Friday, August 8, 2014

hope for the anxious.

It's been so long since I've written a blog post that I couldn't find my own blog!
Then once I found it I realized the baby in my photo is now 3
and we've added a baby!!

I'm not looking to start blogging again
I just wanted to share something and it was too long for a Facebook post.

Most of you will not care too much about this and that's fine.
But I wanted to share for the many people who have text me, 
messaged me and asked me about my journey with anxiety
as many of you are (unfortunately) on a similar journey.

I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember.
I didn't identify that it was anxiety until my 20's
but looking back it's always been there.

I somehow got labeled as "laid back" when I was young.
I guess I appear that way most of the time.
Inside however I am far from laid back!

Inside I have a feeling of a constant adrenaline rush.
It never stops.
It's exhausting.
There have been days that I feared my body would literally shut down from the exhaustion.

A few years ago I began a mild anxiety medication.
It worked wonders!
I experienced relief for the first time.

However, over the last 9 months my anxiety went from a constant 5 to a constant 10!
It was literally debilitating.
I would curl up in bed and listen to worship music for hours.
I quit the worship team because I could hardly get up on the stage to sing anymore.
(I quickly came to my senses though knowing I couldn't live without leading worship 
and begged Gary to let me back on the team!)

Things seemed dire and I told Andy I needed to do something immediately.
My body couldn't handle the endless anxiety.
I called my family doctor who prescribed me a stronger anxiety medication.
This medication turned me into a zombie.
I could hardly keep my eyes open through out the day.
Someone with 4 kids needs to keep their eyes open!

I was so discouraged and losing hope that I'd ever find relief.
I asked Andy to call Phil Haven and have me checked in.
I seriously asked him to do that.
(OK maybe I just wanted a vacay from the kids but whatever..)

With the recommendation from a dear friend we found a counselor and made an appointment.
For the record, I think EVERYONE could benefit from counseling!
Andy came with me and afterwards said,
"I didn't think I was one for counseling but I loved that!"
Talking brings healing.

The first question my counselor asked was "do you exercise regularly?"
Um. No.
His reply.
Exercise is a must for anyone struggling with anxiety (and I would imagine depression).

I went to the YMCA that night with my fitness freak father :)
It felt so good.
Andy and I joined the gym the next week.


I have been working out 5/6 days a week for 3 weeks.
My anxiety has gone from a 10 to a 2.

Why had my family doctor (who I love by the way) never suggested this?
Why was he so quick to drug me?
I think it's just what we do in America.

 For years I've searched for relief using:
and anything else that I thought would make me feel better, if even for a few short moments.

I've never experienced anything like the high I get from a good workout!
I have finally found the relief I have been searching for.

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression
I highly, highly encourage you to start a daily workout routine.
I know everyone is different and everyone's journey will look different
but I am confident that exercising will help anyone struggling with mental health.
And I am hopeful it will also get me back into my skinny jeans! HA. 

As you continue your journey and I continue mine,
I hope that the stigma of anxiety and depression can be broken.
That's a huge reason I'm even writing this. 
I KNOW for a fact I am not alone.
And there is hope and healing for all of us struggling!

I am moving forward with the help of My (loving, patient) God, my amazing husband, counselor, family and friends, prayer warriors, and my new passion for exercise!

Don't keep your struggle a secret.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to pray with you.
Seek help from a counselor who can help you work through things.
And never walk in shame because you're struggling.

OK, my baby needs to eat so I gotta run!
Then I"m off to the gym for a Warehouse Workout!!

Praying peace, healing, hope and joy over all of you who are struggling!
much love.