my understanding. This journey isn’t done, and may never be, my anxiety still flares up and gets the best of me some days or seasons but I’ve actually been really thankful that I can understand this issue and walk the journey with others.

 

7 Comments

  1. Melissa
    May 3, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    I love that you’re talking about this in such a real way! Anxiety affects so many of us + for some weird reason, it’s still one of those “issues” that most people prefer to not talk about or associate with. I have found when bouts of anxiety hit, that talking about it (+ praying about it or having people pray for me about it) is the absolute best way to get through it. Happy that you’ve experienced such peace since your sweet boy’s birth! x

  2. May 6, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    I almost died when i was 10 and i’ve struggled with anxiety off and on ever since then. i feel like there are so many of us that feel ashamed of it, so we keep it to ourselves. it’s comforting to know that others go through similar things. my relationship with God has grown so much through it all. i’m glad you’ve been doing better. i will be keeping you in my prayers.
    xo Samantha

  3. Maggie
    May 8, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    I rarely comment on blog posts, but this resonates with me so much. I lost my second baby boy Iver at 38 weeks a little while after you lost Goldie. And I struggled after we lost him, but kind of felt strong like I can do this and then started feeling so anxious (when I was pregnant with my third) about everything, especially my relationship with my partner and mostly about leaving my first boy Harrison, things that would never make me nervous made me terrified, like him climbing to the top of a steep slide or going out for dinner with my girlfriends was all all of a sudden super daunting to me. When our third boy Thatcher was born at the end of January, I felt so at ease and I was expecting the total opposite I felt like he was starting to help me heal. I know that this season in life won’t be forever and that you can never know how you’re going to feel or react to any situation or when my anxiety will peak, but I’m trying really hard to just go with how I’m feeling and trying not to feel guilty about feeling happy or sad or however I feel at the time, just being ok with where I’m at at that moment. Sorry for rambling on 😜❤️

    • bethanymenzel
      May 30, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      So sorry to hear about your loss of Iver and congratulations on Thatcher. Yes, learning to not feel guilty when you’re happy is an interesting thing also. Hope you continue to heal with time!

  4. Justine Mckenzie
    May 18, 2017 / 6:04 am

    Thank you for sharing this!! Great post to read.

  5. Sam
    May 22, 2017 / 10:48 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I can relate and its always comforting knowing I am not alone in this and that others out there who are inspiring have experience with anxiety as well.

    • bethanymenzel
      May 30, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      So nice to hear that from so many women, definitely not alone.

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