When I knew that I wasn’t going to be working this summer, I had all intentions of using my time to focus on my writing. I was going to make a calendar for my blog, marking the dates in which I would publish posts on workouts, foods, and how the lake life is the only life we should all be living. But then the days come and the days go. They get filled up with appointments and errands and lunch dates with girlfriends, and the down time I have to stitch words into sentences slowly falls to the wayside.
But look! A new post!
The story I’m about to share with you is one that I wish I didn’t have to write. It’s messy and scary and raw, but it’s exposing a chapter in my “book” that I feel called to put on the shelves. While I don’t know the reasons why God is bringing me through it, my heart tells me that one reason is to extend a hand to other men and women saying, “take my hand, walk with me, let’s journey beside one another and remind ourselves that we are not alone”.
With words stirring in my mind and tears rolling down my face, I sat and stared at my mom. I didn’t want to share with her what my self-talk was saying because it was awful, negative, and down right embarrassing. You can’t be in a swimsuit because you just had a banana and that banana made your stomach bloat. No one wants to look at a body like that. Oh, and forget about enjoying the day with your friends because you are far less confident, attractive, and desirable than them.
That was just the first strike.
Then came in how I felt physically. My body was tense yet weak. My heart and mind were racing. My head was throbbing and my ears were ringing. I wanted to cry but didn’t have anything to cry about. I was crabby but why? I didn’t want to go to my soccer game but I love soccer! I knew I needed to eat something before the game but melted into a puddle when I stared at the fridge because I didn’t want to eat too many carbs or calories or processed foods.
My mom stood beside me as I word-vomited everything that was going on in my head. Again, I knew I needed to walk her through what was happening so she knew just how dark my struggle was. After 30 minutes of a full on anxiety attack, I escaped it and felt like I had control of my body again. I still wasn’t 100%, though, because I was scared and angry at why I had to go through this. Why did God put anxiety on me? What did I do to deserve these feelings?
I’m broken. We all are.
I can sit here all day and wonder and ask and question “why me?”, but that will lead to a dead end. Instead I am choosing to talk. All week I have been in conversation with my boyfriend, family, and friends about my anxiety. It’s not easy, more embarrassing than anything, but if people are going to love me than they need to know the parts of me that need loving the most.
We are all going through life with baggage and it wasn’t until recently that I picked mine up and started sorting through it. I’m tossing out the past but still saving some of it because it needs my attention. My insecurities, thoughts on body image, confidence, food struggles, the list goes on when I want it to stop but the more dust that gathers, the more I am running away from a God that is seeking me out.
As much as I think I can figure out where this anxiety and other struggles are coming from, I can't. I have an appointment next week to meet with a counselor to begin my recovery and am looking up to a Father who is always constant, even during this battle. I trust that He is forcing me to deal with these things so that I can live the way that serves Him and others around me best!