After years of putting it aside, thinking it was just another thing to add to my list of things I should do, having everyone’s elses needs push it aside and just plain forgetting to make it important, I did it. I went to a psychologist for ME.
Being in ministry, sometimes one is tempted to think that everything boils down to a spiritual matter. In our society, in general, it is becoming more acceptable for people to seek counselling. In the ministry world, it’s a little more hush-hush. After all, if you are in a leadership position or are married to someone who is, shouldn’t you have it all together? And if you (or your family) doesn’t have it all together then should you be leading? How can we trust you if you need help. Isn’t God enough?
The good news is that seeking counselling means that you are actually not nuts yet. You are sane enough to actively seek that which you are in need of. It means you are taking a step to get the help you need, and that’s a step towards health. It also probably means you are a good leader or at least see the signs of stress and that what you are facing requires some extra care from a Mental Health professional. It also indicates that you are good at reflecting and seeing that your life needs some external support. God uses people to help his people whether they are in leadership or not. You can be very close to God and yet need another tangible godly person to listen. Some of those godly people are psychologists.
In my case, anxiety is the Beast which I am determined to slay and part of the reason I have sought professional help. In Phillipians 4:6-7 (NLT) it says
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
For God to put this little piece in the Bible, His Word, it means that peace is attainable and anxiety is something that can be obliterated. Anxiety is the opposite of peace. I have lived the last year wondering why, when I have prayed like crazy and wanted to not be anxious, I was still struggling to find that peace.
My dear counsellor picked up on something I said right away and WOW! it was important! I don’t know this counsellor from Adam, by the way, so what she said without knowing me well was a great big “HELLO” moment for me.
She told me that I had said “My anxiety felt like a physical thing. That I didn’t feel like I should be anxious about anything but it was a part of my body, something I couldn’t stop.” She said that she had heard those similar words from a lot of women over 40 and that it actually could be a physical thing. Seriously, this was an “aha” moment if I ever had one. I have guilted myself over something that could actually not be a mental/spiritual health issue but a PHYSICAL issue. My hormones, in my awesome middle age body (ahem), could be messing with my brain.
So, with that said, how do I deal with it? I have already been thinking hard and long about getting my fat butt (I’m not being mean to myself here) moving. I have struggled with the fear of failing. Every time I set out to do something I don’t complete it. I am getting mad (at my failing body and mind) and that has motivated me to get crazy. Oh wait. I’m not crazy, just motivated. I am going to train for the Couch to 5Km program and sign up for a 5 Km run.
How does this help my anxiety? Well, it gets my body moving and getting healthier so overall, I should feel better. Hopefully, exercise will kick my body into doing things more right than wrong.
I am also going to be finding Wild Yam Progesterone Cream that may help with some of the hormone wackiness. We’ll see how that goes.
I am excited to be getting things in line for me to be healthy. First, I actually made an appointment with a counsellor and kept it. Then, she helped me find areas that I can work on (not just the hormone thing). God has lined things up so that maybe healing will come in the process. I feel like he is leading me in this direction.
My chaos is becoming, little by little, organized and figured out. I’m not talking just physical chaos of living my life in a family of six. I’m talking figuring things out in my mind and straightening it out. It’s a beautiful thing.
I needed to make taking care of me and my body a priority. That much has been clear lately. I am so thankful that God has seen fit to keep me going a while longer. He has provided a way for my life to become more of a light than it was…that is if I was shining at all. I don’t feel like I was doing very well that way, but on we go!
I have so much more to share in what God is doing in my life in the “little” but BIG things. Organizing my life/house/kids lives. Reading the Bible. How the 5Km idea got started. Fears about Winter. Finding a Homeschooling Niche. Oh so many things! It’s ALL about God transforming me. I feel like a building under construction. First the old, condemned building was demolished with the foundation being sound. From that foundation a new building, only the Architect knows the plans…oh, the rest is for another post. I haven’t even told you about how snorkelling changed my life, have I?
Hope and Determination are growing in my heart and I give all credit due to the One that sustains me. Most of all, peace is breaking through…