I am blogging about this because one of my anxiety-reducing techniques is to “write out my thoughts or feelings.” That’s right, I have anxiety. The fancy doctor’s diagnosis is actually Non-Ulcer Dyspepsia.
I have not been feeling myself for the past 6 months. With each passing month, the symptoms have grown increasingly painful. These symptoms include:
- globus (feeling of something caught in my esophagus),
- intense chest pain,
- trouble swallowing, and
- hunger pangs directly after eating.
I have been dealing with these for a while. It finally got bad enough to where I needed to call a doctor. I went to a gastroenterologist who suspected it was an ulcer. I was put on a medication for 14 days to “heal this ulcer.” However, I was still struggling with the above symptoms. On the 6th day of taking this medicine, I was hurting more than I ever had. I went in for a lower endoscopy and it revealed that my esophagus narrows closer toward my stomach. It was dilated and the gastroenterologist prescribed two more tests to figure out what else is wrong. During the two days following the endoscopy, I had a barium swallow test and a manometry test. (These are two of the worst things I’ve ever had to do.)
Those tests came back showing nothing wrong. After process of elimination and getting more tests done such as blood work, chest X-rays and an EKG, everything was pointing to me being very healthy.
So it was decided today that I struggle with high anxiety.
This came as a shock to me because I never thought of myself as a worrier. Do I worry from time to time? Of course. But I guess I always believed myself to be someone that could handle everything I added to my plate. To me, struggling with anxiety meant weakness. I immediately had defensive thoughts. “I am NOT anxious,” I thought in the doctor’s office.
However, as I listed out the many things I have dealt with over the past two years, I realized that I do have a lot on my plate. I have gone through so many significant life changes since 2012: losing both of my grandparents within 6 months, graduating college, commuting to school every day, job changes, getting engaged, planning a wedding, two mouth surgeries, began leading a high school girls Sunday school class, my sister being overseas… and the list goes on, and on… and on.
Being diagnosed with anxiety is weird. It’s comforting to know that it’s not something more serious to where I would need surgery, however, it feels incurable to me. I began thinking, “How in the heck am I supposed to not be anxious every day? I can’t quit work and lay in bed all day watching Friends and eating frozen yogurt.” (Doesn’t that sound amazing?)
I texted a few of my best friends my diagnosis. At this point, I was feeling sorry for myself and began trying to plan how I was going to live with this. Suddenly I get simultaneous positive text messages back saying, “That’s awesome, Ash!” and “Wow, that’s so great!” I was sort of confused and frustrated. No, it’s NOT okay. I have ANXIETY… HELLO… how do I get rid of this?! They were concerned I had something more serious, so hearing the news that it is anxiety-related was a relief to them.
I replied back to my best friend, Bri.
But, I don’t know how to get rid of stress.
And she was right. In the midst of this stressful semester and all that I’ve had on my plate, I will definitely admit that I have had a hard time connecting with God and trusting Him fully.
I love how she said it. It wasn’t a bible verse or a profoundly-stated quote, which would have been wonderful anyways. But all she said was, “Jesus, lol.” Basically meaning, it’s laughable that I wouldn’t think of trusting Him to heal me first. And it is.
Do I believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is? Yes. Do I believe He can do miracles? Yes. Do I believe He is a Healer? Yes. Do I believe He answers prayers? Yes. Do I believe He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow? Yes. Do I believe He keeps His promises? Yes. Do I believe He is bigger than my problems? Yes.
Do I believe He is bigger than THIS problem? Yes.
So, am I going to choose to believe that He is going to heal me completely? YES.
Jesus isn’t something that my gastroenterologist can prescribe me.
Jesus is who I need to prescribe myself.
I need my daily dose of Him.
I just got done writing down “32 Ways to Reduce Anxiety” in my journal. But Jesus is the most important of all. Trusting Him to heal me and bring me peace is more important than a bubble bath, jogging a mile, drinking a cup of camomile tea or painting. Jesus is my Doctor.
The next time you’re dealing with a problem and you find yourself asking how you are going to deal with whatever you have going on, I dare you to answer with “Jesus, lol.”
It will make you feel better, I promise.
Because I already do.