Thursday, August 30, 2012


"It's better to cry than to be angry, because anger hurts others while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanse the heart." -Pope John Paul II
As I have read through many quotes on tears, there seem to be differing opinions on them. Some feel tears are a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. I don't see them this way. To me, tears have brought me relief, strength and compassion. I used to feel guilty when I cried like I was being ungrateful for my blessings. Then I realized that the right kind of tears can help me to release the built-up stress my anxiety can bring. Similar to chocolate, too much crying can be bad, too little can leave you feeling upset, and just the right amount can help you feel better.

"We need never be ashamed of our tears." -Charles Dickens

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I Know God Likes Country Music

As Jordan (my husband) and I were dating I experienced high levels of anxiety. I don’t really know why, it just happened. I had anxiety about everything. Even though it was rough, it helped Jordan and I get to know each other in a very special way. He would help me through panic attacks (he still does) and he never gave up on me. One day I was on my way to class at the University. For some reason I was completely and totally overwhelmed this day. My mind was cloudy, nothing was making sense, and I thought I was beyond hope. My mind was telling me there was nothing good in the world, and even if there was, I wasn't worthy to be a partaker of it. As I drove to school, I just cried and cried. It was on Highway 89 that the radio began to play one of my two favorite songs, Lady Antebellum’s “Just a Kiss.” My tears of frustration and anger softened as I listened to the words. I was in shock when right after this song, my other favorite song came on the radio, “Crazy Girl” by the Eli Young Band. I was still crying, but they were now tears of gratitude. I took this as God’s way of showing me He loved me. He knew I was having a hard time, but He was still with me. There were one or two other times when I felt hopeless and these songs came on the radio right after another. I don’t know exactly how God works, but I do know he got my country station to play those songs when I needed them. I felt it was God tapping me on the shoulder to say, “I’m still here, I love you.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God Has A Way of Working With People Like Me

My brain is, at times, a pool of fear, waiting for my thoughts to come and take a swim.
I sit and worry, placing myself in worst case scenarios and situations. 
I feel alone, I feel cornered, I feel hope being sucked from me.
But, God has a way of working with people like me.
He sends me His love through a song, a friend, a lesson, a feeling, a scripture, a thought...
It is His way of tapping me on the shoulder to say, "Remember Me? I'm here for you."
"I know what you're going through, I know your thoughts. Just trust Me, everything is going to be okay."
The Lord has a way of fixing things that are broken. He can turn chaos to peace. He can turn a mess into a masterpiece.
God has a way of working with people like me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson Learned

A little less than a year ago, I was at an Institute devotional (an hour long meeting at the University's Institute of Religion for Latter-Day Saints). This particular devotional consisted of a few selected Institute students sharing their stories/testimonies. One girl got up and talked about how she prayed about a zipper that was stuck on her shirt because she really wanted to wear it. Because I have anxiety (and I am sometimes immature), I thought to myself, “Girl, if that is your biggest problem, then you are sitting pretty.” A few days later, I was getting ready to go to work. At this time, I worked at an elementary school in the after-school program. This day just happened to be the Halloween party, and I could not find the shirt I was planning on wearing for my 50s girl costume. I quickly said a prayer that He would help me find my shirt. After a couple of minutes, I started laughing really hard. I was praying about clothes. Good one, I get the message. I think God most definitely has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where Did I Go?

For a long time I was worried that anxiety had taken my identity away from me. In High School, I was always the girl with the loud laugh who was always smiling. When I was hit with anxiety I would see people who I used to be like and almost get angry. Their perkiness would cause me to pull into my shell and want to hide. I would think, "I remember when I used to be like that, in the middle of the conversations, quick to come up with a witty comment, and friendly to everyone." I felt like I was losing myself. There were things I used to find great joy in that I had no interest in anymore. It scared me. My anxiety would make me feel like I didn't want to talk to anyone I didn't know. I was uncomfortable in rooms with a lot of people.
I remember one night telling my mom, "I don't feel like myself." (She has been through similar things even on a deeper level than I have.) The neatest thing was she totally understood what I meant. She told me,
"I know you don't believe me right now, but trust me. You will feel like yourself again."
I didn't believe her then. I wanted to, but it seemed impossible.

It wasn't easy. I went through a lot of tears, anguish, fears, etc. and I still do. But, the more time that passes, the more I feel like myself. It is interesting though, because even though I feel like myself again, I am different than I was before. I am more aware of the people around me. I have a more forgiving heart and I am much more accepting of others. Before anxiety, I was very judgmental. I am still working on it, but I have learned to give people the benefit of the doubt. Before, I found a lot of pleasure in being the loud and funny one in a group. That is not necessarily bad, but it may not be the best choice on the list of good, better, and best. I still love to be funny and have a good time, and I am still known for my ear-drum breaking laugh, but I have developed in ways I couldn't imagine before. Anxiety didn't take my identity away from me, it just molded me in new ways. I was afraid I had lost myself, that I was just going to watch my life pass by, but this hasn't happened. Having anxiety has helped me to appreciate the wonderful things even more. I have had hard days, but life is still good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


"Music was my refuge." -Maya Angelou


At times, music has been my refuge from the storms of anxiety. Music can make the unexplainable come to life. Things that can't be said in words can be made clear in lyrics. On my iPod (I still have a first generation white nano and I am proud of it!) I have a playlist titled, "Chelsea special songs." That is precisely what they are. Each song on the playlist has some sort of special meaning to me or has given me comfort in some way. Each of the songs have lyrics that have helped or touched me in some way. I have listened to these songs over and over and over
again. I've listened in my car, in my room, on the computer, sung them in my head, etc. They have all helped me find refuge.


"When I get where I'm going, there'll be only happy tears. I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years. And I'll leave my heart wide open. I will love and have no fear."
"When I get where I'm going, and I see my Maker's face, I'll stand forever in the Light of His amazing grace."- "When I Get Where I'm Going." Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton.


"I'm trying to hold on, just waiting to hear Your voice. One word, just a word will end this nightmare."
"I know that the night must end and that the sun will rise...I know that the clouds must clear and that the sun will shine...and I'll hear your voice deep inside." -"Endless Night" from "The Lion King" on Broadway.


"Since Christ is Lord
of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"-"How Can I Keep From Singing?" written by Robert Wadsworth Lowry. This version performed by SheDaisy.


"One day you, you'll find your light again, don't you know? Don't let go, be strong."
"Follow your dreams, be yourself an angel of kindness. There's nothing that you cannot do, I believe in you."- "I Believe in You." El Divo featuring Celine Dion.


"Don't give up, it's just the weight of the world. When your heart's heavy, I will lift it for you."-"You are Loved" Josh Groban.


"But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me. Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again, 'You'll never win.' But the voice of truth tells me a different story, the voice of truth says, 'Do not be afraid.' And the voice of truth says, 'This is for My glory.' Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."-"Voice of Truth" Casting Crowns.


"I'll keep leaning on my Jesus. I know He'll love and guide and lead us." -"Smoky Mountain Memories" Dolly Parton, performed by David Archuleta.


"God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you
for the days of doubt." -"God Gave Me You." Blake Shelton.


"Sometimes it seems impossible, that's why we pray." -"Raise It Up." from the film, "August Rush."


"I ain't as good as I'm gonna get, but I'm better
than I used to be." -"Better than I used to Be." Tim McGraw

Monday, August 20, 2012

In the Church Parking Lot

I have always been a religious person. I was taught about God as a child and have always found great strength in attending church, reading the scriptures, and praying. When my anxiety was at its peak, I had the hardest time in church. When church was over, I would think, "Phew! I made it through another Sunday." My anxiety told me that I was worth nothing. It told me I didn’t belong there. It told me I should just give up. My anxiety would tell me I wasn’t good enough to be in the pews, that I couldn’t handle what was being taught, and basically that I was scum. There were a few months when I never went through a Sunday at church where I didn’t feel at some point that I needed to run, and I mean run, outside for some air. I never did run, because I knew deep inside that what my anxiety was telling me wasn’t true. Church is not a place for perfect people. Church is a place for sinners and mistake makers.

On one particular Sunday I was really having a hard time. My sister was sitting a few people down from me on the same row. I looked at her with a desperate face. That was all I needed to do. Between our next two meetings, my sister and I went to my car in the parking lot. I told her what was going on in my head. She comforted me and gave me her support. I felt better just being able to express myself to her. I told her I still believed in my religion 100%, it was just so hard to sit there with my anxiety telling me I'm nothing, telling me all the things being said in church are out of reach. She didn't judge me or tell me to get over it. She offered her love and support. It was so helpful. 

What my anxiety was telling me in church wasn't true. I needed to be there. I am not perfect, but I am loved by my Heavenly Father. Church is not a place for perfect people. Church is a place for sinners, mistake makers, and even those who have anxiety.    

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thank you, Chieko.

As I live with anxiety, I am not alone. I have support from my sweet husband, my family, God, my friends, and others. For some of my first posts I wanted to mention some outside sources that have really helped me in my journey with anxiety. One person who has helped me in countless ways is a woman named Chieko Okazaki. The strange thing about our relationship is that she doesn't know who I am. In fact, she passed away last year. She has written several books for women in the LDS church. I was introduced to her writings when a woman in my ward used a powerful quote from one of her books. The quote hit me with such force I couldn't go many days without getting a hold of that book. The quote talked about our Savior and how He died for us and knows exactly who we are and what we are going through. I had heard this many times before, but the way she described it so specifically and personally touched me in a way I had never felt before. I knew that even though my anxiety made me feel alone, I wasn't. Not only do I have loved ones on earth who care about me, I have a Heavenly Father and a Savior, Jesus Christ, who know me perfectly and love me with a perfect love. My Savior knows all the emotions I have as a result of anxiety. He has felt the frustration and despair I feel at times. I am not alone.
I would suggest this book to anyone and everyone. Ironically, I visit the DI (Deseret Industries) often, and there are always at least two copies of the book there. This has shocked me because the book helped me in my life so much I can't imagine not having it on my bookshelf.


Hi! Welcome to my blog. My name is Chelsea and I live with anxiety. I wanted to start a blog for a few reasons. Ready? 1-As I have been living with anxiety I have noticed how much better I feel when I am open about it. It is amazing how many people feel similar to the way I do. Through this blog I hope to find people who are struggling with and overcoming anxiety. I hope and pray we can help each other through words and sharing experiences. Anxiety can be a scary thing, but the more you talk about it, the smaller it becomes. The more support you feel from family, friends, and even strangers, the easier it is to live with and the better life becomes. 2-I want to remember the tender mercies God has shown me through my journey with anxiety. Even in moments when I thought He was far away, He wasn't. I want to remember how He has helped me by recording His actions in my life. 3-I want to help those who don't have anxiety understand it a little bit better. I'm not talking understand it medically (because heaven knows I have no idea about that side), but how it is emotionally and mentally. Anxiety is fairly black and white. Either you have it or you don't. I want to help those who don't come to understand their loved ones who do a little better. Simply stated, I want to bring anxiety out of the dark, and put it in the light so everyone can see and understand it without being afraid.