The Recovery

by Rhonda, August 01, 2022

My Sunday was quiet this week.  I enjoyed the family coming over for my brother's birthday party on Saturday.  It was fun to see everyone.  But, part of being a quiet introvert is that I have to recover from hosting a large party.  Its a strange thing, and it is one of the things about my personality that I've often struggled to understand.  Why would I find it stressful to simply be around people that I love?  

If I were around them one at a time, I would not have any issues whatsoever.  But, a large gathering is something that is always challenging for me.  I want to do it, but I also have to recover.

It is okay to be this way.  It is how God created me.  I have to return to my routine, to my quiet.  I have gotten to the age (finally) where I can recognize this isn't some sort of flaw, or something I need to overcome.  If I could have overcome it, I would have done so years ago.

After a large week at work, plus a party on Saturday, I woke with raging anxiety staring me in the face on Sunday.  It was so frustrating, because I had planned to get caught up on some work on Sunday.  But, with the level of anxiety I was facing, I knew work was off the table.  I am unable to function when I am in this state.

My mind needed to rest.  It deserved a break, and it demanded it.

The first thing I had to do was limit my media intake.  This one is always hard, because watching TV or, my favorite YouTube channels is a distraction.  But it often makes the anxiety worse once the television is turned off.

I also tend to go into planning mode when I'm deep in anxiety.  I stare at the week ahead, unable to think through how I am going to tackle everything.  I begin to plan every spare minute I've got.  I plan all kinds of things.  I plan all of the extra hours I'm going to work.  I plan to fix problems in my relationships, so I will plan to visit certain people in my family on a weekly basis (whether they like it or not).  I will plan to launch a new business.  I will plan to get another college degree.  Anything to let me feel like I'm regaining some sort of control.

But, the problem is this doesn't give my mind a break.  I needed rest for my overloaded mind.  I would schedule my life away if left to my own devices.  God has been teaching me to abide less by my schedule and more by what my mind and body are telling me.  

I had to go back to the One who gives my mind rest.  I am a sensitive, introverted soul, and without Jesus I will carry around a lot of pain as a result of how I'm wired.  I have limitations.  I have to respect them, and working eight hours on Sunday wasn't in the cards for me.  I needed to accept it and trust Him with the results.

I got out my five step journal (Dr. Caroline Leaf).  I set my timer, and I took the time to allow God to heal me.  Throughout the day, God fought the anxiety and panic with me.  It was a victory for me.  Instead of punishing myself because I was in pain, I sought healing from the One who can heal.

If you struggle with anxiety like me, I can't encourage you enough to seek healing.  Healing may be a combination of seeking Jesus, counseling, medications, daily practices, or even diet.  There's so may facets to it and the treatment has to be specialized to your specific needs.  I have utilized all of these things, understanding that part of how I'm wired makes me especially susceptible to anxiety.

Choose to listen to your mind and your body.  It is telling you it has been injured.  It has been triggered.  Take care of your mind.  Allow God to take you down the path needed to bind up your wounds.  Don't ignore it or distract your mind.  Take the time to heal it, not punish it for not functioning.  Do not reject yourself or God's design for you.  Your pain matters, and you need to listen to it and take care of yourself.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you - let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  

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