The other day, I came across a blog post that could’ve been written by me.
Dealing With Anxiety: When Your Husband Can’t Relate
Heart pounding, hands shaking, I laid in bed the other night–unable to sleep. I had read an article that freaked me out. Medical-related, as usual.
I deal with severe panic attacks, and they usually present themselves quickly, out of no where. I was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had it removed—all in the span of six days. Ever since, I’ve been fighting off anxiety on a daily basis. My husband, on the other hand, is much better at staying calm. He balances me out, which is great. However, he doesn’t know what a panic attack feels like, so he can’t quite relate.
In moments like this, I try to explain why I’m freaking out, and he does his best to help. He’s very patient and understanding. But it reaches a point where he just can’t fix things.
Are You Dealing With Anxiety?
It can be scary when it’s 11 p.m., you start feeling anxious, and you feel completely out of control. I remember Elyse Fitzpatrick once said, You usually feel anxious at night, because during the day you feel much more in control.
And that’s so true.
When a bout of anxiety hits me, I sometimes expect my husband to be able to fix things. I long for him to have the perfect words to calm my anxious thoughts, but many times, he doesn’t. Instead of getting frustrated with him, I’ve had to come to the realization that my husband can’t be my ultimate source of peace. He is extremely comforting to me, and his prayers and words often do wonders for my nervousness, but my ultimate peace comes from God.
When I face moments of extreme fear, I’m learning to first pray. I get it all out on the table with God, and ask for peace. Then I go to my husband, and tell him I’m feeling anxious. Sometimes it’s helpful just to talk it out. I let him know that I don’t expect him to fix things, and that I just want him to know. I ask him to pray for me, and I pray some more.
Praying Through The Fear…
Noticing a pattern? Prayer really does work wonders when you’re dealing with fear. I’ve been battling anxiety since I was about ten years old. It’s really tough, and it does affect my marriage in tremendous ways. But I’m learning to give it to God first. Before I get frustrated with my husband, before I have a total meltdown, before I seek peace anywhere else.
Prayer should be your first step towards peace in times of anxiety. It’s extremely frustrating at times, when the person closest to you can’t quite understand what you’re experiencing. But it’s not his fault, and he’s not meant to be your ultimate source of peace and faith. Talk through your thoughts with your husband, but ultimately lay your fears at rest with God.
I can totally relate to this blog post. Sometimes I feel like my husband will never understand me.
In a good way.
You see, I am shy, fearful and filled with anxiety. I have panic attacks that sneak up on me from out of nowhere and totally blind side me, until they pass. He is calm, level-headed and I don’t think there is anything in this world that he fears. We balance each other out. In a totally good way. I don’t want him to understand my outlook on life. I mean, I do, but I don’t. I don’t want him to understand what it is like to be fearful of everything, to distrust new situations, to panic about the most non-panicable things (of course that’s a word – I should know, I just made it up.)
On Monday night I was stressing about something, I can’t remember what it was, and he made me look in the mirror and tell myself to relax, and then he said the most infuriating thing ever, “Calm down.” I wanted to scream at him. How can he tell me to calm down? But the thing is, he is right. I needed to calm down. Clearly, whatever it was, it wasn’t worth getting that stressed over if a mere two days later I can’t remember what I was stressing about in the first place.
I thank God every day that He gave this man to me.
He makes me think about what I am stressing about. He makes me breathe air in and calm myself down. He makes me so aware of a new way of thinking, of being, of living. Before I met hubby, this way of thinking was quite normal. I mean, my mother completely encouraged it. In fact, whenever I was stressed or anxious, it’s almost as if she came alive – something inside her deeply connected with me being in an emotionally negative place, or being sick or anything like that. But, living your life on the edge like that isn’t the way to live life. Yeah, I know. I have blogged about this to death, but I think it’s constantly something that I am battling with. And as a result, it will forever be something that I need to be aware of.
I can’t allow myself down the slippery slope of negative thinking. I can’t indulge myself in fantasy that allows my emotions to go haywire. I need to be constantly alert and vigilant – because of this negative tendency that I have, I can’t allow myself for even one iota of a second to go there. As tempting as it sometimes may be.
What am I talking about?
As Joyce Meyer‘s says,
“Think about what you are thinking about.”
I can just bet my husband will be reading this and thinking, “what on earth is this woman going on about?” You see my love, I have this awful tendency to live in “What If” land. I visit there quite often, and the results are always awful.
- What if I’m being a terrible mother to Baby Girl?
- What if I’m being a terrible wife to you?
- What if we can meet our financial obligations?
- What if I lose my job?
- What if …
- What if …
- What if …
And that is the start of all the trouble. And don’t get me wrong. Things are going really great at the moment, but I am just constantly aware that I need to keep exercising my brain towards being positive. And having faith and a belief in myself that I can handle whatever comes my way.
And that God is always on our side.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Although I have not read the book, I understand that Eckhart Tolle‘s book, A New Earth, is about learning to live in the here and now. And that is what I am trying to do. Each and every day. And never visit What-If Land again.
An article in SUCCESS magazine describes A New Earth as a “self-improvement book” that encourages its readers to live their lives in each present moment and to create happiness for themselves without emphasizing material possessions. Tolle’s intent is to change the way human beings think, and he envisions a world population that is increasingly more humble, enlightened and pure. According to Tolle, the book’s purpose “is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness”. In the book, Tolle asserts that everyone can find “the freedom and joy of life” if they live in the present moment. It presents Tolle’s teachings in a “quasi-Christian framework” by citing the Bible multiple times. The book describes human dysfunction, selfishness, anxiety and the inhumanity we inflict on each other, as well as mankind’s failed attempts to find life meaning and purpose through material possessions and unhealthy relationships. It asserts that thoughts can have a powerful and beneficial “effect on the healing process”, and puts forth a concept of “evolutionary transformation of human consciousness” which prompts the reader to participate in “honest self-evaluation [that] can lead to positive change.”
And yet, as I am writing this, I am painfully aware that I haven’t really visited What-If land in a very long time. So, why am I blogging about this? Because you know by now, I have to analyse everything to death. And writing about this helps me focus on my mind on the positive again. I find it inspiring (good to find your own writing inspiring, hey? 🙂 ), but it keeps reminding me of my journey and where I want to be in life.
- The only thing you ever have is now. ~Eckhart Tolle (bestartsgallery.com)
- God thinks of you (mydearsavior.wordpress.com)
- The Art of Enlightenment: Eckhart Tolle (newartrends.wordpress.com)
- LISTEN: What Matters at the End of Life (blackchristiannews.com)
- First World Problems (michaeldhatcher.wordpress.com)