Ah, here we are again. My morning alarms jolts me awake a little harder than usual, deciding between taking the bus or driving myself to school seems a little more urgent, loud cars passing by are a little more startling, large crowds are a little more overwhelming. Over the past couple years, I’ve become familiar with this pattern.
These mild waves of anxiety are nothing new. They happen every few months; in fact, they no longer phase me — I let out a large groan, cry a little, then go on with life, knowing that I might need a little more energy than normal to get through the day.
This particular wave of anxiety wasn’t special. I worried about the future — what college I’ll go to, what application I’ll need to fill out, what deadlines I’ll need to meet. When I had a packed schedule, I constantly felt rushed getting places and exhausted all the time, but when I had free time, my mind roamed aimlessly, never settling on any particular thought or idea.
When my mental health is doing well, I forget how tiring anxiety is. I wonder how in the world I could have become such a wreck less than two years ago, but these little waves remind me how it started. Back then, I spent so much energy fighting off intrusive thoughts and pushing through the worry that I had little energy left to deal with the natural ups and downs of life (*cue the downward spiral of depression*). These days, I’m nowhere near where I was then, and I don’t plan on going to that dark place ever again, but these waves remind me what it was like to feel so tired and hopeless. They remind me that I’m still very human.
I suppose the fact that these waves of anxiety are not normal for me is evidence of how far I’ve come. Although I still get intrusive thoughts and unexpected jolts of adrenaline, they no longer send me into spirals.
This all still kind of stinks though. No one likes waking up sweating and freaking out because your alarm went off, nor does anyone enjoy feeling like they’ve forgotten something even when they write down everything and set many reminders. I seriously hate the fact I have anxiety, and there’s not much more I can do about it, at least, not that I find worth the trouble. I still function quite well day-to-day.
But whenever I start feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, I remember this:
“… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
God hasn’t taken me this far just to say, “Well, this looks like a good resting place! I’ll just check her into this sketchy motel, lock the door, and move on.” He’s going to continue to work in me and use me for good. He hasn’t taken me this far just to abandon me.
Maybe I’ll always have these periodic waves of anxiety. Or maybe they’ll go away. But for now, I’m doing the best I can.