One thing that has been good so far about our new life is that I haven’t been experiencing very much anxiety. This is a bit of a surprise, but I’m obviously very happy about it. I’ve been sleeping fine, and I honestly don’t think I’ve taken any kind of sleep aid since we left our old house.
I’m not totally sure why I’ve been doing better. I think a combination of sleep, warmer climate, and more opportunities for higher adreneline levels are part of the reasons that I’ve been having less anxiety. Perhaps there are other factors, too. I don’t have this anxiety thing down to a science yet, so I don’t know. But I’m very grateful.
However, there are still certain triggers that will prompt some level of anxiety in me. Today, some of those triggers worked together to give me a noticeable, albeit still small, anxiety attack. My attacks aren’t usually noticeable to other people, but they’re noticeable to me in three ways:
- My heart rate increases to some degree and my breathing gets shallower
- I lose my appetite and my stomach feels upset
- My thoughts take a turn towards “doom and gloom”
The last one is, in some ways, the most interesting for me to reflect on once the attack is subsiding or over. When I’m feeling anxious, fears come racing to the forefront of my mind. I literally cannot stop them, any more than a thirsty person can stop feeling thirsty or a cold person can stop feeling cold.
(I realized tonight that I’ve been dealing off and on with anxiety for five years now. Five years! Thankfully it’s gotten so much better over time. But still – five years!)
Over time, I’ve come to realize that those fears that come racing, unbidden, into my mind when I feel anxious reflect the deepest fears I hold within myself. What are those fears? I fear being out of my comfort zone (ie. my house). I fear starting large projects and not being able to finish them, and I fear the amount of work associated with large projects. I fear for my health; whenever I have an attack, I fear that it will never stop. I fear the chaos that another baby would bring to my life, even though I know, I know that I would adapt quickly and that I would utterly love my new baby.
I’m still not pregnant. But I’ve decided to try something to help me get pregnant. I’m working with a doctor. I’m nervous about it. But I’ve decided to give it a try, despite my nerves. I am very nervous about this.
Last night I was looking through photos on computer, seraching for a certain picture. My searching took me to pictures from when Jujubee was a infant. I saw my fat, lovable baby girl. I saw Lyd adoring her little sister. I saw Lyd wearing clothes that, four years later, Jujubee is now wearing. (Sigh.) I saw a few pictures of me and my new baby. I’m rarely looking at the camera in those pictures; I’m almost always gazing adoringly at my baby.
When my fears have the opportunity to bubble up to the surface like they did today, it’s interesting to see how self-centered my fears are. It’s really true; at the deepest part of myself, I am nothing but sin and selfishness. It’s all about me, and how everything relates to me. Thank God for my faith in Jesus, and I mean that literally. I know that when I look to myself, I see nothing but a mess, but when I look to Christ, I see only his perfect life and innocent death on my behalf. That’s what being a Christian is, that’s what being a Lutheran is. Salvation does not come from anything I do; it’s completely based on what God has done for me. That’s a relief.
I don’t know how to elegantly end this post tonight. It just is what it is. I have fears; most of the time I am stronger than them, but sometimes they get the better of me for a little while. I know I am sinful. I am incredibly thankful for my Savior. If it is his will, he will send me another baby, and he will send it at just the right time.
My anxiety attack isn’t quite gone, but it’s definitely on its way out. God is good. He always sees me through. He’ll see me through all of my fears, too, and he’ll see me safely to heaven. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!