Where I’ve Been…

***update*** I just came up for lunch and am reading through all of your great advice…God and I have been talking through things this morning, and we’ll see what that leads to…also, to the lady who said her sister-in-law saw me here in the hotel the other day, you better tell her to give me a squeeze if she sees me again!!!! And I am also hoping my kids weren’t picking their noses or fighting over shovels…
And to those of you who have mentioned giving up coke, chocolate, carbs and coffee, just know that those are my main food groups (the four C’s. I’m sure there’s a pyramid with those somewhere…).  I’m having anxiety attacks just thinking about saying goodbye to those old friends….:)
Thanks so much for all of your thoughtful suggestions!!!
You all are so great to me.  I haven’t posted in awhile (we are at the beach and about to head home:) ) and so many people have written me to ask if I’m okay.  You have no idea how much this has meant to me.  It has been a really great week with my family (thanks, mom and dad!), but also a very hard one.  With grief, it’s hard to tell why or when it will hit, and I was a little blindsided to have it happen here, where it is so beautiful.  Every sweet baby I see has made me miss the opportunities I will never have with my Audrey.  Every time I see the water I want to tell her about the great God who makes it roll onto the sand.  I have to remind myself that she knows…she knows better than any of us.  I just miss her so much.
I have been having panic attacks first thing in the morning and then a few times a day.  I have this feeling of fear and dread that stays with me, and my mind is full of worry. I am trying to figure out if there is something natural that will help me before I reconsider medication (diet, homeopathic remedies, etc.). I have been doing a little online research, but would certainly love to hear from you if you have any constructive suggestions.  I am caught in a pattern of worrying that something is going to happen to one of the girls or Todd, and it is hard to get my mind back on track. I don’t feel rock-bottom, just kind of like a feeling I can’t shake off, and it takes a toll on me.
Sorry this is so short (you are probably relieved! I tend to be a tad long-winded…:)) but I just wanted to let you know I am okay.  I covet your prayers and am so grateful to feel like I have your support during this time.  This coming week is going to be incredibly difficult (please pray for the entire Smith family), and I will post about that soon…
Also, still waiting to post about the Michigan event…I believe the tickets are being printed and when they are ready I will pass along the details. Many of you have asked if I am attending the South Carolina Selah concert this weekend…we are trying to find cheap tickets, so I’m not optimistic right now, but I sure would be honored to meet you if it works out.
Until then, thank you friends. 
Angie

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  • Linda Goossen

    Dear Angie,
    I just wanted to let you know that you have been an encouragement to so many in my own family. It is really strange that we all seemed to find you the same week. I guess the Lord wanted to speak to all of us through you.

    Keep trusting Him. He is the sustainer of life.

    I’m so glad you got to get away at a beach for some family time. Take time with the girls, because they grow up so fast!

  • Kelly

    I pray God can help you work through your worry about the girls and Todd. Enjoy your time with family at the beach.

  • Alice

    Dear Angie–I’m no doctor, so I certainly wouldn’t encourage someone not to take medication if they need it. However, I too have struggled with anxiety and panic and fear. I memorized a bunch of hymns and would just sing them either out loud or in my mind (you know, whichever was appropriate at the time/location!) when fear would overtake me. My best one has been “How Firm a Foundation”: all 5 verses. Scripture memory works too. I just remember Jesus telling Satan, “It is written…it is written…it is written…” when he tried to tempt Him.

    I’ll keep you in my prayers!

  • Ashley

    I wish I had some advice to offer to deal with the anxiety/panic attacks. I don’t, but I’ll be praying for you on that front as well as with all else you and your family are facing.
    I’m glad you got to get away to the beach – that is always a healing and restful place for my soul. I hope in the midst of grieving you were able to get some relief from just being away in a beautiful place.
    Grace and peace.

  • Rachel

    I’m glad you and your family got to spend some beautiful time at the beach.

    I don’t have any tips to pass along regarding the feelings of panic. Just know that you’ll be in my prayers!

    Take care of yourself.

  • ehardin

    Although, I can not imagine the way you must feel. I can lend some advice in the panic attack dept. I can get them from time to time.
    I struggle back and forth with depression in varying levels.
    I starting seeing an Applied Kinesiology Chiropractor. She helped me address some underlying food issues that were affecting my hormones, and making me have the panic attacks and would trigger the depression.
    Dairy and wheat seem to give me the biggest problems. I hope that helps some how.
    I also use many homeopathic remedies. If you find an AK Dr. in your area they should have some remedies. Some one at Whole Foods or your local heath food store should be able to pointyou in the right direction.
    I am not a big fan of medication and it sounds like you are feeling lead to search for alternative options. They are not the easy answers. It takes more work and time, but it is well worth it.
    I am praying for you. I never thought I could care so much about a family that I have never met…
    You are amazing…

    still praying..

  • Kori

    You as well as your beautiful family continue to be in my prayers.

  • Jantiva

    Hi Angie! I check your page regularly and am always so happy to see a new post. Glad to know you’re doing ok. Praying for you!
    Jan

  • Tabitha

    Dear Angie,
    I hope your weeks get better. You are a wonderful writer and your words are full of encouragement and guidance. Just keep your eyes and heart focused on God and he will lead you through this. He will not put more on you than you can handle with his help. Sometimes we forget the last part, but I think it is the most important part. Through Him all things are possible.!!!

  • Daddy’s Dream ~Mommy’s Miracle

    I have tried to fight the battle off with alternative means, but I just couldn’t do it. I too just have random episodes that can be rather scary for others around. I finally just gave in and decided to take some medicine until my body and mind calms down. Pregnant women and babies always send me into a panic. I hope you can find something that works. I hate being on meds, but I guess I don’t have a choice right now….I am getting ready to start a new job, and I have to be somewhat sane!
    Hugs,
    Destiny

  • Mocha with Linda

    I’ve missed you, but goodness! You don’t need to apologize or explain for not blogging. I can’t believe you have been able to blog as much as you have these past 4 months.

    So glad you were able to get away, but I ache that it’s been so difficult.

    Praying that God will carry you through this next week.

  • Dani

    Thanks for the update! I will def. be praying for you and the rest of the family!! You are so special to me!! I can’t wait to meet you!! Hopefully soon!! I Love you!!
    ~Dani

  • Sarah

    Angie,
    I haven’t posted before but I just wanted to remind you not to gage your relationship with God by the severity of your panic attacks. After I had my daughter post-partum depression set in and I had to go on medication. I kept thinking if I could just get my relationship with God together I wouldn’t be depressed. It wasn’t true. In fact my doctor who is a Christian explained it in such a good way. He said that my brain was sick. It wasn’t me or how spiritual or nonspiritual I was but a physical problem. This is not to say that spiritual problems don’t ever cause physical problems. I think that they can, but for me it was a huge relief to get over the guilt of blaming a physical problem on my lack of spirituality. I don’t know if you struggle with this in relation to your panic attacks, but I write it to encourage you. Thank you for all you have written on your blog. I glean so much from your insight.

  • Erin

    Angie,

    I have some experience with the anxiety/panic issue. I suffered from Generalized Anxiety Disorder while I was in graduate school. I finally got to the point that I couldn’t even eat because it made me sick, and that’s when I went to see a counselor. She told me that sometimes GAD is situational and periods of high stress can cause our brains to malfunction.

    I think it’s safe to say you’ve had some stress in the last few months.

    The medications changed my life. I had very very minimal side effects and I felt like myself again. With situational GAD, you can typically come off of the medication again and be just fine. Your brain just needs a little boost to get over the hardest steps of life. It takes courage to do it – there is some sort of stigma with mental medications – but know that I’ll be praying for you.

    As for some other remedies, these are the things I do now when I feel it coming on.
    1. Chamomile tea – hot. The warmth relaxes the muscles and chamomile naturally slows down your physiology.
    2. Lavender – put the stuff everywhere. Lavender essential oil is a beautiful smell. I mix it with water in a spray bottle and put it on my pillows, on my clothes, even spritz a little on my hair. It also smells beautiful when you use it with your ironing.
    3. Showers – a good warm shower (with my lavender soap) always calms me down a bit.
    4. A walk. When you start to feel like you just can’t breathe, get outside and take a little walk.
    5. – And this is most important – honor it. When you feel that panicky sense, recognize that it is for a reason. You lost a daughter and a nephew – of course you would be anxious about losing someone else! Let that feeling of anxiety tell you what you fear and then respond to it. For me, that involves asking the question, “What am I afraid of? And what is the worst possible outcome that is realistic?”

    I hope that helps. Email me if you want to talk: emiller at vci dot net.

  • StrawberryParfait

    Angie,

    I deal with similar anxieties and problems since loosing several family members in the past couple years. My husband and I have no children yet, but I do worry a good bit about him and find my thoughts filled with bittersweet difficult memories of loved ones.

    Of course prayer is best :)

    For calming down during the day, chamomile tea is mild enough to help relax most people. Mostly any warm drink is good…comforting and relaxing. Warm milk with honey at night time…really does work for me atleast. Kava Kava and passionflower tea’s work well too at night. Some people do drink a tea or take Valarian root. It does work…but is fairly strong.

    For herbs, I’d suggest find an herbalist….or just go into your local herb store (or place like Vitamin shoppe) and tell them you need help with anxiety.

    Aromathearpy can help some too. Lavender is wonderful. Eye masks with lavender, etc are great.

    Add in omega 3 oils….fish, flaxseed, even some peanut butter’s, etc today come with omega 3 in them….proven to help anxiety.

    Personally, I know I need to get back into swimming, walking, running…something. I joined a gym a while back…and it really did help to get on a cardio machine and just physically put all my frustion into something.

  • Tammy

    God will be holding your hand and keeping you under HIs wings. Lean on Him and know He loves you. I continue to pray for you. You are such a blessing.

  • Jen

    After having had cancer, I dealt a LOT with panic attacks over death. A *SMALL* dose of Zoloft and some counseling has changed things around. Also, someone mentioned memorizing verses and scripture and such and that’s a great idea, too! You seem to love to write (by what I pick up from your blog!), so maybe a journal would help you, too. I bought a cheap $.99 notebook at Wal-Mart one day and on the front I wrote, “My Space.” I could write WHATEVER I wanted to in there. If I was mad at God that day, I’d write about it. If I was freaking out about death, I’d write about it. It was a HUGE healing time for me. Now that I look back on it, I kind of see it as another form of prayer. My rule with the journal…I could write whatever I wanted to write in there and I would NOT feel guilty about any of it later. I also told myself that I didn’t have to write in there every day but that I could write in there whenever I wanted to and about whatever I wanted to. I love to write, though, so it was huge for me to do that. If you like to write, as well, maybe that’s something you could try.

    Then, when your healing is complete, you can store the journal away somewhere, if you want, or you can burn it and put all of those memories to rest.

    My prayers are with you, my friend! Keep on keeping on, one day at a time.

  • Deedra

    Hi Angie,
    This is the first time I’ve commented here though I stumbled across your blog about 2 months ago. My baby girl was born on April 2. She is our second miracle baby, we thought we’d never have one. We have 2 babies with Jesus. I often read your posts and cry just because your sweet Audrey was born within days of my Lilah. I look at her and think of how you must ache for your sweet baby girl. I just wanted to say that I know how hard it must be for you to watch others with babies the same age as Audrey would be. It was hard, and still is sometimes, for me to see babies the age that mine would be now.

    This hasn’t quite been the encouraging comment I wanted it to be, but I wanted to share with you that you are in my daily prayers. I pray that you are comforted and encouraged each day.

  • Lisa

    Wow- I can’t believe I’m only in the double-digits of responses, a first for me!
    I am so glad you and your family got to go to the beach. I think that is the closest place on this earth to heaven, the power and wonder of God is so evident there.

    I don’t have any advice about the panic attacks. I know our God will see you through them though. I will be continuing to pray for your family in the next week.

    “Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.” Psalms 83:1

  • Alli

    Angie, I almost hate to say anything because I don’t know your personal history and I don’t know what the Lord is leading YOU to do with YOUR body. But I would think that you shouldn’t rule out postpartum depression/issues (on top of any other existing history). That seems almost cruel, I know, but your body and hormones are still recovering from giving birth, even if Audrey isn’t here any more. You aren’t exempt from the suffering/treatment/compassion of the postpartum period just because you aren’t holding a baby. Add grief to that, and it’s a pretty nasty stew. But not one bigger than the Lord! I’ll continue to pray.

  • Jocelyn

    Hey Angie…glad to hear you’re on vacation. We are leaving next week for the beach and we soo need it. Was hoping the trial would be over and then we’d go on vacation, but God has other plans. We are trusting Him!

    I have anxiety and will prob be on medication for the rest of my life. I have FINALLY accepted that after multiple times of thinking I was ok.

    However, I do know that some people only need the medication for a short time. Beside prayer and self-relaxation techniques, you could ask about a short acting medication to help with anxiety instead of something you have to take every day whether you’re feeling anxious or not. You would just take it at the time you felt anxious. I have been taking one since the trial got postponed and I’m using it less and less.

    My husband is a family doctor and I’ve heard him say a million times, herbs are ok, just be careful. They are not regulated at all, by the FDA. Just do your research on them. If you have questions, ask, I’m sure he can find out.

    Sorry, it’s so long. Should’ve emailed. Keep your head up!

  • Kathi

    I am praying for you Angie.

    I’ve been taking St Johns Wort and it’s helped w/ my anxiety and depression. The only down side is that different brands don’t seem to be as effective. I like the Nature’s Way brand with the purple I get it at my grocery store.

  • Kelly

    Glad to hear from you. I can understand that even the beach would make you sad because you want to experience all of life’s wonderful things with Audrey.
    I don’t have any good suggestions for worry and panic attacks. I’m sorry you are having to suffer from that.
    I’m keeping ya’ll in my prayers.

  • joyful1

    I have been going through the same thing the past year and a half, I emailed you briefly about it, and have quite a few things that have helped me. We can chat more if you would like.

    Joy
    markjoy1@sbcglobal.net

  • Jesslyn42

    Ang,

    I’m so glad everything is okay with you!! I just went back to school, time for another wonderful year with my 2nd graders, and I’ve already been able to tell new people all about you, your family and your incredible story. I have your family picture (the one from the hospital) as my desktop picture and I’ve had more people/co-workers/parents ask about that picture. So, I’ve enjoyed sharing your story of faith with them and your love for our Lord. Just know that you are still touching so many people!

    I’ll write more later but I’m so glad to know that all is well.

    Love you,
    Jess :)

  • shelby1232

    Hi Angie,
    So happy to hear from you. I bet the girls had a fantastic time at the beach.
    Sorry I have no help in the panic attack department.

    I have anxiety attacks from time to time and what I do is sit in a quiet spot, deep breathe and pray. It usually passes within a minute.

    Have a blessed day.
    Fran
    Illinois

  • crabapple

    Hi Angie –
    I’m delurker :) You’re blog is very encouraging, comforting, and uplifting. I continue to pray for you and your family.

    I too have panic attacks. I also have bouts of depression. While I do have medication, I try, try, try not to take it. What I find incredibly helpful with my issues is yoga. I do more of the stretch rather than the workout (however I like both). The stretch class is much slower and more soothing. It’s a great way for me to clear my mind, meditate, listen to my body and get rid of a lot of stored tension in my joints and muscles.

  • Keri

    Angie, I would advise the journaling thing because it helps to give names/words to your feelings. Be as specific as you can, then bring those words and feelings before the Lord. I totally empathize with your panic/anxiety issues. I have them regularly, and I have two very favorite books that have helped me tremendously. They are Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick and the Hind’s Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard (an allegory).

  • Mom

    Hi Angie, (and no I’m not your mom, but I’m too computer illiterate to know how to change the title that I use to comment on my kids’ blogs!! Sorry!)

    I just wanted to share how I was able to get control over my panic attacks. I start thanking God for all the blessings He has given me! As soon as I would feel the panic attack coming on, I’d start praising God. Instead of just saying lists of things (such as “Thanks Lord you for our house, our car, our kids, etc.), I’d say “Lord today I want to thank you for our home that keeps us warm during the winter winds and cool in the humid summer heat, thank you for our car that is dependable and gets decent gas mileage and is comfortable and able to take us to church”, etc. I think the important thing for me was catching it when I first felt the initial twinges of fear, before it could overwhelm me and make me a blubbering mass of hyperventilating nerves.

    Whatever works for you, I pray that you can find it. Until you do, know that you are not alone in this.

  • Courtney

    Dear sweet Angie,

    We will be honored to be praying for you in this specific area. There are certainly times that medications are a necessity and homeopathic remedies never hurt. That said, when battling depression and/or anxiety, I will often reach for my most powerful weapon: spiritual warfare (which you may already be doing).

    Our enemy knows our weaknesses and loves to come against us in our weakest times, but in our weakness He is strong. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ and in his blood that Satan and his demons of Anxiety and Depression will be vanquished from your mind. I pray that God would unleash an army of angels to war on your behalf. I pray a hedge of protection around you: body, soul and mind! I also pray in the name of Jesus protection over your family both physically and spiritually.

    God bless you sister!

    Much love!
    Courtney

  • Joshs_Rebekah

    Hi Angie!

    You mentioned my favorite word – herbal!

    The following is a website I check out for all things herbal. The specific link is two pages of questions and answers about what to do for and about anxiety/panic attacks.

    I hope they help!

    http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,705.0.html

    Rebekah Larson

  • Macy and Lucy

    Angie,
    I stumbled upon your blog, and it has become one that I return to quite frequently. I have two little girls of my own who are just precious beyond measure. Your blog has touched me so deeply and helped me during a time where I have needed a special touch. I by no means understand and know how you feel with what you have been through with your little Audrey, but I did have a niece that was stillborn about a year ago, so I have had a tiny taste or what you are experiencing, and I know that it hurts. You are such a fine example of a godly woman, and I appreciate you, even though I don’t personally know you!

    I dealt with panic attacks 11 months ago…a lot was going on. I had those same feelings of fear and dread. The feelings wouldn’t go away. I began worrying about everything. What helped me deal, and this is something I know you do ALL of the time, but PRAYER. And I mean heartfelt, tell the Lord EXACTLY how you feel (although sometimes it feels silly…He knows anyway!), BEG Him to help you, PLEAD for Him to take these feelings far away. And do it OUTLOUD…maybe when you in the car alone, or walk outside during the girls’ quiet time or naptime.

    I also find a special time to pray for my girls is at naptime or bedtime, when they are sound asleep. I kneel beside their beds and pray silently. It just helps me focus my prayer on THEM.

    Again, I know you are a woman of faith and prayer, so I know you do pray…but IT WORKS, so keep on praying.

    Shannon

  • kristin

    I remember Beth Moore saying once that Satan CAN NOT hear what’s going on inside of our heads. He does NOT know our thoughts…he figures out what’s going on inside by watching us…or by spoken word. I think that’s empowering! How powerful to SPEAK the word of God out loud to Satan.
    You’ll be in my prayers today.

    I also want you to know that a neighbor of mine lost a child at birth quite a few years ago…and honestly..I haven’t been very compassionate towards the pain that she’s going through. Reading your blog has helped me feel empathy towards her deep hurt and hopefully I can better show Christ’s love to her!

  • Doug and Terrye

    You sweet precious girl, my prayers are for you as you travel this road of saddness and recovery. My encouragement to you comes from II Cor. 4:16-18.

    Terrye in FL

  • Denise

    I too have faced the panic and fear since my son passed. Everything that my daughter or husband do brings a vision to the forefront of my mind of something terrible and tragic happening. Even though she’s nearly 4, I check her breathing several times through the night.

    What has honestly helped is forcing the image from my mind and replacing it with a memory. This was much harder in the beginning when I was still very much in shock (though I believe in many ways on many days I still am.) and to have trust and faith that life will work out how it is intended to.

    I try to make every day enjoyable and one that I would be proud to have as my last.

    It’s incredibly hard not to worry. Once you have lost a child there is so much you lose trust in and there is an awareness of how easy “it” can happen to you.

    I do believe that awareness, that fear and that anxiety forces us to make the most of life with our families.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • My Beautiful Mess!

    Angie, I am so sorry that you are going through the panic attacks. That is such a terrible feeling when you are going through one. I have never been where you are but I have suffered from panic attacks through the years. I did opt at one point during a difficult time after my Mom’s death to take medication. For me it became a total mental thing – I knew I had the medication if I needed it so it was not long until that was enough to ease my panic – I did not have to actually take one just knowing it was there was enough. You are doing the right thing to research – that is how you will know what is best for you. I also found that during an attack I would concentrate on one bible verse and say it over and over in my head that helped calm my fears. Grief brings many layers of emotion as you know. Your abundant faith will see you through.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you!

  • Hailey

    I opened my google reader this morning and saw your post first. I was extremely excited we all got to hear from you again. Have a wonderful vacation. Have fun with that hubbie of yours and play with those beautiful girls. Don’t waste a second. Stay strong Angie.

    Did a quick search and found these. I thought of you.

    II Timothy 1:7 (KJV) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

    Psalm 34:18 (NIV) “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

  • Tina Vega

    I struggled with an eating disorder for nine years – depression, anxiety, and other self-defeating thoughts plagued me. Constantly.

    I learned to fight back with God’s Word; the very second a thoughts like that invade, I turn to my God’s Promises for Moms for a quick Word to quench the flaming darts. (I’m not so great at memorization so I even carry verses in my back pocket when I’m out and about.) If I’m under a particularly strong attack, I speak His Word out loud.

    It’s especially important to do it even when you don’t feel like it. Once the enemy realizes he’s lost his ground in that area, the attacks WILL subside.

    I’m glad you had such a wonderful break with your family. I’m praying for you and your tender heart…

    August 15, 2008 9:52 AM

  • Audra

    Angie,
    I don’t even know you, but you fill my thoughts constantly, I pray for you when you enter my heart and mind….I miss you when you are gone for a while (ie. no posts ;) )I feel this connection to you, I totally see myself in you, when I read your words, I am in awe because those are my same thoughts, fears, struggles. Although I have never lost a child,(my heart is in pain for you and your sister-in-law, sidenote: her Luke and my Addi were born on the same day, so I fear, I fear a lot!) that is my greatest fear. I had a close friend of mine lose her 4 yr. old daughter to wilms tumor almost 4 yrs ago, and ever since then, life has been so different for me…..I am a Christian, but I must admit that even though I KNOW I have no REAL control, I don’t like to feel like I’m totally giving it All Up, I guess that is the human in me :) You truly inspire me, you inspire me to take the steps to give it up…I want to and I’m trying. I too suffer with daily anxiety, my mind is bogged with worry and I pray that I can release it, release it to the God that I know can handle it, that is my prayer, for me and for you!
    Much Love,
    Audra Deffenbaugh

  • Crystal

    Angie,
    I have been checking about 5 times a day to see if you had posted! So good to “see” you. I hope you truly enjoyed the beach even though I know your heart is still aching. I hope you are able to find something to help with your panic attacks before resorting back to the medicine because I know that is what you want. I am still praying for you and your family to heal regarding sweet Audrey. I will say a prayer for whatever it is that is going to be hard on the Smith family this coming week, as well. Much love to you, Angie.

    Love, Crystal
    LaGrange,GA

  • David and Lori Plus 8

    Yes, our dear Angie, there are those of us to stalk your blog and eagerly await the next time we will have girl time with you. We have missed you this week. I also have panic attacks – few and far between – but I do know I have them because I am such a control freak – need to be aware of all my surroundings, what is going to happen and when….goodness, even my calendar is color coded. I’ve personally found that medicine helps and keeps me more on an even keel. Blessings and prayers to you and your family. Your blogger stalker in Clarksville, TN ~ Lori

  • Elaine

    Angie,

    I am mostly a lurker too…when I see that 283 people have commented, I think, “Surely, I don’t need to be #284!” Anyway, in regard to anxiety and such, I’m glad there have been an abundance of “ideas” for you consider because it’s so different for everyone. If you haven’t done so already, ask God to be specific with you as to the triggers (there might be something less obvious) and to just pour out your heart to Him. One of the things that I learned to do was address our God by His different names. There are a BUNCH of them. But two names, in particular, come to mind as I type. (You may already know these)

    El Roi…The God who sees
    El Olam…The Eternal One

    When we talk to Him by one of His other names, it gives us another way to relate to Him. Focusing on WHO HE IS, we can begin to see Him “fitting” into our situation in a different way.

    I don’t know if that makes sense but it really helps me to think of the different dimensions of His person, enabling me to trust HIm even more–beyond what I thought I could or would.

    Love to you Angie,
    Elaine

  • KM

    I have had difficulty with panic and anxiety for years. I have found in my own life that there are periods when I need the medicine and periods I can manage without. I prefer the periods without the medicine because I don’t want to feel like I can’t do this on my own…that I’m not casting my fears upon the Lord.

    My experience for my body has shown me that in periods of great stress (by period I mean 6+ months lumped all together)–my body typically depletes itself of the serotonin it needs. I have no ability to use my bag of tricks and daily prayer to get through it alone. Also for me, when deciding I’m ready to get off the meds, I don’t have success to do it in a time of great stress.

    Of course, you don’t know my story (yet)because I haven’t written it to you. But I’ve had major ups and downs. I don’t like taking daily pills so that’s why I don’t resign myself to being on something everyday. I started weaning myself last year after a a 4 year period of daily meds…and 4 months into nothing…I realized there were certain times of the month that my “crazy panics” for lack of a better term were so bad I couldn’t seem to use the self-talk and prayer to get through them. I did some research and talked to my gynecologist. She has prescribed some medicine for PMDD…and I only take it about 5-10 days a month…as I see I need it in with my cycle. She had me write down to see when it would typically attack…and then told me to start my meds 1-2 prior to that in the next cycle. I’m having great success with that. I’m only on the second bottle of 6 prescribed over a year ago. (It’s not anxiety meds…it’s anti-depressant/anxiety. NO Xanax, atavan, valium…) If I don’t feel it coming on, I don’t take the meds at all.

    I didn’t know prior to this that there was something you could take that didn’t have to be taken daily…and something that was not addictive.

    Again, this is my experience. I don’t want you to think that I am suggesting meds. That is a personal decision between you and Jesus. Just wanted to offer you some perspective from another fellow mother in the trenches of some stress coupled with years (years!) of anxiety and how I’m coping with it today.

    With love and prayers
    Kristi in Texas

  • Dana

    Angie,
    I stumbled onto your blog a few weeks ago. I say stumbled, but I know it was God leading me here. My daughter, Gabrielle, went to be with Jesus ten years ago this month.

    I too have suffered with anxiety, but it started before my daughter was born. I’ve only had one panic attack. It is a very scary thing and my heart goes out to you. I’ve also battled depression.

    I finally found Dr. Kirby Pate, a Nashville psychiatrist, who has now switched to a sleep doctor. He still sees a few psych patients though. I had been praying about the depression and finding an alternative method for treating it. Dr. Pate didn’t try to disuade me, but said he had been studying such treatments. He gave me a very strict regimen of supplements, sleeping/waking at the same time each day, cold baths, and said we could try it. It was too rigid for me, so I can’t say whether or not it works. I wasn’t able to stick with it. The medication is working very well and I’m on a very low dose.

    Dr. Pate took the time to listen to me rather than just push pills at me. You might consider making an appointment with him.

    Also, pray the scriptures over yourself. The ones about having a sound mind. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind . . .” I’m sure you can think of several more. Sing praises to God when you are under anxiety.

    I will be praying for you.

  • Erin

    Sweet Angie, I just sent you an email with suggestions of non-medicine ways to deal with panic attacks-you know I have been there. I am praying for you, as always. Erin Southwell

  • blessedwith5

    Dear Angie,

    I can totally relate to your panic attacks. They are so scary and you definitely feel out of control. After several Emergency room trips, my doc prescribed Paxil. My panic attacks began three days after my maternal Grandma passed – we were very close. I tried everything to NOT have a panic attack, but they continued and became dehibilitating. Advise: don’t let them rule your life . . . The Paxil has allowed me to take back my life and live it. I haven’t had an attack in several years now … I take my little blue pill each and every night and am Panic attack free.

  • Missy

    dear angie,

    so good to hear from you if only for a short time. you have inspired me and motivated me to take more time with Him and my own lovelies here at home.

    i don’t know what to say about the anxiety you are experiencing. i’ve not traveled the same paths as you… i cannot compare apples to oranges.

    my mind wonders at bed time to the point i cannot sleep sometimes. when this happens, i hug ‘em.. i hug ‘em till the ‘notions’ dismiss themselves from me… and i pray… pray hard…

    take care…

  • Liza’s Eyeview

    “I have been having panic attacks first thing in the morning and then a few times a day. I have this feeling of fear and dread that stays with me, and my mind is full of worry”…

    I could have written those words in my blog. I find myself waking up at 4AM sometimes 3:30AM with my mind full of worry. My husband would say, just go back to sleep but I can’t. I keep telling my self “I am a Christian, I should not worry, just trust God” but as you know, it’s not that easy or simple. I just turn these worries and stresses into prayers (casual conversations with God in my head) and that helps. I also blog (and you know that helsp too :) . Anyway, I just wanted you to know you are not alone.

  • JanMary

    Hugs and prayers.

  • Keri

    After Landon died, I felt really helpless, frustrated, etc. My Dr. called to see how I was doing and I told him sometimes good/bad. He decided I had post-traumatic stress disorder and wanted me to start taking ZOLOFT. I really didn’t want to go down that road but he insisted. He is a Christian Dr. so I trusted his decision. I slowly started out using only a quarter of the 50mg pill (it is strong stuff) and worked my way up. After about a month I weaned myself off. It actually helped, w/o any major side affects. As I was taking it, I realized that I was able to control my emotions w/o forgetting about Landon or forgetting the pain. Of course everyone is different. I hope this little insight helps.

  • Amanda

    Angie, I think that you are totally normal in feeling the way that you do. You’ve been through something very traumatic and I would totally worry about my other family members. You are still grieving (like I have to tell you!)and your feelings are to be expected. As for the panic attacks, have you tried any relaxation techniques. Some of them are pretty simple and easy to do, but the might help.

  • Robin

    I remember when my dad and my father-in-law were both killed in accidents a year apart – in my mind it only seemed natural that my husband would be next. I worried greatly about myself because I could not keep my mind from going places I didn’t want to go. I was convinced I would be a widow within the year. I never took any medication – I eventually worked through it. I think it was just part of grieving that I had to go through. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves time. With lots of prayer of course.

  • jen

    Hi Angie~
    I don't think I've left a comment before, but I have been reading for quite a while now. A friend led me to your blog. You have surely been blessed with the gift of communication through the written word. You are an inspiration even through your time of grief. And, I love your sense of humor. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    The reason for my comment is that although I have not experienced anxiety, I have dealt with depression for over 15 years. I finally sought help from a program called "Attacking Anxiety & Depression". And, although it has helped a bit with my depression, I am convinced it was designed more for those who deal with anxiety that leads to depression. I know you are getting a lot of advice on how to deal with your anxiety, so if all else fails (as it did with my depression) you might want to check it out at http://www.stresscenter.com/.

    I hope and pray that you find what works for you, whatever that might be.

  • Christie

    I know what it’s like to feel trapped by those feelings, to have them cover each moment of the day. The only thing that really helped me (in the long term) was exercise. I started running each day (eventually I got up to three miles) and something about that helped to settle my mind and emotions. But it did take a while.

    I will keep praying for you!

  • Trina

    Angie, first of all I want you to know your blog has changed my life and I love the way you write. So real and so in love with the Lord.

    About 10 years ago I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and sometimes it still comes back in snippets. I never wanted to be on medication because drugs of any type were part of the source of my fear, I felt as if I wasn’t in control and that made me panic, so medication was NOT an option for me. So I let the Lord know real quick I wanted him to heal me without meds. I would quote 2 Tim 1:7 outloud any time I felt I was about to go out of control. But everyone is different, that is my story.

    But I think a lot of yours has to do with (of course!) your loss of Audrey and maybe some postpartum mixed in.

    And this is not earth shattering advice, but just pray and see what the Lord would have you do, and realize that He is big enough for this. You’re not alone, plenty of us have been plagued with anxiety and fear, and there is a way out.

  • Mrs. Pagett

    Angie:
    I found earthclinic.com when my son had a planters wart that we could not get rid of. This is a site where people write in what works for them and how it worked. I love it, for everything! I hope you find what you are looking for.
    Much love and prayer!
    Erin

  • Huddle Girls

    Angie,

    I am glad that you are okay and had some time with your family at the beach. I found the beach to be incredibly difficult for me as well after we lost Gavin. Our beach trip this summer was just 5 short weeks after he passed away. So much that I wanted to show him and see his sweet reaction. It is all so hard. I am sorry you are struggling with the panic attacks. I am lifting you up in prayer.

    Blessings,
    Amanda

  • Kim

    Hi Angie -

    I was given this very wise advice from someone I loved deeply when I was going through the worrying phase that you are going through….”If you spend so much time worrying about what “might happen”, you miss out on the things that “are happening” now. I know that seems easier to say than to do, but it works. I was also told that I just have to live in the moment, that I can’t control what’s going to happen. Everytime you start to worry, take a deep breath.

  • Linda

    Angie,

    I have written about losing our 2 month old son this past May to NEC, you may remember. We went to the beach (my husband and two sons) this summer as a way to get away and try to heal our family unit. I had spent 9 weeks living away from my family to stay at our son’s beside while he was in the NICU. Our trip was wonderful and really helped each one of us. I too had a panic attack/anxiety attack while we were there on our last night. I realized we would be home the next day and I had to face our empty nursery once again. I have ups and downs and anxiety at times. I am trying very hard to work through all the emotions and struggles that come with losing a child without the use of prescribed drugs. There have been times when I had the phone in my hand to call my doctor because dealing with this pain and anxiety is too much to bear at times. I wish you all the best and do what you feel you need to do. Don’t feel guilty or worry what anyone else thinks.
    Hugs,
    Linda in Bella Vista, Ark.
    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/miraclebaby3

  • Georgia’s blog

    Dear Angie,

    I am so glad that you have had a vacation and enjoyed the beach! We also went on vacation and it was a great week yet a VERY hard one. I can so relate…

    Chris and I went to see our son in North Carolina (18 hour drive) and went for a walk on the beach. I am not an ocean girl, jaws might be waiting to get me, but I do love the sound of the waves and just watching the waves roll in. Our trip too was a hard one, knowing Rachel should have been with us, it was our first vacation without her… I never thought I would miss the fussing and fighting… At times it hit me and made me miss her so much… i just want to hear her sweet voice one more time, feel her touch or see her sweet smile… I too was a little blindsided to have been with our boy in such a beautiful place and to feel such sorrow.

    I don’t know much about panic attacks but know that I am lifting you up in prayer… If I could be in Michigan I certainly would and will be praying for you then too…

    Your blogs have been such a comfort to me… thank you for allowing God to use you in such a mighty way!

    You are so special! Love ya girl!

    Hanging on to Him,
    Georgia
    http://www.easysite.com/fulenwiderfamily

  • Brittany

    I don’t have any advice for panic attacks as I suffer from them too. That feeling of fear, especially since you can’t put your finger on the fear, is awful. I will be praying for you.

  • The Griffin Family

    Sweet Angie,
    You are such a blessing to me & my walk with Christ! I don't think I could ever thank you enough for your precious words of encouragement and inspiration. I got a text message from my vacationing sister in law last night and she said she saw your family in her hotel. I texted her back and told her to go hug you for me! She follows your blog through mine so she recognized you. I thought it was sooo cool! Just wanted to share my little highlight of the week with you! I pray for the day our paths cross! Don't freak out if a total stranger walks up and hugs you one day….though I am sure it happens all the time!
    Love in Him,
    Katriana Griffin

  • deekaye

    i suffered from this when my kids were smaller. they are teens now. i will say that most of our fears never come to pass but they are so real at the time. i have learned to cope without med. though i took it for several years. i now do fine without but i have nights when it catches me unaware and i am gripped with fear. i feel your words like they were my own. You are not alone. i enjoy your blog very much.

  • Our House of Five

    Angie, I too have in the past suffered from panic attacks. I remember being pregnant with our second child(first was a miscarriage) and I had to be taken to the E.R several times because of heart palpations, dizziness, shortness of breath and fear! it was awful but something I had experienced many times before. I went to a therapist who taught me some skills to help manage my attacks. After my daughter was born they came back in a huge way and the fear of loosing her or something happening to me was extreme-but as hormones settled back down, I gave up dairy and chocolate things seemed to even out. during the next six years we were going through infertility treatments and we had another miscarriage and they began again, we then started the adoption process and they calmed, we then became pregnant and two days before my husband returned from China with our new daughter-our son was stillborn. You can say the attacks were present and not leaving. With in about two months they started to subside and wouldn’t you know I was pregnant again-I was a wreck of fear during this pregnancy and when our son was born I feared something would happen to him. I could go on about another miscarriage two more adoptions etc. But I can say that it has been a good three years since my last big attack and I have learned to manage them with reflection, prayer and diet. I simply cannot eat dairy and caffeine is not at all possible. What really works for me is redirecting my thoughts. When the dark moves in, I quickly shift my thoughts to something else-anything and I get busy with my hands. I have my own personal mental happy place and when I close my eyes and go there I make sure that I am smiling-this seems to bring the good karma my poor brain and heart needs to stimulate the good hormones.

    It has been five years since my Grayson died, and I am just now able to not cry every time I think of him. I am able to talk about him and not feel as if there was something more I could have done.

    I have been impressed by your strength, but also know that that can be a huge burden to bare. You need not be everyones role model, rock and champion-it is o.k. to simply be.

    Tracy

  • Tara

    Angie:
    I am praying for you and so thankful that you were able to get away on a vacation with your family.
    My biggest help during an anxiety attack – as I stopped taking the daily Zoloft — is to breathe and read the Bible. I find comfort in what His word, as I know you do as well.
    Tara

  • Dayna

    Dear Angie,

    Please trust God to guide your doctor’s knowledge, heart and mind, and then give your doc a call. I’m not saying that you absolutely need to rush back to medicine, but it’s something that you and your doctor should discuss, as well as any other options you might have (like finding a Christian therapist/grief counselor), or someone else trained in what you’re going through to help you work through all that your family has been coping with lately. You are not expected to shoulder these burdens alone but with the Lord’s help via the people he has put in your path and blessed with the gifts of being medical professionals. I was frankly a bit worried when you said you felt that God wanted you to stop your meds…that may very well be the case but I hope you didn’t stop them cold turkey; that can often have side effects so I think for that to happen you need to let your doctor in on what you feel God’s plans for you may be so he can best guide you as to how to follow them through. Good luck.

  • Elizabeth S

    The feelings you described sound all too familiar and I wish I had some words to share that would help. God knows exactly what you need and He is faithful.

  • Party of Five

    Angie,
    I have never posted befored, but your story speaks to me in so many ways.

    After battling through my own issues of anxiety, I couldn’t not share how God has worked (and is always working) through those issues for me. My fear always centers around something happening to me, that would leave my husband and 3 children devestated and alone. The thing about anxiety is that is causes us to be wrapped up in ourselves. The previous sentence that I wrote sounds so ego centered even to me now. Of course my husband and children would not be alone. My God’s grace would be sufficient for them.

    You may be wondering how you would survive losing another family member. How could your heart take another loss? It becomes your greatest fear. But it also polorizes your thoughts on yourself. This is not what God intends for us. This is Satan’s plan. The #1 thought that I repeat over and over if I ever sense a panic attack coming on is this: Has this fearful event happened yet? (no) Then God has given me today. Not tomorrow, not 3 weeks from now, not 3 years from now, but today. And God has given me today for a reason. That reason is not to wallow in my fears, but to DO something for Him, to LOVE someone for Him. Anything less than that and I sell God short. There are times I have to repeat these thoughts 50 times a day. And sometimes one time a week. But God continues to work in my life to calm my fears and to live in the shadow of his mighty wings of protection. It is not an answer, but a journey.

    I pray for you and your family and hope that you can find some help and support from all of your readers.

  • Jennifer

    Angie, (I’m a lurker:)and I don’t post often.

    anyway, I live in southern TN . I have suffered from panic attacks as well in the PAST…until I met a fabulous doctor in Nashville through a talk radio program. Dr. Asa Andrew. He’s all BIBLICAL. I encourage you to go see him. He is great and full of great information and idea on how to make your days soooo much better with out any MEDS!

    Here is his website where you can find contact #: http://www.asaandrew.com/video.html

    Hope this helps!

    Blessing
    jennifer

  • I’mFree

    I have been reading your blog for months and this si the first tiime I have posted. You and your family are incredible and have touched so many lives. Audrey Caroline has touched so many lives. Thank you for your love of God and for your sense of humor. I have laughed and cried at my desk at work reading Bring the Rain. I am planning on going to see Selah in Charleston, SC which is where I live on 10/10. Will ya’ll be there with your husband?

  • Jordan

    Angie – I just started reading your blog and can not tell you how inspired I have been. There have been so many moments while reading it where I’ve found myself saying, “Yes, that’s me.” or “That’s exactly how I feel.”

    I started to suffer from panic attacks daily starting at the age of 19… I am now 23 and am down to having only have one a month. Though they were scary and I felt completely out of control, I can look back now and say that it is the biggest blessing in my life. It was in those dark moments that I was able to completely surrender to my God and let HIM take control… something I had never been able to fully do as a semi-control freak. :) It was in those moments that I could hear Him whisper, “Let me. You can’t do this. It’s my turn now.”

    I did go on medicine for two years and though I struggled with that fact, I know it was something I needed to do. My attacks were getting to a point where I could not logically think about anything and the medicine helped bring me to a standing ground. It wasn’t a cure-all… I still have issues today with anxiety and worry. But it did bring me to a point that I could think clearly about what was going on in my mind and how I could combat it through prayer and trusting in Him. So I completely understand your hesistation about going on medicine… but I want you to know it’s okay to do so and that’s something I had to learn.

    Okay, this is a long post! But I read that and felt I needed to share. I often mark my panic attacks as the beginning of the most intimate relationship with my God because it was in those times that I had to completely let go of the world and trust that He knew what he was doing. I have been off the medicine for almost two years and now when I have them I immediately turn to Him..He has given me that. Give Him the reins and He’ll lead you the right way.

    God bless you and your beautiful family!
    - Jordan

  • Sara

    Hey Ang… thanks for checking in with us. I was afraid if I kept leaving comments to check in and say hi that you’d think I was stalking you :) but we all definitely care and am glad you feel it.

    I don’t know about anxiety/depression first hand, but it does run in my family. My mom eventually got on medication when I was older and it made a world of difference. I don’t know what’s right for you but I will say that she often says she wishes she would have known about the meds when we were little as she would have enjoyed us more. I think I missed out on pieces of her as well. That’s just one perspective for you to pray on.

    Here’s the main thing: we all will love you, support you, accept you and pray for you no matter what choice you make. Just follow that nudging spirit in your heart.

    Blessings on your day…

    sara
    http://www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com

  • Jordan

    I came across this verse the other day through an e-mail devotional and it reminded me of my panic attacks and anxiety/worry. I now try to repeat it to myself when I sense worry coming on.. because worry is thoughts that take over our mind.

    “We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

    I love the term GIVE UP AND OBEY. It tells us to turn these anxious and panicking thoughts to Christ. Hope this helps. I’m praying for you!

  • Herbs and Me

    Angie,

    I think I know a little bit about how you feel. I haven’t lost a child but I have lossed many other things that has made me sad.

    I have found that I can not have Any caffine or sugar, no chocolate, tea, cola’s (nothing) or any kind of sweets. If I do I start having bad thoughts run in my head and my chest sometimes tightns up. I am not on any medicine although I probably should. Life does get hard some days. I have tried herbs but they really never work for long. Prayer is my only answer. God picks me up:) Without Him I know I could be in a worse place.

    Blessings~~

  • usafcole

    Angie,
    I am not sure how I found your blog…I think through Goggle Reader Discover. You have been so faithful to write what is in your heart and help so many people.

    I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I am so glad that God has given provided many ways for everybody to deal with the physical problems we have while here on this earth. I am thankful for doctors. I personally never thought I would be the one in my family to suffer from the fear and anxiety. For me, it did take medication. Just the lowest dose but it has made the biggest difference in my life. I use Xanax (generic form). A lot of people told me not to use the generic form but I gave it a try and it works for me and is so much cheaper with our insurance. But most of all, it works for me–so it is worth any price.

    I will pray that you will find what works for you and that God will be ever close to you and your family. Psalm 91 has been special to me through our families latest trials.

    God bless you and your family.

  • the*4*of*us

    look into cutting food dyes out of your diet.
    praying

  • Linda

    Angie,
    I haven’t suffered from panic attacks, but I have certainly been overwhelmed by fear and worry at times. I have used Beth Moore’s wonderful book “Praying God’s Word” to help me on more than one occassion.
    I don’t presume to say you shouldn’t take medication or certainly try to find some sort of natural remedy. I just wanted to share with you what has helped me.
    Praying His peace will fill your heart sweet girl.

  • josh and annie

    Praying for you…a little while ago my husband and I were listening to Selah over breakfast and we talked about you and your blog. :) You are in our thoughts and prayers, I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through during this time but I know God is the Sustainer and Provider of peace! With my struggle with anxiety I found a few words that helped me break through the wall and those were: “God is Good.” “God is Love.” “God is Quiet.” “God is…(whatever I need Him to be.)”

  • mommylynn

    i’d love to e-mail to share more concerning your recent post about anxiety,meds,and alternative helps. i kept posting, but am not so computer savvy and everything kept getting erased as i tried to get my blog comment to clear.):+
    sorry! I am just so tired now. tdipersia@cfl.rr.com

    God is Good!
    Tammy D. :) +

  • Lorri

    Angie…here’s an unpopular opinion from a big sister in the Lord: Prescription drugs are not a bad thing if you need them. Ask Chondra Pierce. Please don’t suffer needlessly.

  • Darlene R.

    Dear Angie,
    I will continue to pray for you, and for the whole Smith family.
    I was so glad to read that you were able to get away, but sad to read that you have been struggling so.
    I’m sure you know this verse by heart, it’s one that I think on often when I struggle with worry~

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

    Love you,
    Darlene

  • Julie

    Holding you close in thought and prayer…always. Just breathe….hope will always come!

  • Anita J.

    Angie,

    I lost my brother unexpectedly in February. I find that grief doesn’t care where I am, either.

    Recently, I had a couple of weeks of great improvement and then WHAM I was a puddle again. Someone said to me, “I’m worried because you’re just not getting better.” But that isn’t true. I’m learning how to live life with my brother in Heaven.

    It’s like learning to walk again emotionally. I fall because the terrain is too rough sometimes, and other times I fall because I just don’t know how to keep my balance yet. It may take a long time, but one day, the potential for me to burst out crying in Wal-Mart because I passed a baseball glove won’t be quite so high.

  • sheridan

    Been praying for you this week.

  • haley

    I know how you feel with the panic attacks.I feel the same way when it comes to my husband and kids, but especially my kids. I feel like anytime I’m not with them something bad will happen to them(like I can stop something from happening,right?).It’s come to the point sometimes that I don’t want to let them go anywhere.But I have to realize that I can’t keep them from going places and doing things in their lives because I might freak out.When I start to panic I try to remember that God is a far better parent than me and that He is better able to keep them safe than I am.I don’t have an answer on how to stop from panicking but maybe just knowing your not alone will help.

  • ET @ Titus2:3-5

    I have a dear friend who struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. Her fears often creep up on her during the night, and she is plagued with nightmares and unable to sleep. She says that one of the best things she can do to keep the nighttime anxiety at bay is to go for a run – every single night. Perhaps evening exercise would be helpful in preventing your early morning issues…

    Praying for you.

  • Erin

    As I sit here contemplating where in the heck I'm going to do grad school, I got bored with it. So I decided to check your blog. Lo and behold, when I re-read your previous post, it mentioned my state of Michigan! Now, I remember why I don't want to do grad school…I have a short attention span & tend to skip over important thigns. *Sigh*

    But you coming to Michigan is so exciting, especially in fall :) I'm a babysitter extraordinaire (self proclaimed, no less!) so I would absolutely love to see you and your girls while you are in town…and help you out however I can! Pencil me in! :)

  • Melanie

    Dear Angie,
    I have been reading your blog for quite awhile now. Not sure how I found it but am sure as to why I did. Last week, I gave birth to my precious baby Drew who was stillborn. I never thought that it would happen to me. I have cried all the way along your path of grieving and now I’m walking it too. I am so overwhelmed with grief right now and can understand your panic attacks and fear. I’m praying for you, my friend in Christ.

  • Kristen

    Short background details: I have a 5 month old that was diagnosed with some serious birth defects when I was still pregnant with her. I started having panic attacks, depression, and stress. My Homeopathic Practitioner recommended me to take something called “PSY-stabil”. It’s an Oral drop that I take 15 drops 3 times a day, hold them under my tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing. It’s a homeopathic medicine so you have to take them 15 minutes before eating or drinking anything, and don’t take them within an hour of anything with mint (like mint toothpaste) or caffeine. For some reason it decreases the absorption of the drops into the body. The PSY-stabil has helped me.

    God bless you!!

  • Brandi

    Hi Angie- I have been reading your blog almost from the beginning. Haven’t left a comment yet. However, today while reading your update, I feel the need to share something with you that I haven’t shared with anyone! I too have an ,at times, overwhelming feeling that [something] is going to happen to one of my two boys or my husband! We lost my brother, abruptly, 8 years ago Feb. 8. I know that it stems from that. Just to let you know that you are not alone or “crazy” in this feeling. You and I just both know all to well HOW precious life is from our dear Father!! Give those precious little girls of yours hugs and kisses for me! :)

  • Ruth

    This is my first comment, though I've been reading your story for a while.
    I have struggled with bad anxiety for a while. I don't know what triggered it to begin with, but I feel very overwhelmed with things that are beyond my control. I was in Value Village with my sister & I started to think of losing my husband and that was enough to make me run out of the store barely breathing, sobbing uncontrollably. I have yet to have an attack as bad as that one, but I'm still grappling with getting peace in those situations. A friend prayed for me and said, 'The more you press in to the Fathers heart,your unsteady, faltering heartbeat becomes steady & sure like the Fathers.' I'm praying for you as you walk this journey!

  • Stacey

    Hi! I too suffer from anxiety and the dreaded panic attacks! I have been going through a bad episode of them since December 2007! I have tried a lot of things including zoloft (did not work for me), lexapro (has helped a lot) and xanax. I don’t take the xanax often. I have been praying and seeking God more than ever. I recite scripture to help take my mind off of my worries. I know how spiritual you are so I know you probably already do this and so much more. I want to share something else that I have been doing for the past 3 weeks which has helped me TREMENDOUSLY. I started seeing a chiropractor (an EXCELLENT one) 3 times a week. The chiro that I see strongly believes in the bodies ability to heal itself and believes that we (all people) take too much medicine. I know he is an extremest and while I am not, I do find what he says and does to be very beneficial. He is also a Christian and speaks of God often and I do really like that. Anyways, I have been getting adjusted for the past 3 weeks and doing some other little exercises in his office and I can tell a HUGE difference. I am even currently lowering my dose of lexapro from 20mg to 10mg and am trying to get off completely. I know that praying has been a huge source of relief and I honestly don’t know how I wound up at a chiro office but I did and I believe God led me there and I have found so much relief. I still pray and thank God for my peace. I haven’t felt peace like this in months and it makes me want to cry just thinking about it! I know this isn’t for everyone but I just want to share what has helped me!

  • Darlee

    We’ve all been stalking you…uh, I mean…waiting for you to return =) One minute I check to see if your back yet, the next minute 85 people have responded to your post. It’s like a feeding frenzy…we’re all just waiting to pounce on you and eat all your words of wisdom!

    I’m a firm believer that God gives us all that we need… and sometimes that comes in pill form. But I’m glad your investigating if other more natural things would help.

    I’ve been down a similar road and one thing I’ve learned is that there’s no shame in helping yourself. God gives us what we need to help ourselves. So, please don’t be devastated if you cannot find an alternative remedy.

    We love you and miss you!

    Darlee

  • Susan

    Hey Angie. Thinking about you today and covering you in my prayers.

    The anxiety thing…I too suffer from it and took myself off around the same time you did, also feeling…no…KNOWING God wanted me to in order to pull me closer to Him. He’s having me remove a lot of “comforts” right now. NOT saying at all that the meds were a “comfort”…they were/are definitely needed. But for this time, He wants me to be turning to Him and even on half of the minimum dosage…I was so apathetic about life, including Him that, well…it was time to go off for at least a bit.

    So, I’m still dealing with the anxiety, panic, several times a day. Not sleeping so well at night….that sort of thing. My suggestions mirror those of others. Giving up the C’s…not that I’ve done that myself (lol) but I know I need to. And exercise. Eating healthy. Caffeine is wicked for my stress…I know it and yet I’m so daggone tired in the mornings that I just can’t get motivated to not have it. A vicious cycle.

    In any case, dear one, know that you are prayed for in this blogging community that God appears to really be using for His Glory. How cool is that?

    Susan

  • Kim

    Praying for you, Angie. I know first hand those are no fun. Anxious to see any advice you post that you get from your readers!

  • heather

    Praying for you!

  • sumi

    Angie, it is so good to hear from you. I feel like I have dropped out of ‘blogland’ myself. :-)

    Praying for you about the worry – I am not experiencing it right now, but the boys are, especially my middle one.

    Before, I used to tell them that God has them in the palm of his hand and nothing bad will happen to them. Well, now it has and their world has been rocked.

    They have to relearn their trust in God – this time as a good God who sometimes allows things in his wisdom that he could have prevented in his power. They need to see for themselves that he is the one who can turn even our darkest hours into the light of day. (Micah 7:8)

    My heart breaks for them sometimes. They are so young to have to go through this.

    I am sure you know all about it with Abby and Ellie.

    I am praying for you today – I hope you can get those cheap tickets!

    Much love, I loved reading your heart, as always,

    Sumi

  • Marilena

    Hey Angie,
    I just want to let you know that I am praying for you. I just spoke with my dear cousin who lost her baby girl to SIDS in January and she is going through similar symptoms. She is not on medications and she is a believer. She reminds me so much of you! She told me that she has to fight every day to push the anxieties out of her mind and hand them over to God. I don’t have any advice other than to lean on the Lord, which I know you already do. I will be praying for you!!!
    Your sister in Christ,
    Marilena

  • Diana

    Have you read The Shack?
    I read it on vacation and it so makes you think.

  • Jess

    Hi Angie,

    This is the second time I’ve posted and I do hope you get the chance to read this comment but if not then maybe it’ll help someone else.

    I have suffered from GAD and anxiety attacks for the past 22 (out of 26) years. Yes, I was four when I started having them.

    I cannot give you the advice to lay off of the 4 C’s because I will NEVER adhere to it myself (I drink at least one coke a day)! And I am on medication… Prozac, Cymbalta, Buspar, and Ativan.
    I know that for me, being on this medication has helped me and I would rather take it then live the daily life of NOT taking it.

    I have however been under the encouragement of my therapist to do both Neurofeedback (which I reccomend!) and also T’ai Chi.

    I believe I have benefitted the most from T’ai Chi. It’s a wonderful martial art/exercise that I encourage you to look into (it was even on the Olympic Opening Ceremony).

    Because of your steadfastness to write about your struggles with faith and Audrey’s story, I decided awhile ago to start my own blog about my anxiety and how/what I’ve been doing to get better. Please take a peek if you would like.

    I haven’t walked in your shoes before as far as what you went through with Audrey but please know that I know exactly what you are going through when you have your panic attacks. It breaks my heart to know that so many others (and you) have to deal with this on a daily basis such as myself.

    I’m always praying for you… I tend to quote Jeremiah 29:11

    In His Love,
    Jessica

  • KK

    Sweet Angie, I am thankful for your family’s time away and the first Scripture that came to mind when I read your post was Isaiah 41:10….please ‘do not fear’. HE is and always will be with you, every step and every breath of your journey. Praying for your peace of mind. Please always know we are all praying, without ceasing. Thanks once again for sharing ‘your heart and soul’.
    With His Amazing Love,
    Kaye

  • Jennifer

    Angie,
    I’m so sorry you’re having such hard days. I had a bad day this week too (lost my baby at 19 weeks) and it’s worse since my husband is away for 2 1/2 weeks! I continue to keep you and yours in my prayers. I hope you’re able to have some good times at the beach. Where are you at? I live around Raleigh, NC and my parents live at the beach. Just curious if you’re gonna go thru my neck of the woods.

    Love and prayers,
    Jen P

  • Martha

    Hi Angie. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve worked in human services for almost a decade and the most important thing I’ve learned is that especially for anxiety, there is no universal treatment, no cure-all. I know cognitive-behavioral counseling has been helpful to many clients; a steady exercise routine also helps. I’ve had a few clients mention that doing Pilates is helpful, because it teaches very deep, very relaxing breathing. I’ve tried that myself and I’m always relaxed afterward. And of course, medication can be very beneficial. When I do family education, I remind the audience that they were insulin-dependent diabetics, they’d probably use their insulin, or if they had high blood pressure, they’d take medication or whatever other necessary steps to ensure their health.

  • twondra

    Oh, sweetie, I just don’t know what to say. You deserve to be happy.

    I know this isn’t nearly the same and I’m not trying to treat it like it is by any means…just want you to know I’m praying for your hurt as I’m hurting too, but in a different way. My husband is very ill and has been in the hospital this last week. We’ve struggled with infertility and I’ve always wondered why we haven’t been blessed with a child. It hit me a couple days ago that I think God is telling us it’s too much with my husband’s health and a baby. I know He knows best but I’ve really been struggling with being positive and trying to lean on God at the same time that I feel so abandoned by Him.

    The thing that helps me is I’ve written lists of things I’m thankful for and for the things God has given me, not taken away…things like my house, my dog, my family, my husband, my stepchildren, etc. It doesn’t take away the pain, but it helps soften it and realize how much God has given me.

    Like I said, I know it’s not nearly the same and I’m not trying to treat it like it is…just trying to help as I hate to see people suffer.

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Cortni

    Dear Angie,
    I found your blog less than a week ago and it has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I have not lost a child so I can’t imagine the place where you are.

    The other day my youngest (she’s 5) just would not let me be. She just followed me everywhere and had to sit right next to me. She invaded my space a little too much and I told her to let me be. I hurt her feelings and I felt so bad that I was being so ungrateful that this precious little girl wanted to be my shadow. I know that things like that come and go and I should embrace it when I can.

    You taught me to be grateful for the things in my life… you show it in your strength in writing this blog and sharing with others. This means the world to me. I hope you really know how you touch others and I hope you continue your blog so people like me can continue to learn from you and grow as a people.

    Sincerely,
    Cortni

  • Joy

    I really struggled with this (fear). It was a suffocating fear that would actually paralyze me. I had to be careful of what I watch (the show CSI really REALLY put a lot of fear into me because of their worst-case scenerios).

    And I’ve also given it up to God. The opposite of fear is FAITH. So keep diving into the Word. It’s so hard not to worry about your husband and children. I would conjure up the WORST things that could happen to us and that’s not healthy.

    To live in fear is to not live at all. God will help you overcome!!! He helped me. I do have my moments and that’s when I grasp my husband’s arm and tell him, “PRAY!!!!”

  • fern

    I can only tell you what I did (and still do) with anxiety and panic.
    First, it got to the point that I knew I needed help. I did not want to rely on medication and I knew that just wishing the problem away was not going to work. I also knew that if I didn’t take care of myself I would not be much good to my children. I went to both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist put me on an anti-anxiety med, but only for a very short time to handle the immediacy of the problem–just to get my head in order so that I could learn how to deal with anxiety and panic and, obsessive and racing thoughts and all the other stuff that goes with it.

    The psychologist had me get a book called The Feel Good Handbook (or Feeling Good, I’m not sure). I had to work through the exercises in order to learn how to put things in perspective and learn knew ways to handle the anxiety. This really helped me learn how to deal with anxiety, prevent or at least minimize, future obsessive thinking.

    I recommend this book very highly. I had to really work at it but it was worth every step. I have faith in God, but I also learned how to have faith in myself.

    Sometimes we have to approach ourselves as if we were a craft project–try to figure out what we want to make or change and get all the tools and help that you can find to help and then do the work.

    I still worry, and sometimes I still panic. But now, I am in control–the anxiety does not have a hold on me.

    I truly believe that God wants each of us to feel good and to be mentally and emotionally healthy. And God has given us some wonderful tools just for this purpose.

    Good Luck.

  • Jeff and Amy

    Wonderful that you have been able to relax and enjoy time with family. No advice on panic attacks, but I totally relate to being terrified, when I came across you blog my heart broke for you, then the loss of the Chapmans daughter Marie then your nephew Luke. I had 2 months were I was almost paralyzed with fear, fear of something happening to my kids. I went totally overboard worrying about them day and night, didn’t even like leaving my daughter with anyone, and when my boys did not answer their phones my heart would stop a beat. Actually your strength and words along with other God inspired bloggers helped me get past this fear, know though that my earnest prayer to God though is to keep my family safe daily!!!!! pray pray and pray!!!!!

  • Creekermom

    Angie, I just want you to know that you are being prayed for and thought of daily.

    I think Satan is just trying to have a field day with you.
    I also think that you realize just how fragile life is, thus the fear of something happening to the girls or Todd.

    I lost both of my parents unexpectedly many years apart but none the less it has affected me the older I have become.

    Both died in their mid 60′s and gosh I am ony 43, I don’t want to live just 20 some odd years longer, I want to live a LONG time!

    Things have been becoming more real to me if that makes sense. Life is merely just a moment. Life is way too short especially when you finally realize that you were meant to do so much more that one might realize until life just passes you by and your like wait, I want to do so much more…

  • Angie

    Hi Angie, want you to know that we are praying for you. Keep trusting is our lord. I know this is a really nice way to reach a lot of people. I live in Adrian MN and I am needing prayer from everyone!!! My sister Kari and had a baby yesterday Johnnie Fransen a little girl and she is struggling for life right now. Check updates on http://www.themurphygang.blogspot.com. Please pary for her. We need prayer. God Bless you all.

  • walkingbyfaith

    I'm so glad you're ok. :)

    I have some trouble with anxiety off and on too, but medication hasn't ever helped. I usually just try to pray through each period of anxiety, which I know you're already doing.

    I'm sad to hear that this next week will be tough for you all, but I promise to continue praying for you like I do every day — and even several times a day.

    Thank you for the update! Love & Hugs to you Angie!

  • A 5 time mom

    Angie,

    9 years ago when my dad died, my husband and I were having serious marital struggles, and the ministry we were in was anything but honoring the Lord in the way I was being treated, I had severe panic attacks. The first was the scariest as I was sure I was having a heart attack.

    I eventually learned that where I allowed my mind to drift was causing them and when the fears became overwhelming, I would indeed have a full blown attack.

    You are loved immensely and the Father knows the ache of your heart for your sweet Audrey. He also doesn’t want you to be in fear.

    I would encourage you to have a short verse memorized or even the one that “perfect love casts out fear” to speak when you can feel the onset of an attack. See if it helps.

    If not, then I would see if a need for medication for a time is what you need, but don’t wait too long, because the attacks can tend to increase in number and intensity with time, sister.

    Praying for you and that you will indeed continue to sense the Lord’s presence and love for you in this time of grief.

    Beckie

  • jilljohnandhope

    Angie, I hope today is a happy one for you…

  • madelyn’smommy

    Dear Angie,

    Wow!! I am so amazed by your strength, courage, and your faith. Thank-you for sharing your journey with so many people. You have uplifted me in ways you may never know. I thought that I found you site by coincidence, but I now believe it was Divine appointment. I read your journal from start to finish. I am so sorry for you loss. That must be a terrible pain to lose a child. She was a very beautiful baby. After reading your blog, I know there is hope in any situation. I needed to know that. I am facing a totally different mountain than what you have been through, but somehow I could relate to what you had written. BTW, you are an amazing communicator. I feel like I am reading the journal of a good friend. I hope that we do meet one day. I love how you can add humor to the saddest circumstances. I wish I could come to Lexington to hear you speak. I know that it is going to be amazing!!! I live close enough to come, but have to work on Fridays.

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I will definitely be praying for you family that God will continue to sustain with his grace, love, and peace.

    God bless you,
    Christy

  • Annie

    We’ve had great success with the Stess Buster. It’s a small biofeedback device that tells you how to breath. Our four year old foster child started using it a year ago, initial feedback showed like a heart monitor blip, ideally it should be rolling hills. The only really serious attack we’ve had since he knows how to control his breathing was on a flight during the electronic device ban.

    It’s helped me too, when you are feeling the least bit stressed it will get you back in rythym, before the full blown attack. We bought ours at Sharper Image for around $300 – which is a bargain when your talking psychotropic medication. Hope that helps.

  • Jenni Chism

    I happened on your blog today, and my first thoughts were to tell you about water. I feel led to tell you about a website that has benefited my whole family. The website is overwhelming, but there is alot of good information on it. It is http://www.watercure2.org. Women lose so much water and salt from their bodies during pregnancy and childbirth. The best part about the “watercure” is that it is not only almost completely free, but it uses God’s most precious resource. All it involves is drinking alot of water, giving up caffeine (i still drink one cup a day of Starbuck’s Sumatra-yum), and taking natural sea salt. I have been amazed at the healing it brings about. The Lord is good–His eye is on the sparrow, and “you are worth more than many sparrows.” Lk 12:7

  • Jes

    Dearest Angie,

    I wasn’t sure if it would be best to e-mail you or to post here..so I’m just going for it here.

    I want to share two encouragements with you, regarding this anxiety issue.

    It’s clear how much you love God’s Word, and I just wanted to tell you that the Lord used a study on His names, “LORD, I Want to Know You”, but Kay Arthur (whom I know you love), to totally set me free from some very deep seeded fears.

    When I learned about the character of my God, from each of His different names..and how I could call upon Him by each, it gave me such power over fear!

    I’m not doing an adequate job of explaining how HUGE this was for me!

    In addition, I have a precious friend whom God worked mightily in last semester, through the study of “Sermon on the Mount”…she’s an admitted big-time worrier, yet the Lord showed Himself so faithful to her, through that study…and she’s so changed now.

    There is so much that I want to tell you, but not here…and I hesitate to e-mail because I know you get so much of it as it is.

    Just know that you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers…and that you are deeply loved and appreciated.

    I often repeat the verse: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for YOU alone, Oh LORD do make me dwell in safety.”

    If ever you’d like to know more about how God used those studies in our lives…feel free to drop by my blog and send me an e-mail.

    Much love to you and yours,
    Jes

  • Melinda Bunker

    You , Your Family and your story touched me deeply. I am so sorry for your loss.
    God is with you I know that!!
    XOXO,
    Melinda & Family

  • Julie

    Praying for you and your family. I always pray for you and even the other day saw a little girl at Elizabeth’s gym that looked like Abby. I just thought you were busy homeschooling and didn’t want to pester. Glad to hear you got away and I am praying for Michigan

  • Donna

    Angie, I’ve been a recent lurker to your website. I have not lost a child and can in no way imagine your hurt and grief. I have loss and grief that happens slowly but daily. My husband at 53 was diagnosed with dementia secondary to head trauma. He is now 60 and unable to stay alone. I am an only child and take care of my 86 year old mother with Alzheimer’s. My mother is actually doing better than my husband though.

    I’ve had experience with depression and anxiety basically as a result of caregiver’s stress. The impact might be similar.

    I don’t want to tell you what to do. I would encourage you though to go to your OB/GYN. Tell him or her about your symptoms and be very upfront about your desire to use natural or homeopathic methods first. Many physicians use some; some physicians use many. Remember that what you have is a chemical imbalance brought about by something else. Anxiety and/or depression is paralyzing. If you can’t get there yourself, have someone make your appt. and offer to drive you there for support.

    I want something to bring you sunshine and peace. I will continue to have you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Megan

    Hi Angie,
    A friend told me about your story and blog almost 2 months ago. I have succesfully read through each and every one of your entries… :) ha!

    I must say visiting your page is one of the high lights of my day. I love it because i know that i will find an honest transparent woman who is sharing her heart…A heart that loves Jesus, genuinely.

    You are bursting forth with some fruit… haha!! you, baby audrey’s story, your walk, your family, everything. I love it and thank you so much for all that you share!

    I was on medication for a while and whenever i decided to get off people warned me that i would have attacks for a few months. They said that it took about 6 months to wing yourself off of the medicine (to get it out of your system and get your body use to everything). I don’t know if that has anything to do with your case or even if this comment is true… I could have been deceived with this little piece of information. (see right now i’m already having anxiety because i don’t know if this is true, and i don’t like to give advice unless i know for a fact…. but yet i’m telling you anyways haha) So maybe you could ask or search online to see if that’s true?

    Praying for you and your family. Once again thank you for being you… it’s beautiful, and i love reading your posts (no matter the length!)

    Megan

  • Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey

    Prayers are with you and your family in all things. Grief is a strange thing and it creeps up when you least expect it. Know that you are loved and surrounded in prayer!

  • Janell Fredericks

    SELFISHLY, I was elated yesterday when I popped online, after being AWAY from internet for the past 5 days and noticed you hadn’t posted… because that meant I haven’t MISSED anything…than as I read this post and the People Magazine article on the Chapman’s over lunch, I began to feel SAD… I CRY TEARS for you…I was SAD that for the past 4 days while away enjoying time alone w/ my husband… I was feeling sorry for myself because I was MISSING my girls, I was sad that when they missed me I couldn’t reach out and touch them, hug and hold them, and tell them that everything would be OK… I am HOME now and I was able to HUG them last eve and tuck them into bed and tell them I am home and everything is OK now…I am SAD for you and your loss today …the loss that you feel everytime you see babies, everytime you see the wonders of God’s work..I will NEVER FULLY relate to how you miss Audrey and how much the Chapman’s miss Maria but, I want to tell you …you are an inspiration to me and to all you come in contact with…Thank you for sharing your HEART.

  • Ginger

    Dear Angie,
    One I was happy to find a new post because of love reading what you have to say, even when you are struggling, that makes you real though I wish for it to be different for you. I too have been in that battle of depression and anxiety, for me I am taking my natural stuff, Fish oil being one of them. I tried the medication but I don’t do well their but the natural vitamins, minerals, B-12, fish oil, chlorophyl, make me feel better, give me a bit more energy but in truth I am learning and would encourage you to know this is where you are on your journey, it is painful, you need to give your self some time and allow yourself the opportunity to process all the past months have had for you. Jason Upton sings a song “One Step Away” God is right their with you and He is not going anywhere… even in those times of sadness and anxiety. HE HAS YOU! Some days are minute by minute… but there will be a day that you will feel more peaceful. He will get you their!

  • donarbk

    Angie,
    Have you considered Theophostic Prayer? It’s a prayer intervention that would help you get to the heart of the panic and allow Jesus to heal it directly. It sounds a little freaky but I’ve seen some amazing healing happen with it. If you are coming to Michigan, I know a gal who is excellent and certified to practice it.

  • Lorissa

    I found your story last week and I cried my way through it in two days. I immediately wanted to tell you that I’m praying for you, but that was just an ordinary Thursday where you seemed to be doing well. I knew the hard days must still come, but I didn’t want to remind you just then.

    I am praying though.

  • Michelle

    Praying for you.

  • Melissa

    hello, i am one of those lookers who never comment :) , but i feel so strongly about this whole anxiety attack thing…my husband suffered for years with the debilitating fear you have discussed, even to the point of me not being able to leave home because of his fears. it almost was our undoing…but through many events God has healed him. it has been a very long road, and he takes two medications that we have decided he might need to take the rest of his life, and we are ok with that. we feel like meds are just a small part of the total healing he is experiencing day by day…meds, a weekly counseling session with an amazing man of God, a monthly medicine check with a psychiatrist-who should be the only one prescribing psychotic drugs ever after all we went through w/others, a family who loves him, and a body of believers praying for him. the holy spirit works in and around all of these things to heal, as he is the great counselor and healer and helper. he has also hidden the word in his heart to use daily against all that is thrown at him. thus, we have experienced healing through the combination of all these things. i guess i am just trying to say that it is possible to overcome, and it is ok to need some (or a ton of :) help to do so. thanks for sharing your heart with all of us.

  • Shannon

    I’ve suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for a few years now. The cycle of consistent worry makes things worse as I’m sure you know so try to get off that roller coaster of worry. My doctor introduced me to “reframing”. Instead of worrying about something happening to the girls or to your husband, try to “see them in your mind” playing, having a good time instead of the worry. Also, you can tell yourself when you’re in the worry cycle that there is nothing going on right then. Repeat to yourself, “right now, everything is o.k. I don’t need to worry about that”. I’m sure you’ve also been advised to set aside a time to worry and tell yourself that is the only time you get to worry. When worry comes, tell yourself, “it’s not worry time, I’ll worry about that during worry time.” Just advice from another worry wart–take care. I know what you’re going through. I did the same thing after my Samuel died. My doctor ended up telling you, “you know, something will eventually happen to everyone–no one escapes death. Your job is to cherish every moment and not let worry cloud it.” He is right.

  • Jill

    my sweet friend Angie~
    we have never met~ yet you have been in my heart for so long now~

    I now firsthand about battling panic attacks/fear as its the very thing i have struggled with for quite some time now~

    I have tons to share with you, and will email you shortly~

    but first wanted to share with you a few things i am sure you already now~ but it never hurts to hear them again :)

    1. you are not alone~ EVER
    2. you have what it takes to fight this battle in you and through God’s Word
    3. the Lord loves you completely, unconditionally, and will never , ever leave you~

    huge hugs and prayers!!!
    I will email you in just a bit
    love
    Jill

  • Cindi

    You have been and continue to be a blessing to me…I LOVE your blog and know that I hold you and your family in my prayers daily….You all are AMAZING!

  • bethany

    Sweet Angie….
    I am praying for you girl. I don’t have any suggestions as I don’t personally struggle with anxiety but it does seem that you’ve received many good suggestions by the wonderful ladies who read this blog.
    I just have to say that I’ve been reading the blog for the last few weeks and I am getting caught up to the present. Your story just touches me in such a huge way!!!! You’ve suffered immensely and you are walking with the Lord in a very vulnerable and honest way (sharing that with all of us who read this blog). I feel like I know you! You keep going strong sweet girl…God will carry you as He has done this whole year!
    Much love to you!!

  • busy momma

    how do I add your button to my page….I love reading your blog and growing with you…an inspiration you are!
    Can you help me with that? No one I know that blogs has seen these “buttons” yet. Thanks~ basesphsball@yahoo.com

  • Bridget

    Hi Angie,
    I hope you were able to enjoy some of your time at the beach. Sorry, but I don’t have any helpful ideas for your anxiety. I wanted you to know that I bought a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible on your recommendation. I teach preschool and so I thought that would be some good stories to read to the children. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  • dsloterbeek

    Please know that to an extent what you are feeling is a normal part of grief. I experienced some of those same feelings after my son was stillborn. ( I actually wrote about it not long ago on my blog http://www.momslikeme.wordpress.com)I know that God can take you through it and past it but please also remember that sometimes he uses medication or in my case a counsilor to help you walk that road it is good that you are looking to Him for answers. For me a big part of it was wanting to know if my “abnormal” feelings were normally abnormal if you know what I mean. Just wanted to encourage you -Romans 15:13
    Sincerely,
    Dawn

  • Jeremy

    You still have hormone fluctuations from having had a baby (on top of everything else you have going on). It is like you described me about your anxiety, etc. and it has happened after each of my 3 girls. It did go away by itself for me, but was hard in the middle of it.

  • courtneywrites

    Hi Angie, good to hear from you! :)

    As far as natural remedies for anxiety…not sure that there are any. I would speak with a doctor about that. I have a hard time believing that diet Cokes and the like could be the cause of anxiety, though. :)

    I have tried numerous times to come off medication for anxiety, and each time, I go along for a few months doing pretty well, but something will eventually trigger a huge downward spiral and EVERYTHING will make me anxious. I am the same as you – I worry endlessly about my husband, or things I simply cannot control.

    In the past, I have been frustrated with my “reliance” on medication. But I now believe that these types of medication exist for a reason. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain that is not my fault (or yours, in your case!), and it cannot be fixed without medicine. As one of my aunts put it, “you wouldn’t tell a diabetic not to take their insulin.” It’s the same idea with anti-anxiety meds. If they help, I shouldn’t have to throw away my opportunity to live a normal, happy life just because I want to try to be tough.

    This is just me, though. I pray that you find the answer that works for you.

    If you ever want to talk about it, I’d love to chat with you. Praying for you and your beautiful family,

    Courtney

  • Laurie

    It feels odd to tell things things to someone I don’t know. But well, you never know.

    I’m walking a similar path right now. I have been to several doctors and counselors and have been given several different diagnoses. I am bipolar. I have obsessive compulsive tendencies. I don’t have either of those but instead have a general anxiety disorer. I’ve had them ask me if I was molested as a child and tell me that maybe demons are following me around causing my problems. All I know is that none of the medication ever seemed to help very long.

    A while back (I’m not sure how long ago because with three kids I’m doing good to remember my name) I decided enough was enough and quit taking my medication. I just stopped. I felt the LORD was leading me rely on him and not medication.

    The results? I have my good times. I have my bad times. I have my inbetween times. But at least now I feel like I’m on the right path. Lately things have been bad on the earthly front but I’ve never felt closer to GOD.

    I seem to constantly have the song verses of I Will Trust I Will Obey stuck in my head.

    “I will trust. I will obey. I will follow where you lead come what may. I will die to myself and your cross I will take. I will trust you LORD. I will trust you. I will trust and Obey.

    You alone are worthy of my offering.
    You alone are worthy of my praise
    You alone are holy you are all I need
    So find in me a faithful heart I pray.”

    One day I might go back on medication if I feel like that is right for me. But for now I don’t feel it is. This may make no sense. But maybe it will help.

  • Cindy

    Sweet Angie,
    I’m sorry that you are having this fear and anxiety. I recall you said you recently went off medication so it is to be expected to have recurrence of these ‘symptoms’. You stated that God led you to go off your meds and if HE did then HE WILL get you through this time.
    Remember that God did not give you a spirit of fear (anxiety, worry, doubt) but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (1 Tim. 1:7)
    Trust in HIM and pray HIS word over your thoughts all the time.
    Also, 2 Cor. 10:5 ~ We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive EVERY thougth to make IT obedient to Christ.
    I am praying for you and your family especially this next week.
    Blessings to you,
    Cindy ~ Phoenix
    My ‘NEW’ blog will be up and running in the next day or two.

  • ~Alicia~

    Hi Angie, it’s so good to hear from you! I’m glad you and your family were able to get away and enjoy the beach… I always think of the beach and other “nature places” like that as places where God’s majesty shows like nothing else. I live near the Blue Mountains in Sydney Australia, and on some days where the sun sits just right over the view, all I can think about is God and his power and majesty. It brings me a sense of peace and comfort, and I pray that you will experience a similar feeling from being close to God’s creation.

    I too suffer from panic attacks, they first started from a fear of flying (we have that in common too, I find myself nodding whenever you talk about how much you hate getting on planes!) Sometimes I wake up in a state of panic for no reason whatsoever, and it is really frightening, so I kinda know what you’re going through. The thing that worked the best for me, other than seeing a psychologist regularly, was to go off caffeine. Now I’m an avid tea drinker, so this was really hard, until I found decaffeinated tea!
    When I do feel myself starting to panic, my psychologist taught me some breathing techniques that really work, although I felt so ridiculous at first! I’m also studying psychology (the irony!) so I visited the library and read on anxiety and panic, and found a breathing technique that works nearly every time- when I start to feel the panic rising, I hold me breath for 10 seconds and then breath out for 3 seconds and in for 3 seconds. I repeat this for as long as it takes for my body to calm down. Sometimes it seems to take ages, but it always works in the end.

    Hold on to God closely during this time, I and all of your loyal readers on here will be praying hard for you.

    Love, Alicia

  • CIRCLE OF LIFE STORY

    FUNNY I WOULD NOT TAKE THE CS OUT OF MY DIET EITHER THAT WAS GREAT.:))

  • Amanda:

    Angie,
    I will continue to pray for you. Sounds like this is a bump in the road right now. I live in Michigan and I can’t wait to hear details about what might me coming my way!!

    Hang in there, sweetie. Know and trust that if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.

    Because of Joshua, I often have my share of panicky times when I can’t get the image of something terrible happening to the people I love out of my head. It happens a lot when I’m driving at night…

    Anyhow, off topic. Hope you start to make headway on the panic attacks and find something natural that helps you out.

    Thinking of you, and praying for you always.

  • Kristi O

    If I had to give up diet coke, carbs and chocolate you might as well shoot me now! Those are gifts from GOD in my world. This week I was way anxious and it shocked me. In fact I am still surprised by my actions… I hope that it gets better soon for you and for me. Blessings!!

  • paperglueetc

    Dear Angie-

    I have been meaning to wrote you a note but life got away from me, below is a comment from my blog, I know the feeling of grief hitting you when you least expect it and I will pray for you. I wanted to share the below comment with you because I thought it would give you a blessing but also remind you God makes us overcomers.

    Church Sunday, sang a song about being an “overcomer”. Was it an accident that this song was sung on a Sunday when I held a sweet little infant and actually enjoyed it? I think not. Baby James was born and died three years ago and for the first time since then I enjoyed a newborn. What an awesome feeling. I knew I had loving friends watching me, seeing me love every minute of that little guy and thanking God for the peace they saw in me. It was such an awesome feeling, not sure I can explain it in words.

  • manizor

    hi Angie,

    i haven’t commented before but I read your blog regularly and am always moved by your vulnerability and heart for the Lord. thanks for sharing your life here.

    some thoughts re: anxiety. i have struggled in the past and I understand how terrifying it can be. I never did take medication, but I came close. i had a meaningful conversation with a friend one day that changed my life. she challenged me with these questions:

    what if Jesus wants to be present with you in your anxious moments? what would he say to you when you are that afraid? what is his posture toward you? what does his voice sound like?

    Jesus is the safest place; the safest person. When you walk in the darkness, it may help to reflect on the answers to those questions. I know it brought me great relief and help to consider them. And it reminded me that He is in fact KING over the darkness; and that he rules and reigns with gentleness and love, over me.

    praying for God to meet you with hope and peace in dark places.

  • vaneblu

    I was missing youe post ;)
    Will pray for the Smith family, hope it all works out with God withh you I know it will!

  • created2teach

    I know nothing about science and chemicals in the body and anxiety. I do know that the devil's playing field is the mind, and that he needs to be put in his place — often. God did not give you a spirit of fear but of love and of sound mind. The Bible says "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." My first thought would be to tell the devil that you know he is the father of lies and he can leave in Jesus' name. You are a child of The King, and he (the devil) has no foothold on you. Then praise the Lord. If there is some kind of chemical reason for anxiety, God can guide you there too. He can even heal you. May you have miraculous peace that passes all understanding!
    I hope this does not sound flippant. I have just noticed recently that God has so much more than I have been taking. I lived with my parents until I married at 20. What they had was mine. If I walked thru their kitchen & saw a banana and wanted it, I ate it. It was mine — not because I bought it but because my daddy did. Never once did I have to beg for a banana (how ridiculous would that look?) yet spiritually that is what I have done in my life. I usually do not tell people what I think and feel in this respect. "Forty" seems to be a new year for me.
    Blessings

  • lissilulu

    Hi Angie,
    In the past, like you I have had episodes of feeling unsafe for one of my children…very unrational thinking.
    Years ago I read a study somewhere in cyberspace about people who were clinically depressed and wouldn’t respond to pharmaceutical drugs but had major improvements when they took flaxseed oil.
    I also just did a google for you with the keywords *codliver oil and anxiety* and came up with this website
    http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/cod-liver-oil.htm
    I am at my very best mentally when I take codliver oil, flaxseed oil and b vitamins.
    I have a very close relationship with our Father and am always open to Him leading me if there is something spiritually causing problems for me but have found that no matter what I did the three things I mentioned above worked like night and day for me.
    Much love,
    Lori

  • sparkle.in.my.eye

    Dearest Angie!
    I’m so glad to hear you are doing ok. have you ever thought of going to see someone about Naturopathy I have a friend who is one and she is wonderful. might be easier to find one around you

    I’m glad you had fun at the beach. it’s nice to get away and relax( well I hope you did some relaxing)

    take care Laura

  • Laurie and the rest of ‘em

    Angie,

    Just wanted to send a cyber (((hug))) your way, hang in there…it amazes me how, in spite of all that you and your fam have been thru this year, that you can make me (us in blogworld) laugh! Your thoughts on Audrey are incredible, mind boggling! I wanna say how do you do it? but I know how you “do it”…that Steven Curtis Chapman song “With Hope” goes through my head every time I visit your incredible and encouraging blog…Keep your chin up! God BLESS you this evening!

    love, love, love the four C’s!!

  • Patty

    Angie, You are such an encouragement and inspiration to me. Your testimony has been so honest and faithful to our Lord throughout all you’ve been through. I have suffered with panic/anxiety attacks for several years. At the time they started, we had a pastor at our church who said that no one needed to take medication for anxiety type problems, they were “spiritual problems”. I can’t tell you how badly that hurt me. That pastor wasn’t there long (Praise the Lord) and in the midst of one of my panic attacks, I called a friend, who is also a pastor. In talking with him, I found out that he too has suffered with panic attacks and was actually on medication at the time. Anyway, he would talk to me every evening, encourage me to read my Bible, especially the Psalms and to not be afraid of the medication if I felt like I needed it. I am no longer on medication for the attacks and have learned to depend on my Savior many times–sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes crying out to Him to rescue me from the terrible thoughts, etc.

    Sorry for going on and on–I just wanted to encourage you to do what you and God knows is best. God has allowed scientists to perfect medications so that we don’t have to suffer. Also, I found a song that was very helpful to me–I had never heard it before–it was by a man named Gersh (that’s all that album was called). It was called “Breakdown”….talking about how sometimes we just need to break down–into the loving arms of Jesus. I’m sure you have found that to be true in the past months; I just wanted to encourage you to call on Him–He is always there.

    Thanks so much for your blog–it is always so encouraging and uplifting. Praying for you.

  • rebecca

    Dearest Angie,
    You are continuously in my thoughts and prayers. I too, suffer with anxiety and the feeling that “something bad is going to happen”. Just keep trusting in the Lord, He is strong when we are not.
    BTW…feel free to make your posts as LONG as you want….we all so enjoy reading them!
    God Bless!

  • Susie

    Hi Angie,

    I had several severe attacks in the time we had Joshua and right after we lost him. I haven’t had one recently, but sometimes mine wait 6 or 7 months before coming up again. When I posted about mine people mentioned a few things to me.

    1) Several people mentioned that thyroid issues can be associated with panic attacks. I had to have blood work done anyways and asked that they check my thyroid. It was good to know I was in the clear.
    2) A nurse-friend mentioned taking half a sleeping pill (just over the counter) to help me go back to sleep. My PA’s happen in the middle of the night – I wake up from them and lose 2 or 3 hours of sleep sitting up waiting for them to go away.

    I didn’t take the sleeping pills, mostly because I got that suggestion after most of them had already happened. Instead I drink something hot and sit down for a while, or take a hot shower.

    I hope you can find a way to cope with them.

    And mine are always associated with losing someone, someone else dying. It terrifies me to lose Oceana, if she’s sick or if we cross the street. I completely understand the fear, and the PA’s.

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • Tim & Andrea

    I have also struggled with anxiety attacks because I tend to be a bit of a worrier, many times conjuring up images in my head of “what if” circumstances that send me into said anxiety attacks. When I feel one starting to come on, I immediately go through Phil. 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Then I take the thought making me afraid and go through each part of it “Is this thought true? Is it noble?, etc.” Every time my answer is no and so I force myself to stop thinking on it and remind myself that God grants me the ability to get through those moments with His strength. Also – is your Michigan trip going to take you to the west side of the state or Mackinac Island? – both are gorgeous!

  • livingincolor

    Not reading the other comments, so sorry if I’m repeating stuff. There is a great book called the Feeling Good handbook that helps walk you through a cognitive-behavioral approach to identifying your irrational anxiety-producing thoughts and replacing them with more realistic thoughts. It’s helpful for both anxiety and depression.

    Also, relaxation breathing that stimulates the vagus nerve can be very helpful. You may be able to learn to do it yourself or you can get some biofeedback help such as the StressEraser.

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Susan

    Hi Angie,

    So blessed you had a nice time out at the beach with your family!

    Please know you are never alone in your journey.

    Not only are there many who have walked where you have, and deal with similar battles, you also have a host of people praying you through.

    It’s such an honor for me to be among the many who carry you daily to our Father.

    Once again, thanks for being so real, your honesty is so refreshing.

    I have also battled with some of the feelings you have.

    I have not lost a child, but my mom did, (her 18 year old was murdered) and I lost both of my parents before I turned 30. At 16 we discovered my son had a brain tumor.

    I lived with the fear of that dreaded “phone call” like my mom received and then I did when my father was struck and killed by a speeding car.

    So, I know that dreaded feeling of “who’s next”…(and worry)

    Through the years I have found studying the word has been most helpful for me.

    We recently has a guest speaker at our church, (Alicia Chole, you must get her new book!!)

    She asked 7 questions the first night of the conference. The one that really “got to me” was this,

    Have you taken an alliance with fear?

    As I sat there and thought about that statement I realized that I truly allowed myself to come in total agreement with FEAR!! How could I do that, and be in agreement with the word, all at the same time?

    I went up for prayer, and I feel God is beginning to lift that spirit off my life. I’m taking it one day at the time.

    Each time I decide not to be in agreement with fear, it’s one step closer to being totally SET FREE!

    I’d like to end by a little poem Alicia wrote in her devotional Pure Joy:

    The battle is not yours, it is MINE;
    Your Creator and King,
    Your Shepard and Savior,
    deliverance I bring.

    So my child just rest
    and be still.
    Sit at my feet
    and drink your fill
    cease striving to understand,
    and know that you will never leave my hands.

    The battle is not yours, it is MINE.
    I am Lord over all,
    triumphant and mighty
    My kingdom will not fall.

    So my child release to me your fears,
    and know that the Prince of Peace is near.
    Take up my Word;
    it is your sword,
    and know that the battle is the Lord’s
    in is not yours.

    Blessings to you my friend♥

  • Jill

    Hi Angie~ i know you get bombarded with emails and comments~and was going to email you~ but thought i would just comment again instead~

    my entire blog is about my battle with anxiety/panic attacks and all that the Lord has and is teaching me through all of it~ so please stop by if you have a chance ;)

    I also wanted to share this amazing Bible Study I just finished up called “fear factor”
    by Wayne and Joshua Mack~

    it was absolutely Amazing! I can’t even begin to tell you how very much I learned through this Bible Study~ and all that the Lord taught me through this one ;)

    I highly recommend it :)

    our battles are spiritual~
    the weapons we fight with are not the weapons the world uses~

    the battle of fear is a very difficult one, as it can be so terrifying you may want to grab all the meds available to make it all just go away~

    but there is something way bigger going on~ a battle that the Lord will fight for you~ and the only requirement is trusting and growing in Him~

    the meds may help with some of the symptoms of panic~ but that is about it~

    to get to the root of the problem, and truly defeat your enemy you must pick up and fight with the weapon the Lord gave us to use in battle~ His Word :)

    hugs and prayers
    Jill

  • jody, mn

    Dear Angie:

    I am going to try this one more time. My last three tries are lost in cyberspace. I have never done this before and just can’t seem to get this sent. Should probably just give up – but felt led to write to you.

    I am sorry to hear of your dealings with anxiety and panic attacks. I wanted to share a stoy about my son. He is 11 years old now but when he was in the 1st grade he was having panic attacks and wasn’t eating, sleeping, getting sick – didn’t want to go to school. My heart just broke for him. The school district referred us to a counselor who recommended a few techniques – We had index cards in his desk, locker, on fridge – anywhere he might see during the day. First picture on the cards was a stop sign – (stop the thought), big eraser (erase the thought) and the words I CAN DO IT! The other technique was to write your worries on a slip of paper and each time you have a piece of paper put it in a box/jar. Tell yourself – once it is on the paper and in the box you can’t think about it – Pick a designated time at the end of the day that you will go through the box. You then can look through and read all your worries of the day. Most of the time finding that you made it through and everything was alright.

    Granted, a six year olds worries and an adults worries are different – but in a way we have to handle it the same.

    A bible study I would recommend is “Calm My Anxious Heart” I believe it was written by Linda Dillow – this book helped change my life. I was as anxious as my son was when he was going through this – I wasn’t sleeping or eating either – this book (along with the Bible) brought such peace to my life in dealing with situations that come up. I highly recommend it.

    I wanted to tell you of a series of books I just finished too by Roxanne Henke – the first book in the series is “After Anne” and I believe the 3rd book “Becoming Olivia” – deals with depression and anxiety issues. She actually brings up those same techniques listed above. Great series.

    I know it is hard to find time just sit down and read a good book (besides the Bible) when you have kids – but these are worth the read.

    Well, I believe I have chatted enough for now.

    I wish you and your family all the happiness and I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for your page – you are a very gifted writer. You make me laugh and cry all in the same sitting.

    Take Care

    Blessings,

    Jody, MN

  • Bobbie

    tell your doctor and get your hormones checked- you may need some estrogen. Also low magnesium makes you feel like this.

  • CIRCLE OF LIFE STORY

    I am praying for you. I never thought I could care so much about a family that I have never met…
    You are amazing…
    I WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU ONE DAY, YOU ARE AROUND A GREAT BUCH OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND YOU HAVE GOD ON YOUR SIDE IT WILL ALL FALL INTO PLACE …GLAD YOU ARE ALRIGHT , POST MORE………

  • Jen

    I didn’t have enough time to read through all the comments to see if someone has already suggested it but…have you heard of liguid calcium and fish oil pills? You can find both at a natural store, like Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage. I tried it when I went off of Zoloft and felt a little (ok, a lot!) overwhelmed with life. They both work to have a calming effect on women. It helps quite a bit. I pray God gives you the wisdom and resources to figure this out, I sympathize with you!

  • Jennie Bender

    Dear Angie,
    When our doctor told us we couldn’t keep our sweet baby due to her trisomy 18, my heart told the Lord, “Lord, you can have her; You can have her.”

    I still have to tell Him, “You can have her.” and it has been two years. I don’t look at other babies and think of my girl often, perhaps because they are not mine. My girl was special, she had funny toes,a pixie nose, piano fingers, a sweet smile, long thin legs,and my sweet husband’s (large=) ears! She was unique. She was my Elaine, “My Little Miss Sunshine.”

    I do not say I am not sometimes reminded of her by other children, I just choose to remember what made my Elaine special to me–and that is she was “Ours.” The most encouraging part of this is, that, she is still “Ours.” She lives where I by faith am going one day. My pastor says often, “We all enter Heaven the same day(because there is no time).” What a beautiful thought to think I shall see my girl in her “Today.”

    The Lord has been so good to me in this summer, He has really helped me to come through my Elaine’s death. It is a journey, and the Lord deals with you daily, He will not let you go. Just when you think you are “doing better” you find yourself weeping again, and that is normal.

    As for images in your mind, I understand. When you go through a prolonged period of great tragedy, it changes your view of life. Your likes/dislikes change and life becomes simpler because what used to be so important is now irrelevant.

    Tragedy changes every part of your life. Your girls become more precious, your husband becomes your strength– where you run and hide when no one is watching. The thought of losing the arms that comfort you, or sudden pain coming into their lives that you cannot control– it is unbearable.

    All I can say is that, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”–II Tim. 1:7

    You must trust God with that moment of panic, that horrible picture in your mind of your child being hurt or mistreated, another loss coming into your heart…I had to take a deep breath and counsel myself, “This is you doing this, Jennie.” and then discipline myself to say,

    “Lord, I am going to trust you that my Darcy (my newborn)is going to sleep in the night and wake up in the morning (If our Elaine would have gone home with us she would have died because she would forget to breathe.),”

    …or “Lord, I am going to trust you to take care of my Sabrina while she visits with her friends.”

    …and “Lord, I am going to trust you that my Shane will come home safely tonight from work.”

    It all comes down to the same thing I mentioned at the beginning of this book=),

    “Lord, you can have them.” WHY? Because there is safety in His hands. Just tell the Lord, “You can have them. I trust you and what you have done, and what you will do in my life.” Find a verse you love and claim it when you have these thoughts. Trust me, it works!

    I was teaching Sunday School this past week and came near weeping.

    I was teaching my preschoolers about David’s coronation, when he was looking back over his life, he said, “As for God his way is perfect, and he MAKETH my way perfect.” II Sam. 22:31,33. It so helped me; Oh! It so helped me. I, like David, don’t understand the pain, loss, problems, the confusion we must go through in life as we follow the Lord–but God does, “he maketh my way perfect.”

    I am praying for you, and checking on you often. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You have been through so much. As my sweet mother said, “This was not a miscarriage of a child you did not know, a child you would wonder about all your life–”boy or girl? This was not a disappointment; this was a devastation (though please know I believe and know ALL life is precious, every loss is heartbreaking. Yet, a prolonged death/waiting for death–is often beyond an outsider’s understanding and sometimes your own heart’s expression).”

    This was Audrey Caroline, your beautiful child you carried, you knew her state, she broke your heart because you could not keep her, you birthed her, you saw her sweet face, you held her in her arms, you saw her move and cry, her eyes looked into your adoring face, she was YOUR baby. It will take time.

    Always remember you are not alone, the Lord is with you, and that is all you need. No one at home, church, or on this blog post can comfort you as the Lord God can.

    Much love and prayers to you and yours. The Lord has been faithful to me, I know he will see you through,

    Jennie Bender

  • MAC5

    I am no doc wither but I struggle with anxiety and depression. I too thought I was to be off meds, but.. I think I am going to just use the meds as a gift from God.Angie get to you Doc and get checked out. Communicate that you really do not want to take any meds and see what your doc says. He or she may have another approach to go with. If you think you need the meds take them, if they help. Their are so many kinds out there. I am sure they doc could find one that worked for you.
    Also, I Love the 4 C's food groups also. Caffine Coffee Chocolare usually together, with a side of carb ( a bagel muffin or doughnut)> Here is a (hug) just for you. I will be praying

  • AstroEliz

    Angie,

    I have followed your blog for several months but never posted a comment. I completely understand about being blind-sighted by grief and not knowing it’s going to hit you until it completely overwhelms you. Although my grief is very different than yours (my dad died Dec 1 2007 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three months earlier– he was 58), I have turned to vinyasa yoga as a way to manage my anxiety. I’ve had anxiety issues both before and following my dad’s illness and death and yoga forces me to live in the present moment (even if just for an hour a couple times a week), focus on breathing and give me confidence to get through tough situations. I imagine it would be difficult to fit in with a houseful of kids but if you are looking for something to try, that’s my suggestion.

    All the best. I have forwarded your blog on to many friends and family members who suffer from grief as you put into words what we are all feeling.

    May you find the comfort you have given others during your time of need.

  • a cowgirl at heart

    We have been trying to have a baby for a while now and a year ago March miscarried our first pregnancy at 10 weeks. I thought I was okay. But you know all too well that grief is a sneaky devil and hits you at very unexpected times. It pummelled me at about 3 months post miscarriage and didn’t let up until I finally decided it wasn’t sinful to seek medical intervention. I KNEW it wasn’t, but couldn’t shake the feeling that if I just prayed hard enough or had a little more faith, God would see me through this too. What I hadn’t realized was He WAS seeing me through it by guiding me to my doctor. When I got there, she and I had a brilliant discussion about this very thing, started by her saying, “what took you so long; did you feel guilty because you thought if you just prayed hard enough…!” Amazing. God gave me this woman to help me through my anxiety and depression. My anxiety hits me first thing in the morning, as well and I have almost the exact same symptoms. You want so much to believe things are going to be okay, but there’s this part of you that just can’t get it. Might never get it. I too worry all the time about something happening to my husband, or my parents, or our dogs, etc. I am starting my fourth week of Lexapro, and although I am not a good pill taker and was hesitant at first, I thank God everyday because it has helped clear the fog. The only way I can describe it to people is, it helps me cope. It does. I also started doing a bible study that has been amazing by opening my eyes to the reality of false gods and what they can be and what they can disguise themselves as. It is by Kelly Minter, called “No Other Gods.” Check it out if you ever have an opportunity. I’m sorry this comment was so long…I tend to be long in the wind department as well! You are in my thoughts and such an inspiration!

    Keep on keepin’ on, good and faithful one.

  • Holly Green

    I have a problem with worry and anxiety attacks as well. I have been prescribed medication for it, but am scared to take any form of a prescription so I’ve never filled them. Anyway, that being said I started going to a chiropractor recently for back and neck problems, and he is a christian guy that we go to church with. He told me last week that I was so tense and stressed that he couldn’t adjust me and that he had the cure for my worry. I am kind of a sceptic on the whole chiropractic thing so I just sarcastically smiled and said, “let me have it.” He said that anytime I start to worry about anything to say this prayer. He wrote it on a post it note and sent me on my way. It says, “Lord, do I need to worry about _____? If so, show me how to fix it. If not, please take the worry away.” I have tried this about 3 times now and it has worked every time. I will keep praying for you and your healing process.

  • Elaine

    Angie,

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now, first time posting. I love you and your family.

    Reading today, compelled me to reach out.

    I have felt that dread and worry you are talking about, my heart aches for you, it is soooo real.

    When my first baby was born, the day we were to take her home, my fathers work called to tell me he had been killed. He was young and I was devastated. This was suppose to be the happiest time of my life.

    Anyway, long story short, those feelings are so real and I feel for you. My dr. said it was classic post tramatic stress. I chose not to medicate.

    The lord does sustain, and he will sustain you. You are an inspiration to all you come in contact with. God’s love will lead you through this.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

  • natalie

    I’m in the middle of reading through the Bible in 90 days, and came to this verse and thought of your precious family:

    “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” Prov. 14:13

    So many ups and downs in life and the downs seem to hit us so hard, but praise God that He is in it all, even when He seems so far away…
    I’m praying for you!

  • Dayne

    Angie,
    My son experienced anxiety and some depression. Traditional medication created a terrible side effect, so we explored naturopathic remedies and had a great result. Go to http://www.naturessunshine.com and look at these products: Gaba Gaba, Nutri Calm, Super Omega 3, Super Supplemental. We changed diet (he’s a big teenage athlete, so cutting out some of his faves was hard, but we did see good results from doing trhis) to limit salt intake, caffeine and sugar (not take it out altogether, but tried to be reasonable). It worked very well for us. Email me if you’d like more info. I love your blog and your heart. Love, Dayne
    dayne8888@sbcglobal.net

  • SingerMamaMelody

    Dear Angie,

    I will pray for God to give you peace and calm. I’m a classical singer and voice teacher, and one thing that has helped me with panic is to stop and do relaxation techniques involving deep breathing and stretching. And while I’m doing the breathing and stretching, it really helps to pray to God. I hope that maybe this could help you. I believe in medicinal help too, but I try to do things naturally when I can. Also, drinking hot herbal tea and taking warm baths seems to help calm me as well…if you have time to do those things here and there with your busy family!

    Hang in there this week. I’ll pray for you.

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Melody in MN

  • Kerry

    If you find something effective for the anxiety – I’d sure love to know about it. I have the same experiences – just related to school not my family… Wanted to let you know I’m praying for you.

  • Tiffany Webber

    I can definitely relate to grief sneeking up on you. It has been a little over 2 years since my baby bay Taylor passed away and I still find that there are moments when it hurts so bad it’s hard to breathe. Words can’t describe the pain and yet the peace. It sounds to me that what you are experiencing is post traumatic stress disorder. I suffered from it too after Taylor died. I thought everyone was going to die and couldn’t quite get my thoughts to quit haunting me. I saw a therapist that does a certain technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). It helps you to step back and reprocess your thoughts in a healthy way. I highly suggest you find an EMDR therapist. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Did it take the pain away? No. But it gave me skills to help cope and skills to help me realize when I was worrying about things I had no control of. Please check out this website: http://www.emdr.com/ for more info and to find a therapist in your area. I pray for your comfort and peace in reconciling yourself to the will of our Father in Heaven. It is so hard… and yet it is the only way. God bless you.

  • Tirzah

    Dear Angie,
    Of course you are worried that something will happen to one of your children; something DID happen to one of your children. After my brother died last year, I kept wondering who’d be next, jumping every time the phone rang certain it was a call I didn’t want to take. I’m so sorry you’re plagued by panic, it is an awful feeling to live with. It’s hard to believe that God is still in control when things sometimes go so badly, but it would be even worse to believe that He wasn’t. I struggle with mild anxiety, and I read an article lately that had some good advice in it: don’t think about avoiding the things you’re afraid of, think about embracing what would bring you joy. Move toward love, not away from fear.
    My prayers are with you and your family.

  • Kim

    You and your family are such an inspiration!! I have 4 small children {3 and under!} And everytime I read your blog, I can’t help but hold them a little tighter. Thanks you.

    And by the way – I probably would have some anxiety issues if I had to read 175+ comments per post!! hehe

  • .:just us girls:.

    angie –
    i was having problems with anxiety and stress attacks a few years back. i found that kava-kava was a tremendous help. it is a homeopathic med., so you can find it at a natural food store. you’re in my prayers.

    ~amy

  • seth

    Praying for you!

    Don’t forget that you still have postpartum hormones in your body. Also, you have gone through major stress in the last several months. I think what you are experiencing is to be expected. I will pray that God gives you guidance on what to do. I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers for you, but I would think that maybe trying to go off of medicine would be better after your body and hormones level out a bit? Just a suggestion!

    Also, ask the ones closest to you. What does Todd think? What do your parents think? They know you best. God didn’t put them in your life on accident. Trust them. They love you so much. Sometimes the people next to us can see things in our life a bit more clearly than we can! Use them as God’s way of telling you what He would like for you to do.

    I’m glad to hear you are ok and with your family. Have a good week–Love you sis, Anya

  • Gayle

    Take the medication and get rid of the panic attacks. You can spend your life looking for ways to “naturally” help yourself, and while you are doing that (and all the worrying, etc.) your children will grow up and you will miss it. There is nothing wrong with getting medical help. Every time your thoughts are consumed with things that could be avoided you lose so much. Good luck. I remember reading that you felt God was leading you towards this “no medication” path, but maybe you just misread his signals. Maybe God was talking to you about something else. My hope for you is to be well and not waste any time otherwise.

  • Kelly

    Oh Angie I am so sorry to hear this. My youngest is ten months old and sometimes I wonder if my body is still trying to adjust. I am jumpy, panicky and just feel like my nerves are shot most days. I don;’t know what to do and am glad that I am not alone.

  • weavermom

    Angie,
    I too struggle with anxiety – mine in relation to some bad car wrecks.

    The book Loving God with all your Mind by Elizabeth George helped me SO much. I highly, highly recommend it.

  • Jennifer

    Angie,

    I have been reading your blog for a while but have never commented. You get so many already; mine would just get lost in the shuffle. But this time I felt I needed to comment. I feel your struggle and your pain. I fear this is going to be a long post, so if you’re interested in what treatment I went through for my two year long struggle with anxiety/fear/worry, please feel free to e-mail me at jenniferfluitt@yahoo.com. The Lord did so many neat things in my life as my husband and I walked through this very dark valley and you know the funny this, when I would wake at night in gripping fear, do you know the CD I would put on to help calm me down and put me back to sleep? Selah’s “Greatest Hymns CD.” How weird is that? Now when I hear certain songs on that CD, it brings back not so good memories of my fear gripping nights I once had, but thank the Lord for that CD. Anyhow, I would love to share with you my story and my path to healing. I am very long winded so it could get long, but I told the Lord I don’t want my struggle and my fight wasted so help me to be able to help others who are walking where I’ve walked. It’s dark, but God is bigger than anything I have walked through. E-mail or you can call me on the phone. 940-928-7058. I love to talk too, so either way is fine by me. May His grace be ever so sufficient to meet your needs. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Jennifer

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    About the panic attacks, most of what I was going to say has already been said–particularly by Sarah.

    I too have suffered with terrible bouts of panic attacks at various stages of my life, the onset of which were usually triggered by an overwhelmingly stressful event–such as the death of my husband when I was young and my children were only 7 and 9, and in later life, a soap opera type situation that did not turn out the way it was supposed to and that pretty much turned my life upside down.

    I had tried many homeopathic and natural remedies and they helped some but not completely, and then as a Christian, turned to the Word and to prayer.

    Like Sarah, I too kept thinking that if I could just get my relationship with God together, this would not be happening to me. To turn to medication would mean I had failed.

    A few years ago I went to see one of the pastors at my church who is also a Christian counselor, and he assured me my problem wasn’t spiritual or mental, and that I needed to stop gauging my relationship with God by the frequency and/or severity of my panic attacks.

    He pretty much confirmed what my Nurse Practitioner had already told me, that periods of tremendous stress can affect the adrenal glands, as well as drain the serotonin in our brains. There are meds that can be taken short term, such as Lexapro (which has worked wonders for me even at a very low dosage) that will help boost the serotonin, and then you can wean yourself off of it after six months or a year (but not in the winter–spring is a better time to wean yourself off).

    Anyway, just wanted to share that, and to tell you again how glad I am to have found your blog. You are a tremendous inspiration, and I pray the Lord’s blessing on you and your family.

  • ET @ Titus2:3-5

    Angie,

    Your honest and true blogging has been a blessing to me. I wanted to pass along some earthly recognition, so you’ll find a blogging award awaiting you on my page.

    Blessings,
    Tyler

  • sawin

    Hey Angie, I go to a homeopathic doc here in Indy. I’ve had a lot of trouble with anxiety myself, I have taken lithate and b vitamins for it and am doing great. The website is pratherwellness.com, I don’t know if he could lead you to someone close to your home!? Good luck and God Bless!
    ~Sara

  • Jennie Bender

    Hey,
    It’s me again! I posted a “novel” to you yesterday=). Just to clarify:

    The Lord is the only one who will take you through this time without any mistakes. He is trustworthy–and…

    Do talk to your doctor about your anxieties. My doctor offered medication for me after Elaine died (I didn’t accept anything), he was funny, he said, ” Hey, I would be depressed, too; I was depressed, in fact!” He was so sweet to me.

    He told me it would take six months to a year to physically heal (I had a very violent delivery; the Lord spared my life.),

    and 1-2 years beyond that to heal emotionally (and he said that with tears in his eyes. He is such a dear friend!).

    I actually had more trouble with depression in my subsequent pregnancy with Darcy. It is real, don’t let people tell you it isn’t.

    My mother is on a hormone replacement for 5 years because of her cancer. She has had such a hard time. The medicine takes much of her spirit away. They just gave her some medicine to counter balance those hormones and she has life behind her eyes again, energy, and she is “Mom” again! I am so glad she and Dad decided to go through with the medication for her.

    Everything you feel is very normal. Hormones are awful after pregnancy and are magnified (oh, my word, MAGNIFIED!!!) after the death of your child. You will weep until you think you are going to fall over and then you will do it again! Some of it is hormonal (some women take 6 months to a year to plateau after a normal pregnancy) and some of what you feel is great grief, and both of them together is just hard, sweet.

    So do trust the Lord, claim his promises, He will see you through!

    Wrap yourself in the arms of your your husband, hold your girls, and let them comfort you…

    and—do talk to professionals.

    Praying for you,
    Jennie

  • another day in paradise

    Whther it’s pain, anxiety or depression, I have found that medicine is one of God’s great gifts to me – and that, along with the widely suggested spiritual supports and exercise provide significant relief. Medicine is not always a bad thing. As with any other illness, the Lord often uses medicine to bring about healing and relief. All of God’s creation can work together.

  • Courtney

    Angie,

    I have also suffered from anxiety although mine quickly turns to anger. I’ve never seen a doc about it. I think I fear that too much.

    I struggle with the guilt of feeling that my kids have been cheated in the mom department. When I feel anxiety/anger coming on I tend to distance myself from my husband and my kids because I don’t want to do or say things that will hurt them although, I know the distance in itself is hurtful. I wish I had advice to give to you but I find that I am swimming in the same mess.

    It’s amazing to me that you blogged about this this week because it seems to be an especially hard week for me as well (not sure why). I have read through the comments and have been encouraged.

    I would be honored to remember you in my prayers, sweet girl. I read this verse yesterday and it gave me much comfort.

    He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Phillipians 1:6

  • Julia

    Angie…..My 23 year old daughter found your blog and forwarded to me. I love it. You are an amazing child of God. I wanted you to know that I suffered with anxiety, too, when my kids were little…always worried something bad would happen to them. I found they were worse around my cycle and if I learned to “ride the wave” of the panic I would get through the attack. Anxiety and panic attacks are very common in Type A, controlling, perfectionist….hum, could that be us? :) Face your biggest fear head on and know that you will be okay. You are okay. And if you have to take meds to get you through this…that’s okay.

    You are an unbelievable messenger for God. Audrey was a very lucky little girl to be carried by you. Julia mizjuney.blogspot

  • Sara

    Ok, before I say this let me preface with the fact that I REALLY hate it when people tell me what has worked for them in the spirit that it will somehow also cure me. That’s not what I’m doing. I don’t even have anxiety issues… this is just my experience with soda.

    I have been a crazy huge diet pop drinker my whole life (since junior high). We’re talking at least 6 to 12 diet mt. dew’s a day. I could go ages without even looking at a glass of water and I was fine.

    I have an autoimmune disease that causes a lot of pain and sickness; I am completely homebound at this point at the age of 35. Let me say this: giving up soda did NOTHING to help my pain or illness. This is not one of those rants. But as I’ve gotten sicker, my susceptibility to things that are supposed to be bad for you has gotten intense.

    If a preservative warns it can give you a headache, I will be in the emergency room with a migraine. I’m like a little guinea pig of worst case scenarios. And one morning this year I woke up and could no longer eat or drink anything with artificial sweetners. And let’s be honest; that includes about everything. Most importantly it included my diet pop. I had to quit cold turkey. Every time I have a sip I’m sick to my stomach.

    Stopping that “food” didn’t make me any better, but having it makes me very sick. And my doctors and I have discovered that all the things that make me very sick are the things that everyone warns about long term. My system is weak so it shows up more clearly and intensely in me.

    Just something to put in the back of your head. I don’t think giving it up will cure your illness. It certainly didn’t mine. But it may be a wise choice for your future health. And let me say if I ever react to chocolate I’m finding the nearest bridge and jumping off. Some things are just too precious.

    How’s that for unsolicited information?!?! :) Hope you have a great weekend with your girls…

    sara
    http://www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com

  • Robyn
  • Robyn
  • Cindi

    Angie, **hugs to you***! I would suggest cutting out sugar and caffeine and drinking lots of water. You may want to get a full physical and make sure you have no thyroid or other issues going on. I struggled with anxiety in addition to a host of other problems that were due to an imbalance in my nervous system called dysautonomia. I also was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, they seem to go together. Basically my nervous system was stuck in overdrive and it had to be reset. At times it was incapacitating. It was difficult because I was given so many medicines that I could not tolerate. I modified my diet and began exercising and it made a great difference. You might try the Hylands Calm or Calm Forte tablets. They are homeopathic and you can find them at the health food store. Finally….don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you have been through alot and it’s to be expected that you would feel how you do right now. Hope that helps! PS……will you be coming with Selah to Solid Rock in Columbus in Sept? I have a big hug for you if you do! Praying for you! Cindi

  • Sarah

    When Christ forgave the paralized man, no one saw the miracle of the moment, and yet that was the healing that opened up a ministry for many. The healing of his body was only for the benefit of the audience…in order to ‘prove’ God’s power was working in and through Jesus.

    I can see Christ’s miracle in and through your writing….you are one who has seen the healing power of forgiveness, and is shouting His praises from the moutain tops.

    Your ‘paralizing’ fears don’t take away from the love you have in Christ. Although God can give you healing, the thorne may not have served His purpose yet.

    Even through the struggles, God has provided doctors with intelligence to find relief from the symptoms, even if they could not find a cure.

    Hugs and prayers,
    Sarah

  • Hope Wilson

    Not sure why you went off your meds, but I want to encourage you not to feel guilty about taking meds for anxiety/depression. I'm not sure why society has such a stigma about "emotional issues." I do not agree with the idea that as Christians we have not truly surrendered our problems to God if we still struggle with anxiety/depression. Would a dr. tell a diabetic not to take insulin? Of course, if God wants to heal the diabetic, he can, but in the meantime, the diabetic better take some insulin! 8-)

    Four years ago, I got to the point that I had to "deal with" my anxiety. I did this through Christian counseling & eventually med. I (pridefully) thought I only needed med. when I "felt" anxiety coming on. After a few months, I humbled myself, & realized I needed med. every day. My relationships with Christ, husband, children, friends, etc. are only stronger & deeper. Of course, I spend time in the Word, pray, read helpful resources, "deal" with my issues as they arise AND take med. My heart pounding, irriation, "on-edge" feeling, etc. are much better than they were 4 yrs. ago.

    I hope you take this as encouragement – that is how it is meant! There may be another reason that you decided not to take med. but I just don't want you to allow Satan, or other Christians, for that matter, to make you feel guilty about taking med. if you need it! May God continue to richly bless you on this journey…

    P.S. The book "Managing Your Emotions" by Joyce Meyer has been extremely helpful to me.

  • georgia tarheel

    Ang-
    The ocean is the place that always reminds me of God’s power and majesty and attention to detail! I marvel after every wave that He STILL knows the number of grains of sand on the shore! God reminds me that He is in control. It is emotional each time and I go without the grief you carry. I can only imagine how that must magnify when you stand there, looking at your older girls play and laugh and fight over shovels and wish that Audrey was right there with you.

    I am praying for you and while the grief continues to show up, I am so glad that you were able to take time to get away with your family. That is a great perk of homeschooling…you can vacation whenever!!!!!!!!!

    Keep us posted so we can keep praying for you.

  • Jen

    (hug) Praying for you.

  • Wendi

    I’m so thankful for you and your open heart. I would love to meet you someday, hug you, and let you know just how much you have touched me and all of the times that God has led me to your site right when I have needed it the most.
    I can relate very much to what you are feeling. It is such an insecure feeling sometimes to say “Okay God my family is yours my future is yours” when you know that there are things He could’ve prevented that have shaken you to the core. I cling to the knowledge that there is a bigger picture I can’t see. That these things which shake me will not break me and that he has held me in his arms through it all.
    I have a hard time not giving in to the panic when it threatens to overwhelm me. Since losing my first son and my recent miscariage I have almost had a ‘constantly looking over my shoulder’ and ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ type of tendency. God and I are working on that… :)
    Thanks again for being a vesel that God is using greatly!
    ~Wendi

  • Bethy

    Angie,
    I first of all want to say that I was referred to your blog by a friend and I am so glad that she directed me here. I’ve been so inspired by you and your story. You are a gifted writer and I look forward to each new post.
    I also have suffered from panic attacks. I’ve experienced them since I was a child (they began during my parents divorce). My panic attacks come on with no warning and I have no way to control them. I have been depending on the Lord for my strength. I personally think there is no solid, across the board answer for help with panic attacks. Certain things work for some and not for others. I will pray for you and for the Lord to guide you. I pray that He heals you so that you no longer have to struggle with this.

    In Christ Alone,
    Elizabeth

  • Sandy

    Hi Angie,
    I came across your blog a few months ago, while reading a friend’s caringbridge website made for her daughter. You see, mine and Christine’s daughters were both patients at Riley’s Childrens Hospital in Indianapolis Indiana, and her step father and my dad works together. My daughter was born with D-Transpositon of the Great Arteries, an Atrial Septal Defect, a Ventrical Septal Defect, and a PDA that did not close off. She was born two months premature, at only 4.5 lbs, and when she was four days old is when the doctors discovered she had these cardiac problems. She was lifelined within 24 hours to Riley’s, and had an extensive open heart surgery (that took almost 12 hours) when she was just 16 days old. She is home with us now, and seemingly healthy, but we now that at any of her cardiac appointments we could hear the words…”She is back in cardiac failure, and it is time to perform her next surgery”. Which leads me up to why I am leaving you this comment. My husband and I both struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, etc. We just don’t normally open up about it. He is taking the route of going to a therapist and taking medication. I didn’t feel that was the right choice for me. Mainly because I was the best thing for me to do for my child was to breastfeed, and most anti-depressant meds are not safe to breastfeed while taking. So I started researching alternative methods. I actually heard an infamercial (sp)…for Lucinda Bassetts program ‘Attacking Anxiety’. I thought, “What is it going to hurt to give it a try?!” It’s a non-medicated approach to getting your life on track. I don’t know how you feel about buying stuff off of TV…I myself am usually pretty skeptical, but this program has been a tremendous help for me. The link to the website is http://www.attackinganxiety.com

    I hope you find the peace you are searching for.

  • Yvonne

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and think that you are an amazing woman and mother. Your story has bolstered me and given me an insight to things I can only imagine. I understand the anxiety too.. I get very stressed and sometimes take a homeopathic blend called “Calms Forte”. It does just that, calms you down, it takes the “edge off”. You can get it at almost any drug store or target and it is in the sleep aid section (if you take 1 you are calmed, take a couple and it can help you get to sleep). There are no “drugs” in it, just herbs like chamomile and pasiflora. I liken it to a nice cup of tea…On my wedding day we passed it around like breath mints. I use it when I am going to have to deal with stress, like when my son had surgery on his arm…it really helps. It could be a starting place.. I think of you and your family often and hope that you find more peace than sadness as the days go by.

  • Tara

    Angie,

    I love you! There I said it.

    Ok now for my advice. First, my favorite verse for times like these and one of the first I ever I memorized way back in kindergarden is Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid I will trust in You. When you can’t find breath to recite long verses and you need a promise RIGHT NOW it is a good one to have in your pocket. Second, recently I started seeing a chiropractic physician, sounds weird but it works!! I could tell you of about 25 of my family and friend who have been cured from all sorts of common and weird ailments. He reads bio rhythms and it is totally cool. Ir you can find someone in your area I would Highly recommend it.

    I pray for you often and encourage you to stay off the 4c’s. You will feel really yucky for a while but after you detox you will not believe how good you feel.

  • Story of our Life

    Giving up those things are not going to help get rid of the anxiety attacks. Trust me..I know from experience. Well…not on the coffee but on the other stuff.

    Hang in there sweetheart!!!

    Just know that I’m thinking about you!!

  • Noelle

    I’m planning on being at the Michigan event!!!! I’ve been reading you for a while but you get so many comments I haven’t commented but I am about this one. I go to this event every spring and this will be the first fall one I go to – ONLY because of why you will be there. I can tell you – the sights you will see and the peacefulness you will feel will be like none other. Bring your warm clothes though – it is pretty chilly up there that time of the fall!!!!!! :) Can’t wait to see/hear everyone!!!

  • Kari Lynn

    I have to admit that I used to panic if my hubby was late coming home from work. I would invision horrible things happening and our time together ending. My poor husband would come home and I would be an absolute mess. Two things have come out of this. I make sure he knows how much I love and appreciate him every day so I have no regrets. And I had to come to terms with how much time I spent worrying and not living. I wish I could tell you the magic fix but I can’t. It happened slowly.

    I love reading your blog. Just wanted you to know. Sometimes I get on here even if you haven’t posted just to listen to your music. It brings me peace.

  • Christie@tisbutaseason

    Angie,

    First time commenter…wanted to tell you that a good friend struggled with panic attacks and nausea/weight loss after the sudden death of both of her parents (within a yr of ea other). She has shared with me that she committed scripture to memory and would vigorously quote the scripture and rebuke the enemy. She would fall to her face in her room and cry out to the Lord asking for His help in calming her irrational fears. This went on for several months, but currently she will tell you that God is good. He has delivered her from the grip of Satan and holds her in His arms during any rough patches. She still struggles with germs and such and the idea that they could make one of her 4 kids or hubby (who is a pastor)sick, but continues praying and reminding herself of God’s deliverance.

    You are in my prayers.

    ps – email me if you’d like to correspond with her directly as I’m sure she’d love to share her story with you or if you’d like to know her “special” scriptures. :)

  • Alicia Beth

    Oh precious Angie ! i’m soooo sorry to hear that you are suffering with worry and anxiety. I too suffer from this and use the exact words you do when I say “can’t shake it off”. I’ve tried prayer,scripture memorization and singing christian songs.They certainly help with the battle for my mind ! However,I’m also on medicine because I just couldn’t function without it. I don’t want to be dependent on it forever but I may have to.I’m ok with that too.I remind myself constantly that I’m created in the image of God :) I am beautiful and am designed exactly as God wants me to be. So,I hope you still feel like the “daddy’s princess” that you are.You haven’t mentioned that you are in counseling but I would recommend that too.Sometimes just talking things out and being able to sort out your thoughts in an effective way really helps with the anxiety and worry.I’m praying for you during this time.Take it one minute at a time and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need!

  • ThreeSheatstotheWind

    Dear Angie- Like many others here, I had to take drugs when I needed them the most. I waited about two months after my daughter died trying to deal without medicine but then realized I just couldn’t care for my other child through the panic attacks. I finally got diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and took something for 6 months as well as seeing a wonderful therapist who helped me work through the worst of the PTSS. My panic attacks did finally subside and now are rare and I went with that regimen until I could stand on my own two feet and felt stronger. This is still very new to you and you should expect a long road to “recovery”, be kind to yourself. As for the grief and dread- it is still there and very real but it just doesn’t envelope me every single day like it did initially even at most moments it is never far from my mind. I totally understand that feeling of dread and fear that settles over you, two years and two and a half months after my life forever changed, I still have that to contend with. It comes and goes-sometimes more and sometimes less frequently. I pray for you and for me and for all the other mommies out there who have to contend with these feelings after such a profound loss- we have “lost” control and it is indeed frightening. I have to remind myself daily that I was never in control of her and I am not in control of my son’s health/safety/life either- but this is my greatest struggle and I totally understand your feelings. I hang on and hang on tight- I do not want to give that over to God even though my head knows that is where it should be. Being in this new realm of reality makes you realize that you are not immune to tragedy and it is sooo incredibly frightening. May God continue to grace you with His comfort. When you are ready… you might try reading “The Shack” by William Young (I think). I would myself like to have such an experience with our beautiful Father and it did give me peace. My prayers go out to you and your family……
    Holly

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • e&e

    HA HA Thank you for a good laugh of the day. When you wrote that you were trying to find “cheap tickets” I sat here wondering why your husband would make you buy tickets to his concert. How rude! And then it clicked that you probably meant airline tickets.

    Thanks!
    elisa

  • Kelsey

    I found myself wondering where you had been. I find your words to be a comfort to me even though I haven’t been through somethings like you have.

    I dealt with panic attacks about 5 years ago. This verse became one that I would say when I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with anxiety..Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

    Have a great evening!

  • maggieallen123

    Hey Angie,

    I really don’t have any words of wisdom about your attacks, except that I think you need to give yourself some time and realize what all you, your family, and your body has gone through. ALSO, with the committal of little Luke happening this week in Nashville…man that is just alot for one family to live through. Our bodies and minds and hearts can take just so much. Rest in the arms of your sweet Jesus and rely on Him…remember HE is close to the brokenhearted.
    Sweet prayers are going up for all of you…Love Becky

  • rusty’swife

    Angie,

    I will not tell you that this landlocked beach baby is just a little jealous of your time at the beach!

    I am glad that you have gotten some time “away” even though there is really no time “away” from your grief at the present.

    How to put this politely? What you are feeling and going through right now is well, normal. This is all part of the grief cycle. I know that you are reading several books on this subject and trying to follow God’s leading in this. Have you considered grief counseling? Your local Hospice should have grief group meetings. My Mother walked exactly where you are after the death of her mother and brother within six months of each other, and the Hospice program really helped her to not feel so alone and to process her grief. We can love you, encourage you, and pray for you. But a group of people that are experiencing the same things as you, can offer support, wisdom, and a safe place to vent, that we can not. Each person’s grief is different, and must be dealt with individually. God give us christian counselors for a reason, to be His hands and feet to a hurting person. Only you, God, and Todd, know what will work best for you.

    I love you and am praying for you.
    Sallye

  • THAT GIRL

    I finally choked and went to the doctor… and have been medicated for a month and a half now. (I am not ashamed, and I need my coffee for now…) I have suffered so much loss in the past 18 months (my pregnancy, my home, a lifestyle), that I, too, have experienced the earth shattering fear of losing my husband and children to tragedy… they are all I have on earth that matters… and I cannot lose them. I am doing better through prayer, my supportive “Jonathan-like” friends, and faith that is stretching and growing every day. I pray the same for you. It can be a lonely feeling, the fear of loss… especially when the reality that everything is not in our control is so very real. But, thank the Good Lord that HE is in control. He knows our path… He knows what tomorrow brings. Chin up… I’ll be praying you through.

    http://takingheart.blogspot.com/

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • g & c

    Hey Angie,
    You have the same name as a cousin of mine- at least, until she got married :) . She's an extremely sweet person, too…at least, from reading your blog, I think you're sweet. Anyway, you've gotten SO MUCH advice from people regarding ways to help with anxiety, but I thought I'd toss in what's worked best FOR ME so far. My anxiety/panic attacks started several months after I had my third baby and completely hit me out of nowhere (that I could tell then; looking back there were a few major stressful life issues that had gone on…and even more since…). I did start zoloft, and it took a bit of time, but helped. Last August I started weaning myself off of it because I felt I was doing okay and when I did feel some anxiety, I could deal with it. Weaning went fine, but I was still at a small dose for about 3 months. I think I was kind of afraid to drop the meds all the way. Then I found out I was pregnant and stopped the meds, which I know are safe during pregnancy, but I felt good about stopping, and the dosage was so low anyway. It went fine during the "withdrawal" time, but I did notice some more anxious feelings about 2 months or so later. It could have been pregnancy hormones, who knows. But I could get the thoughts/feelings under control. Here's what helps ME (again, ME. I know everyone is so different). I read the Bible and repeat different verses that have helped me in the past, especially the verses I had used when the anxiety first hit me a while ago (immersed in God's word, the thoughts can't take control); PRAY, and many times I had to call my husband at work to pray with me right then; remind myself that the attack would be over very soon; redirect my thoughts to something positive (my anxious thoughts always had to do with something awful happening to my kids/my husband/me)…Some other things that help are exercise (not the easiest for me with 3+ kids, but I do notice a difference in my mood when I start to slack in that area. Plus, I live in ALaska where it's dark for a long part of the winter which does not help. We've also had a rainy summer with little daylight and that doesn't help, either. I'm thinking I need to try one of those happy lights); cutting back on caffeine & sugar as best as I can (which I LOVE, so my cutting back is probably the average person's normal intake :) ); and I've stopped reading the newspaper/watching the news/reading gossip magazines. That was hard. I read the paper every day and really looked forward to mail on Tuesday when I would get my "mindless reading" in the mail, but there was so much negativity in it that I felt God nudging me to stop. Same with the paper; often the awful stories in it would make me think it could happen to my family, and then I would dwell on it. I know you said you're a subscriber :) , and I would never say to stop reading it, but again, I just felt I had to. Reading through some of these comments, I now have some more ideas for dealing with the anxiety. I hope you're able to get through the setbacks without meds since that's what it sounds like you'd like, but they are there for you if you need them again. I'll also be praying for you about this, but that you for being so open and honest about everything. You're an amazing encouragement. God bless you and your beautiful family. And sorry this comment is so long!
    cara
    ps- my little girl (she just turned 4) was with me for a bit as I read your blog, and she said "awww, what a cute little baby" about the picture of Audrey. I told her some of your story (we lost a 2 year old niece recently so my kids have been going through grasping death) and then she said something about your little girl being up in Heaven with Lauren (our niece). I love the innocence and frankness of kids.

  • Rose C

    FIsh oil is a great natural product to relieve some of your symptoms.

  • Mitzi

    Dear Angie,
    I’ve never posted before, but I just lift you up in prayer so often as I have followed your story. I wanted to leave a comment on panic attacks and anxiety, since I have dealt with those. It is my personal opinion that there is nothing wrong with medication, especially if it is taken for a short term while you figure out a better way to deal with your anxiety or if it is taken after trying other things. I almost died during my first childbirth and the trauma was so great that in addition to the normal post partum depression, I was paralyzed by anxiety. I took medication for the next six months (I found one that was safest while nursing) and I sought scripture, journaled and went to counseling. When I delivered my second child, I chose to go on medication again because I felt that the anxiety the first time deprived me of the initial bonding experience with my sweet first born. All this long comment to say, you have to do what will make you the best mommy/wife/person for you and your family and it is great if you can do that naturally, but also okay if you need some medical science to help you. All my love and prayers.

  • AJ

    Angie -

    We are loving you and praying you for you during this time. What an encouragement you are to us !

    Someone may have already mentioned this .. but when I feel like I am abou tto have panic / anxiety attacks I start to sing hymns in my mind.

    Many of them are my favorites from childhood and it really helps ease my mind.

    Have fun at the beach with your family !

  • Lee

    I have no words of advice. I am simply in awe that you could even stop taking the meds. I am not there yet.

    That said. I am not ashamed that I still need meds. After having attended MANY Women of Faith conferences, Sheila Walsh has been (with God’s grace) so open and honest about her depression and anxiety. She is still taking meds. I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s ok to be on them. If your anxiety is still making it hard to function, it’s not a sign of weakness to get your prescription filled. My goodness, honey, you’ve been through such TREMENDOUS circumstances…I nkow I’d have trouble even breathing every day!
    I will continue to pray for your courage, strength and resolve. Thank you for sharing your life so openly!

  • Holli

    I live in Michigan, and can’t wait to come see you. Where ever you are going to be, I will be there. ;)

  • Jan

    Angie,

    I have dealt with anxiety disordersi since my teens and I am know 47-I love the Lord and really tried through prayer and diet mmodification to control this issue but let me share what God spoke very clearly to me”my dear daughter if you had diabetes would you not take your medication what is different about this”-am I conssitenet with my medication more so than ever but at vey low dosges-for me its the small amount of medication,rest,exercise and cutting back on the sugar. My doctor told me just this week that mornings are the hardest time for everyone-look up Generalized Anxiety Disorder the worry is part of the disorder. But having walked through this I promise you can do it. God Bless you honey.

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • HP & Diane

    Angie,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog and while I can not even begin to imagine or feel your pain of losing a little one… I have experienced a lot of loss in my life. It started in 2002 when I lost my dear friend and Mom.. I watched her suffer with bone cancer and it killed me to see her pain (she was always the strong pillar in our family). She had never been an ill person… She received the news of her bone cancer on the day of 9/11!! While our world was hurting from that, I was dealing with another war within myself! About 1 month after my mom’s death, my sister was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer: lyomyosarcoma. No cure. Trials of chemo. She would be facing several surgeries as the cancer would spread to different parts of her body (mainly lungs in her case)! Six months after losing my Mom, my little brother (35 y/o) died of a massive heart attack! Another big blow to me! He died on my Dad’s 79th Birthday! That was 2002. In 2003, another sister passed away from long term illness of Multiple Sclerosis. In 2004, my father had open heart surgery and suffered X 6 weeks and had a stroke and passed away. In 2006 my sister who had fought the lyomyosarcoma passed away after a hard battle with this rare cancer. Depression? YES Withdrawal from people? YES! Anxiety? Hope to tell you! Nothing good was happening to me in my life.. I felt like I became the “expert” in grieving! I would just start to get back up and another family member would die! Life was just one tragedy after another for 5+ years! I never felt like I would experience happiness again! Oh, I knew God had His reasons. I know He was in control. I knew He loved me and wouldn’t let / or allow me to go through anything that He didn’t approve first. Oh, I forgot to mention that just prior to my sister’s death (the one who had cancer) I had an abnormal mammogram and had to have a biopsy!
    I have been asked so many times by people how much more could I take? My response – it’s up to God. He was my sustainer, my strength. And I can’t forget my family. My husband and my children were all there for me and gave me more support than I could have asked for. God brought our family closer together. Our faith was made stronger. I always had faith; but it was during this time that I had to put my faith to work! Hard stuff! I have to say that “time” heals. I still have my “days” where I miss my dear family members so much; but recently I have begun to have some happiness in my life. In the past year we have sold our home (Michigan economy is bad; so this was a miracle in itself), we had a new grandbaby born, and our daughter (3rd child) was married! I have had so much joy recently that I have to admit that I have felt guilty for feeling joyful! Satan tries to do what he can to pull us down; but I am determined to keep my eyes focused on my Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever comes my way, He will sustain me.
    Angie, everything is so fresh for you and your family. You need to give yourself more time. It will come… I know it will. Just keep trusting and looking up and God will give you the strength you need for each day. As my sister Suzi said before she passed away.. “Let Go, and Let God” keep taking baby steps, one at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. She was encouraging me while she was the one in so much pain! I should have been consoling her; but then again, she was about to meet her Lord! She knew what was ahead for her!!

  • queenoftheclick

    Just wanted to let you know that I pray for you and your family all the time.

  • Colleen

    You might want to contact Dr. Marilyn Tucker who wrote the Nashville Diet. She has worked with many people here in Tennessee and nationwide to help them get off prescription medication and move toward a healthy life. It totally changed my life.
    http://drmarilyn.tv/meet.html

  • The Vang Family

    Hi Angie! You are such an inspiration. I know Audrey is dancing in heaven with Jesus!

    I LOVE Beth Moore so hopefully the one Stepping Up bible study can somehow include us online folks as well. Please keep us posted. Love, Becky Vang from Indiana.

  • ageffert

    Your strength and faith has inspired many. I’d like to be a word of hope to you. I started having panic attacks six months after my mom died of cancer. My heart is fully devoted as a believer in Christ Jesus. I considered panic attacks a sin for years, and suffered through them. I felt if I had enough faith fear would dissipate. I have come to a place of peace with them, and I do take something for it now, and rarely have one. I don’t like that part, but if you ever need to talk to someone who’s been there (and back :) ) feel free to email me. Sometimes it just helps to know you’re not alone. You bless me. I ask God to bless you with His peace before I close. awgeffert (at)gmail(dot)com

  • Loved the Agape way

    Hi Angie:
    I want to tell you that I also ‘suffer’ with anxiety attacks. They are horrible. However, after the past year, it is normal for you to have them. What helps me is that I chose where to put my thoughts. If I’m thinking of something worrisome, I have to tell myself, now that’s not the voice of God in my head and I must push those thoughts away. Sometimes I have to say, ok I will think about that, but not right now. That helps to. This all goes back to taking control of your mind. It sounds like there is a real battle for your mind. Whether you know it or not, you are impacting hundreds of readers just by living your life to the best of your ability for Christ. God’s enemy does not want that to happen, so he is battling for you and your mind. He won’t win of course, because you have on God’s Armor. Listen to the ‘voice of truth’ and not to the voice of this world. You are not alone in having trouble with anxiety. Valerian root is a very effective natural remedy to help you through as well.
    Take care.

  • bleemdc

    Angie: I wanted to email you privately but the email link on your front page isn’t working from my computer. :o (

    I wanted to say that my Dear Husband (DH) is a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist and he is currently working on a lady with SEVERE ANXIETY. Dh himself has suffered for years with it off and on. I asked him just a moment ago what he suggested and he mentioned the Acupunture and definately some counseling if you have not started. He knows from me reading your entire blog your circumstance. (We’ve been praying too!) It goes without saying that you have been under horrific grief and stress during this last year. A Chiropractor/Acupuncturist may do an adjustment or two depending on the circumstance. I haven’t read all the suggestions but I do know that in Dh’s practice he has seen many people with depression and anxiety over the years (12 in practice) Acupuncture coupled with some good counceling may be just the ticket.

    Neither of us would say do this or dont do that but these are things that work for us. It may be worth looking into. Please email me if you have questions. I can even provide Dh’s email if you want some advice or a suggetion.

    We keep praying and without even knowing you (personally) we love you guys!

    Take care!!

    Melanie in IL

  • Dugans

    Coke is a staple in my life! Would not want to say goodbye to it!
    Praying for you and your family- as always.

  • Umaine91

    Enjoying your blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joanne

    I had those same feelings of worrying about my other children after we had our loss. I was told it is very normal – once you go through one loss and feel that pain, it is so real and you realized how fragile life is…

  • joyboytinkertoy

    dear angie,
    i know this is off subject but we just moved to hillsboro. I was just wondering if you knew anyone in the construction industry thats hiring. my husband has been unemployed for 3 months. we has a disabled child and another child weve just had bad luck for months. if you could help i know you know alot of people. if not could please say this cloud will move away from my family. thanks

  • Carly

    Dear Angie,
    This is my first post but I have been reading your blog for several months now. When I read about your battle with anxiety, I know EXACTLY what you were talking about. My husband and I lost our son David five years ago. Since then, we have been blessed with those beautiful daughters but I too battle with worrying about my family. Here are some things that I do.
    1. I don’t recieve it. I will say outloud “I don’t recieve that” whenever the enemy tries to blindside me. I have noticed that when I do this that worry doesn’t come back(something else I had a really, really hard time with).
    2. I rebuke it. I will say outloud “I rebuke that” although I do not say what I am rebuking outloud. I don’t want to speak those curses over my family.
    3. I pray, ALOT. Whenever I start to worry about the girls or my husband I will start praying about it(in my head not outloud) and ask God’s protection over them and ask him to take that worry from me. If that doesn’t help, I also ask someone else to pray with me(even if it’s over the phone) about that worry. My mom and I do this often.

    I hope this helps. I do know that I have been battling this a long time and I wish I could tell you it will just go away but for me it still hasn’t. These strategies do help and I am becoming less overly protective of my family.

    I also wanted to say thank you for letting God use your blog to help others. Even though we are in different places in the grieving process, it helps me so much to know that I am not alone and that another mom has the same thoughts and feelings I do. Thank you!

  • Hope

    Angie, when I started freaking out and becoming rather paranoid and anxious . . . I found that a few days of taking “Skullcap” (herb) at supper time was wonderful. For me, I needed to get some deeper, more restful sleep . . . that was a large part of my problem (added to long-term grief and stress issues). I hope you find some answers–it might be a combo for you . . . PRAY and GOD will direct you as to what steps to take . . .

    And in the meantime, be gentle and patient with yourself. You have been under tremendous stress and grief the last 4 months . . . your body and mind are going to show the effects of it, and it’s OK . . . I wish I could give you an in-person hug, but I can’t, so here’s a cyber hug from me to you!

  • Carrie

    Wow, I’m not sure that my comment will even matter after seeing you have 234 of them! :)

    I struggled with depression and anxiety for an entire year, 2005, and it was what I like to say “the worst year of my life!” I too didn’t know how to handle the anxiety, refused to take medications for assistance even though it was a small amount, even went to the ER for a panic attack. I said I was fine and ready to go, they said you are crazy, your heart rate is sky high and you aren’t going anywhere until we get it down. For some reason I felt comforted when I knew that I was in a hospital and they would take care of everything. A few things that helped me come out of this state of depression (which, btw was caused by thyroid problems):
    -Friends. Although I preferred to talk on the phone and not visit anyone, I found the more I visited with friends and family-the more I WAS MYSELF and able to forget about “those worries”
    -Prayer. Now we both know that you are very strong in the department. (department, ha ha, sorry, couldn’t find a good word I guess) but I was constantly saying to myself: God won’t give me something I can’t handle, will he? And when it got to hard for me….I gave it all to him! Several nights on the floor with my head on the side of the bed, crying out to God in prayer. Relief was soon after.
    -Stay busy!
    -And the most important of all. You MUST realize that what you are panicing about isn’t normal. You are thinking of things that are “fears” and although anything could happen, this is true, you cannot sit in fear OF it happening! Panic attacks are just that, fear! Once you start thinking of those fears…cut it off, think of something else, something positive. Someone once told me that you almost have to make yourself stop thinking so negative and start dreaming of the good things God presents us with in life. You’re mind is boggling, going back and forth thinking of those fears and when you try to stop thinking of them, you start back up again. I have been there!!! Be strong and fight it! There is nothing wrong with you, you just need to control those thoughts. You have us here for you in prayer. I hope that this helps and I didn’t come across “harsh” or anything of that sort. I just know it helps. P.S. You can see your doctor about helping the anxiety when you feel and “attack” coming. Sometimes your heart races, which we all know that isn’t good. Others, your chest feels like it’s got 100 pds. on it. They can prescribe you a SMALL dose of Xanax to take care of the attacks. I didn’t take mine because I’m scared to death of medications and getting addicted or something, but I’ve heard it works greatly! I wish you the best Angie.

  • Green Acres

    Angie, I just found your blog a few days ago. I am so touched by your family and your faith. I have cried, and I have even laughed a few times, but most of all, I have been drawn closer to Him because of what I have read here. Thank you.

    Thank you for reaching out and sharing your heart.

    I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    God Bless You!

  • Ang

    I just wanted to leave you a post and tell you that I pray for you often. I know you don’t know me but I keep up with your blog from my sister. I am just getting into blogging and believe it or not you are an encouragement to me!!

  • Jana

    Angie, I’ve been reading a while. Your blog is a blessing and encouragement every time I visit. I’m a pharmacist and know panic attacks are real and can be controlled with medication…which is sometimes necessary (especially if brought on by a traumatic event(s) such as you’ve experienced). However, I’m also a Christian mommy who worries (to the point of panic)..with a great imagination for all things that can go wrong. Please, please read (in your spare time) “Running Scared” by Edward T.Welch it’s full of scripture truths and is helping me overcome my fears and truly TRUST the One who loves me. Thanks for your blog!!

  • Tab

    Angie,
    Hearts breaking for you all tonight. Prayers being lifted to the One Who holds all of them as a precious offering. Here’s hoping there is a white flag flying near those precious babies, flying in defiance of the one who would rather see your faith defeated. That song reminds me daily that the finality of death HAS been conquered. You are being covered in prayer!

  • geisme

    Angie, I don’t know about anxiety attacks. In fact I just had my 1st one a couple of months ago. But I know for me I can be moody at times. When I’m not on anti-depressants(situational depression – wedding blow-up, my mom died)I have used St. John’s wort as a mood leveler. I didn’t know it at the time but it is not something you can use long term. I think you need to cycle it- on for a while, then off for a while. But it did help level out my moods/PMS.
    Best of luck finding something. In the mean time know we are praying for you. -Gail

  • Mom 4 Life

    Yes I can relate to that feeling of dread that something else might happen. Sometimes I feel like “ok I survived Sawyer’s death and I am still standing but what if God allows more, what if he takes another one from me?” Then I have to have a mental converstaion with myself and say “calm down, God is in control, trust in your daddy, he has you and won’t let you fall” but it still is a talk that goes on in my head from time to time. Big hugs to you and opps! I just saw the time, it is 12:48 AM I better get going to bed.

  • Kathy

    I have trouble with anxiety. I would recommend Cognitive Therapy with a good psychologist – the best fit you can find. I have a fantastically gifted Christian psycholgist. I also take Cipralex – a very low dose and I am a whole new person.

    Cognitive therapists help you with your thinking patterns and habits and help you know and live in the truth. Jesus said the truth sets us free :)

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost three months since my daughter lost her second baby at 15 weeks. A friend sent her your blog address and I’ve been reading ever since.

    God bless and keep you.

    Kathy (Canada)

  • amberdawn

    Ok, from an experienced anxiety attackee, there is a medicine that you don’t take everyday, only when you have “that feeling”. It is called Trazodone (that is the generic name) start with the lighter dosage. One doctor gave me a larger dosage than another, and I didn’t realize it. I slept all night-didn’t hear a thing, my husband said he and both boys were up all night. Oops!

    The other thing is have you read The Power of A Praying Parent? You probably have, but it helps to you to give those specific worries about your family to Him.

    Also, one thing a good friend told me once, was to vision God’s gigantic hands picking up my tiny worries and taking them away for me. And as I pray, I ask Him to take them from me. The trick is however: once you give them to Him, you have to completely give them to Him. I have to constantly remind myself that He has them and is now in control of them. Me worrying about something the He has promised He has complete control of is just silly, and probably insulting to Him.

    I hope my babbling helps a little! Keep up the wonderful blog, and encouragement!

    Amber

  • Hutchie

    Hi Angie! My name is Katheryn Humber – I’m a friend of Allen and Gillian Peabody, whose 3 yr old son Joe is very ill with a form of brain cancer. I found the link to your blog from theirs – prayforjoseph.com.
    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and felt compelled to write when you reached out for help with anxiety. I struggle with this too – exact same symptoms, medicate vs not to medicate, waking up heart pounding, worry incessantly that something horrible will happen to your loved ones, etc. My mom found a resource that’s been amazing for me – some books and tapes by the author/speaker Lucinda Bassett. I cannot recommend her enough. The book Panic to Power is a great place to start. Too, I think just hearing about other great, fun, “well-adjusted” (if there is such a thing) believers who struggle with anxiety brought me so much peace and rest. Well done on the courage to share your struggle – I firmly belive the Lord will bless your honesty.

  • Janice

    has anyone mentioned Reliv to you? It’s vitamins and minerals formulated as a food so your body will accept it and use it, so much quicker and a higher percentage than reg. vitamins. I have had great results as the proper fuel gets into my body and the miracle God created can work for itself. Check it out on http://www.reliv.com. And if you have any other questios please feel free to ask:) You are beautiful and your testimony never ceases to uplift me! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with so many!!!

  • goodtwin

    Hi Angie,

    Something that helps me is the saying:

    I’m not going to worry about the things I CAN’T control, because if I can’t control them, there’s no point in worrying about them;

    I’m not going to worry about the things I CAN control, because if I CAN control them, there’s no point in worrying about them.

    I have this posted on my wall at work, where I can glance up and see it. It sure does bring things back into perspective. I believe it is my message from God, and that in itself is a comfort to me.

    Hope all is well. Would love to know about the Michigan event. I’m between Flint and Lansing, on I-69. Would love to meet you when you come up. Until then, Godspeed.

  • SCB

    Angie,

    I have recently stumbled upon your beautiful blog and I am so thankful that I have. As I am going through all of your posts to get caught up, I ran across this one that I just had to comment on.

    “I have this feeling of fear and dread that stays with me, and my mind is full of worry. I am trying to figure out if there is something natural that will help me before I reconsider medication (diet, homeopathic remedies, etc.). I have been doing a little online research, but would certainly love to hear from you if you have any constructive suggestions. I am caught in a pattern of worrying that something is going to happen to one of the girls or Todd, and it is hard to get my mind back on track. I don’t feel rock-bottom, just kind of like a feeling I can’t shake off, and it takes a toll on me.”

    Our situation is a bit different than your family’s. Before I continue, please let me say how beautiful your daughter was and how your faith is so inspiring. Your family is now being added to our daily prayers. I am just sorry I didn’t find your blog sooner – but everything happens for a reason…and I am hoping that this is it.

    This year has been almost unbelieveable for us too. In January, my husband’s father went to work, never to return. He was loading a dryer onto a freight truck and collapsed. It’s easier to say that he died of a heart attack, but what it was really was atherosclerosis – or heart disease. It is a silent killer and had he gone to the doctor it would have been something they could fix. I know you can imagine the pain we felt having not had a chance to say goodbye and the anxiety of this being something genetic for my husband. After his death, I had this feeling come over me and I actually said this aloud, but I felt that “no one was safe.” Now, I am a Christian, a faith-filled one at that, but I just couldn’t help but feel that. Then it’s the next series of events that really made me question safety and have the same feeling of fear and dread that you had.

    In February – my husband’s close family friends (father and son both) passed away because of flu-like symptoms. My husband was also dealing with fear and anxiety of his dad’s death.

    May – my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and by the grace of God, I am pleased to say that she is now well. We have a long road ahead of us, but the prognosis is great! I also was in a car accident at this time, and severely hurt my shoulder.

    Now, it’s what happened to me in July that I am hoping will help you too. I did feel rock-bottom. I felt scared. I felt that “life” was unfair and I didn’t know how to give support to everyone around me who needed me. I was breaking. Cried all of the time with the realest fear I have ever known. I was almost obsessed with my dad’s health, my husband’s, my mother’s – I felt like I needed to do something, like it was my duty.

    I, too, considered getting on medication, but first considered trying natural things – and then it dawned on me. Hit me like a bolt of lightning. I gave all of my worries to God. Much like you – I started praying. Praying for strength for my family, my wonderful husband. I prayed for my healing and for me to realize that I can’t help everyone (even though I would love to). It’s been a few months since my “rock bottom” part, and since then – we’ve experienced 2 other deaths close to our family. This time it’s different though. I am at peace knowing that they are with Him.

    When I read that part of your post, my stomach turned – knowing that I have felt that exact same way.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your thoughts, fears, prayers and feelings. My heart breaks for you, but I am so thankful to have “met” you and to have found your blog. I will keep your family in our prayers and will be checking back often.

    Blessings,
    Sarah Barten
    http://www.thebartens.blogspot.com

  • Beth Jenson

    Hi Angie, 
    I am fairly new to your blog and just wanted to let you know that I too have had major panic attacks and moments of just uncontrollable worry. So I can relate.  Thing only thing that has worked is prayer… and when my prayers don’t seem to be enough to get out of the funk I call on my pastor, my family (both biological and church) and then my spiritual mentors and in time the pain,panic and worry are gone.  It is satan himself trying to grab ahold of you in a moment of weakness and all we can do is to do our best at putting up our shields and crawling into the lap and embrace of God our father. 

    Thank you for sharing both the good and the not so good times.