my anxious thoughts.

I have no idea when it started. I don’t what sparked it. What I do know…is that it has stolen many days away from me that I will never get back because I just wanted to sit in my room, many events that I missed out on because I was too nervous to go, & many awkward moments with others because I ran out of the room suddenly. It is one of Satan’s most prized possessions. He loves to use it on people – especially Christians because it hinders our faith in Christ.

 The world we live in is such a cruel place. It is {sadly} no longer shocking to me when there’s a terrorist attack or another police officer is shot down by an irate person. Car wrecks, plane crashes, and shootings seem to fill our news stations these days. But there are certain things that lead people to doing these horrendous things. There’s always a background and a story to one’s life. Certain events make up our lives and mold us into the person we become. Depression, worry, death, sickness, & food disorders are ruining people’s lives which then lead’s them to ruining other people’s lives as well. But one of the biggest…

 ANXIETY.

 But anxiety itself is not the thing ruining our lives, it’s the crafty maker behind it all – Satan. The definition of the word devil is: the chief evil spirit. There are no truer words. I believe that every evil thing comes from Satan himself. If every good and perfect gift is from above {James 1:17} then every bad and evil thing must be from below, right? It only makes sense to me.

 So I am here to share a little bit about my story and to encourage others to share theirs as well. Someone once told me that tough times get easier once you let them out in the open and share them with others. I totally agree with this. It has been one of my greatest reliefs over the past couple months.

 So like I said in the beginning, I have no idea where, when, or why my anxiety started. I grew up in one of the most loving and Christian homes. Never once did I fear my parents or siblings, never did I fear going to school (well probably because I was homeschooled until high school lol), & I never remember fearing going places with big crowds or feeling trapped.

 My anxiety is…are you ready for this…throwing up.

 “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.”

“Why would you fear that when it happens so rarely?”

“Everyone throws up, you are not the only one.”

“It’s ok if you throw up, I won’t judge you.”

“Everyone always says you overcome your fears by conquering it.” {uhhh, ok did you really just wish that I would throw up?! Ok well now I hate you because….NO! I hope you throw up haha jk}

 So yes, I know this is such a dumb thing to have anxiety about…but isn’t every anxiety dumb? I don’t think it’s fair to judge someone because of their fear – I think that’s when they need a prayer or two {or 2,000} from us. Yes, some fears don’t make sense to me at all. Like the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (Arachibutyrophobia) or the fear of hair (Chaetophobia). Ok, then just don’t eat peanut butter & don’t be a beautician?? Isn’t that how we think when people tell us their fears? Anxiety has become all too real for me to just laugh or push away people that have a crippling fear.

 Growing up life felt normal. Once I got to high school I still remember nothing about anxiety. I have a little memory of wanting to sit closer to the door in class just in case I had to run out. My sophomore year of high school was the last time I had thrown up. But, I remember everything about it, even to this day. I threw up twice that day, it was a Sunday, I remember where everyone of my family members were {8 of us!}, what I was wearing, what I ate and drank, and the exact time of day I threw up {10:40am & 6:20pm if you really want to know haha}. I just had it etched in my head and I have no clue why.

 Then college came and I remember my first day of orientation that I felt sick. I was scared to sit in these news rooms with alllllll these new people that I did not know. One of my best friends from high school {Megan} was attending college with me and that was super comforting knowing she would be there alongside me because her dad was/still is my doctor and she knew all my “issues”.

 Fast forward & now we are in year 2013. I started dating a guy and he made me forget about all my worries because he kept me busy and we did fun things that kept my mind on things other than throwing up. That relationship ended & my fear kicked in a little bit because I wasn’t “distracted” by him. Then my best friend {Britney} moved to Indy 6 months later. We did EVERYTHING together. Workout classes, road trips, double dates, shopping trips, breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, cooking/baking, bike rides, running, sleepovers…literally anything you can imagine, we did it together. So, at this point, I lost the main person in my life that helped me do anything without fear.

 Once Britney moved away my life started slightly going downhill. She is an amazing friend – too bad none of you can have her ;). My most famous line is “my stomach hurts” or “I feel sick”. She knew better than to believe me lol dangit. Every time we would go somewhere and I said one of those lines she would say, “shut up, we are going in here, and you will not make a scene – you are fine and will not get sick!” Don’t take that in the wrong way, she meant it in the nicest way & knew it’s what I needed to hear lol. My family has also caught on to my famous lines & knows better than to believe me. I have no idea why they don’t believe me ;).

 December of 2014 & I was in our freezing cold garage crying. Scared I was about to puke all over and felt trapped. Boy was I trapped – in my thoughts. Satan had such a tight grip on my life at this point that I had no idea what to do. Sadly, I turned to the thing that every other person in fear & depression does…I wanted to die.

 {This is hard for me to write because not many people know what I am about to say}.

 I was hoping someone would crash into my car and I could just go to heaven. Or maybe with the snowy and slippery roads that I might slide off the road and hit a tree & then I would have no more worries. I NEVER planned anything to end my own life but I was hoping it would happen by chance. I couldn’t take it anymore.

 Along with my fear, now I was embarrassed. I could NOT let anyone know about this, no one at work, church, or school. As far as everyone knew, Emma Margaret Dunbar was “perfect”. A Christian girl, from a well put together family, blonde hair, blue eyes, & tan skin, curls and makeup on point every Sunday at church, the perfect filter on every instagram picture, & comes from the family that everyone loves. So this was my secret. I couldn’t let anyone know because everyone would judge me.

 So as I stood in the garage that night crying, my mom came out there & I told her “mom I have to see a counselor or therapist.” She replied, “honey, just pray about it.” I was so mad. Why was she not understanding?! {My mom is the most fearless person I know, I’ve never known her to fear one thing. No wonder she couldn’t feel the fear and thoughts inside of my head.} With tears streaming down my face, I said, “mom, I have. I can’t do this anymore. I want to be in heaven.” She replied, “oh no honey, don’t say that. You don’t mean that.” I said, “yes I do mom! I do not want to be here anymore.” The next day I called a therapist, cried in her office, she sent me to a psychiatrist {who was a huge jerk! Omg don’t even get me started on that!}, he got me on prescription, and my life was on the upswing. Yay! Wahoo!

 1 month later my dad died.

 “How could you God?! I want to be in heaven & you take my dad instead?!”

 Many would think that made my life worse. Surprisingly, it got much better. I was so distracted with everything that I forgot to take my anxiety meds. I wasn’t thinking about throwing up because I was trying to focus on how to live without my dad now.

 That didn’t last long.

 February 15, 2015. 7am, I woke up and “didn’t feel good”, ran downstairs to tell mom and she was asleep on the couch. I told her I was going to stand in the garage because I didn’t feel good. As I was walking to the garage all of a sudden my head starting spinning out of control, it was dark and I couldn’t see a thing. I opened the garage door as soon as I stepped into the garage I totally fell over and passed out {my brother’s ice skate blades were literally in front of my eyeballs when I opened them – yikes!}. I got up, and even though the light was on, I felt like I still couldn’t see. I started running to the trash can and passed out again. Woke up & finally made it to the trash can and then just puked everywhere. {TMI haha}  O.M.G. “Did I seriously just puke?!” Guess what, I made it out alive! I didn’t die because I puked.!

 Why does Satan always have to be there on your shoulder taunting you?!

 Summer of 2015 & I noticed my thoughts were creeping back into my head that anything I did I could possibly throw up. Uh oh. Please no! So I went back to my Psychiatrist in the winter of 2015 and he prescribed me a new medicine. I hated it!

 Not long after that I ran into my life saver {second to God, of course!} at Target.

 Mrs. Depositar as I like to call her. My high school gym teacher. She says I can call her by her first name, but it just feels weird for me! Haha I called her Mrs. D for 4 years! So she started asking me how everything was and how our family had been since dad’s passing. {My anxiety kicked in & I was terrified to stand there and be “stuck” talking in conversation with her because if I got sick where was I going to run to?!} I explained about my anxiety & felt embarrassed. I felt so dumb. But she is literally the NICEST person you will ever meet. Not judgmental at all, accepting of everyone no matter your past or present situation. She loves everyone.

 She began telling me how she was quitting her job at the beginning of the year and doing ministry full time. She was doing accountability with whoever {girls only} wanted it. So we met a couple weeks after that {one-on-one} and we talked about accountability and what that means to her and what she expects from me. I cannot even begin to tell you the place I am at in my life now since starting this journey with her. Never in a million years did I ever think I could be this way. I am by no means, back to 100% without anxiety, but I’m in a whole new world.

 The way she explained it to me – medicine will never fix your anxiety. It will be a band aid and help you for a while, but in the end, it’s a spiritual battle. Anxiety comes from Satan himself so that means that he is ruling more of your life than God and that you are paying more attention {& giving more of your attention} to Satan instead of God.

 I didn’t believe her back then on that first night we were sitting in her house and she told me all these things that lead to anxiety and what could help. Now looking back, she was so right. I have not taken medicine since last December. I finally know that it will never fix my anxiety no matter how much I think it will. It will help for a little while but not cure you.

 We have spent many hours together. Her teaching me what God has laid on her heart for me. What tools God has given her to help me in this time of struggle. We have cried together {well basically me crying cause I thought I was going to puke lol classic} and we have laughed together. I have never once felt judged. She accepted me as I was and took me into her heart to try and help me. It has been amazing. I couldn’t have imagined I would ever get here.

 My therapist told me…fear: “it’s like this Emma. Let’s say you are a little girl and you are scared to go in your closet because there could be a monster in there. Then you are scared to go in your room because of the monster. Then you are scared to even go upstairs. Then you are scared to go in your house. Then you are scared to even go down your street. And then you just stand there at the end of your street because your fear has grown into this huge thing.”

 I CAN SO RELATE TO THIS!!

 I was always scared if I go to sleep at night then I might be woken up in the middle of the night to throw up. Then I was scared to be “trapped” in my room and I wouldn’t be able to make it out soon enough to the bathroom. So I would come downstairs and walk around in case I got sick I was already awake and prepared. It got to the point that I just wanted to stand outside or in the garage. I didn’t want to be trapped inside the house. I spent many many hours in the garage…crying and praying I didn’t puke. Walking around rubbing my stomach & swallowing really hard {I always convince myself if I swallow hard enough then I won’t puke haha yeah, ok Emma}.

 So I totally could see how a fear will just keep pushing you further and further. It then becomes this huge ordeal and you have no idea how you got there. You don’t even remember where you started, but you believed Satan for so long that you are now so far off the path that it seems like you will never be able to get back on.

 Here are a few ways to explain my anxiety. You can call me crazy because I know it’s crazy myself…it’s just hard to recognize it when you’re “in the moment”.

·         When I go to a sporting event I like to sit on the very end of the bench and closest to a door in case I have to run out and throw up. Same with church and weddings.

·         ANY place I walk into I HAVE to know where a bathroom is. Restaurant, store, sporting event…anything! And I do it very sly(ly)…I scope it out before I can even start to feel sick. Booyah!

·         I don’t like to get caught in a long conversation in case I have to walk away quickly then I would be embarrassed and the people would think I was a weirdo.

·         I don’t like to be in quiet places in case I puke. Like for instance a movie theater or dinner at someone’s house because then everyone would hear me puke.

·         I hate sleeping over at someone’s house in case I feel sick or actually get sick.

·         I cannot even handle it if someone says they have a stomach ache. Even if it’s from them eating too much or something…I just automatically get this thought into my head that they are about to puke and that I will catch it and puke also.

·         I hate eating at certain places and certain foods because I think it’ll all just make me sick.

·         If one of my siblings is sick with the flu I will leave and go stay at my sister’s house lol

·         And every date I have gone on I just say, “oh I get nervous around new people so in case I puke that’s why lol”…and try to laugh it off…but seriously dude lol

 I think it would also be awesome if I shared just a few quick things that have really helped me overcome this anxiety and that maybe you could use them yourself.

 

·         My mom used to tell me to eat a peppermint candy and that it would help me. So I bought some peppermint oil and I just put some on my finger and rub it on my tongue. I LOVE IT! I never go anywhere without it! It also helps with headaches and it really cools you down if you put some on the back of your neck as well. Essential oil haters…keep your comments to yourself haha {WARNING: do not get this oil anywhere close to your eyes…they will burn like cray.!}

·         Reading Scripture.

·         Calling and talking to a friend to keep your mind off of it.

·         Watching a tv show or movie that will help take your focus off.

·         Pinterest…duh ;)

·         Taking deep breaths is also one of my favorite things to do.

·         Praying.

·         And my most favorite “weapon” of my all is my memory verse spiral. The best thing that has come of my accountability with Mrs. Depositar is the memory verses she challenges me with each week. I have one full spiral of 50 filled already and I just started filling another one. It is simply incredible the things that can change and happen in your life the more you are in the Word of God. It has gotten to the point now where I don’t even have to look in the spiral for about the first 30-35 verses…I have gone over them so many times that I can say the book it’s from, the whole verse, and even the color I wrote it in lol {cause I had to use my 12 pack color pens and write the verses in a certain color so I could memorize it better lolz}.

 I have been contemplating this topic for a while. I didn’t know how to write it, which information to share and what not to, and if I should let the whole world know that I am a weirdo and scared of throwing up…so please stop posting your Facebook status that you feel sick or that you just threw up…cause in that instant you make my heart beat a little faster and make me think I am about to get your virus through the computer screen lol…but seriously, shh!

 I believe this anxiety has made me a stronger person. It has made me gentler with people that have anxiety as well. I get it when they are crippled by something and no one else understands. I get it that you stayed awake the whole night because of your fear.

 If you have anxiety, don’t be afraid to share it! I have no clue where I would be right now if I had never shared it with Mrs. D that night in Target because I was “embarrassed”. It’s incredible the ways that other people can help you…especially other believers and doers of God’s will. I think it’s wise to seek counsel from older people as well because they have been through there crazy teen and 20’s years. They know how this world works. They have tools to help you defeat Satan.

 It’s 2am & I’ve done all my crying while writing this. I cry because I remember those dark and vicious days. I remember hating everything in this life and thinking that Satan would get the best of me and steal my heart. I cry because I love seeing how far I have come. It may seem like I arrived at this point in life very fast…but trust me; it has been a long hard journey. I wouldn’t trade the last 8 months of life for anything. This has definitely made me stronger person and for that I will be forever thankful.

 I love all you beautiful people. I would love to hear your story. Email me or message me via facebook or instagram. We can share our anxiousness with each other lol. I hope you have enjoyed this loooooooong post. I didn’t think it would be this long {11 pages on Microsoft Word lol}. Thank you for reading!