I wanted to get away from my usual, whimsical post today for a real life chat with you all. I started to write something fun and light but it just wasn’t working so I figured I’d just sit down and write a little something different…something a little more raw & unrefined for you this week because truthfully, it’s been a weird week and I’m not really one to pretend I’m fine when I am not. Perhaps maybe somewhere deep down I’m hoping I can encourage you in some way or another with this story of my weirdness (or just gross you out–could go either way at this point) but here goes…
As previously stated, it’s been a very weird week for me. I woke up last Saturday and within just a few hours of being vertical, I discovered I had lice…(YUCK!) Now, I had been itchy for a good while before that, so I’m assuming I’ve had them longer than just this last week…which just makes my insides, along with the hair on my head, crawl thinking about.
Now, some of you may know I have had some pretty funky health stuff going on since last June (like for the last year-ish….beginning with a perioral dermitisis diagnosis, to salmonella poisoning and finally, reactive arthritis for a few months post-infection; along with other random & fairly general stomach issues 99% of the time) and pretty much since all of that, I have to admit, I have become a bit of a hypochondriac.
I’ve always been very in-tune and aware of my body. Even when I was little, I remember always being concerned about a concussion when I would header a soccer ball and things of that nature…but it was all within reason. You see, I actually played soccer at the time, so it was quite feasible that that kind of thing might happen; whereas today, I have spent days (ENTIRE FREAKING DAYS) being anxious about being pregnant or having some other weird health issue that either isn’t possible for me to have (i.e. I am still a virgin) or I’m having no symptoms that would lead me to believe I have said issue (i.e. On more than one occasion, I have convinced myself of some issue and then end up feeling those symptoms, born solely out of my anxiety), I just somehow convince myself that I do have an issue and then I’m stuck in a web of anxious thoughts for, as I said, sometimes days on end.
I will forever be baffled by how impactful the things that we think can be on our overall health. Our thoughts are SUCH an important piece to master along on our journey to health. I obviously am not very good at that yet and have a loooong way to go to master that piece of my journey.
Which may then lead you to the question, ‘Hey Bri, what it’s like to have health anxiety while also having bugs live on your head?’ Let me enlighten you.
It sucks. A lot.
Both literally and figuratively.
It’s nasty. I feel gross and unclean constantly. I’m afraid to touch anything, afraid to give this to anyone else…the anxiety has been crippling.
So, although I have left the house and done things in the last week, it has taken a lot of effort…and truthfully, it’s taken a lot out of me. Trying to convince yourself that you aren’t responsible if someone else contracts them or that people don’t see you now as this disgusting being; it’s been tough on me, mentally, emotionally, physically (getting rid of these things is TOUGH), and spiritually.
I mention spiritually only because I seriously have been looking at myself over the last week and well, pretty much the past year, and almost treating myself as they treated lepers back in the day, I feel much more comfortable quarantining myself and not seeing anyone until I am “better”–whether it’s me or someone else doing the quarantining, I think it all feels the same. It’s hurtful and lonely…but I have found that there’s a strange sense of safety in that place.
I have been thinking actually, based on that thought, if that’s how we often feel before God. Do we often feel that we have to be clean and blemish-free (or in my case, bug-free) to feel accepted and loved by others…and maybe even by God? I know that I sometimes do.
Logically, I know that isn’t the Truth we are given but I think I have learned a HUGE lesson through this whole health debacle, that lesson being that I do sometimes feel a twinge of that lie that tells me I’m not good enough or clean enough to be in the presence of the Almighty.
It’s actually kind of funny the direction this post is going because of course God is teaching me something, even as I write this.
I was reading in my Bible yesterday, in Luke, when Simon (Peter) met Jesus for the first time on the boat and he actually asked Jesus to leave because he said he was too much of a sinner to be in the presence of God (Luke 5). I sat and thought about that verse for awhile over the last few days and have wondered how often we feel this way; without ever making the personal connection to where I am at and how I am feeling right now–that I am feeling that exact thing. That connection came just now, as I was writing this out.
Some would call that coincidence. I call that God.
Perhaps I’m making a connection there that isn’t supposed to be made, but I have to believe that God teaches us things in every single situation we find ourselves in; the good ones, and especially the bad ones. We just have to consciously open our minds up to finding those lessons, in the midst of times of anxiety, depression, and even joy.
I also find it kind of funny how much God’s Truths can combat the lies that manifest themselves in our anxious thoughts. Even as I’m sitting here writing this, I am feeling the sobering effects of God’s Word on my ever-anxious mind. It’s a sweet, sweet thing to have such a loving, caring, and accessible God. He’s the best Counselor out there.
My anxiety is literally dissipating as I work my way through these thoughts as He continually reminds me that I have been washed clean and that I am able to bring anything to Him, no matter how messy, and there will again be nothing but love and nurturing and care from the other side.
Although these words written here are moreso to help me get all my thoughts out and weed through the jumbled mess in my head, it’s neat to see Him even in that. Tending to the overgrown and unkempt garden of anxiety that occupies my head-space 99% of the time; working along side of me to show me that there is still beauty in the mess up there (with or without bugs).
Peace be with you all,
If you’ve made it this far into this post, I commend you. You are a gem. And I’m sorry for all my rambling but I just needed to get it out there, for me, for Him, and maybe for you, too.