I am a confident girl. I’m the funny, never-let-them-see-you-sweat girl. I have a great living situation, a full-time job, a budding relationship. I even have a puppy. From my Instagram and Twitter profiles, it looks like I am the happiest girl in the world.
And yet, I am caught up in the most crippling bout with anxiety.
From the outside, you would never know. I have packaged myself rather nicely, and I commend myself for trying really hard. But if I’m being honest, that’s all it is: trying. At this point, I still feel like I don’t measure up. I am terrified of people finding out, of being discovered, of looking like a fraud, of being broken.
I want to hide from my Christian community. I am ashamed that my faith isn’t stronger and my identity isn’t more secure.
In my experience, anxiety is like being lost at sea at night; I’m without a raft, in the middle of a typhoon. I can’t see the shore. There is nothing to hold on to or stabilize me. It is dark, loud, and I feel incredibly alone. When the waves crash in the middle of my ocean of anxiety, there isn’t anything to bump into; just more darkness, more abyss, more nothing. While I am trying to hold on for dear life, I only come up with fistfuls of more fear. The fear begets more fear, and I sink down in a panic for what feels like the 100th time.