To my Past-Self Who Knew Very Little About Anxiety

Written by Rosie Yip, Australia

Dear anxious Rosie,

You are not alone in your anxiety. It’s cheesy but it’s true. God feels incredibly far away at this moment, but the truth is, He has never been closer to you. He hasn’t discarded you because you are too difficult or too broken to love. He hasn’t broken any of His promises to you. He is holding you together right now. Don’t give up on trying to find God.

You do not have to put up walls against God. Be honest with Him in all your emotions anger, disappointment, frustration, pain. Pray the ugly prayers, strip off the mask of perfection and present your brokenness to Him.  

What is reflected back may not be pretty, but you will find yourself in the middle of His grace and unconditional love. It is a humbling and painful process, one where you choose to be an active participant in.  

You will find yourself pushed to the limits, days when you wonder if it’s worth trying so hard.  Every evening as you look to the sky and watch the ever-changing colours of sunset, you will find hope that this is not forever. Just as day turns into night, the night will come to an end as daybreak arrives.  

You will find early on that you need to invite people into your journey. The temptation is to place yourself in complete isolation and shut the world out. This way, you can keep the illusion that you are in control of everything. Letting people into your out-of-control world will be one of the most difficult but rewarding parts of this journey. 

If meeting with people and verbalising your pain is too difficult, look for other ways to share your story with them. You may find it easier to send an email to a small group of people you trust or sending a text to your pastor asking for prayer, or it may be posting what you’re feeling on Instagram stories to your close friends list (I highly recommend not making these posts public because the Internet is not always a safe space).   

Each time you share your story, it will be difficult. You will overthink every word, wonder how people will react, regretting your decision to share. And here’s the truth: not everyone you reach out to will know what you need and how to support you. You will find yourself sitting in your car after sharing vulnerably with a group of people you trusted, sobbing because their blank faces and uncertainty feels like a straight up rejection to you.  But what you will find in at least some of the people you choose to share with is that while they may not know what you need or how to support you, they will try.  Out of their love and care for you, they will want to be there for you.   

At times, you may need to equip them with resources to help them understand what anxiety is and how they can support you. 

Eventually, you will find the person in your life who will call you up to go for a walk together around the block when you haven’t been out of the house for a week. There will be people willing to drive to your place in the middle of the night so they can pray for you after finding out it’s been a rough week. You will discover the people you can send SOS texts to on particularly rough nights, and you know without doubt that they are indeed praying and interceding for you.  

I know it feels like you will never know joy again. You will. As you keep turning up to each day, one completely random day, you will find yourself laughing. It will surprise you because it has been so long since you have heard that sound. The sound is so precious it brings you to tears. It’s a miracle, only possible through Christ.  

So this is my message to you, Rosie, don’t give up. Winter will always come to an end, dawn always breaks through the long night. 

Love, 

Rosie 

 

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