I struggle with anxiety disorder. My first episode of having a panic attack was safely one of the scariest things I have ever experienced in my entire life – and I’ve been through a whole lot. The other major health challenge I have overcome is seizures, and they pale in comparison to panic attacks. An episode comes on quite suddenly, as if out of nowhere. There I am, minding my own business and without warning, the entire place seems to be spinning, my heart is pounding out of my chest, it’s near impossible to breathe, I want to rip all my clothes off and open my chest, and I must be outside in the open. In a word, it brings a feeling of terror; in those moments, I feel I am going to die.
The cure for anxiety seems to be up in the air – some claim there is none so management with medication is the way to go, while others believe it’s ‘all in your mind’, so some kind of psychotherapy is the answer. Medication has done me no good; I refuse to take the stuff. In the still moments, I have realised that I am constantly on edge, becoming overly concerned about ‘little things’. There are things which seem to take control of my mind which really shouldn’t, as they make no sense. Instead of being aware of the many positives in my life, I become consumed with the ‘what if’s’, which are rarely ever manifested.
I recently began a bible study focused on dealing with anxiety, and I was led to Matthew 6 and Luke 12. Both of these passages address worrying about the necessities of life and how pointless this is. To drive the point home, Jesus asks his disciples in Luke 6:24 ‘how much more are ye better than the fowls?’ I smiled as I read, directing the question to myself. Since my heavenly father promises to take care of my needs, which He already knows I have, I am sinning when I worry. Being anxious means I have allowed thoughts to come into my mind which are not in keeping with God’s word. While I am not anywhere close to being free of anxiety disorder, I am equipping myself with what I believe is the right antidote – God’s promises. And as far as birds go, I’m certainly no fowl.
Luke 12:24 (KJV)
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?