In the midst of God working in my heart, teaching me about serving and generosity, He was working in other areas of my life. My battle with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and depression had been raging on all the while these other things were happening. I had decided a while ago I needed to do things differently than in the past. I began seeing a counselor as a way to start doing some of the hard work in getting to the bottom of my battle with anxiety. I had little foreknowledge that God was about to do a miracle in the middle of my brokenness.
Ever since being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, prescription medications have been a part of my daily existence. Originally, these were the only thing which put a stop to me spiraling out of control. So I would not say that I am anti-medication by any means. I do believe they serve a certain purpose, but far too many times they become the only form of treatment. There is also this tendency to stay on medication for far too long without seeking other forms of treatment such as counseling.
Working Through My Anxiety
So in the middle of God doing such a work in other areas of my life, I felt this need to attempt and work through the anxiety without the help of medication. I believed that getting off of my anti-anxiety medication would allow me to try to properly process anxiety using what I learned through counseling. So I began the journey of weaning off of this medication with the proper support of close friends and my counselor. I also ended up telling my doctor partway through the process who also supported me.
NOTE: I do not recommend doing this without the proper support. This is my story and I share it in hopes of encouraging others. I am not recommending this as a course of action for others. I waited to tell my doctor because I was afraid. Ironic, I know. Now I do wish I would have told her earlier in the process. I believe it would have been easier if I had done so.
Looking Beyond Yourself
During this time of weaning off medication, I pushed myself to do things I normally would not do. I traveled out of state with my friend Wilkey to lead volunteers in launching new Life.Church campuses. This does not seem like a big deal for most, but traveling was something which would invoke lots of anxiety for me personally. I believe in the cause of Life.Church so much, I was willing to put myself in the middle of a storm to lead others to become fully-devoted followers of Christ. I was willing to set aside something I loved, my comfort, for something I loved even more, reaching those who do not know Christ
Initially, I only wanted to be free of my anti-anxiety medication. After making it through the process of weaning off my anti-anxiety medication, I also wanted to be free of anti-depressants. So, again I went down the road of weaning off of this medication. My doctor had instructed me in the proper step down methods, amounts, etc.
NOTE: This can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. This was extremely difficult time for me.
Fast forward to today, where I am now off of ALL of my prescriptions. Praise God! Once God had granted me freedom from anxiety medications, I began to dream about what God could do through my story. A part of this wondering included being completely medication free. This was something I was told was not possible.
Surrendering My Story
Knowing that God could use my story as a means of hope for others pushed me even more. I began to surrender my story so God could tell (His) story through the lens of my life. Once I got to this point of surrender, everything else begin to snowball, in a God way. This past weekend I celebrated my six month anniversary for being medication free! Here I am continuing to tell my story, in hope that (His) story may be made known to all.
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash