In the last post about nature, I made a few references to God. Today we’ll look at faith and how it helps in coping with panic attacks and anxiety.
It’s interesting that although I grew up with punitive teachers in my religion, I ultimately never abandoned my faith in God. (I did have many years when I gave up on my faith, more about that later.) Faith has been my biggest ally in facing my fears and learning to live a new life.
Faith is the Opposite of Fear. Faith is not believing that God can, it’s knowing that He will.
What or Who Can I Have Faith In?
Honestly, it doesn’t matter. It just has to be something greater than yourself that loves you. You can have faith in in God, a Higher Power, the Universe, a relative that has passed on, angels, anything. My friend Angela’s Higher Power is a rock.
I have a loving Higher Power, whom I choose to call God.
When I put my faith into my Higher Power’s hands, I am trusting that He loves and cares for me unconditionally. He is always there to help me. This is key and something to keep in the forefront my mind as I learn to face my fears.
Because of my faith, I firmly believe that I have the right to a full and happy life. By choosing to recover from my panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia, I am reclaiming that right every day.
Because of my faith, I know that the challenges of coping with panic attacks and anxiety have made me into a powerful, competent woman. I can share my experiences and try to help others who are still suffering. That is the reason I started this website, in fact.
Because of my faith, I am learning to I see the glass as half full, not half empty. I look back at my past with no regrets. I am blessed today with a very rich life, filled with wonder and possibilities. I may stumble and have setbacks, but I know I’m moving in the right direction.
Because of my faith, I realize I don’t have to accept my life at face value. When fear and panic attacks ruled my life, I was just accepting what life gave to me and not doing anything about it. All I saw was fear and restriction and this is the way I lived. As I learned to live my life with faith, I realized I didn’t have to accept this reality. I could learn a better way of living. This is one of my God-given rights
As I learn to challenge my fears, my Higher Power is on my side. He holds my hand and walks beside me every step of the way.
But What if I Lost My Faith?
Anxiety is a beast and it can really knock the wind out of your sails. As you know, for many years I was crippled with panic disorder and anxiety. For years, I rejected the religion of my childhood and anything to do with God. I lost all faith and truly lived in despair from this awful disease.
I was told that this attitude could only hurt me, and that I had to have Faith. I came to believe that this was true.
I desperately wanted to have faith, I needed to know Something, Anything was on my side. I felt so alone and isolated in my suffering. There just had to be a way out of the nightmare that was my life. I was told the key was to have Faith. I was told I had to Act As If.
So I learned to act as if. I acted as if I had a Higher Power who loved me and watched over me. At first, it didn’t feel authentic.
That’s Ok, I was told: Fake it till you make it. Keep acting as if. I did. I did it like my life depended on it, because the truth was, it did. I had reached my emotional bottom with anxiety and panic, and got to a point where I thought about suicide.
“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly” -Patrick Overton
How has your faith helped you challenge or overcome panic attacks or anxiety? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share so we can all benefit.
I wish you peace,
photo credit: Katrina †
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