How I went from Paralyzing Anxiety to Fulfillment
It all started with ambulances, police cars, a strange state and finding myself in the hospital.
I was a college student and had bought into a summer college job scheme where I was out of state, away from my family and selling educational books door-to-door. It had sounded exciting; an adventure for this small town rural Indiana kid. It turned out to be exactly the opposite.
It was scary, isolating and flipped a switch inside of me that I didn’t even know existed.
Looking back, it's hard to even believe it had happened to me. I was in a park, alone, trying to get my thoughts together. What followed was like a scene from a movie, resulting in me convinced I was dying of a heart attack and subsequently being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Shortly after that incident, I returned home, where I was hospitalized for four weeks with the diagnosis of anxiety and panic disorder. Once released from my hospitalization, I spent the next several months on my parent’s couch, confident I was dying. This was by far the darkest and most difficult time of my life. For loved ones dealing with someone with panic and anxiety disorder, I want you to know you are priceless to your loved ones in these dark times.
I eventually put one foot in front of the other and returned to a somewhat normal life, completing college and starting a job. However, I was still in this very dark battle with panic and anxiety. I used medication to survive and I certainly wouldn’t say I was thriving. Some days I won and somedays the panic and anxiety won. Nearly 10 years later from the day in the park, I met my wife. I hadn’t been sure if I could marry and have a family; I wasn’t even sure I could manage something like that.
From the beginning, I was honest with my soon-to-be wife about my struggle with panic and anxiety and she loved me anyway. She pushed me to believe I could be more than I believed and allowed me to realize that I was worthy to be loved and have a family. She taught me to believe I didn’t have to be defined by this disorder.
There were two ways that forever changed the anxiety and panic controlling my life.
First, we chose to surrender our lives to God, believing that there is hope in the God who created the universe yet calls us by name. Second, I purchased and led myself through a mind-based stress reduction technique that gave me strategies for coping, inviting my wife into ways to help me.
Now, nearly 30 years from that dark incident in the park, I have freedom from panic and anxiety! I haven’t been on medication for over 15 years, have a beautiful family, a successful career and thank God daily for the fulfillment and happiness I have in my life.
If you want to explore the hope I found in God during this dark season of my life, join us at Connection Pointe. We'll be spending our Saturday nights, and Sunday mornings talking about how to find the community that can help you be the best version of you. Click here to learn more.