“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25)
I sometimes think that with illness and disability, worry is itself a symptom of chronic illness. The constant stress, the adjustment to endless difficulties, the frustration of daily dealing with affliction, these things invite worry, fear, dread, and doubt.
Sometimes medication is necessary to help us with the anxiety that arises from living with chronic illness. Counseling may be helpful, finding a sympathetic ear to pour out our worry and cares from the constant tension of affliction is necessary, for no one should carry the constant stress and worry of affliction alone.
It is literally adding insult to injury when on top of our illnesses and disabilities we are struck with anxiety, worry, and fear. These things can be crippling in themselves, causing us to dread leaving our house because of limitations, can keep us from developing friendships, from reaching out to others.
Our fears can imprison us, making our affliction doubly crippling. Sometimes anxiety, panic, fear is the affliction that disables us, limits us, keeps us from living a full life. Others might think we can merely “pull ourselves out” of such crippling feelings, but anxiety is an illness is its own right, and can do much harm by itself.
Worry and fear are no strangers to those of us suffering affliction. We worry about how our illness limits us, how our affliction affects our family members. We worry whether we will ever truly be happy, if our affliction will rob us of living a “normal” life. We fear a downturn in our health, a worsening of an already intolerable situation. Fear and dread of the future based upon the hardships of today multiplies our difficulties.
It may be that part of your thorn in the flesh includes worry, fear, and dread. You may be living with full blown anxiety and panic attacks. Medicine and therapy can help, finding others to talk about how you are feeling can help, and pouring out our fears and concerns to God is very helpful.
But denial of our feelings, pretending our feelings don’t matter, and trying to ignore ongoing panic and anxiety is very harmful. Medical help and counseling are very important in treating anxiety and panic.
Today you may feel overwhelmed with fear, your affliction may directly involve fear, or it may be secondary to your chronic illness, but however it arises, seek help, talk to others, see a doctor, meet with a therapist, take your worry and fears before God in prayer seeking His help, guidance, and wisdom. But don’t suffer alone. Don’t deny yourself help when it is needed.
Prayer: Dear Lord, our fears seem overwhelming, our doubts and dread grows large in our minds, help us to find healing and peace for our worry weary souls. Amen.
About the Author
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He is grateful for the help he has received for anxiety and fear
Does you fear, worry, dread, and anxiety seem overwhelming? Have you reached out for help?
This video is the song In The Middle with Smokie Norful. Love the lyrics and hope you will too. Remember, even when you worry, God is right there in the middle. -Lisa