The Ravaging Tornado of Anxiety


As fall rolls in, I am beginning to feel like myself again.

I’m about a month into my routine of therapy and medication. Panic still comes and goes, but not to the crippling level it did before. I am so thankful.

What kept my heart racing before? Oh, anything. Mainly death, the future, the past, family, social situations, church, religion, politics, the news, criticism, the Internet, a sink full of dishes. I’d tell myself to stop worrying so much and my heart would only beat faster. I’d beg my body to shut down at night, but the thoughts would never stop swirling.

If depression is like a fog, then anxiety is like a tightly wound tornado, ravaging everything in its sight.

Anxiety disorders are a nightmare, people. Some of you know what I’m talking about, and I am so sorry that you do. I get it. It took me roughly ten years to get help, and I pray you don’t wait so long.

Why did I wait so long? Because there were so many lies stopping me, lies I had internalized a very long time ago.

My friends, if you are struggling, I want to hear you out. I want to take long breaths with you, and encourage you to call a doctor, even if you think the world might collapse if you do. It won’t, I promise.

There are a things I won’t tell you anymore, too, things I both heard and said to others before, lies that blocked me from getting well for far too long.

I will never tell you to just relax.

I will never tell you that you need to trust God more.

I will never tell you that medicine is a crutch for an underlying problem.

I will never tell you that you are healed after praying for you.

I will never quote Jesus’ words at you–“Do not worry about anything”–as a prescription for your sickness.

I will never tell you that therapy is for the weak.

I will never tell you that therapy or medical intervention should be a short-term solution.

I will never tell you the root of your problem is spiritual.

I will never tell you that medicine dulls your spirit or alters your personality.

I will never make light of your illness.

What about you? Do you relate to the tornado imagery? If so, what were your roadblocks to getting help?




  1. Alison Hughes on September 9, 2014 at 5:20 am

    We sure never look at things the same once we go through the pain ourselves. Your coming out the other side good to hear. Take care of yourself.

  2. Barbara on September 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I relate… good for you for taking care of yourself! Lots of love and support to you as you confront this bravely and fiercely… <3

  3. Paula Willems on September 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I’m glad you are getting help, sweet friend. I hope that you get the support you need and that you don’t feel alone in this. Not sure of the specifics of what you are dealing with, but I know with these things, sometimes it really IS just chemical/physical/emotional. Sometimes it IS just the strain of this difficult life that can take its toll on our psyche after a while.

    I think some of us are more susceptible to anxiety partially just due to temperament and being a deeper-feeling person. Things affect feelers more, and stress sticks with us longer.

    I feel the anxiety myself most days. Its like this weight on my heart that never fully goes away.

    Sometimes I pray or dig into the Word and it helps for a bit — and I would never want to devalue those activities because I do notice the difference, but it is usually temporary. I think many of us do suffer from real mental strain and disfunction and they just come as a result of the hard lives we lead. And I think God created/inspired the Therapist Profession & even Medication for a reason, as a solution to / relief from some of the problems we face.

    Prayer is a great start, but sometimes people need real, practical help. Someday Jesus will come and we will be relieved of all these burdens on us – I look forward to Heaven in that sense. But in the meantime He has given us other real solutions to help us cope with our stress and anxiety here. Thank Jesus for Therapy. <3 Love You!

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