Colorado Life Coach: My darn anxiety!

I struggle with anxiety.

For those of you who know me, duh!

For those who don’t, I deal with it in much healthier ways than I used too, and it happens less frequently, but it’s still part of me.

I used to hate it. It scared me. It scared others. I felt defective.

I know others struggle with avoiding, or pleasing, or living in drama. Not me. I struggle with anxiety.

Like when things don’t go the way I think they should, or I realize I suddenly have no control, or someone says, “I need to speak to you.”

My heart rate increases.

My palms sweat.

My mouth goes dry.

Sometimes I feel like I’m having a heart attack.

Mostly, I just feel scared, like a little girl, and I want someone to contain it all for me.

How’s that for a grown woman who’s raised 2 kids, taught high school band, run a million dollar home-based business, and now has a ministry with her name on it?

The feeling is not new. It comes from when I was a little girl. They thought I was going to die when I was born, so my parents had me baptized in the janitor’s closet of the hospital, before I was raced to Children’s Hospital in Denver. I spent 8 days in an incubator, alone.

Sometimes, I feel that way now. I feel like I’ve been left all alone in a dark little room and I don’t know if anyone will come for me. My tummy shakes. My heart pounds. Don’t leave me. I didn’t do anything. Please come for me.

My whole ministry is based on helping people identify their relationship style (avoidant, anxious, pleasing, chaotic) and move toward a secure style. I teach this weekly and walk through it with individuals, couples and groups. I’m so much better than I was. But it still effects me sometimes.

Just the other day, I talked to a client on the phone. They were hurting. I asked a few questions and then offered some insight. By this time, they felt worse than they did when we started. I know this happens sometimes. People go through hard times as they recover from trauma, abuse, difficult life situations, grief, etc. Sometimes they take 2 steps forward and 1 step backward on the process to healing.

And sometimes my anxiety spikes. Did I make it worse? Should I have kept my mouth shut? What if I caused more harm than good? Is this really what I should be doing?

My heart races and my palms sweat.

And then God speaks deep in my heart. Here’s what I sensed from him today:

“It’s OK. You didn’t do anything wrong. They will be OK. I’ll protect this person. You’re OK. I know your heart, sweet Carrie. You’re OK. It’s OK. I’ve got this under control. This person is healing in layers. It’s not your issue. Enjoy your life and trust me to deal with this. It’s OK.”

And you know what? I believe God has been whispering the words, “It’s OK. You’re OK” into my ear since I was a little girl.

He knows my heart. He knows my anxiety. He doesn’t want me to be afraid or anxious. He will never leave me or forsake me. He will always come for me. He sees my heart and knows the truth. He will contain my anxiety.

I’m not totally healthy, but it’s amazing to me that it’s in my anxiety that I sense God most, when I hear his words and feel his comfort. What if I never felt anxious? Would I know this part of God?

Interested in your relationship style? Click here!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.


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