EPIKOS CHURCH - REAL PEOPLE. REAL STORIES. AMAZING GOD.
When one is an alcoholic, and is ready to admit it, there are clear-cut steps to take to recovery. First, admit that you are an alcoholic. Second, attend AA meetings. Third, begin the 12 step program.
I love this. Clear cut, step by step instructions on how to recover, and make reconciliation and restitution to those who have been harmed by your addiction.
But what about those, like me, who have finally come to the point of surrender in their addiction to anxiety? Where are the AA meetings for us? (Anxiety Anonymous?) How do we say, “Hello my name is ______and I am addicted to anxiety? It sounds preposterous that we could actually be addicted to the one emotion that we hate about ourselves. More on that later.
In our own defense, anxiety addicts have some rather wonderful traits. We tend to be people with higher than average IQ’s, driven, Type A personalities, proud, high achievers, fiercely loyal, moral, driven people. But our brain chemistry is such that we misdirect our emotional energy inside and become over-reacters, catastrophizers, and world class worriers.
When my counselor lovingly suggested that I get on a low dose anti-anxiety medication, she explained that this medication should be no more distressing to me than medication needed to regulate thyroid or high blood pressure. Hormones in my brain are acting overtime driving me to the fight or flight reflex over and over where the line between panic and calm have blurred out of control. Though I hate to admit that I have become the classic textbook case of an anxiety addict, I have arrived at the doorstep of admission. Now comes the hardest part. How do I tell my family and close friends that the monster that comes out of me at times is not really a character flaw, but a bona fide hormonal imbalance in my brain?
One of the reasons it is so difficult to admit to oneself the need for any kind of pharmaceutical intervention is that there is still a stigma surrounding the topic of anxiety and depression. The subject seems to threaten those around us and tempts them to avoid us and the reality of the subject. There is a fear involved. They might think “Is this person crazy? Could it happen to me? I don’t want to acknowledge this so it is more comfortable for me to just ignore it and maybe it will go away”.
In Philippians 4:6, God tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and petition, make your requests known to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I have read that verse
a hundred times, and only now do I really begin to understand why He said, that the Peace of God would transcend OUR understanding. He is speaking directly to me as one who wants to understand (analyze and over-analyze) and define everything. He is telling me it is ok NOT TO KNOW all answers to all questions, and to let go and lean on Him.
When I came to my point of surrender, I took an evaluation of my life based on God’s word. The Apostle Paul in the letter to the Galatians listed the seven “fruits” evidencing the presence of the Holy Spirit; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, and Self Control. On my self evaluation, I had to admit that I came up very short.
Next, I referred to the traits that the Apostle Paul spoke about in his letter to the Colossians; referring to those things that we MUST get rid of as we grow closer to God....Anger, Rage, Malice, Slander, and Filthy Language. Busted. This evaluation clearly illuminated where the problem of Anxiety was rooted....I was feeding the wrong emotions!
Recognizing these things in my life haven’t changed me overnight...and those who know me will take some time to see a consistent change in me. However, with God’s instructions at the forefront of my heart and mind, I get a little closer to Him every day.
Epikos Community Blog
Welcome to the Epikos Community Blog where you can find and read blog posts from members of Epikos Church in Bend, OR. At Epikos we believe in the value of every member and this is a place for members to share about the work God is doing in their lives.