Here we sit, two days away from the start of a New Year, and I have yet to press the “publish” button for this post. That I wrote almost two months ago. Because, once again, I was worried about what others might think. But there comes a point when, as I have learned through each post I have written for my blog, that care for what others think about your thoughts has to be pushed to the side, so that you can share what you think is important, valuable and significant enough to share. I am hoping this post will be just that. Sharing about a lengthy struggle I have had with something in my life. That I know started at a very young age, with circumstances that surrounded my family and the special care required for my baby brother, who is now watching over us, next to God, in Heaven.

So here we go…the “unpublished” post of 2014…

This is a very sensitive subject for me, but if you have been following me for a while, you know that it is the very drive behind restarting my blog, as well as something that I have shared with you on multiple occasions. Something that has always been a part of my life. But something that grabbed hold of my life, when becoming pregnant with our oldest, and has kept its grasp for a very long time.

A.n.x.i.e.t.y

A seven-letter word. That took control of my life. And wouldn’t let go. That forced me to feel as though I was living my existence in a glass box. Watching the world around me thrive and grow and flourish. While I was entrapped. Held captive. By a force over which I had no power. And I hated it. Despised it.

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Yes, I am definitely in a different place now. But I still don’t feel totally safe. Yes, I have opened the door and walked out. Into the real world. Into “losing myself”. Into experiencing motherhood and all its glory. But I have not closed the door behind me.

Am I the same person I was even as recently as eight months ago? No. Have I completely flipped a switch and shattered the box in my wake? Huh-uh. I am not ready. Because I have had relapses. Oh yes, sweet friends. It’s like a pest hiding in your attic. When I least expect it, it makes an appearance. And once again, I find myself losing my grip on life. And I retreat. Pull back. Interact less. Worry more.

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And I. H.A.T.E. I.T.

If you are someone who has ever lived with depression or anxiety, you know e.x.ac.t.l.y. what I am talking about.

For now, I am in an “okay” place. When the thoughts begin to invade, I look to my outlets. Writing. Finding scriptures. Praying. Talking to those closest to my heart. And more often than not, these work for me. But the path to feeling as though I am finally able to exist without cage bars encompassing my presence has not come without a bumpy trail left behind. And it made me think. About how much I have missed out on.

Because of this stupid force. This invisible predator. That took my happiness. And let fear seep in, to every moment that was meant to be amazing. That robbed me of my confidence. And stole so much of my happiness.

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So if I could go back…

If I could sit down and have a conversation with all those who were knowingly and unknowingly affected by the wake of this potency…

I would be brutally honest. I would explain my lack of control. How suffocated I felt. How I wished someone had stepped in to ask me if I was okay. Because I wasn’t. For far too long. I just wasn’t. Living from worry-to-worry. With no breath in between. Drowning in my own “what-ifs” and “worst-case-scenarios”. Allowing fear to replace faith.

And I would say that I was sorry.

For missing out on growing friendships. On sisterhood adventures. On crazy outings with my little babes. For not letting more people in. Because I had whispers in my ear telling me “not to”. Because they might push me out of my comfort zone. And I wasn’t prepared to be so stressed in front of those who knew me the best.

Sharing some of the posts on this blog has pushed me to levels of discomfort that I can’t even describe. Putting something out there, and waiting for a response. For feedback. Looking friends and coworkers in the eye after letting them “in” to my world. To my struggles. To my discomfort. It’s not easy, sweet friends. It. is. not. easy. It’s uncomfortable as one can get.

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But wow, how it has helped me. How it has enabled me to connect. And in many cases, to reconnect. To support. To let someone know that “Hey, sweet friend, you are not alone. I know how you are feeling. I am here for you.” It has guided me through simple reminders. Such as…life is going to happen. I can’t prevent that. Try as I might, I can’t protect my loved ones from everything that is bad. Unfortunate things happen to amazing people. It’s the strength they exhibit in pushing through that makes them who they are.

I truly believe I went through what I did; the anxiety…the bouts of depression; to get through to other side (and wow, what a fresh breath of air it is). And to share my story. With you. With the world. Because I know my plan is nothing in comparison to what He has planned for me. So, I might as well hand over the helm right now. Snatching it from the force that once had control. And passing it back to the magnificence that I can only hope is willing to take back over. To steer. To guide. To whisper in my ear. “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. I know there were some bumps in the road. But you are here now. And I’m not going to let you go.”

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22 Comments

22 Comments on Entrapped

  1. Helen
    December 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Another wonderful post, because it’s so so honest. So glad to hear you’re in an OK place (I can totally relate: I’m elated when I’m feeling ‘OK’…and am going to work, this year, on feeling better than OK….bit by bit…). Have you read Holley Gerth’s books, BTW? I found myself stumbling upon her site last night (it wasn’t an accident, I realise: thank you, God!)…..I wonder if you haven’t read them, they might help you too? [http://holley-gerth.myshopify.com]……..have a lovely few days rest…..(well deserved)…and here’s to feeling ‘slightly better than OK’ in to the medium- to long-term….(baby steps still get you up the mountain)…

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 30, 2014 at 11:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you sooo, sooo much, Helen. I needed to read your words after pressing the “publish” button today, more than you know. Thank you so much for your constant support. I checked out her books earlier and picked one out for January! Perfect! And baby steps is the perfect way to put it. Thank you soo much!!

      Reply
      • Helen
        December 30, 2014 at 11:23 pm (2 years ago)

        Hia….I also ordered one today……do check out her website for the worksheets too [goodness, I sound like I’m promoting her – genuinely not 😉 just hoping her words will help ;)] Totally know what you mean about needing to read something….thinking of you xxx

        Reply
  2. Amy Spenner
    December 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Liz very well written and said. Love you and thankful to have you as a sister. Keep your head up high.

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 30, 2014 at 11:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Amy! That means more to me than you might know <3

      Reply
  3. Amanda Nicole | Knock on Wood
    December 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been battling my own anxiety and depression for about 10 years now and I completely understand that place you were in AND the place you are now. It’s hard to talk about, but sometimes it’s the best therapy, and you never know who you will touch and who might surprise you with their amazing support. So brave of you.

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 30, 2014 at 11:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Amanda! Just hearing that someone else can relate and share is such a breath of fresh air. Sometimes, I feel like I should be ashamed, but I know there is absolutely no reason to be…it’s not something I did. It’s something I am battling, and as much as I absolutely hate it, it has brought me to a place strong enough that I can share with others now. Even if I am still out of my comfort zone in doing so. Thank you sooo much for stopping by today! xo

      Reply
  4. Melissa The Llama
    December 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm (2 years ago)

    AWWW sweet friend I just want to give you a HUG right now. My husband suffers from drepession, anxiety and he’s bi polar. it’s a nasty combination, but living with him for 8 years and being married for 6 i can SEE how hard it is to open up. I love you for opening up and sharing your story. I know there’s SOMEONE out there in the blogging world that has had a similar expierence. Even with Amanda below me. <3 You're so brave and you're such a wonderful mom / friend / wife / everything. I know it's hard to remember a lot of times, but it's true! xoxox sending love and hugs!

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 30, 2014 at 11:07 pm (2 years ago)

      You are the best. Seriously. Thank you, thank you. I am someone who completely retreats and shuts down when something bothers me. I don’t open up to a lot of people. So to top that off with a battle with anxiety is a lot. I have had some very patient people around me who have seen it up close, and I love them for that more than they know. I know a lot of people opened up to me after I shared back in March, which felt great, but it’s just hard to share something like that and then look people in the eyes who have never suffered or experienced anything like that. Thank you soooo, soooo much!! xo

      Reply
  5. Anne @ Love the Here and Now
    December 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm (2 years ago)

    I can not imagine the strength and courage it took you to hit publish on this post. Not because there is anything to hide, there isn’t at all. But because like you said, you are letting people into your own very private world. What a gift you have just given your readers though…..the gift of acceptance. Just knowing that there are others pout there that can relate makes one feel so much better and so less alone. It gives one hope and courage. You, my dear friend, are, in a word, amazing. XO

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much, Anne <3 That's just it. I think for so long, especially after our oldest was born, I struggled so significantly, but worked even harder to brush it under the rug and "hide" it from others. I have come leaps-and-bounds, but still am not free of it. With everything that happened with my mom recently, those feels came back full force. Seeing her feel better, eases my mind. For me, my anxiety has always been about control. Trying to do everything perfectly, build every bridge in advance, and do everything in my power to protect those I love from something bad happening. It's exhausting. But sharing about it and knowing others can relate, means the world to me. Thank you soooo much for your constant support! <3

      Reply
  6. Martha Kate Stainsby
    December 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Liz, this is absolutely beautiful! Thank you my sweet friend for being so brave and hitting publish. I know it was not easy but know how many people you are going to impact for Him. You truly are radiating hope. You are wonderful and I cannot tell you how proud I am. Love you! MK

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 31, 2014 at 1:30 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you soooo much, Martha! I have had it ready forever, but I realized that it can’t do any good if I don’t share it. Not the easiest thing in the world. Ironically, it is soooo much easier to share with those I don’t know well. Because I don’t feel so judged. But I know when I shared everything back in March, I had a lot of people thank me and tell me that they could relate. Huge boost in confidence with even deciding to share. Your comments mean the world to me!! xoxo <3

      Reply
  7. Simply Sheard
    December 31, 2014 at 1:49 am (2 years ago)

    Hi friend 🙂 I have depression. Definitely different from anxiety, but I know the kind of boat you are in. I went 5 years without even knowing I have it, then finally hit rock bottom when I flunked an entire semester of college (oof!). I had no idea what to do, where to go, or who to tell because I had know idea what my husband, family, or friends would do. But I knew I needed to do something, and accepting who I am was the first step. I’m right along side ya friend, I’m not to the other side (yet…) but someday I hope to be!

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 31, 2014 at 3:24 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for stopping by tonight! I have realized more than you know, that anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand. I come from a family history of both and went through some experiences when I was younger that I am sure set me up for a lot of this. My parents were amazing and still are, always trying to help me and hold my hand along the way. It is something I know will always be there and really snuck back around, full force recently. My spirits dropped significantly, because of the anxiety climbing back up, once again. Being on the “other side” doesn’t mean it’s gone, because it isn’t, but sharing with others and gaining that support along the way has helped soooo much. So, you are not alone; I have been there as well, with depression, and it is just as hard. Thank you so much for stopping by! xoxo

      Reply
  8. Sarita G
    December 31, 2014 at 2:00 am (2 years ago)

    Wow! So beautiful and so brave! I know this wasn’t easy to publish but so many people will benefit from this post and your hopeful spirit. Xoxo and sunshine from Trinidad 🙂

    Reply
    • Liz
      December 31, 2014 at 3:21 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so, so much, Sarita! Your support means the world. Definitely not easy to share, but that is my goal. To show others that they are not alone, in anything at all…motherhood, life, anxiety, etc. Thank you so much for always being there, and especially for the sunshine today…we need it…it is freezing!! Enjoy your warm, beautiful weather!! xoxo 🙂

      Reply
  9. Erica
    January 1, 2015 at 6:51 pm (2 years ago)

    This is an amazing post, Liz. I just found your blog, and I already feel so connected to you. I had a similar struggle with anxiety (and wrote about it here: http://cominguprosestheblog.com/struggling-with-anxiety), and you phrased it so perfectly in describing how suffocating it feels. How fear replaces faith, and that in and of itself is such a scary, scary thing. But wow: “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. I know there were some bumps in the road. But you are here now. And I’m not going to let you go.” This is such a poignant and fantastic thought. Isn’t it so incredible (and reassuring) to know that God pre-planned every single aspect of your life before and knew everything that was coming – anxiety and all – and picked you specifically to experience this specific experiences and feelings and all for a specific purpose? I found that so powerful, especially in overcoming anxious bouts and re-focusing on other, positive things. And writing about it was nearly life-changing, too, because being able to relate to others who share similar struggles is empowering. Especially when you can speak or write the words that are still too difficult for others to publish! Props to you, Liz.

    cominguprosestheblog.com

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth Kidwell Parks
    January 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm (2 years ago)

    You are so inspiring. I feel like with every post you make you are taking pages right out of my own life. I am not sure what it is, but I can relate to every word you say so well and when I became a mother, I noticed this all coming back. Thank you for being so inspiring and sharing your story. I hope to some day be able to share mine as well. Love ya girl!

    Reply
    • Liz
      January 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, sweet friend!! I only write what is in my heart, hoping and praying that others can relate, so this message is beyond perfect to me. This is exactly why I keep this blog going. Thank you soooo much!! Love you too! xo

      Reply
  11. Erica Layne
    January 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this, Liz. I feel so proud of you for finally publishing it. It was meant to be published. I’ve struggled with depression but only mild anxiety, so while I can’t fully relate, just reading this made me want to treat everyone in my life with more care.

    Best wishes to a healthy and happy 2015!

    Reply
    • Liz
      January 7, 2015 at 11:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so, so much, Erica. I am proud too. Was super nervous, but it felt good, especially once the first comments came in. For me, anxiety and depression run hand-in-hand. When I am worried about something, I start to pull away and feel bad. I know much of it started when I was little. My mind tends to jump to the worst-case scenarios, because I have/had seen some of them, and it’s just a day-by-day struggle to get through, but I know I will keep moving forward in the right direction, especially with wonderful support from amazing friends like you!! xoxo Thank you for stopping by in all your craziness!!

      Reply

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