anxiety as a headache

Anxiety. I’ve dealt with it since about eight years old. The racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pains, panicked thoughts. All running around each other making their combined storm stronger. But who doesn’t worry, or get angry, or sad sometimes?
I could say it’s like a headache – pervasive, crippling.  The moment I realize I’m getting a headache, I begin fighting it, at least that’s when my brain gets suited up for battle.  I think, What triggered it this time? I’ve had plenty of water today. I feel that first twinge of pain, and I can’t help but wonder, Will this turn into something more, something terrible? How terrible? So I take some aspirin, drink some fluids, lay in bed for long periods of time with an ice pack on my head. Try to breathe. But the pain is all I can think about.
Then I wake up the next day, or the next day, or the next, and realize it’s still there.  The pain didn’t budge. Maybe it’s even worse. With anxiety, the pounding heart, the sweating, the racing mind seemed to gain strength with each passing day. And no matter what I do, no matter how much aspirin I take, no matter how much I cry for relief, its grip never loosens.
Until that one day when I’m all better. I wake up and can function. I can get out of bed without feeling as though I was going to pass out from the panic. Then out of nowhere, the symptoms start all over again. And I ask Where did that come from?! So I do the only thing a human knows to do in this situation – I continue to fight it. I start losing hope and wonder if it will ever stop. The anxiety had been throbbing in me for twenty years now. After a while I couldn’t help but wonder, This just might be how I’m going to die.

Move Along, by The All-American Rejects

Yet another example of support & inspiration for someone who has lost hope. Proof that you’re not alone!

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall, everyone stands
Another day, and you’ve had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold
Speak to me
When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along
So a day when you’ve lost yourself completely
Could be a night when your life ends
Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving
All the pain held in your
Hands are shaking cold
Your hands are mine to hold

Stephen Ministry

I have learned to appreciate the reality that all worries and stresses are valid, significant, worthy of attention and concern – not to be allowed to become all-consuming, but rather deserving of respectful attention and address.

– Liz Humphrey Lee on being a Stephen Minister
Stephen Ministry equips congregations with skills to provide a one-on-one lay caring ministry to those hurting. Find out more about Stephen Ministry.