Sometimes, I feel forgotten. I can stand in a room full of people, and worry that, compared to everyone else, I’m insignificant. I can smile and light up a space, but still feel sad inside.
During college and high school, especially, I experienced moments when I felt mostly hopeless. During those times, my pain seemed like a permanent punishment for some inherent flaw – the thought that I could never be good enough.
Today, I don’t struggle with depression as much as I did back then. In retrospect though, I don’t believe that those past trials were punishments. I thank God for continually gracing me with a story that I can share to support and encourage others.
As I’ve previously written, I am now learning how to live meaningfully, even with my recently diagnosed anxiety disorder.
My life with anxiety looks like:
- boulders of worry dancing on my chest
- a magnetic force binding me and my bed because I’m overwhelmed by life
- tears fighting to stay inside my eyes as fears of inadequacy take over
- the ever-present fear of loneliness
- comparing Jessica to everyone else
Yet, it also looks like this:
- learning to be vulnerable in therapy every two weeks
- practicing gratitude in prayer and with my “gratitude box”
- sharing my journey (e.g. my blog, “Roots and Hope”)
- getting practical (and sometimes sacrificial) with taking care of myself: social media breaks, therapy, alarm clocks, healthier eating, reading the Bible, and fresh air
- feeling fear and living anyway
- learning to celebrate my gifts and talents
- reminding myself that God loves me as I am – weaknesses and all
If you struggle with anxiety like I do, or hopelessness like I have in the past, you are not alone. The sun rises even when the night feels dominant.
Also, I wanted to share two songs that have encouraged me this week!