Hello Anxious My Old Friend


I usually only have one commitment on Sunday mornings, but this Sunday I had three things for which I was responsible. I kept meaning to fit preparation for those Sunday commitments into my week, but the week went by with very little progress on my Sunday prep. When Saturday finally rolled around I was anxious all day about what I had to do on Sunday.

They say that anxiety is closely linked with depression. I have a history of depression, dating back to my teen years. I sunk to rock-bottom depression in my early days post-partum and at some point after having my son the anxiety kicked in. I have been on and off meds, and in and out of therapy. (I mentioned before that my history of infertility is the biggest reason why I don’t have more than one kid, but this depression/anxiety stuff factors in pretty prominently too.)

I’m better nowadays than I was even a couple of years ago, but I feel like I am still not back to my pre-baby self. The depression doesn’t surface as often as it used to and the anxiety, well some days are better than others. I can attest to the two being in cahoots because when the anxiety does kick in the depression buries me.

It works like this, I get stressed out about something I have going on. I am aware of what needs done, I may even make small efforts to do some of it. Still I don’t get done what I know I should because I am too anxious. Then I get depressed about not getting things done and I get really down on myself. The less I do, the more anxious I become. The more anxious I become, the less I do. This has the appearance of unforgivable laziness. I call this my shut-down mode.

So, that was my Saturday. I felt the weight of all that was coming for Sunday and I shut down for most of Saturday. Somehow, I managed to get everything prepped that I needed to do for my Sunday commitments and you know what, it wasn’t that much to do after all. And you know what else? My Sunday went fine, I would even say it went well.

That’s the thing about this anxiety stuff, it’s just not rational. There was really nothing to be anxious about! I learned early on in my anxious days that I need to pick and choose my commitments and focus on things that I do well. Everything I committed to today is stuff I do well. Not to mention the fact that our congregation is a loving, gracious lot by which I need not feel afraid or intimidated.

I sometimes think about getting back on meds or getting back to therapy, but when I think about that I get really anxious…

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri Kardos on April 15, 2013 at 5:16 am

    You described that cycle perfectly! I am familiar with it more than I like to acknowledge. I am glad your Sunday went well.

  2. Posted by Anthea on April 15, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Such brutal honesty and a picture of a something I am very familiar with too. I just sent this to a friend that I prayed with on Sunday who is really in the grips of this. Thank you for being so candid and authentic. It’s as if you heard my heart!

  3. Posted by sara on April 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Jennifer, you are so thoughtful. God be with with you. All my love!

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