Sorry for the lack of updates in the last couple of days but I've been dealing with a hectic schedule as well as other things that have made me say "So... we meet again." Amongst these things is anxiety.
Of course it had to come back after I said I'd been fine... and I had been fine. I tend to try to come up with a rational reason why it's come up (which helps keep it controlled) but the fact that I've been dealing with it again for the past couple of days really stinks. With my birthday coming up, not having my dad here for another year (and the anniversary of his death not too far away), with the stress of having all these expectations on me to do things and be certain way, with the pressure to decide my future NOW... it's really no wonder I have the amount of anxiety I do.
I don't think anyone really understands what it feels like unless you yourself have anxiety. There are so many different ways one feels the anxiety. At the moment I have this feeling that I am sort of stuck in an overwhelming crowd with no way of getting out and a deep desire to get away from the crowd. That's the best way I can describe it. I feel like I'm stagnant where I am -- when it comes to my academic career, my chosen career, and even my spirituality and I have no clue as to where to go. And before anyone says "Just trust God and pray," trust me, I do this but when you are experiencing anxiety and it's as bad as it is (for me) right now, it's really hard to focus. It's not easy; not impossible but not easy.
I've written several times about anxiety (simply search "anxiety" on this blog and you'll see the posts) and how I don't see it as something else than a blessing. I've gotten criticized for this but I've always felt that there has to be a reason why I have anxiety (although I know what past experiences have caused it to actually get to the point where I have panic attacks) and I, in a way, welcome it. Whether it means I can offer up my panic attacks for someone or something or whether it reminds me of what is truly important (God and doing things for Him instead of my selfish self), I would rather think of the anxiety as a blessing than a curse.
Last night and today (when it's been particularly bad but not as bad as it has in the past) I was thinking that maybe this anxiety is what I need at the moment. I feel like I've been selfish and not focused enough on what is important and this may be a sign to slow down and re-evaluate some things that have been causing me anxiety lately. As I said, I feel like I've been stuck when it comes to my relationship with God... like I need to take the next step to strengthen that relationship but I have no idea where to start. I don't have a spiritual director (and my search for one has not gone too well thus far) which makes things slightly more difficult. Thankfully I have something coming up this weekend that the Daughters of St. Paul are hosting and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Anyway, I'd like to ask y'all to please pray for me 'cause I will need them in the next couple of days. I haven't had a panic attack (thank God!) because I've been able to keep them at bay with tools I was given when I was in cognitive-behavioral therapy but it doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. More importantly, please pray that I get out of this feeling of being stuck. At this point I care more about my spiritual health than anything else because I feel that as soon as I get it sorted, the anxiety will also subside.
I hope y'all have had a good week thus far and that it will continue to be well or get better. If you have anything plaguing you, let me know so I can hopefully offer up my anxiety for it. :)
As always, thanks for reading and God bless. :D