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How Is This Brave?

How Is This Brave? October 6, 2021

People say I am brave.

It is ironic.

Me, brave?

How does anyone even become “brave”?

What does it take to make a person courageous?

It’s all about the hard stuff.

Life happens.

And it pushes some of us over the edge.

For me?

Anxiety and depression.

Back in the old days.

The 1900’s.

Before it was ever really talked about.

I kept telling my doctor I was having a heart attack.

I for real know I’m dying.

He ran all the tests.

So many tests.

I was in my mid twenties and in pretty good shape.

He looked right at me in his office and said “It’s not your heart. It’s not your heart. It’s not your heart.”

I shook my head in tears.

It had to be.

He then told me it was depression.

Nope.

Not depressed.

Except the dang tears running down my eyes as he said it.

Still though, I didn’t “feel” depressed.

Anxious?

Sure.

Not sad though.

He began to explain how the two go hand in hand.

Anxiety and depression.

But it was so very physical.

The chest pain, 

The heart beating out of my chest.

The feeling like I’m gonna faint.

C’mon Doc, figure it out.

If not my heart, it has to be cancer.

Because I know I am dying of something.

I just wanted to know what it was.

Never heard of anxiety/depression killing anyone.

But there I was.

It was embarrassing.

All the doctor appointments.

The medications.

Having to stay with my mom and dad so they could help with the kiddos while Kevin worked.

I couldn’t get off the couch.

But how could it be depression?

Sidenote ~

I used to think I was failing my children with all this selfish sickness stuff.

Which made me even more anxious.

I know better now.

Our kids have made it clear how much they loved those days/nights at their grandma’s.

This is good news for any young momma who walks this journey.

Your kids will be fine.

Hang in there.

Let others help.

They aren’t feeling what you are feeling.

My kids were drinking grape pop and playing cards with Grandpa.

Ok, back to being brave.

I didn’t choose this.

I would have gladly passed on the whole anxiety struggle.

But it has taught me something.

I’m so very human.

So very dependent on God.

Dependent on others.

Not even close to being perfect.

Can’t even pretend to be when I couldn’t get off Mom’s couch.

People knew.

And I became ok with them knowing.

Because I realized most people cared.

They somehow understood.

Some even told me they had the same struggle.

My being vocal about it?

Was actually helping others know they weren’t alone.

Or at the time, even just know there was such a thing.

This road has been long.

I know for certain this is something I will deal with for the rest of my life.

It’s been 26 years.

I can do another 26 like this.

So much has been learned about it.

Medication and meditation help.

A good counselor is a must.

And being vocal about it doesn’t hurt.

So this anxiety journey has helped me see how honesty is the key.

And it has taught me to be honest about a bunch of other things as well.

Where I am at in my faith.

How I feel about this life.

What I am learning about God.

All the questions I have.

You see, the more I put it out there, the more free I become.

I want you to know and love me.

Not a me I am pretending to be.

Just me.

And man, I want to know you too.

The real you.

Not some version of you that you think I will like.

The real you.

And the bonus is?

When I tell you who I really am?

And you still love me?

Wow.

That’s Jesus.

When I get a chance to see you for who you really are?

I then get a chance to love you like Jesus does.

To show you a picture of who God is.

Loving you.

Believing in you.

Walking with you.

Learning from you.

And enjoying this life with you.

So, if being honest is brave?

Bring on brave.

Karen R Shock resides in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband and their youngest son. She had three more children who are married and four beautiful grandchildren. Oh, and a dog name JT Barrett (Go Bucks). She is a retired homeschool mom and is now a high school teacher and cheer coach. Life is hard, but fun.


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