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Suffering from Anxiety

I was looking through the internet looking for a service just like this one. i'm 24 years old and i think i'm suffering from anxiety. some days it feels very severe and i just want to stay home in bed or stay in the apartment. i work as a bartender in a club and also in a computer lab at my apartment complex. in august, i'm starting a masters counseling program. when i was 13 i was diagnosed with hodgkins disease and a year and a half later, i was diagnosed with another form of cancer that only 3 out of a million get (askins). to this day, i am the only person in the world to have a documented case of both. i have never had any type of anxiety in my life until i drove from ohio to florida to start school and get my masters. i have thought about suicide, but not to the extent of actually doing it. the times it comes into mind is when i'm driving, and i think that i can just pull the car over and hit a tree or something, but i'm not sure i could ever do it. sometimes i think that if i were no longer alive, things would be better. i'm not even sure why i think things like this, but i do. like i said before, i never have before, and one day i was hit by an "anxiety attack." the only way i got over it was to go to sleep. when i woke up, i forgot i even had it. whenever i get anxious about things, i try to ignore them. when i get the chance, i go to sleep and wake up fine. in the mornings i'm fine, but as the day goes on, i get worse. if you have any suggestions from what i have given you, i'd really appreciate your help. this is the first time i have lived more than 3 hours away from my family, so that may have something to do with it. i was going to check out some counseling centers in town (jacksonville, florida), but i don't have health insurance and won't until the school year starts at the end of august. before school starts, i think i really need help.

anything you can do would be greatly appreciated.

thanks so much,

some things came to my mind when I was reading your letter.

One was the line in the bible that says that one of the means by which we fall away from the Word of God is through the worries of life. They grow around us like thorns and restrict us from focusing on God, who is capable of guaranteeing our salvation and peace of mind. If you are too distracted from the worries of life around you, not only might it lead to anxiety and stress, but it will take away from your focus on God, who always knows what is best for us. Perhaps there is too much stress in your life and you should try to focus on alleviating some or all of it. I generally try to make a principle of having NO stress in my life. Enough stress comes in sometimes from external circumstances. When we evaluate our life, we often think in terms of material and financial success and ignore such things as having a healthy state of mind or as personal contentment. I found many times, although it was often painful discovering it, that I was just as or possibly more content when I was poorer. I work at home and use the excuse that, after working all day, the last thing I want to do is move to the kitchen and start working, slaving away over making a meal. Since I have a fairly good income, one of the few luxuries I afford myself is to eat out often. Otherwise I end up staying at home and wake up the next morning sickened to stare at the same four walls. Going out for a meal and maybe a beer changes my environment and keeps my mind fresh; so I like to say to myself.

That is why when my financial situation sometimes weakens and I am forced to cook at home, I complain and cry, etc. etc. But I find that, once I get used to it, that it really is not that bad and I find comfort and satisfaction in the idea that I can be so happy and content with so little.

This is often a good exercise for us and in fact may bring us closer to God, seeing we see we are not dependent on these other things.

I donít know if this at all relates to your case. If so, you should consider cutting back on some activities. Perhaps you are overly ambitious and it is driving you into anxiety. God tells us in the bible that we should not worry about tomorrow. Try focusing on God and doing a good job and let things unfold themselves (or God work in your life). I found that, in trying to build up my business in this crazy country, that my efforts did not translate into faster progress. I felt I was wading deep through water and the more I tried to run I would just repel myself off the pool floor and have to wait until I landed again before I could make my next concerted push. I eventually found that I am better off just serving God and waiting for him to provide me with whatever. In fact, I think he actually stood against me for so long, slowing me down, because he saw pride building up in me, whereby I was relying on my own strength and power and not on him to get where I wanted to and that this dependence for success on myself made any success I achieved result in an inflation of my pride. God though several times brought me to points of desperation and despair, from which it was clearly HIM who saved me.

Concerning the health matters, there is a link on my site

I believe it is Jesus2 or something like that, where the author of the site gives his testimony concerning cancer and many ailments. I think it is very inspiring and that you should consider reading it, for he wholeheartedly exclaims how God has come through for him, based on his faith alone, in all matters of his health. And he had or has many health problems.

I would always like to encourage you to put your faith in God and let him steer your life. Sometimes he puts blocks in your way to remind you that you are better off putting your faith in him. He does not want to lose you and sometimes has to let you get yourself into problems like this to bring you to the point of calling on him again for salvation.

Concerning killing yourself, I would highly not recommend that. You may think that you will be better off. You may say you are better off feeling nothing than feeling pain, but you will feel nothing until the point when you will be resurrected and your life examined, after which you may have the rest of eternity to regret not being able to share in the glory of God more during your time on this planet.

Try to focus all your thoughts on God, on removing the thorns from your life so that you are not drawn away from him in distraction, and feel free to ask anything more of me.

I hope that I have been of help. Sometimes these short letters are not long enough to accurately respond.

Serving you faithfully in Christ,

> well Karel, i do have one question for you. i had God in my life, and
> somewhere along the line i lost him. how do i get him back into my life?


Just ask. I can try and find the lines in the bible but hopefully you wonít mind if I try it from memory.

ďThere is more joy in heaven when one sinner repents than when ninety-nine believers repent who do not need to repentĒ. Then thereís the story of the prodigal son and the joy God had when he returned.

We can all fall away from God for various reasons. I fell away because one important prayer was not answered at some point in my life. It concerned another person. God cannot control in answer to our prayers. Also, God cannot always answer our prayers in the sense that one farmer might be praying for rain and another for draught. God tries to work for the best of all mankind and there are simply too many variables to make this immediately possible all the time.

The truth though is that my prayer did eventually get answered, some ten years later, and through that I was brought back to him (in light of my kicking and screaming).

It is a problem when prayers sometimes are not immediately answered and some of us turn away from God in protest, shall we say.

Even though I was a devout atheist for a very long time (ten or more years), now that I have been brought back to God, I feel that I always secretly, in the back of my head, believed that God was up there and watching me very closely but that I was denying his existence as some sort of protest.

God is abundant in grace and I believe all you need to do is ask him to come back into your life. He will respect your wish to be separated from him, even though it may hurt him, as the most loving father you could ever have would feel, but will always be glad to come back to you with open arms.

> i went to church yesterday for the first time in a long time, and i'm
> trying to figure everything out. how do you know he exists? how do you
> know he's there for you? how do you konw he's watching?

God was working in my life since a very young age and it felt natural to believe in him. No one talked to me about him and my parents were actually all atheists. I never mentioned my thinking about him, like I never approached someone to philosophise about the fact that I breathed air. It never seemed relevant to me.

I would experiment as a kid, asking this prayer and that prayer, never going overboard but sometimes getting a kick out of it a bit (once, just to see, I was sitting in the grass and asked for a four leaf clover. I leaned over in one direction to find one immediately where I first stuck my fingers. Then I tried another direction and the same thing happened).

Then I fell away for a while and was eventually brought back. I still wasnít resolute in my opinion though. But I was getting more and more depressed and felt spiritually very empty. I think God was causing this in me and he eventually forced me to ask for the spirit of Jesus Christ to enter me. I felt extremely silly but the darkness in my heart led me to this. Besides, I had been pounded with this message repeatedly from my few visits at some charismatic church.

Well, the difference I felt over the next few weeks was so remarkable that once again I was furnished with undeniable proof that he is out there and loves me beyond explanation.

But I started feeling uneasy; a freak - my friends and family all atheists. I was floating and felt I was going to be crucified in bliss any moment. But I also felt I was not ready yet and asked to come back down to earth. I no longer felt I was floating above ground but still felt in his love.

The next x years is a tale of fading in and out of his grace. He always (or at least at key and important times) answered my prayers. There was simply no denying his existence but it was living a relationship with him.

When God wants to tell you something, you definitely will hear him. He also disciplines us. In love, as a father who loves us. We may whine but we eventually see the wisdom behind it.

i think i'm just
> afraid to let him in for some reason. i'm afraid to let someone i can't
> talk to run my life.

God talks to us in his way.
it's hard to put trust in God when you don't have

> proof. i have a friend that tells me that i don't need proof. i just
> have to believe.

Well, that is technically true I guess. But the bible is the most read book in the world and there are very many believers in the world and they simply wouldnít all believe in the same God if he actually did not work in their lives.

If all these people were really that screwed up that they had to believe in something, why the heck would they all choose to follow a religion which commands them not to do this, not to do that, essentially much that is natural and pleasureful to us? It does not make logical sense.

The bible says that the desires of the Holy Spirit within us work against the desires of the flesh. ďAs heaven is above earth, so is Godís ways above that of manísĒ. God is a spiritual and holy being and he is simply not tied to these bonds of flesh as we are. He sent his one and only son to show us the way of living a life free from bondage to sin. Paul says that trying to satisfy the desires of the flesh is a mere chasing after the wind. It is insatiable and you simply cannot satisfy it. Sure, I admit, it is a pleasure, but I try to adhere to Godís laws and focus on serving him and I find I am better off and feel happier than many people I see around me who think there is nothing wrong with satisfying every whim and spend their time trying to satisfy all of it, as much as possible and to the fullest.

I donít think that God is necessarily judging us by saying that it is ďbadĒ to do these things but I believe he looks at us and sees that it is better for us to try to avoid the temptation and focus on spiritual contentment, for, after all, canít we at least agree that happiness is spiritually based and not chemically based, where pleasure of the flesh should to a large degree be chemically based?

Anyway, I do not think you are struggling with these issues. I am merely trying to give you an example of how I perceive my relationship with God. It is not some distant concept that I sit cutely below before going to bed, thinking contentedly of how I will get lots of goodies when I go to heaven or wake up the next day with a Rolls Royce in the yard.

No, God reaches deep into my gut and his far reaching arm affects my life. It is a relationship and I am now at the point that I want to be his good representative on earth, for I feel there are many who are representing him in an ugly and untruthful way, be they believers or unbelievers.

how do i do that again?
> as for other things in your letter, yes they have helped a lot. i think
> i'm anxious and depressed because i really have no sense of the self. i
> don't have any concept of the self. is there any way to develop that?

I think if you had a strong spiritual base and felt the floodgates of heaven behind you, it could give you the confidence to let yourself grow into who you are naturally. The you who God loves and how he essentially formed you in the womb (as the bible says).

i think that when i had cancer when i did (adolescence) i didn't have time
> to develop a concept of the self. can you suggest any?

It is quite possible that your confusion and suffering during your younger years has hindered your growth. But nature is very adept at recovering. All it needs is to be put into a good environment of love, sunshine, water and guidance.

> thank you so much,
> X

Thank you for letting me be of service to someone I am so immensely indebted to and I hope that all your concerns will be resolved as soon as possible.

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