Finding that Freedom Starts by Knowing You’re Not Alone.
Hi, I’m Anita. Welcome to Confronting Anxiety.
I’m a wife, mother, friend, and, thankful to say, former champion worry wort who dealt with severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for several years. During my years of constant worry, fear and anxiety, I was terrified to leave my home and believed I was slowly losing my mind. The on-going fear eventually led to panic attacks. During that time, I didn’t make the connection that these were related to worry and fear and they were the worst! The rapid heart palpitations, feelings of losing control, and shakiness became so bad that it literally felt as if I had done an ab workout once it finally stopped. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever experienced.
The panic attacks hit me just as much mentally as they did physically. Worst of all, I had no idea what they were, why I was getting them, or how to stop them. Going out in public seemed to be a major trigger for my panic episodes, so normal routines and hobbies that I used to enjoy such as socializing, hosting events, grocery shopping, driving, going out to restaurants, shopping, etc. had become nearly impossible. I became agoraphobic and stayed home as much as possible.
In addition to my ‘normal’ perpetual battle with worry, I was now living in fear of fear itself.
If you live in fear like I did, you can probably relate to the first feelings of anxiety that can hit you the moment you wake up – before you even get out of bed. Every morning I woke up anxious wondering if/how I would make it through the day. I was too afraid to go to my doctor because I thought he would confirm that I was going crazy and I didn’t want to hear that. I was also too afraid to open up to my friends because I didn’t think they would understand. I was embarrassed and thought others would think differently of me. Other than God, my husband, and my mom, I kept silent and did my best to ‘survive’ each day. I literally felt like I was just keeping my head above the water, terrified that at any moment the anxiety and panic would over-take me and that would be it.
I missed my life. All I wanted was to simply play a game with my son and not have to force a smile to cover the sadness I felt inside.
To say the least, living anxious day after day became extremely depressing. I wanted to be able to go down an isle at the grocery store without feeling like I had to run out of the store, or as though I was going to melt while waiting in line. I wanted to be able to sit in a restaurant with my husband and be in the moment while he was talking to me, rather than focusing on where the exit signs were in case I need to escape.
After five years of feeling this way, I finally had the breakthrough I was longing for. One Sunday night I was in my living room with my family and those anxious feelings started coming on pretty strong. I knew it was the start of yet another panic attack, so as usual, I got up and started to pace around the house. When I made my way to my room, I turned on the T.V. in hopes of finding a distraction and, upon doing so, I came across a well known Pastor. He was giving a message on adversity and something along the lines of how there’s times that we need to not only rely on God to solve our problems, but we need to ask how we can help ourselves as well. That really got my attention because up until that moment, my prayer was always, ‘God, take this away.’ I didn’t feel I had any control of what was happening to me.
That night, I took this Pastor’s advice and I knelt before God and said, “God, if there is anything I can do to help myself, please show me.” What came to my mind immediately was: ‘read my Word and see what I have to say about worry, fear, peace and anxiety.’ I quickly grabbed my Bible and found Scriptures that spoke of these topics, and they completely changed how I viewed my situation.
Through God’s Word I realized that I wasn’t created to live in a constant state of anxiousness and fear.
I also understood that if I’m not meant to live that way, then I don’t have to stay that way. From that day forward, I spent 10-15 minutes each day going over verses relevant to fear and anxiety. My attitude began to change and I was no longer defining myself as an anxious person. I told myself daily, no matter how anxious I was, that I was strong, confident, and healthy.
This new perspective gave me the courage to face what anxiety really was and gave me the most important realization of all. I wasn’t alone. Millions of people are living with fear due to anxiety and panic attacks. As I bundled all of this newfound knowledge together, I discovered my true purpose.
I’m here to help those who suffer from anxiety realize they’re not alone.
In 2011, I brought my purpose to life and founded Confronting Anxiety. In these last 9 years, I’ve helped so many people overcome anxiety through my classes, workshops, and an individualized 12-week audio program that I personally wrote and recorded. Through the success of seeing hundreds of people transformed, it has become quite clear to me that my suffering was not in vain. What was meant for my harm, God took and used it as a blessing, for which I am forever grateful.
I’m proof that freedom from worry and fear is possible. Using this blog, I’ll be sharing my best tips for winning the battle over anxiety and supporting you as you continue to fight each day to live a life you love. I’m here to continue my purpose and help you feel less alone. I truly believe that we are all here to help one another through our many seasons of life, and this is one of the parts I have been entrusted with. Thank you for being on this journey with me!