I couldn’t get out of bed.
I broke out into hives.
I thought I was having a heart attack.
I struggle with anxiety and I don’t think I am the only one.
A week ago I had the opportunity to share with a group of student leaders at my alma mater. My anxiety first happened when I was sitting in the same seat as a student leader. I couldn’t get out of bed, was missing class and in general felt trapped. When you are a leader you let the activity and responsibility tell you that who you are is determined by what you do.
In my anxiety I tried to combat things by working harder, and for a while I made it work.
Making it work meant that for stretches things were pretty good and for other stretches I hated my job/ministry, gave into cynicism, and in general I was low-grade miserable. This continued for little over 5 years. I thought it was normal.
Buying a house, not taking care of myself, the future not turning out like I had planned, and realizing that I wasn’t as awesome as I had thought made the anxiety boil over.
An anxiety attack is no joke, but I’m thankful that it happened.
Those minutes that felt like hours when I couldn’t breathe pushed me into counseling and a further examination of my own spiritual health as it related to my role as a pastor and leader.
I’m thankful but I wouldn’t recommend it.
You aren’t what you do.
You could benefit from counseling.
Go read I Peter 5:7.
Stop and realize that you aren’t as awesome as you thought.