Anxiety is the worst because it sneaks up on you.
For no reason I woke up on Sunday morning all tied up in knots and while minding my own business almost had a full panic attack in the shower, so there I am, doing weird leg stretches and hand flexes and humming noises, all trying to hold myself together while there is shampoo in my hair.
It hung around for awhile then eased up, and has just cycled like that the last few days. It's awful sitting there while your mind is on hyperdrive, waiting for the trigger to jump off the ledge. I hate anxiety and panic attacks because they are so very miserable, and I think that is part of why I was given it as part of my journey, so that I can lean into something really hard and come out better and stronger and more compassionate.
My anxiety always focuses on things out of my control. When it started at 12, it was nuclear bombs, which is funny but true. Then airplanes, then my health and any need to see a doctor. Right now I am fixated on my health, and am sure every little thing is a fatal disease, that every spot on my skin is some kind of mutant skin cancer waiting to steal me from my children. In a few months it will be something different. And in the ultimate form of avoidance, I am so afraid of doctors I panic at the very idea of making an appointment, because what if something is actually wrong? It's sad, actually, it is totally sad but that's my mind, and is just something that I need to overcome. I have faith that the Lord can make my weak thing strong. He's already helped me so much. It might take my whole life, but that is okay. It helps me be humble before Him and recognize how powerless I am without Him and my absolute dependence on Him.
On Sunday I needed the sacrament so much, and was so very thankful for the opportunity to partake of it. As I sat there afterwards I thought of how many times I have asked Him to take this from me (and He has helped me), but really, what I realized is -- this is just my thorn in the flesh. And I will learn to become like Paul.
"The gospel of Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you to great heights from what appears at times to be an unbearable burden or weakness. The Lord knows your circumstances and your challenges. He said to Paul and to all of us, 'My grace is sufficient for thee.' And like Paul we can answer: 'My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.'"-- Dieter F. Uchtdorf
2 Corinthians 12:9