For anybody that’s struggling with stress & anxiety:
I struggled a lot with anxiety in my college years. I know that it’s different for everyone, being that the source of anxiety and levels of it varies. I became obsessed with proving my parents wrong & anyone else that said my life would amount to nothing. At the time, I wasn’t making wise decisions or living entirely right, so I struggled a lot. I developed so many fears. I was afraid I would never graduate, I would never become successful, or ever become who I planned to be. The list goes on. I did not think I had what it takes anymore to achieve my goals. My anxiety grew as I started focusing on where I should have been and the things I should have accomplished at that point in my life. Constant trips back to the mistakes I made was fuel to the fire. I became so anxious, I started having panic attacks any time I thought of my past or future. I hated where I was, so much that I had the worse thoughts one could imagine. I was so uncertain about life. I did end going to the ER several times.
I did not tell my parents what I was going through. They were a part of my problem at the time. I did not think they would understand, nor have a solution for me. I tried so hard to live up to their expectations, and when I fell short the criticism was not constructive but rather unbearable. I tried to perfect everything I did and was unreasonably hard on myself. I lived a stressful life. I was already saved. I gave up the world and worldly things. Alcohol used to be one of my coping mechanisms. I didn’t turn back but I didn’t know how to deal my stress and anxiety or who I could talk to. People don’t really talk about being stress or anxious or depressed.
One night, I had the worse panic attack I had ever have. I was losing my mind, strength in body, and I felt like I was going to die. The spirit of fear was in my room with me. I felt like I was being sucked into this never-ending black hole of fear and darkness. During my darkness, I heard the voice of God. He said, “The Word”. It repeated in my mind, until I got the understanding, grab your bible and read it. I did. I read out loud. All I knew after that was that I woke up the following day in complete peace. I prayed and asked God to show me what was happening to me and what I can do about it. He did. God showed me fear was the root of anxiety. The Bible has two types of fear, the Fear of the LORD and the spirit of fear. I was dealing with the spirit of fear. It is not of God. I had to rebuke it and pray against it. I studied several scriptures about the difference between the two. I also study scriptures about what the Word said about being anxious, worrying, and God’s promises about the future.
I continued to pray. I memorized scriptures of love, truth, and trust in God to help me overcome. With God, I conquered the spirit of fear. I could discern what the source of my fears was, what about them that causes me to be anxious, and lead to me panicking. I could deal with each one and eliminate them out of my life.
God gives us a spirit of love, power, and a sound mind. I spend a lot of time exercising, reading, and cooking. I went walking and running often, and intentionally take notice of the positive things in my life. Whenever I felt anxious, I could identify what it was, pray about it and read the word. I focused on life one day at a time. God knew my future, I trust him to give me an expected end. I stayed away from things and people that would give me any reason to be anxious. I focused on things that brought joy and peace. I made pleasing God my priority. I learned to manage stress and found the proper response to anxiety.
Today, even though I have faced many trials and stressful events I no longer struggle with anxiety or have panic attacks. When I feel overwhelmed, I take it to God and find peace in him through his word. I step away from things and people that are toxic to my well-being. Most importantly, I learned to deal with myself. I must be honest with God and myself about what is truly wrong with me and face these things.