The other day, I began the journey of seeing a new mental health professional. There was a period of time where I felt as though my life was manageable without counseling. And maybe to an extent it was, but sooner or later the depression would slowly start moving back in. Much like a person who, over time starts leaving all their stuff at your house.
The anxiety became worse then I have previously experienced. I’ve been having two or three attacks a week. Mixed in with horrible nightmares. So enough was enough. I decided to tell my family doctor exactly what I was experiencing.
Shortness of breath
frantic and irrational thoughts thoughts.
During my fist session with this psychologist, he gathered some standard information. But what shocked me is that it didn’t take him long to profess that there were all the signs of a severe panic disorder. While there is much more treatment ahead, its good to put a name, some words a face even to what has been holding onto me so tightly. That being said, the following paragraphs will be a letter to my panic ridden self, perhaps as you read this you can find some hope and healing as well. Maybe even consider doing this exercise as well.
Dear panic ridden self,
I don’t know when you first became as you are, but if I could trace time back to its root. I would tell you that’s it’s okay. Life was meant to be a joy and not a burden. There is a much greater king in charge of the universe then ourselves. I know you have had to endure such hardship at a young age, but you weren’t the only one that had to endure it.
There were people beside you, a family that endured it a long side you. Who hurt with you. I know that you felt like an outcast in such colorful world. I know you just wanted to be like everyone else, that you would occasionally gaze up to the sky and wonder why the way things were as they are.
I know that you only wanted to experience life the way everyone else did, but instead felt like you were guarded from the world around you. It’s okay, life is actually being molded into something beautiful and there is more to come.
I know you wanted to feel loved, and so you sought out people and anything to make you feel alive and whole. The truth is, we all do this. There is a king and father of the universe that can make you more alive then any earthly manifestation this world can produce.
You must learn to trust this heavenly king, for when life seems to fall apart in ways we would not desire, he is putting things back together in ways that will only be of greater benefit to us.
You can learn to breath, and enjoy. You don’t have to hold on so tightly. I know life will knock you down, and people will hurt you. But don’t let that darken your understanding of life and who you are.
You will be tempted to bring your defenses up, but sometimes you have to let the most unlikely people love you (whoever they may be). Your going to make mistakes, say things you don’t mean, do things you never thought you would do.
But above all else, accept forgiveness, from the Lord, others, please try to be kind to yourself. You’ll have a habit of wanting to kick your own ass a lot. Just know that that won’t help anything. Keep chasing your dreams and pushing your limits.
Everything will be just fine.