When I decided to share about my anxiety, I did so because I wanted anyone who felt even the slightest similarities to me to know they aren’t alone. I imagined that when I shared about it, it would be all about the hard parts. I realized the other day that I haven’t written about it as recently because it hasn’t seemed as all consuming in the past couple months. Sure, it still rears its head and some days are better than others, but I am slowly learning that there are things I can do to keep it from suffocating me on a regular basis. By not sharing about how my anxiety has ebbed and flowed, for the better, I have missed an opportunity to glorify God.
Throughout the past couple of years, I have learned about my anxiety in a way that it is a part of me that I must care for. Similarly to my skincare routine that I maintain daily to prevent acne and ultimately dirty skin, in some way I’ve established an “anxiety routine.” I am able to identify many triggers and have recognized the habits I have to keep up with in order to manage my anxiety (as best as I can). Generally speaking, I am more prone to anxiety when I am not working out regularly, when I turn to food and shopping for temporal happiness and when I decide to suppress what I am thinking and feeling. When I suppress, I spiral. That has been the key I have found, to take notice when I am suppressing (in all its different forms). Alternatively, when I decide to be honest (no matter how ugly it may be) with Harrison and my counselor - I get somewhere. I unfold what is about to take over my heart and my mind. There are times when it still does take over, however I did some work on the front end to hopefully make “that time” a shorter stint than it would’ve otherwise been.
I write this not to say I’ve figured it out. I know that will never be the case. But God has figured it out. And it will be made right, made perfect in His timing. Yet still, as I walk through this life I must point to Him. The kindness He has showed me to pull me out of every hard season, to show me who He is through the difficult times. He is there and He is consistent, when it is bad and when it is good. I must praise His name for being faithful to me, to never leave or forsake me. And that I know to be one of the truest promises He has made.
I recently googled my name to see what the meaning of it was. I found several different things, but amongst them all, my favorite was “joy, song of happiness." A new prayer I plan to pray daily is that I live out that meaning of my name. I was also reminded of when I was naming this business and “joy” and “light” were the two words that the Lord kept revealing to me. It makes me smile to see a comparison in my name that my parents chose nearly thirty years ago and a business name I chose about three years ago. I also read in a book last night an acronym the author made for JOY - Jesus, Others, You. May we remember JOY and where Jesus falls in the order.