anxiety… an update

As most of you know, for years I have battled anxiety.
And it’s been exactly that.
A complete and utter battle.

I’ve been struggling to understand it, accept it, face it, and especially to fight it.
I’ve taken medicine, tried natural approaches, sought therapy, and pleaded day and night on my knees that God would simply take it all away.
Yet still it remained.

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About 2 years ago, I resigned that this was just how I was, and I had to accept that I would forever need a “little helper” to keep the terror of anxiety away.
And honestly, I truly was okay with that.
I needed to be present for my husband.
For my children.
For my life.
And if medicine granted me all of that, I would gladly accept the blessing.

It was about a year after getting back on my “happy pills,” that I went to see an Integrative Doctor for some health issues I was having with my gallbladder and liver. Before my first appointment they sent me to have my blood work done, which consisted of (at least) EIGHT vials of blood. This was so they could see, in every way, exactly what was happening within my body.

When I later sat in my doctors office (which felt more like a room at a spa) for my first visit, she sweetly explained that I was desperately unbalanced in the hormone department.
(pretty sure my husband could have confirmed that!)
Basically, my hormone levels were that of a POST menopausal woman!!!
It was no surprise to her that I was battling unexplained anxiety and depression.

Long story short, we first tried to change my levels with diet and supplements.
I went every month for blood work and after a few months with no change, she suggested I try BioIdentical Hormones.
She seemed sure that in just a matter of days of taking the hormones I needed (made perfectly for me in a compounding pharmacy) that I would feel better than I had in years.
It worked that quickly.
She even suggested that when I felt comfortable, I could probably go off my medicine and be completely free of anxiety.

I was all about taking the hormones.
I was NOT all about discontinuing my happy pills.

It’s now a year later.
And let me just tell you, the hormones are seriously a GIFT FROM GOD!!!
My doctor was right, in just days I felt more like the me I used to be.
But even with the positive changes, I still clung to the security of my medicine.

….Until God decided it was time to take me out of my comfort zone.
On a 7 day missions trip with Taylor to the Dominican Republic, in blazing hot weather and humidity…I found that I had completely forgotten to pack my medicine.

It was on that trip, that I realized I had nothing to depend on for comfort and healing except God.
And you have no idea the death grip I had for Him that week.
But you know what?
I got through it.
No anxiety.
No panic.
No depression.

And when I got home, I decided to take only half of my prescribed medicine just to see if I would still be okay.
Again, I was totally fine.

My eyes were off of me.
I was clinging to Him.
Daily I listed my blessings.
Daily I looked to how I could serve Him.

Then it came time for my second trip to the D.R.
On only half my prescription, once again I survived being even more out of my comfort zone than ever.

I experienced sadness and heartbreak and poverty beyond what I thought I could ever handle.
And yet, I survived.

In the moments where I would have thought I would need medicine more than ever, I realized that I instead needed HIM more than ever.

For whatever reason, in the midst of a dirty sticky heartbreaking world, I felt healed.
And when I got home, I once again decided to go to half of my half, a mere quarter of what I had been initially prescribed.
I had always been on the lowest dose of the medicine, but now I was on a quarter.

And I was good.
Happier even.

Over the next month, I went to a quarter every other day to eventually not at all.
And God continues to sustain me.

I don’t know what exactly is different.
Maybe it’s the bioidentical hormones.
Maybe it’s this new place of surrender to the Lord and what He has for me.

Whatever it is, I accept the gift for as long as I have it.

And I suppose that’s why I’ve hesitated in writing this post…
for some odd “knock on wood” reason.
There’s the fear that the moment I share that I’m doing better, will be the moment the anxiety returns.

But, I know that isn’t the Lord.
That’s not how He works.
And that’s not how I write.

I write my heart.
I write my life.
I write what is true of the moment, so that I can learn and heal, and in the process prayerfully help someone else out there do the same.

And, at THIS moment… I am free.

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Comments

  1. rebeccajo says:

    Oh mercy… I have been feeling so “off” lately – gaining weight though I work my butt out every freaking day… someone suggested to me about hormone bioidential therapy… it scared me at first, but I keep hearing good things about it… I may have to check it out.

    • I HIGHLY recommend looking into it! I read Suzanne Sommers book, and then talking with my Integrative Doctor and seeing my test results sealed the deal. ACTUALLY, what truly made me a believer was when I experienced the changes myself! A lot of traditional doctors will have their opinions (one actually spent an entire appointment lecturing me angrily and then stormed out. Dr. McNally to be specific.), but all I can say it that it has TRULY changed everything for me!!!

      Do your research and hang in there!!! You aren’t alone in any of this!! xoxo

    • I HIGHLY recommend looking into it! I read Suzanne Sommers book, and then talking with my Integrative Doctor and seeing my test results sealed the deal. ACTUALLY, what truly made me a believer was when I experienced the changes myself! A lot of traditional doctors will have their opinions (one actually spent an entire appointment lecturing me angrily and then stormed out. Dr. McNally to be specific.), but all I can say it that it has TRULY changed everything for me!!!

      Do your research and hang in there!!! You aren’t alone in any of this!! xoxo

  2. Ruth Demers says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your story. This is the first blog post of yours that I have read, I found it on pinterest. The title, so simple caught me attention. Almost two years ago, the day my 5th child was born, I started suffering from severe anxiety. I didn’t really share the extent of it with anyone until it came to a head and I went to my Dr who just put me on an anti-depressant. I have taken them before, but I was sad that I was once again on meds, and they only took the edge off. I begged and pleaded with God to take the anxiety away, and yet it remained. Shortly after I started the medication, I found out I was pregnant again, and needed to stop taking them. I was terrified, but went cold turkey. I actually felt better off the meds than I did on them. I started to wonder if the anxiety was hormone based, and nobody had bothered to check. I am now 6months into my pregnancy, and still fight the anxiety a bit, but I believe that the Lord has used this pregnancy to show me where the root of the physical problem lies and will be discussing hormone therapy with my caregivers once this baby is born. Reading your post just seems like a confirmation. I am looking forward to going back and reading the rest of your journey. Praise God for His continued faithfulness in your life, and again, thank you for being so open.

    • Ruth, I am so sorry for what you have been going through. I know there is NOTHING worse than the hell of anxiety. It truly is the worst thing I can ever imagine. I will be praying that you are able to find a solution that works just right for your body. Check out the book, The Mood Cure, The Anxiety Cure, and the book by Suzanne Sommers. All three were incredibly helpful for me!!!

  3. My same response (as usual) from each post–I just love you.

  4. Kristina Kavanaugh says:

    Summer would u mind sharing who your integrative dr is? I am all about referrals from people who have had a good experience other than searching in the dark for one myself!

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