Tag Archives: anxiety

The Lesson I Learned from a Long Drive and a Trip to the Beach.

 

This semester has been rough. That’s the nicest way I’ll put that. No one factor made it rough, but then again, when things are rough, it is rarely for just one reason. To sum it up, I took some difficult classes, held executive positions in both student government and a social club, was in a Makin’ Music cast, and served as a seamstress for said Makin’ Music cast. I had all sorts of crazy things going on in my family life, I was working part time, and I was struggling with the depression end of bipolar. By the end of the semester I was burned out, wound tighter than a compressed spring, and stuck in a cycle of anxiety that I coped with by sleeping, watching Netflix, and obsessively reblogging things on Tumblr.

 

I was a mess.

 

Then, finals were over. I finished packing up my car, and on Friday, May 16th, I hit the road. I was headed to the Carolinas to spend the summer with my grandmother again, and even though I know that is going to have a whole lot of stress that goes with it, as I got further from school, I started feeling better. It was me, my music, and the road. By the time I hit Atlanta, I was belting to music and just felt joyous. I was asking myself questions, and thinking “Oh, I should research that this summer,” or “Hmm, that’s an interesting thought, I’ll have to see what So-and-so thinks of it” and all kinds of things.

 

That drive allowed me to clear my head, and drop some of the baggage off on the side of the road. I’ve been thinking about baggage a lot recently. I helped with a Ladies’ Day in Hohenwald, TN in April, and we did a modified rendition of the Skit Guy’s video “Baggage.” I played the main character, the one who had all the baggage. It hit close to home, because I carry a LOT of baggage. I like to think I carry less than I used to, and I probably do, but I still have a lot of it, and I don’t know when I’m going to get rid of it all.

 

I left some of it on the road though.

 

I realized how therapeutic long drives are.

 

They aren’t that way for some people, and that’s okay. Driving isn’t the only thing I find therapeutic. I went to the ocean on Tuesday night, and I frolicked in the waves for a while like a 5 year old. I didn’t go out very far, (mostly because I’m afraid of being bitten by a shark, even though that isn’t very likely to happen) but I waded far enough to wave jump and swim around a little bit and get thoroughly soaked by the tide washing in. I felt free, like I did when I drove from school to my grandmother’s. I felt alive, and whole. I sang “Step By Step” and I talked to God, and showed Him the joy that I had again.

 

There isn’t a whole lot to be done about the past. It’s over and done with. Learn from past mistakes. Stepping out from your comfort zone and asking for help when you need it, saying no, and maintaining boundaries are all lessons I had pounded into me this semester. Those three things were more important than all the lessons I learned in my classes. And stepping away from that experience and doing some self-care has got me back to relatively normal.

 

Find the things that are therapeutic for you, and do those things from time to time. Do something to get yourself out of the rut. Work in the yard, read a book, do something spontaneous, take a drive. Do something that will relax you, something that is fulfilling. Sometimes you have to push through the bad times first, but once that time passes, do something you enjoy. God got you through the rough patch, do something to show Him your joy. Create something. Serve someone. Encourage others. Spend time doing something productive.

Whatever you find therapeutic.

 

That’s the lesson I learned from a long drive and a trip to the beach.

 

 -Jax

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How time flies…

I remember when I turned 10.  I thought I was going to be all that and a bag of chips.  I was important, I was making the double digits for crying out loud! I was going to be queen of the hill, ruler of my domain.  I was excited to be turning 10.  Now, I’m on the brink of 20 (18 days!) and I’m terrified. This past decade was not what I expected. I got kicked around, my family suffered terrible blows, I found God.  I have had to face massive amounts of insecurity and felt persecution, harsh judgement, and fear.  It certainly doesn’t feel like a decade has passed since that day.

I am more of a scared little girl now than I was ten years ago.  I am facing adulthood, and I am scared.  I feel alone a lot of the time.  The pressures of adulthood are pressing down all around me, and I feel like I can’t turn to anyone for help.  It’s me, myself, and God.  I struggle to remind myself daily that God will provide for my needs.  He will make sure I have what I need to survive, and will put people in my path to help me.  But when I lay in bed at night and wonder how I’m going to be able to afford the gas to get back to school in a couple of weeks, a knot of fear forms in my stomach, and I don’t know what to do.

I have legally been an adult for almost two years, but I have been able to rely on being a teenager still.  I wasn’t really an adult, but once January 20th happens, I can’t use that excuse anymore.  I will be an adult with adult problems and worries and adult things to deal with.  Logically, I know that I’m not alone.  Logically, I know I can get help from my family if I need it.  The problem is that I know that they are dealing with a lot as it is, and they can’t afford to help me financially.

I guess part of my problem is not that I feel alone, it’s that I make myself alone.  I can’t help my family out financially.   I spurned the faiths of my parents, because I realized how wrong denominational Christianity is.  I decided to follow that faith and go to a school 700 miles away from home. I’m too far away to help take care of my brothers, or help them deal with life. The only thing I can really do is take care of myself as much as I can, and not ask them for help, even when I feel like I desperately need it. I forget that my parents love me and would do anything for me.  I tell myself I can’t rely on them, for a lot of  reasons.  I tell myself “If God blesses me with children, I will raise them to be confident in the Lord, and confident in me.  I will always provide for them in a manner worthy and pleasing to God.  I will not subject them to some of the things my parents have subjected me to.”

I’m realizing how vulnerable I am, and the only cure for vulnerability is reliance on God. He is constant, and He is loving. He will give me everything I need, and I need to have that confidence in him. These are some passages that come to mind.

“And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.  Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?  Consider the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.  For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.”

-Luke 12:22-31, ESV

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.”

-1 Peter 5:6,7

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

-Matthew 5:9b-13

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread will gvie him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

-Matthew 7:7-11

And while these passages are well and good and encouraging, it doesn’t mean that having complete faith is God and trust that He will provide is easy.  It takes diligence, it takes daily immersion and meditation on God’s Word, and prayer, a lot of prayer.  It takes courage humble yourself and say “I don’t know what I’m doing.  God, please, help me, show me what I need to do.  Help he have the strength of will and character to do it.  Help me have the humbleness to ask for help when I need it. I need You more than anything else in my life.  Your strength is made perfect in my weakness.  Strengthen me today so that I can make more right choices. I am weak, and I am sinful, but You are almighty and holy, and perfect in every way.  Help me follow your plan for salvation, and be a light for the rest of the world.”

So for the others out there who feel the same, I encourage and exhort you (and myself) to become more reliant on God this year, and let Him come in and be your strength, and have the courage to ask for the help you need.