Saturday, March 10, 2007

Overcoming Fear & Anxiety - Part 2

My second "attack" of fear/anxiety/panic happened when I was 19ish. I'd gone with my boyfriend to visit his family in Charleston. I woke up in the morning feeling... sick. Panicky. Scared. Like I was going to freak out.

I can't remember the specifics now, but the overwhelming feeling during this battle was fearing I'd freak out and there'd be no one to help me. Hopeless, I guess.

Let me just say, too, while I was a Christian, I was not in a right relationship with my boyfriend. I do believe my sin opened a door to something waiting to get me. I do. I also believe birth control pills were a contributing factor. Very much a contributing factor.

I let myself be transparent here so you can see that part of my issue was sin, the other part physical/hormonal, yet the answer was still the same.

Prayer and the Word. Standing and fighting.

The attacks happened off and on for several months before I finally went to my parents once in the middle of the night asking for prayer. They didn't completely understand what was going on - neither did I - but praise God they did just what I asked, prayed.

This was the early '80s so going to the doctor for panic attacks or anxiety was not the average Joe's answer. Again, I'm so grateful.

They prayed and I felt better, but the fight had just begun. By now, I'd broken off with my boyfriend and repented of my relationship with him. He'd given his life to the Lord in the process, but I'm not sure how well it took in the long run.

Note to others: Dating evangelistically is not recommended. The price can be very high.

Anyway, I gradually got better. Oh, another overwhelming sensation was condemnation. I felt God abandoned me or was mad at me.

I clung to scripture. Quoted it. Believed it.

Romans 8:1.

Philippians 3:12-13.

Philippians 4:8.

Ephesians 3.

I chose to believe God's Word over my feelings. I don't know how or why I knew to do this, I just had no alternative. And, Christ within me gave me hope. (Col 1:27)

By the time I went to Ohio State at 21, the season of fear/panic/anxiety had passed, though there were some tense times.

Sometimes I felt physically sick. Others, just freaked. The moments were not every day, all day, but enough to be annoying.

God had delivered me.

But it was a season I'd forget and have to walk through again...


Rel said...

Hey Rachel - thanks for your honesty and transparency! We are all on a journey learning to hold God's hand :)It helps to know that we all have our own struggles to overcome.

Deena said...

I deal with anxiety attacks now on a regular basis. I would love to read about a mom who battles this...I know you touched on it in NashVegas, and Tracey Batemana touched on it in her Claire series, but a solid novel, from diagnosis to treatment, would be a great read....