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Living In The Present: My Journey Through Anxiety To A Place Of Rest (Pt.2)

In part 1, we left off with me experiencing uncontrollable shaking that only I could feel. The more I googled the more crazy I drove myself and the more convinced I became that something serious was wrong with me. The shaking continued for weeks on end and my muscles began to twitch with no activity proceeding the twitching. I battled severe insomnia, which I’m sure wasn’t helping me at all. I lost 10 lbs in a week’s time because the thought of eating wasn’t appealing to me anymore.

Although there was never a time I wanted to hurt myself, I pondered getting in my car, leaving and never looking back. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do the things I used to without it being a “big deal”. I felt useless as a wife and a mom and that my family deserved better. I was so ashamed and scared of the unknown.

One morning around 3 a.m. my eyes popped wide open and this feeling of fear, hyperventilating, and the thought I was dying hit me. I got out bed panting, pacing trying not to wake my husband. Thinking, “should I call an ambulance? Am I having a heart attack?” I managed to get calm enough to go to my basement and pray. It helped for a little while, but then another panic attack came and all I could do was say “Jesus!” ” Jesus help me!” After the attack subsided, I woke my kids up, I tried to act normally, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t get it together. I was crying and shaking. I had to ask my mom to come over to help me.(My husband was traveling for business)

When my mom arrived she found me lying on the couch, hand over heart trying to calm myself down. She took my kids to school and insisted I go to the doctor. I was so sick from all of the adrenaline I could barely walk, but God was there. He got me to the doctor’s office safely. How? I’ll never know. He’s just God.

My doctor was phenomenal he and his wife hugged me and treated me with so much compassion. With my blood pressure through the roof, he diagnosed me with having an anxiety disorder. The thought process was with all of the trauma from my recent health scares, unresolved issues from my past, and my struggle with perfectionism was the perfect storm. My nervous system couldn’t take too much more so it was shutting down, hence the shaking and muscle twitching.

At first, I struggled with the diagnosis because after all, I’m a Christian. I shouldn’t have this problem, right? Wrong. I’ve grown up in church all of my life and these types of topics are taboo when you are a Christian and an African American at that. We just don’t talk about anxiety and depression as being a valid thing. Going through this season, people would pray over me and say, “God give her peace”. They meant well but didn’t have a clue of what I was going through. That’s the wrong prayer. Think about it…when someone is a diabetic and they have insulin issues do we pray over them and say help them be able to eat this bread, no we don’t. They take medicine to help their body process certain foods and they avoid some things all together. Anxiety and depression is the same. There’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. In my case, my brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin because of different hormonal shifts childbirth etc has had on my body. So the prayer then becomes, “Lord, heal the brain. Balance the imbalance.” Telling an anxious person to calm down or not to worry is like telling a diabetic to eat the bread. The body physically doesn’t know how to respond to stress. I’m sure you all have heard of fight or flight before. My brain and body constantly thought I was being chased by a tiger and released so much adrenaline which made me overly worried about everything.

Fast forward six months, I’m doing fantastic. With the love, support of my family and friends that are like family, and My Abba God, I made it out! I’m victorious. My husband and I are closer than ever, my kids and I adore each other, my friendships are rock solid, and I’m more in love with Jesus than before. I’ve learned to live in the present moment and enjoy what’s in front of me.

God did it for me and he’ll do it for others. I’m sure of it. I have such a greater sense of my purpose. Dealing with my issues helped me strip off the misidentification of who I thought I was, who others told me I was, and become who I am today. (That’s another blog in itself. It’s coming I promise!!!😊)

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression you are not alone. I’d love to chat with you. Hit me up on Instagram @realgirlsfart  so I can share what helped me get from there to a place of victory and healing.

Thanks again for reading!

Achea Redd

about the author

Achea Redd is a mental health advocate, author of “Be Free Be You” and founder of Real Girls F.A.R.T. — a space to empower and equip women with the necessary tools to use their voices and become their best, most authentic selves.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey with anxiety and the victory through Christ! It’s so inspiring for others to hear they’re not alone and that they can overcome it!

  2. Thank you for sharing.. All I can say is Wow! You just never know what a person is going through, but God and all his awesomeness.

      • Amen.. Awesome testimony! I am a witness to what anxiety can do. My sister had such a bad one we thought it was a stroke. She has to learn to walk and talk over again. Stress caused her to have the attack. I really enjoy reading your blogs!! And miss hearing you sing..

  3. Look at you go! Love love love all of this. So real and so relevant. Thank you for sharing. I know all too well about being delivered from the ills of perfectionism. I am living a more peaceful life and am the most successful I have ever been in all phases of life b/c of that journey. Thank you for being a p
    art of that, sis.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I have lived with anxiety all of my life. It used to manifest as panic attacks & perfectionism. I continue to battle other triggers, like claustrophobia. It’s interesting you mentioned serotonin. Please share more. Much love!!

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