I don't want to write this post. But I need to write this post. I have committed to being honest and giving other people a place where their feelings are shared and they can relate to what I'm going through. One thing I feel like I need to share is my struggle with anxiety.
Ok, I said it, now you know.
I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was in college, my first semester of college. No, this is not a self-diagnosis, and it was not normal anxiety you experience when you are in a new place, or a new situation. This was (and still is) life paralyzing, struggle to get out of bed anxiety. Now, anxiety can be different for people. For me, it was (and isn't) fear of anything. For me it is just a terrible anxious feeling that over takes my entire body. My heart pounds, I feel on edge all the time, I feel like I can't breathe. It's almost like anticipating something (good or bad) but not knowing what it is, and nothing makes it go away.It's kind of like that feeling when you're a kid when Santa is coming and you can't sleep, but it's not usually a good feeling. For me I don't know what causes it - that's not always true, it's not knowing something or being able to control something, but sometimes I really don't know and just have bad anxious days. (SIDE NOTE - A side effect of PCOS is anxiety - duh - wacky hormones cause anxiety no surprise here). My anxiety, makes me sick to my stomach, makes my brain fuzzy, and gives me that depressed feeling where you don't want to get out of bed. It makes me nervous about social situations, situations that I don't know what to expect, meeting new people, and makes confrontation almost impossible. I've seen counselors, been on medicine on and off a few times, and I still live in a constant state of anxiety. Most of the time I can keep it at bay and it's fine, but sometimes I can't and it makes life really hard to deal with. Usually, hard times come and go for months at a time - I'll have 6 great months and 1 or 2 really hard months, and then it will go away. So, I haven't stayed with a medicine because by the time I find one that works and I give myself time to adjust to it, I don't need it anymore.
So, what does this have to do with adoption? ADOPTION GIVES EVERYONE ANXIETY. Adoption brings on anxiety because you are continually expecting something that feels like it will NEVER come. At least it does for me. Anxiety makes the wait harder - again at least for me. The adoption wait has given me the longest stretch of anxiety I have ever had in my life and the depths of this anxiety are deeper than I've ever experienced. There are days I sit in the shower and sob because it has built up - but it makes it better to release the crazy feelings. And trust me, anxiety makes me a crazy person - or at least feel like one. It takes me a lot of willpower to not check our adoption portal 10,000 times a day (this is not an exaggeration) and spend all my time talking to other people who have been where I am to get some relief and empathy. Adoption is not easy - but it will be SO worth it.
When I have anxiety I pray a lot. A lot a lot. It makes me feel better to talk to the one who created me and who called me to adoption. He gets it. I know that we are called to be anxious for nothing, but I also know that God understand anxiety. If you read Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane I think He felt like I do. And He even knew exactly what was going to happen and when. I think that anxiety becomes sin when we stop trusting that God knows what He's doing even through our anxiety and anxious thoughts, and when we let them rule our life. Which sometimes I am guilty of. Anxiety does not mean I don't trust God. It took me a while to learn this. It means that I have to trust God more, regardless of my emotions. And I have to trust Him to get me through when I know I can't do it alone. It doesn't make the anxiety go away, or even feel better, but it reminds me to hope and it reminds me that I don't have to do it alone.
There ya go. That's my honest post for the day. Hopefully this helps you if you struggle know you're not alone. Let me know so I know I'm not alone too!
Thanks for reading,
XOXO - Kristen