Incoming!!! Yep, life’s still throwing curveballs my way. If I only knew how to hit them before they reached their intended target, me, I might diminish their effects. While the curve balls keep coming, the anxiety attacks, I’m glad to report have subsided. What a blessing. I’ve developed a new understanding and compassion for those who struggle with panic and anxiety on a regular basis. These attacks are brutal. It’s almost as if someone else, or something inhabits one’s body and you’re at their mercy. When my anxiety attacks began I wondered if these too were a symptom of CVID (common variable immunodeficiency disease); not a symptom but common among sufferers. I tried everything I knew should work. Praying, singing, reading my Bible, and demanding the devil leave me alone. Practicing mind over matter, listening to my favorite music Cd’s and keeping myself busy. Nothing seemed to combat the fear or the overwhelming anxiety. My sleepless nights were adding up quickly which only compounded my struggle for sanity.
I wondered if something chemical in the brain was out of balance. If it wasn’t chemical, then I was either possessed or losing my mind. Neither a welcoming thought. I changed how I prayed. Rather than pray, “Lord, take these fears and anxiety away”, words often uttered through sobs of exhausting fear, I asked him to show me the root for these horrible mind-altering, uncontrollable assaults. He answered that prayer.
Every day my hubby sits at his computer to catch-up on the latest news. This particular day, an article popped up on his screen regarding anxiety attacks. Normally he would have ignored this little pop-up. Yet, something nudged him to click on the link. A woman who suffered from anxiety for years had written a magazine article. In this article she shares how stopping all caffeine diminished her anxiety attacks. Initially the results were amazing; she felt calm, more focused and her “mind became uncharacteristically quiet”. The attacks didn’t however completely go away. She still suffered from an occasional attack, some as severe as when she was on caffeine. The difference… and this is huge… she wasn’t anxious all the time for no reason. That my friend’s, is where I’ve been emotionally these past several weeks; anxious all the time. Little, big, no matter. Something as minor as picking up the wrong bread at the store sent me over the edge in tears.
Did you catch the little glimpses of God at work? In the “normal course” of my hubby’s day, an article “happens to pop-up” on his computer screen. On this particular day he felt something “nudging him” to click on the link. (That something I believe was someone; the Holy Spirit of God). An article “written over 5 years” ago is hardly a current newsworthy event. Some may pooh-pooh this as coincidence. I see the hand of God at work in my life.
Could the solution be as simple as giving up all caffeine, hmm? I told hubby, “I have nothing to lose; starting today, it’s goodbye caffeine”. My anxiety attacks have all but ceased.
If you suffer from anxiety/panic attacks let me encourage you to try giving up all caffeine. My life is better. It’s not always easy to know which products have caffeine. Most of us know that coffee and chocolate have high caffeine levels. Did you know these foods also have caffeine? Some have more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
- protein bars
- decaf coffee (yes, decaf still has caffeine)
- non-cola sodas
- ice creams (not all but many)
- yogurt (not all but many)
- most candy bars
- some fancy waters
- energy drinks
- energy bars
- diet aids
Not an exhaustive list. Check labels closely. I’m astounded at how many foods have hidden sources of caffeine. A good internet search can assist in finding out how much caffeine is in a product.
Fear’s been with me since my earliest childhood recollection. It’s been molded by circumstances into my DNA. Little by little the Lord and I are ferreting out the roots of fear. It’s a tedious process as the roots are numerous and many are entangled.
Will the anxiety attacks return? I don’t know. I do know giving up all caffeine has made life manageable again. Today, I’m filled with nothing but praise for a God who answers prayers in unique ways. I’m filled with “Joy” to know He still has my back and is working in my life; even when I don’t feel him near or understand the how come or why.
Until next time, may your days be “Joy” filled.
“The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:17 (NKJV)