Shattering the Stigma: Anxiety

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These last few weeks have been extremely challenging for me—despite not being in school. They have not been challenging because of my poor health either. Although, my poor health does not help the situation.

Lately, I have been extremely stressed. In fact, I have been so stressed that I gave myself an anxiety attack. I won’t divulge what caused the episode.

Before continuing on, I must mention one thing that I don’t know if I have touched on before. At one point in time, my counselor asked me if I struggle with anxiety.

At the time, I said I did not.

Might I add, she did not ask to be rude in any way. But, from my extremely limited understanding, I think it is common for people who struggle with depression to also struggle with anxiety.

And for those who don’t know, I struggle with depression. You can read more about my journey with depression here.

So, it only made sense for her to ask me if I struggled with anxiety. I still stand by my comment that I did not when she asked a couple of years ago.

However, my reaction to my recent stress affirms to me, I do, in fact, struggle with anxiety. In fact, the entire last year or so affirms I struggle with anxiety.

It took me a while to come to terms with it. I think a small part of me wanted to deny it. However, in this past year, I have talked with a lot of people who struggle with anxiety and seen it firsthand with some close to me.

The more I talked about it and the more I saw, the more I realized, I can identify with anxiety quite a bit.

I haven’t quite figured out how deep this struggle is. But, I am very well aware of it.

It is crucial for you to know I am not ashamed of my struggle with anxiety. I advocate for tackling mental health. I strive to make sense of it in some way, shape, or form. Or, at least to the best of my human ability.

I strive to understand my experience in hopes of helping someone make sense of their own.

So, I tell you: I struggle with anxiety.

I hope to one day express my experience in detail. But, until then, I simply thought now was the opportune time to share. For, like I said earlier, these past few stressful weeks have helped me come to terms.

It is my hope and prayer that my sharing may encourage someone else to do the same. It is my hope and prayer that my sharing would help shatter the stigma of mental health. It is my hope and prayer that my sharing would give me the motivation to seek help.

It is my hope and prayer that my sharing would remind even just one person—you are not alone in your struggles.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

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Things I’ve Considered: Even More School

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This is a post I never thought I’d write. I’ve considered getting a master’s degree.

I am four classes away from getting my bachelor’s degree and I’ve seriously thought about getting a master’s.

That’s crazy to me.

For the longest time, I was convinced I would be that person who would never go back to school once I got a bachelor’s degree. But, you know what happens when people make sweeping declarations—they are bound to do the exact opposite.

So, this is where you find me.

Now, I am sure you all are wondering what I would get the degree in. I would get a degree in counseling. This desire to go into counseling is not new. I’ve actually deeply considered it for months now.

It hasn’t been just a small thought or whisper of an idea.

I’ve actually reached out to multiple people in the field to see if they think I would be a good fit for it. To my surprise, they have said yes, and even offered to help me!

That’s exciting to me, friends. Extremely exciting.

Part of the reason why I’ve considered going into counseling is I see how much good it has done for me. In fact, I think it has done more good for me than I allow myself to believe. So much so that some people have been genuinely surprised to know why I am seeking counseling.

All I can say to that is glory to God. It is He who is working in me.

I will say some may think it may not be wise for someone who is seeking their own counselor to be a counselor themselves. To that, I kindly disagree. For, as I’ve shared in my post professing my untold story, my counselor once told me, “Even counselors need counseling.”

Counselors are not perfect people. I think if anything it is through their own often tragic or difficult experiences that behavioral health professionals realize their potential to be in the field themselves. And that brings me to my next point.

Another reason why I’ve considered going into counseling is I desperately want to help people heal. I want to help others experience the joy of even a small dose of healing. After all, that is why I also want to share my testimony in some capacity. I want to show people they are not alone by sharing my story.

Granted, I wouldn’t be able to share my own hurts and pains in a counseling session, but I would play a pivotal role in helping others know they are not alone through proven clinical studies, methods, and whatnot.

I guess, for me, my testimony would be my personal, yet public method of proclaiming others are not alone. And acting as a counselor would be my professional way of doing so.

I’ve also considered going into counseling because I’ve been told by multiple people that I listen well. And this is where my communication degree would go hand-in-hand. My bachelor’s degree in communication is all about dissecting how humans communicate in various groups, organizations, styles, and methods.

It is all about discovering why humans are wired the way they are by analyzing verbal and nonverbal tendencies, which is increasingly more important in an era where face-to-face communication is second fiddle to technology.

Lastly, I’ve considered going into counseling simply because it is a deep desire God has placed on my heart. To tell you the truth, it came out of the blue for me. Because, as I said earlier, I was convinced I wouldn’t get a master’s degree. But, here I am fervently considering it and proclaiming it.

And that has been God’s plan all along.  He planted the desire. I did not seek it, I can assure you that.

Wow. Talk about a declaration. To some, it may seem minuscule. But, to me, it is massive. Honestly, I don’t know when, if, or how this will come to fruition. I’ve got a few things to figure out and deal with before anything concrete occurs, of this I am sure.

However, I choose to embrace this God-given desire. I choose to see where He leads me. And that makes my heart so full.

My call to you is this: As I’ve said before, listen to that nagging feeling in your heart, your gut, or the back of your head. God will guide you. Just listen—even if it seems like the craziest or most absurd idea. Obey God’s call.

God wouldn’t have planted the desire in you if He wasn’t intending to bring it to full fruition. May this post and my journey to this point and from here on out be a loud testament to that.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).