There are a few things you come to realize when you wake up knowing chronic anxiety is part of your everyday life. You soon realize that you will never be like “them” again. By them I mean people who seem “normal” who have never had it out with anxiety or fear. You will always have an intimate knowledge of what it means to live in fear. Fear means something different to you than it does to “them.” It is at this point you have a few choices to make. You can pray God will “Make It All Go Away,” you can dig into the fight against fear, or you can give in to living a life of fear. None of these choices seem like good ones.
If you were to ask me which one I would choose A) Pray to God He will Make it all go away B) Dig into the fight against fear C) Give in to fear D) None of the above. I would choose D) None of the above. I believe I may have thought “Make it all go away,” but this was never really a choice for me. When originally faced with the choice, my faith was not in a place where I could pray this kind of prayer.
People, doctors, friends, family members will most likely be at a loss when it comes to giving you advice in this area. Unless they have personally had it out with fear or anxiety, they will largely be unable to understand the battle. Most likely you will be able to tell if they “get it” or not. As much as they want to help you, they will disappoint you. Perhaps the best thing they can do is with love, compassionately admit they do not understand.
If you are anything like me, you are left with choice B) Dig into the fight against fear or choice C) Give in to fear. Here is where I would choose option D) None of the above. Many will encourage you to just accept your condition (the fear is a permanent part of your life.) They do this with a great heart, but they do not truly understand what they are asking you to do. They do not understand that for you, fear does not stand still. It only gets worse or gets better. There is no in between when it comes to fear.
So, here we are…I am not about to just “give in” or “accept my condition.” This leaves me with the choice to B) Dig into the fight against fear. What does it really mean to fight against the fear? I believe the song No Longer Slaves by I AM THEY says it best.