Up until now, I have lived a pretty protected life. Bad things haven't really haven't to us, but now something unthinkable has happened and it is difficult to not be afraid of everything. I have an anxiety disorder after Harry I had postpartum anxiety, but that is nothing like what I have felt in the last few weeks.
For the first time in my life, I am afraid of people. I am afraid to leave my house. The first day I was alone, I tried to go to the grocery store and had a panic attack. Yesterday, I saw a former colleague at Applebee's. We were hired together, she left just this past year and I found it impossible to have a conversation with her. I was sweating. It was clear that she didn't know about our miscarriage, and I was terrified for her to ask about future babies. I have nightmares. I find my closest friends and families to be scary. I want to be normal, but am struggling to find a way out.
So, how do you solve a problem like crippling anxiety? How do you get back to a rational place? The place where your son's fever isn't a sign of imminent catastrophe, or you can have a conversation without feeling like time has slowed and stopped. First, you tell your spouse, then you go to the doctor. This is an instance where prescriptions have helped. I can now leave my house, and I am not overly terrified of seeing people. I still have moments. I still feel overwhelmed. It is still a struggle to see a pregnant stranger or run across a newborn, but the edge is gone. Sanity is ensured. The wild eyed fear has calmed down.
How do I rationalize crippling anxiety with faith that God will take care of me? I don't. I recognize that anxiety is a lack of faith. Fear is a lack of faith. God offers peace that passes all understanding, he doesn't offer paralyzing anxiety and yet here I am. I am a weak human. I am not perfect. I am striving to be faithful. I am striving to have hope, but I am not always successful. That is ok. All of this is an opportunity for God to do great things in me. Great things take time. "For it is God who works within in you to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose" Phillipians 2:13
I have a lot of fear. I have a lot of anxiety. I need medication and counseling to deal with it, but that does not mean my faith is weak or God is not here for me. It means I am human, and I am having trouble faithfully embracing God's plan. I can only see the pebble, but God is crafting the mountain. I am going to give myself some grace to be broken and take the time to allow God to heal me. Fear is temporary and it will not win. Faith is process of growth and time, and by faithfully allowing God to guide me to his plan I will find peace.