I experience seasons of anxiety. There are times that I am great and can talk myself down from panic and worry, then there are times that anxiety paralyzes me.
I noticed that the strongest moments of anxiety have come directly following the birth of my children. I am sure that hormones play a role in the intensity of anxiety, as does the fact that I am responsible for another life, a vulnerable life. I worry and I stress about every little thing. I think because I am confronted with how little control I actually have in life being as perfect as I want it to be.
For example, I recently gave birth to my second baby and after coming home from the hospital my arm flared up with pain where I had an IV placed. It was red, swollen, hard and extremely painful. I had an ultrasound done and the technician told me I had a blood clot then sent me back to my doctor for treatment options. But can I be honest that between leaving radiology to the time it took to see my doctor I thought I was a ticking time bomb! I was completely consumed with thoughts of the blood clot dislodging and going straight to my brain or heart.
One worry led to another and another.
I was emotional, I was scared, I was frustrated. The car ride to the doctors with my husband was not fun. My anxiety disrupted our marriage, because I let it control me and how I responded to my husband. I didn’t care what he had to say, even his encouraging words seemed to irritate me. I allowed my anxiety to run rampant and it ended up hurting both of us, because from one comment to another we erupted into an argument.
There was no peace in either of our hearts.
I just wanted to cry and my husband just wanted me to be stronger. He didn’t like seeing how much the anxiety of my circumstance burdened me. All I received through my rose colored lens was that he was not being compassionate.
Anxiety makes me ultra sensitive. I seem to take everything my husband does the wrong way when I get overwhelmed with fear.
Just to relieve you from this story my arm is healing just fine and there was nothing serious to fear with the blood clot. I guess the not knowing contributed to how bad the anxiety escalated. After I visited with the doctor my worry dissipated.
I wanted to share this story of anxiety with you because I know I am not the only one who struggles with anxiety. I think it is important to be aware of how anxiety can disrupt a marriage and really cause a ton of damage when you are sucked into the thick of it, when you let it control you.
Anxiety is inner turmoil. So when you feel anxious and you are stewing in your mind about worse case scenarios, it will affect your mood, your ability to reason, your desire to intimately connect with loved ones and it will feel as if it paralyzes you from doing what you may need to do. At least this is how I would define it. And when these things happen, our spouse is also affected negatively.
I want to remind all of us the good news found in scripture:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7
When we deny anxiety, we are trusting in God no matter what our circumstances are and we operate in power and love and self-control. And I would assume, based on my own marriage, that we all need to operate more in power and love and self-control. This is where peace and unity will flourish!
I need to remind myself of this often, if not daily, followed by a prayer regarding whatever it is that is triggering the anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
Don’t allow inner turmoil to negatively affect your marriage! Instead, talk about your feelings calmly with your spouse and trust God no matter what may come!
– Jennifer Smith UnveiledWife.com