Dear husband, mom, dad, grandma, best friends, blog readers, strangers — all y’all,

A few days ago I was in a funk and couldn’t pin point why. I felt anxious, which is weird because in my previous blog post I shared how my anxiety had been at an all-time low, and nothing had changed since then.

I wasn’t sure why my insides felt so tangled up. I mean, my entire weekend had been wonderful. Not an ounce of real stress or drama or anything that would cause a person to feel “off,” yet here I was.

It made me want to be alone, so I went to the beach by myself.

While I was there, I felt guilty. Guilty for wanting to be alone, for getting short with E, for saying too much, and for not saying enough.

Really, I felt guilty for being me.

This led to frustration and sadness.

I also felt anxious that I was feeling anxious. (Trust me, I wanted to shake myself and say “quit it, right now!” too.)

I began to overthink everything.

And by everything I mean literally EVERYTHING.

What am I forgetting? Did they have fun this weekend? Should I have done more? Why didn’t I say less? Did I offend him? What’s being said behind my back? I suck at calling friends back. I bet she doesn’t even miss me. Why is everyone announcing they’re pregnant? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I want to have kids yet? When will be the right time? I don’t know what the future holds. What if I get fired from my new job? Does my boss even like me? I never cook good meals. Is E happy with me? From now on I’m going to cancel plans and read. How can I get out of that next weekend?

Thoughts bustled around in my mind.

It probably doesn’t make much sense to many of you, I know, but hear me out.

Anxiety is real.

I’m not referring to your normal bout of nerves before a job interview or a first date. Those nerves are healthy; a normal response to new and uncomfortable situations.

Anxiety is not the same as nerves.

Obsessive thoughts, yeah those are my normal. Accompanied by feelings of panic, I’m often unable to focus in a simple conversation because my mind is too busy racing with worry and gazillion thoughts. I try to shake it off and when I sense someone is noticing I apologize for being overly stimulated. Act normal, Manda.

At first I was writing this to tell you “here’s how I’m coping with my daily anxiety,” but it seemed silly to tell you that exercise, counseling, self-help books, and a tiny pill can help when anyone who struggles with anxiety already knows that and has tried those things. Plus, all of my close friends and family already know that I cope through a combination of those things.

Instead, I’ve decided to write this letter to share a new thought with you…

For starters, I’m no longer going to be embarrassed or apologetic for my anxiety.

Nothing is more freeing than transparency, I’ve learned, and this is who I am. I won’t feel guilty or ashamed. I don’t care if you think I’m weird.

Also, I’m not going to throw a pity party for myself anymore either. I’m done allowing anxiety to be my crutch and my excuse.

If anything, the aftermath of my anxiety always leads me to recognize how needy and dependent I am on The Lord.

Which, in today’s world do you ever find yourself needy or dependent on God?

If I’m being honest, I don’t.

I have everything I need – a home, food, a job, money, etc. You get the point.

It’s easy (even natural) to live my life here in America, in the 21st century, as a middle-class white woman with no desperation or need to rely on God.

All this to say, at least my anxiety keeps me grounded. It’s humbling.

It’s my anchor to the One who is sufficient.

What’s yours?

Love,
Manda

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12 comments

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You go girl! You rock for sharing this. The only way to de-stigmatize mental health is by being open and vulnerable with it. There is absolutely no reason to be ashamed – and every reason to celebrate God’s unique craftsmanship in you. Keep shouting this part of your story- I am all for this! xo

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Thanks girlfriend! PS. Cannot wait to catch up soon and hear how you Kingdom Building program is going! I think of you often 🙂

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Very well written. I don’t hide my anxiety anymore. I too have the bag of tricks and I am coping much better than in the past. However I own my anxiety and take responsibility for my behavior. Bravo for your post.

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That’s great, Trudi! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by…

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I can totally relate to this! Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere and I can’t pinpoint it! It so nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way!

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You’re never alone, Ariana! Sending hugs. XO

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Love this! Thanks for your openness and honesty. You are brave and inspiring!

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Thank you for reading, Kaci! I hope it will encourage others, especially with anxiety, to see it in a new light. 🙂

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Anxiety is real. I have recently found myself in the whirlwind of true anxiety. It can make anything terrible. Everything. One thing that stood out from me, is that unless you created it, you are not meant to know the source of the storm. But know and trust that the one who created you also has created the you to get through the anxiety. Something else in your post that really hit home, is when you said that you feel guilty. I completely get that. In fact, I just mentioned that on a walk with my friend. That when I am not feeling like myself, when I am feeling drowned in anxiety, I feel guilty for not being able to be the true “me” for my friends. It makes me not want to be with them — because they obviously didn’t choose to be friends when I was overly anxious. Tonight, she corrected me, and reminded me that they are with you through good and bad. Seems cliche, the good and the bad and the ugly. But sometimes when you strive to be what everyone needs, you have to remember to let them be what you need. Both God and God-given friends. Thanks for making me not feel alone Manda 🙂

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Aw! I absolutely love everything you had to share. 🙂 AMEN. Thank you for lifting me up and speaking truth! We’re in this together… XO

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Darling lady,

I just found your blog this morning and I’m LOVING it! Your transparency…that’s what this world needs to read. Faith is not easy. It’s messy and ugly and still surrounded by evil as we trust in Him. Faith doesn’t make life a cake walk and Believers need to know that so that they will persevere when suffering hits. I love that you said that anxiety is what anchors you to Him. For me, I’ve been walking in serious/life threatening at times illnesses, and though my human heart HATES this suffering and broken body, my soul has never flourished more. I am forced to rely on the fullness of God and His might all day everyday. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what happens to our human bodies as long as our souls are nourished and rooted in him.

Sending you love and prayers for your ministry!

Your sister in Christ,

Mal

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Mallory,

Thanks for your sweet words! How awesome that you’re allowing an awful part of your life to bring you closer to Jesus. That dependency on Him is truly special. Praying for you right now. XO

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