As I write this, I am getting ready to go out with a new friend, someone I only met a few weeks ago and have only spent a couple of hours with in total. I am telling you this because I am feeling very anxious and being alone with someone who I don’t know that well is the reason why.
Just a couple of years ago, the prospect of meeting someone new and getting to know them brought me a normal amount of nervousness but mostly, I felt excited about the getting to know someone new who might become a good friend. The new levels if nervousness, and I guess, anxiety, are as a result of being increasingly unwell. My body hurts all the time and my fatigue can be overwhelming to the point I need to rest immediately or become very unwell. I also experience spasms of my oesophagus (the most intense pain I have ever felt), digestive issues which can cause me to need the toilet very badly, very suddenly and low blood pressure and high heart rate which can cause me to pass out and feel nauseous and dizzy. On a bad day, I could experience all of these together and when I am with family who understand, that is fine because they know how to help me and understand that if I move away to y room, it is because I need a break or to take medication and lie down. When you first meet someone, they don’t know all of this, nor do I want my health issues to be the first thing I talk about in a new conversation with a new person. I want them to know and for me to get to know them without health problems getting in the way. However, my hobbies mostly involve being out the house; going for a walk, going to the beach, going ice skating, exploring or eating out. Without a wheelchair, lots of walking is out of the question and therefore, so is exploring and ice skating. Being on the beach requires a certain amount of warmth in order for anyone to enjoy it but my body does not cope well with heat so that’s out and eating is not great for my oesphagus. As you can probably tell, finding something to do that I can do and myself and my new friend will enjoy is incredibly hard and this brings a certain level of anxiety before I have even left the house!
Getting ready also brings a level of anxiousness as I work out what to wear that will keep me warm, comfortable and will still make me look like I am trying and packing also requires some thought as I try to work out what we might end up doing, how long we might be out for and whether I will need braces, more medications, TENS machine, wheelchair, snacks to take my medication with etc. Then, once I am out, this starts all over again as I will be in the car, and therefore control, of whoever I am with and therefore they must choose where we go, how long we are out for etc.
By the time I get home, I am shattered partially just because I have been out but no doubt it is also partially because I have been worrying so badly and stressed myself out. The bible specifically reminds us that being anxious does not do us or our situation any good— “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?”
God does not want us to be ground down by anxiety. ‘Anxiety prevents happiness, energy, and in some cases it can try to prevent faith.’ Thankfully, our amazing, caring, loving Father has something to say about it _ “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”. When we are fearful and afraid, nervous, anxious or down right terrified, God is with us and he can take that fear away. All we need to do is trust Him.
Anxiety = a fear of the uncertain. Faith = a certainty that God is there and loves and protects and cares for us. I am not by any means saying that anxiety is the opposite of faith because I still believe in God, but in the times when I am struggling to leave the house due to the weight of fear on my shoulders, I need to remind myself that God IS there and will be watching over me so I will be okay. If you are struggling to, I urge you to remember this also and if you want someone to talk to who can relate, please comment or DM me on my social media (YouBelong_2019).