To some people, climbing this mountain would be a dream come true. They would be excited about the adventure before them. They would look forward to standing at the summit and gazing down below. They would enjoy the thrill of the height and sense of accomplishment. They would tell all their friends, without a tremble in their voice, what they did and encourage them to do it too!
That’s great for those of you that like to do this kind of stuff.
Me… not so much. I was diagnosed with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder by my pediatrician. I was so neurotic as a child that I would have full blown panic attacks going from a different texture of floor to the next. i.e. wood to concrete to tile to carpet. It made me feel like I was falling. You know that feel when you’re half asleep and you feel like you’re falling. I felt like that going from my living room to my kitchen. Wide awake. I’ve since overcame that particular sensory issue, but I still struggle deeply with the same symptoms when I go up steep stairs i.e. nosebleed bleacher seats at a concert. I have severe vertigo-like symptoms when I go near anything resembling a mountain. I full on feel like I am going to pass out. Same thing happens when I’m near super tall buildings. Imagine my predicament when all I ever wanted was to go to NYC and my parents took me for my 16th birthday. I didn’t get acclimated until the last day we were there, I enjoyed my trip as long as we were inside. As soon as I would step outside, it LITERALLY felt like the world was crashing down on me. Sucking any joy I had out of that moment.
Most of my life I can remember fear stealing my joy. Sometimes it was social anxiety keeping me from making friend or when I did have friends they always wanted to do something I was afraid of. Things that the average person wouldn’t think twice about doing.
The past couple of years I’ve slowly been trying to capture back my joy, ability to have fun, and even some of my happiness. Here are some things that I’ve learned.
- Having an anxiety disorder does not equal lack of faith in God
- Do not become superstitious with your prayers
- Ask your doctor about medicine for anxiety. It helps you, just find the right one.
- If you’re truly scared to do something do not let other people pressure you. It is okay to say no.
- God can miraculously heal you of fear, and use modern medicine to do it.