The problem of living with an anxiety disorder is that, well, you get stuck with a lot of anxiety. Many times for no apparent reason. I had a pleasant enough day. Nothing especially bad or especially good happened. It was just a typical Saturday at home with my husband. Yet, tonight my stomach is in knots and I feel like crying. My first instinct is to ask myself why. What's causing this anxiety? What's wrong? Oh, I hate feeling this way, why do I feel this way?
I've been through this enough times now to know that asking why is only somewhat useful. If it can help me identify a problem, like lack of sleep, or too much sugar in my diet, or too many appointments in my schedule, then it's helpful. Sometimes, though, there does not appear to be anything in particular that is causing my anxiety. I could sit here and beat my head against the wall, or I could just accept it. That's hard to do. Anxiety is so painful. However, it's a part of my life. I believe it always will be, to some extent. So tonight, I've chosen to accept it and to turn to the One who can see me through it.
Some time ago, I read a book by Jennifer Rothschild entitled, "Lessons I Learned in the Dark: Steps to Walking by Faith, Not by Sight." In this book, Jennifer shared her experiences of following Christ, both before and after losing her eyesight. It's been a while since I read the book and though I no longer have it, there was something she wrote that has stayed with me ever since. Please forgive me if I'm not completely accurate, as I am very roughly paraphrasing her words from memory. If I remember correctly, she stated that if what makes her different from the rest of the world is what also keeps her close to Christ, then she would rather be different. Jennifer, I'm with you on this one.