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Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Anxiety Opportunity by Curtis Chang

Miss Mercy saw a copy of this book in my van recently and asked "Is anxiety really an opportunity?" 

Turns out, it is. 

After suffering three extended bouts of anxiety and panic attacks since fall of 2018, I tried and rejected two anti-anxiety meds in one year because of side effects. Talk about panic attacks. Modern medicine can't help me and I can't help myself. Then I heard Curtis being interviewed - on Point of View with Kerby Anderson, I believe - about this book that published in May 2023. 

First important lesson for me: fear is normal. It is a thing that happens. A limbic response is out of my conscious control. It is possible for fear to be triggered out of context, and most of us would agree that the last 3 years at least have been some of the most triggering times in recent history, but it is not wrong or sinful to feel afraid. 

Second important lesson and in many ways the crux of the book: fear should propel me toward Jesus. That is the appropriate response to the fear trigger when another response is not obvious (such as, run away from the grizzly that has reared up to kill you). Most of the time, an angry grizzly is not the fear trigger. 

Jesus isn't mad at me for feeling afraid. He had bouts of fear, too. He took them to His father. I'm supposed to take them to Him. It's one of the reasons they exist.

There's more in the book, of course, and there's more to how I'm learning to cope with fear in 2023, but that's enough for now. 

A final lesson: fear will not end until Heaven. Accepting this, accepting that Jesus will be with me no matter how I feel moment to moment, is an important step in recovery. Acceptance is my word of the year. 

Keep the faith. 

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