Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Dealing with anxiety is no joke.

I have discussed my anxiety with several doctors & my therapist (if that's what I'm supposed to call him...not really sure of his title, but he's a counselor and he has his PhD--he's a Psychologist.  There...that's a better title.)

The Favorite (my husband) and I feel like we should add another child to our family.  This complicates matters as I am not eligible (while trying to conceive) to be on any sort of anti-anxiety meds.  They are all C & D rated and after discussing the possibilities with doctors, I prefer and CHOOSE to not be on meds. It was a tough decision.  It was a very personal decision, and I won't be discussing that...at least not for the time being.

What I will say, is that I have still been struggling with anxiety, but I feel I'm making some headway.

Today, I wanted to take my kids to the library and then go to Costco.  Taking on this feat with a 3 year old and a 1 year old in tow would give even the bravest mother anxiety...lol.

I almost talked myself out of the trip several times.  But, I'm determined that anxiety won't beat me.

When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  Since having my thyroid removed, my anxiety levels have skyrocketed and thus my IBS has flared up as well.  Thinking about having an IBS attack in public gives me anxiety, which makes my IBS flare up...it's a vicious cycle.

Anxiety is not rational. I worry that people will judge me if I need to make an emergency trip to the restroom. I worry that I won't make it to the restroom because I have 2 kids to get out of their car seats and carry into a store or gas station (or whatever) with me.

I am the queen of roadside pit stops....and I'm pretty sure those are frowned upon in the big city.

Back to my trip to the library.  It went really great! The kids were {relatively} obedient. They loved it.  I let them play with some toys while I looked for books they might like.  We put a puzzle together.  We read a book.  We checked out our books.  And, much to their dismay, we headed for Costco.

Several times, I thought I would need to use the restroom, but, surprisingly, didn't go once while there.

In the parking lot at Costco, I thought I needed to go...again...I did my breathing, and loaded my kids in a shopping cart. Success! I calmed down.

I stopped on my way in to look at some incredible low priced shoes.  Crossing my fingers, I checked for my husband's size 14 Extra Wide. I didn't really think they'd have them.  We usually have to special order.  But, when I see a deal, I check just in case.

I asked a middle aged man looking at the shoes if he happened to see that size.  He kind of chuckled and said that he hadn't.

I tried on a pair in my size and the man came back with his wife and said, "Excuse me, do you mind if I ask you a question?"

I never really know what to say when someone says that.  So, I said, "No, I don't mind. Go ahead."

He said, "I noticed your scar," referring to the scar on my neck, "Did you have your thyroid removed?"

"Yes.  I have thyroid cancer."

"I had thyroid cancer, too!"

And thus went the conversation.  I told him that the hardest thing at the moment was the anxiety.

He told me that after his surgery, he suffered from really bad anxiety as well.  He told me some things he figured out (that I am definitely going to try) and told me that it will get better with time.  When I told him that I didn't want to be on meds, he said, "Aaaah, you don't need meds anyways. It will get better."  He said it took him about a year before his anxiety improved (due to some things he did to help it.) He also said that it took him about 3 years to feel completely normal and regulated.  He encouraged me not to give up hope that I will one day feel better.

As he was leaving he said, "God bless you!"

I cannot tell you how many prayers I have said regarding my anxiety.  I don't know that what he told me will be the answer, but what I do know is that God is listening.

This was the first time a total stranger has asked me about my scar.

Just hearing that he went through something very similar and got through it and is much better gives me so much HOPE! Just to hear someone give me encouragement instead of tearing me down or judging me (yep...it's happened) is nice.

I'm ready to kick this anxiety to the curb!

So, I just want you to know that your prayers are heard.  Keep talking! God is listening! And, if you pay attention you will see that God loves you and is there for you!


Natalie said...

I have a friend who had thyroid cancer in high school. She's now married with a child, and cancer free as far as I know. I had no idea of the anxiety you must go through, but it makes sense! You have so much strength. I can only imagine what you're going through.

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