Satan came creeping in today. Like a whirl wind he caught me off guard with his lies, taking me back to a place I thought I had left behind. Old feelings of panic and despair began to penetrate my safe place, stealing my peace crippling me with fear. In a flash I bolted from the room and ran to the restroom where I crumpled hiding in a stall feeling like a heap of worthless mush.
Four years ago I was suffering from panic disorder and social anxiety. Four years ago I was avoiding meetings, funerals, weddings, parties, and pretty much anything social that involved groups of people unless I had a glass or two of wine to take the edge off before I went. Once I would get into a social situation I had to keep drinking to be comfortable. No one who knew me would have guessed I was struggling with this problem because I kept it pretty much to myself.
In January 2010 I met Jesus and since He came into my life I am a new person. He helped me over come my fear I also had the help of a really good Christian counselor who helped to show me that with Jesus I could live my life again. Because of Jesus I now attend parties and classes. I am a member of a church and I no longer hide in fear of people and also I no longer need to drink socialize.
I’m sure you can see why today caught me by surprise. I went to Bible study and as I arrived in the parking lot, I felt that old panicky feeling creeping up on me. I brushed it aside and I went in the building anyway. There were people in the lobby and as I sat in the lobby talking the panic subsided and I went on to class. About 10 minutes into class the panic overcame me again this time gripping me so tight I had to leave the room. I hid in the bathroom for what seemed like an hour but was really only about 20 minutes. the fear had me so gripped so tight all I wanted to do was go home but I had left all my stuff including my car keys in the classroom so I had to go back. Plus I really wanted to go back, I love that class! I prayed until I felt a little better and then I forced myself to go back to class. Once back in class though I was surrounded by people who I am comfortable with I was still unable to shake the fear that was going on inside of me.
Social anxiety is absolutely ridiculous and makes not a bit of sense. Why am I so afraid? Why do I have fear of being in a room with people? When it makes no sense to me I am sure others wouldn’t get it either. What I do know is… is that its satan’s way of getting me where he knows it hurts me the most. He takes the one thing he thinks could possible keep me away from church and uses it against me.
If I could have had a do over I would have told everyone in the class what was going on and and stayed in the class room. I didn’t get a do over but what I did get was the chance to make a choice. I could have chosen to believe satan’s lies and stay crippled by fear or choose to get back up and go back to class. Thankfully I chose getting up and going back to class. The fear was still there but the good thing is that satan did not win because I went back.
When my son was younger he used to play baseball and he was an excellent hitter. I remember a few times when he struck out and the next time he came up to bat if he did not hit the ball right away he would continue to not hit it. He would let the fact that he had struck out get wound up so tight in his head that he would keep striking out and striking out until eventually he would be in a huge batting slump that lasted for days. All because he had it in his head he could not hit the ball.
I know that baseball and social anxiety are not the same but I do know if I let it get in my head I may panic in class it will continue to happen again and again until I am in a huge slump, crippled by the fear of what I think might happen. In turn causing it to actually happen.
I heard this song a little bit ago on the radio and I thought wow isn’t this timely?…
This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know You go before me and I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
The way seems so unclear
But I know that You go with me so I will never fear
I will trust in You – We Won’t be Shaken by Building 429
I refuse to let myself go back there. God helped me through this before and know he will help again.
Thank you for reading and God Bless you.