Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Knowing when enough is enough

Sometimes you have to take a step back from something in your life and say enough is enough. Whether it's a temporary thing or a forever thing, sometimes you have to take control and just step away.

Unfortunately I have suffered from extreme anxiety and horrid panic attacks for a long time. About 16 years ago, it actually became debilitating for me, and even caused me to become agoraphobic. In case you aren't familiar with that, it means that I didn't want to leave my house. I would have severe panic attacks when I left my house. It was a very rough time in my life for a good two years. After suffering through and barely living life for that long, I just up and decided one day that I had had enough. I made the decision that I wasn't going to live that way anymore, and started making strides to get myself out of the depths and despair of depression. I basically said, "Here ya go Jesus. I'm done trying to do it myself." It's amazing what can happen when you let Him back into your life after you've pushed him away for so long. I still fought the battle, but I wasn't doing it alone. 

Fast forward to now. I am a completely different person than I was 16 years ago, but I still struggle with anxiety. It's not a fun thing to live with every single day, but it is what it is. I have just learned to deal with it rather than let it take over my life like I did years ago. I obviously couldn't do it alone without Jesus and my family. Over the years, I have learned what my "triggers" to anxiety are. Some are pretty strange such as bright and white light places like Walmart, but mainly hospitals. I don't like to be around a lot of people because it will set me off. I need my personal space, and to be able to breathe, so I avoid these situations like the plague!

Lately we have had a lot of sad and crazy things going on in our world. My anxiety has been so bad that I can feel myself getting depressed, and I don't want to go back there. I kept telling my husband that I feel overwhelmed with life. Everything is just a weight on my shoulders and I can't get rid of it. No matter what I do, I feel like I am going to hyperventilate. It's awful for someone like me who deals with anxiety.

Listening to the constant bad news of the world was getting to me. I'm on social media like most of the world, and all forms of it! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, I use them all, some more than others. Facebook was my number one go to. I woke up in the morning and got on Facebook and scrolled and scrolled for sometimes an hour. I would inadvertently pick up my phone while waiting on the kids to do their school work, or sometimes just while I was watching T.V. I was reading things I didn't care about and things that were giving me obvious sadness or anxiety. I couldn't get on Facebook without seeing something awful. I can tell you that 90% of what I was reading from other people was either sad, scary, pure anger, or just plain depressing. Two months ago, I watched so many friends and family lose all they had in Hurricane Harvey. It was awful knowing the heartache they faced after that storm. I followed and looked at pictures day after day. People losing all they had but pulling together to rebuild.

If Facebook was making me less than happy, just as those other triggers, then why don't I avoid it in the same way? I have come to realize that not only am I inundating myself with all of this sadness from Facebook friends, but I follow every news source that has ever been. I literally couldn't get away from all of the bad things going on in the world. For some people it's just another day, but for people like me who suffer from anxiety, it's hell.

Sunday morning right down the road from me was the worst mass shooting ever in history in our very large state of Texas. It shook me to my core when I heard about it, just as Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, 9/11 and most other tragedies have. It was all over the news, and because it was in my backyard, it was being talked about among my neighbors and in my local groups. It was devastating, and it was very real this time being so close to home. Monday when I got up, I started reading stories, because I'm going to be honest, I'm not going to just pass them up like I should. People like me should not be reading an every second account of what happened. It makes me physically ill. While I should be down on my knees praying for these people, I'm too caught up in how it's making "me" feel and that's just selfish and wrong. I need to step away from the news and reading what happened, and focus on flooding heaven with prayers for the families that have had to endure this tragedy. I can't do that while I'm inundating myself with sad news stories because of how it effects ME. I had to make the decision to stop making it about me and step away.

I'm mainly talking about Facebook because it's the one that is not good for me, at least right now. I don't get anxiety from Instagram or Snapchat. I never feel overwhelmed on either one of those platforms. Stepping away from Facebook is freeing to me. I can concentrate on what's important. I don't have to live with my head in the sand, but I can also make the decision to take myself out of a situation that is hindering me from living my best life.

Sometimes you don't even realize what you're doing to yourself. While Facebook has become a constant in most people's lives, it doesn't mean it's always a good thing for everyone. For some of you, this makes no sense because it doesn't convict you like it does me. Right now, I feel that God is leading me away from Facebook, whether temporary or forever, because it is not edifying to my spirit. It is not giving me peace in my heart so it has to go.

So sometimes, you have to step away from the things of the world that are breaking you down. You have to be obedient to what God is doing in your life, and if it means getting rid of something that is as easy as Facebook, then why wouldn't you want to? It's almost embarrassing that I would continue to let something like Facebook knowingly continue to depress me! Hello!! lol

I'm not sure whether it's temporary or forever. I just know that right now, I need to focus on so much more than what's going on in Facebook land. Like my best friend says, please bring back 1983! I agree with that so much! There is no privacy anymore, at least not like it was back in the good old days of a time before social media lol!

If you are battling with something that is not edifying to you, or is bringing you down, I encourage you to take a step back and look at it carefully. Is it worth your time and effort, or do you need to say enough is enough?

Love and Blessings,

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