90 Minutes in the Life: an Anxiety Attack

I launched my blog day before last.

Then yesterday, I regretted it. 

It started innocuously enough. I realized I had no photos of myself that were decent and from the last 12 months. I need photos of myself for a blog, apparently. So I taught the boyfriend about aperture and angles, handed him my Canon Rebel Xsi, and found some natural lighting. He's a quick learner, and easily makes me smile, so it was a painless process. Until he showed me the pictures.

I wish I could perfectly articulate what an anxiety attack feels like. I'll try. For me, it's a gradual experience. I'd felt on edge the last few days. It starts as a premonition of pain, grows into a haze of distorted thinking, then culminates in vicious, rapid, bully-like, negative thinking that nothing can stop. Rapid, shallow breathing and gritted teeth are included. 

The pictures sent me into a tailspin of negative thoughts about how I look. Everything from my size, to my structure, to the shape of my eyes. Then that went into how dare you post these pictures on a blog that you have no business writing! You'll nauseate your audience. What do you know, anyways? You are too flawed, too stupid, too unkind, too selfish...

This is when I call on Jesus. Jesus, please help me, Jesus please help me, Jesus please help me. Please help me not to think this way. 

That doesn't mean it instantly stops (It rarely instantly stops). But it's an acknowledgment that I need help and I want it to stop, and that Jesus is able to do both. Sometimes I have to let it run its course. It lasted about 90 minutes. After tears and a loving and gentle person walking me through the distorted thoughts, it started to clear.

This morning, a good friend asked me about a recent post and how my logic can practically disappear amidst anxiety. He's a pastor, so I kindly told him it's the same way logic can be suspended when he (we) sins: we know that God tells the truth, that the devil tells lies, that God wants our best, and that the devil wants our worst. Yet, in some weird, twisted deception, we still buy the devil's lies sometimes. Why do we do that? The mystery of sin. 

Similarly, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that this blog has blessed people (thank you, lovely people, who have written me saying so!). I know that though I am a great sinner, Jesus is a great Savior. And although I sometimes can't see these truths clearly, their truthfulness remains unaltered. Jesus remains faithful. For that, I am thankful.