On Anxiety and Choosing Faith over Fear

Rachel has told me many times before of her struggles with anxiety. When I listened to her, I used to not be able to understand it. I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly calm person, and I can remember many moments from over the past several years where I’ve felt very peaceful.

Recently, though, I’m beginning to see I struggle with anxiety, as well. I’ve been spending more time “unpacking” my feelings and slowing things down. To me, it’s a sign I’m getting better. One of the things I’ve noticed is that I frequently worry and get anxious about the future.

I haven’t worked full-time or earned much income since late 2018. Luckily, I had a good deal of savings to live on, but it’s starting to dwindle. Even when I had a good deal of savings, I was still very anxious after losing my job.

My fears about finances, work, and the future have plagued me for the past couple of years and, frankly, I haven’t dealt with it very constructively. Instead of using coping skills, I’ve often worried myself sick.

Not letting it fester

In the past week or so, I’ve come to realize that anxiety is a regular feeling I experience. I know that I’m definitely not alone in this. Living in the modern world is anxiety-provoking, and this year especially has been frightening and bound to cause fears.

What I’m finding out is that if I don’t address my anxiety, it usually accumulates and leads to bad depressions. The anxiety starts, followed by self-critical thoughts. My M.O. has been to ignore the anxiety and distract myself, but it doesn’t work. The anxiety keeps growing, the critical thoughts become worse and, next thing I know, I’m in deep depression.

I guess I’m writing this post to further unpack my feelings and understand them. I’ve been working on my DBT skills and using other coping skills to address my anxiety before it gets out of control. Writing and talking about my feelings helps, but so does meditating and using a few free mental health and recovery apps I have on my phone.

Anxiety is nothing more than fear of the future. It’s the feeling of uncertainty, worry, concern. What’s going to happen? Will I be okay? Will everything fall apart? Usually, things work out for the best and my doomsday predictions rarely come to pass.

In recovery, we like to say, “Choose faith over fear.” I love this saying and using my faith to combat anxiety is another tool for me. I struggle with it at times, but I do believe God is with me always, especially in hard times.

The future may not turn out as I hope it will, and there may be unforeseen challenges or even tragedies, but relying on my faith and relying on God keeps me centered and not letting anxiety get the best of me.

(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

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