understanding anxiety

Anxiety. 7 letters. The most complicated thing I know. Organic chemistry, calculus, human physiology… no problem. I did well in those classes. Anxiety is a whole new level of learning. Understanding anxiety requires vulnerability.  It is scary and it is hard. It comes through hours of thinking through things, talking through things, dealing with things, etc., etc. etc. And then the illogical starts to make sense. I have this fear because this happened. These thoughts caused that ultra-realistic daydream. Understanding anxiety requires bringing up thoughts and emotions you never wanted to touch, let alone think through with a counselor or trusted friend.

Our culture has the expectation of pretending to be perfect, but healing can only come through honesty – being honest with others (that you know you can trust) and yourself. Honesty means allowing yourself to cry in the middle of a worship service when you feel the need to let it all out. Honesty means confessing sins of hurting yourself or not trusting God completely or going to something else before turning to God or whatever to God. Honesty means being honest to yourself and to others that you are not doing just fine. Honesty is hard. But honesty is the means for understanding anxiety. And understanding anxiety is the means for managing it.

Anxiety is the most complicated thing that I’m trying to understand right now. And that’s ok, because one day it will make a little more sense. And when it does, maybe the struggle will be a little bit easier.


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