About the Author

Becky loves serving as (in)courage’s Community Manager. She is a speaker and author of No Better Mom for the Job. Becky is a huge fan of Voxer, Sunday naps, and championing women. She lives near Los Angeles and loves hiking shady trails with her husband and three spirited sons.

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  1. Thank you, Becky, for this very helpful image. Naming something, putting words around a feeling, always helps me to be more compassionate and, this gives me so much better insight to the people in my life who suffer from anxiety.

  2. Thank you so much for this message. I get this way when trying to concentrate. Every little noise makes me more and more irritated and tense and overwhelmed . I don’t think I realized this was anxiety until now. I thought it was just an inability to concentrate and tune things out. But I see now that my anxiety flares in more situations than i was aware of before now. It builds and builds and peaks with tears which provides relief. I’m sorry you too experience such anxiety but I thank you for sharing.

    • Jill, I so get this. It’s easy to feel like “I just need to be less sensitive and cope better.” Slowly, slowly, I’m learning to understand myself and be more gentle with these tender places. So glad this was helpful for you. xx

  3. What did you do, or take or talk to that helped you? I have experienced major changes in my life over the past three years, way way to many. I am on a med and have made an appointment with a therapist until then I pray!! Really I pray all the time.

    • Marti, hi anxiety is something ive had for many years it flares up during transitions in my life, it steals sleep, joy you name it in fact my life verse is 1peter5:7 i do pray , see a therapist, and I’m on Luvox. This anxiety is very real would love to hear from you

    • ANXIETY , Ive had this disorder for many years it steals your life i pray, take meds, see a therapist, but anxiety is the gift that keeps giving. This weekend had a flare up i just want to pull the covers over me &sleep but most of the time that makes matters worse. My family judges me harshly , which makes the condition worse they do not seem to care . So ,yes anxiety is very real my puppies and god love me this i know, but it would be nice if my family was more supportive with my condition.

      • Oh Maria, yes it’s so painful when people close to us don’t have compassion for our mental health nor seem to want to understand. I’m so grateful all is known by God. You are so loved.

    • Marti,
      Several years ago I spent a good, long, hard year in counseling. It helped tremendously. In fact, I’ll be starting again soon. I think the solutions are varied as the symptoms for different people. Anxiety and depression are definitely not a one size fits all scenario. I pray continually too. Spend time breathing fresh air. Do my best to be honest with family and friends. It’s hard. Praying for you in the thick of it today. xx

  4. Been there with you, sister… tears flowing over ‘inconsequential’ things… feeling that chest pressure that anxiety brings… praying that we will feel that spirit of power and love and a sound mind that God promises…

  5. I have recently started struggling with anxiety and also panic attacks as well. Nobody knows. I haven’t spoken to my husband or anyone else about it. I’m afraid everyone will think I am crazy, but it’s getting harder to hide and I don’t know how to make this all better. I just want to feel normal again.

    Thank you for writing and sharing. It helps me to understand a little more of what I’ve been experiencing and will help me when I choose to share with those I’m close to on my life as well.

    • Oh, Nicole. Wish I could reach through this screen and hug you. I’ve been there. Praying God will give you the courage to invite others into your struggle. My anxiety has been so much worse when I try to stuff it, hide it, shame it away. I’ve definitely shared it with people and not felt udnerstood, yet there was still freedom in bringing it out of the darkness into the light. And there will be someone who cares and is willing to walk with you in it. Praying for you today. xx

    • Nicole to suffer alone will make matters worse you need support, your church, family, therapist, anxiety, panic attacks will steal your life.

  6. I’m praying for you now Becky. (Isaiah 26:3-4; John 14:27; Philippians 4:6; 2Timothy 1:7)
    May Abba bless you with His Shalom.
    Russ J Colombo

  7. “giving voice” is such a profound, poignant message in your
    writing………..Women must “speak” especially NOW. Thank you.
    Peace/Blessings

  8. That was so encouraging! I loved your comparison and explanation. It’s hard to put language to things I don’t understand. Thanks for the words.

  9. Thank you for being “real” this morning and honest! You are so right about bringing our anxieties into the light and being honest. I have lived with anxiety for many years and it has become less and less as I have learned more of who God is. But like you said there are days you don’t even know why you are anxious you just are! Woke up this morning feeling a little anxious. Thank you again for reminding me to be gentle to myself instead of beating myself up! So thankful we a Saviour we can run to and who will sustain us in our time of need! Glad to hear you are doing better!

    • Darlene, yes, I pray we continue to know more of who God is and accept His unconditional love and compassion. He is good. Thanks so much for being here today. xx

  10. Becky . . . I can relate to this. Ten-plus years ago, I was in Christian counseling for anxiety. I had three “giants” in my life that I had to face daily—with fear. It wasn’t a fear of physical abuse, but of me not knowing how to handle three strong personalities. I remember my hyperventilating, feeling like I was going to pass out. The anxiety would start in my stomach and begin to works its way up. I knew if it got to my head I would either pass out or my mind would race so much that focusing would a
    become almost impossible. This fear of having an attack stopped me from driving on the interstate because there was no safe place to pull over. I didn’t want to kill myself or worse, others.
    Visiting my daughter and her family who lived an hour away, necessitated taking the longer back roads to avoid the interstate. Surprisingly enough, I have to thank Martha Stewart for forcing me back on the interstate. I repeated Jesus name for miles to keep the anxiety in check until I saw a “green” shoulder of safety.mI was a fan of Martha’s Saturday morning TV show. This particular Saturday, while at my daughter’s, if I took the long way home, I would miss the show. Hence, I faced the terrifying interstate! It’s funny how God will use the most ordinary means to give us the strength to overcome our fears. I now drive anywhere in peace.
    Today, the “giants” have given way to loving relationships because God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind (2nd Timothy 1:7).
    Your sharing gives me cause to thank the Lord again for His mercy and grace to fight the Goliaths in my life.

  11. Thank you for being so real. Its not nice when you this happens. People who don’t have it don’t understand it. They think it all in your head. You try your best. To be someone who is coping. I try not let it get too me. As I have sisters especially one. Who will say we all have pain from time to time but we all have to live with it and get on with it. This sister is not saved. None of my sister’s are saved. She can be nice very kind and loving one minute then the next her mood can change. So I just get I tell her very little about how I am or my pain. I do sometimes tell my two sisters but half time they busy in there own worlds with there families and kids. To ask. But least they can’t say I didn’t tell them. So I know how you feel when the tears come. I pray for them. I have good Husband and best listener of all Father God. His word the promises and prayer. Without it I would not be the Christian I am today. As I let all eat me. Make me ill. I now leave it at the foot of the Cross. As at the time it not easy but with the help of a good friend prayer Gods word and his promises. You can do it. Get through this. I did. It does take time. After a whilie and with the help of trusted friend prayer and Gods word. You look back and say. Yes I did it. I am were I am today beause I got the help. Plus trust God prayer and his word and had good friend with me. My prayers are with you. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little

  12. Becky,
    I don’t have the same kind of anxiety you do, but I can understand what you are saying.I have MS. There are times when I just have to cry, and don’t even know why I feel this way. It’s hard for someone who isn’t around me or doesn’t know what MS symptoms are like, to understand me. Fortunately,my family and friends do understand. Another symptom I have is fatigue. I know everyone says they are tired to, but fatigue is more than just being tired or lazy. It can make it really hard to even get out of bed. I usually read the daily incourage.me devotions before I get out of bed. You ladies make it possible to start the day!
    Thanks for sharing your story. You really do make a difference!
    Blessings,
    Peggy

    • Peggy, your comment put tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry for your suffering. Yet I am so grateful God is using this place to encourage your heart. He is near — may we always cling to that. Thanks for being part of (in) community. xx

  13. I can relate to this as I have health issues & my husband is in end stage kidney disease. I feel over whelmed at times and I know I raise my voice.

  14. My anxiety is at the pinnacle right now as my son is trying to appeal his denial as a transfer from his present college to one nearby . I have cried for days , my stomach is in knots , and questioning God as why did he led my son and us down this convoluted road . “ Don’t worry about anything . Pray about everything . Tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for His answers …” It’s so hard … thank you for being real …

  15. A poignant and much needed message! Thank you for being real and raw.

    Peace and Blessings to you!

  16. Becky thank you so much for this message, now I understand the changes that was going on in my body. Jesus said many times in scripture, don’t be afraid, only believe. When fear or worry come to your mind, remember He is saying the same to us today. Let faith rise up in our heart by speaking the truth.

  17. Wow, I can so relate to this. I am on medication for anxiety but there are still some things that drive me crazy and make me feel so overwhelmed. I also have trouble concentrating and it is so refreshing to know that I am not alone and there is no shame in the way I feel. Thank God that we can share these things with each other and pray to him about our struggles. Thank you for sharing this Becky!

  18. I always wondered why I couldn’t concentrate with certain noises. Wow, thank you for sharing about this.

  19. There is actually a word for this: MISOPHONIA.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/misophonia-sounds-really-make-crazy-2017042111534

    I only learned of it a couple weeks ago, & somehow NOW don’t feel so alone. I think we all have our little quirks. I do have clinical depression/generalized anxiety disorder and honestly a lot of background noise really really bothers me and can set me off easily when is phases no one else.
    For instance, if my husband gets a phone call and he has the news on. Instead of muting the television and talking on his phone he can be doing both at the same time and the combination of the chatter from the television and the chatter from him can put me right over the edge. I think learning this word was a God – thing.

  20. Becky I feel you . I have been at the nail salon or on line at a store and want to jump up and walk out for no reason. its like a switch goes on and i become anxious, panicked and i just need to leave where i am. Im so glad that you and other women of faith are shining light on this !

  21. I have had anxiety and eventually agoraphobia for many years. Some if it is better and some days it is just as bad as it was years ago. Anxiety is so hard to explain to others but this article helped me understand how to do that

  22. Becky,
    It took so much courage to write this post. It also helped me understand what anxiety feels like. The metaphor of a root canal was so clarifying. I love you, friend. Anxiety is awful. Yet, in a small way it has become a healing gift for you to love others. Thank you for writing your heart so beautifully.

    • Thank you, friend. God is so good to use our pain. I pray we all continue to grow in compassion for ourselves — in things that seem clear and also what we do not fully understand. Love you, too. So grateful for you and your gentle heart and desire to walk with others. xx

      • Yes ! The tooth analogy was a brilliant way of explaining it. You are not the only one who cannot find the reason for an anxiety flair up. It does seem illogical when there is not a clear explanation of why we get anxiety…it’s not a cause/effect situation most of the time it just appears and we have to ride the waves until it dissipates. Praying for you!

  23. Becky,

    Thank you for giving voice to this disorder. This discussion is much needed-especially in the Christian world. Well-meaning Christians will often say “just pray more, or have more faith” & this won’t have this problem. That isn’t true at all. These medical issues could be caused by chemical imbalances or other conditions. Our world would be so much better if people wouldn’t judge each other. We don’t need to put others down, but instead help to build them up. Stand with, have compassion & understanding. You never know what someone is going through at the time. The patient could & I think should consult an MD to see if meds would help in any way. Psychologists are another good venue to seek. They will listen to your story. Sometimes just letting the story out is enough therapy. Praying for all who suffer!

    Blessings 🙂

  24. I woke up anxious today, And reading this and all the comments and encouragement everyone was having with one another encouraged me deeply to be more gracious with myself as Christ is gracious with me and is encouraging us to be gracious with one another as you all are doing now. Thank you for sharing becki, it’s helping me get out of bed today.

    • Naomi, I’m sorry you are struggling. But also grateful for God’s timing. It encourages my heart to know it was what you needed to read. Much love and prayers. xx

  25. Becky
    Anxiety is horrible and people who don’t suffer I believe it’s hard for them to grasp its way more than fear or nerves. It manifests differently for everyone and can be super debilitating. The more we talk the less we are in our own head and it’s is far more common than you think…
    Prayer, meds, exercise, meditation and self care are what helps me. Definitely the meds though!! I remember crying out to the Lord for help and He did help me but it was not instant…I believe that God directed me to taking meds and there is no shame in that. It took me a long time to see it that way but talking helps so much too!! Thanks for your raw honesty here – you are not alone my friend!!

    • Jas, I so appreciate your honesty with your own journey as well. Yes, all those things are so good, helpful, often necessary. No shame in pursuing health! Our mental health is just as valid and important as our physical health. Thank you for the encouragement. So glad you are doing well in this area. xx

    • Jas & Becky,
      I am a parent of a teen who seems to be struggling with anxiety, and I’m trying to ask a lot of questions, not judge, not shame, and to also be careful not to too quickly label it/her and start down the medication route. I really like the “giving voice” perspective of this article. But I’m concerned about when those who struggle with anxiety call it “MY anxiety.” Is there such as thing as putting too much of our identity into a condition or disease or disorder? Is there a possibility that in our world today, we over-label because it’s normalized and “everybody has it.”? Is there an aspect of realizing that our words have power and know how to adjust so that we are speaking life into dark and dead places?

      I welcome your thoughts, advice, prayers. My life verses are I Pet 5:6-7 and Phil 4:6-8, because I have tended to over-analyze and worry myself. Over time, I have learned some strong coping tools without meds. I also want to be open to what my daughter ultimately needs. Thanks so much!

  26. So thankful for this. I struggle with depression/anxiety and there are times when every little thing irritates me. It’s not that my husband and son are doing anything wrong and I can’t put it into words. I need quiet, time alone, not to be needed. I am nurse. I am needed constantly at work. Then the same when I get home. Some days I am great, and the. I have my bad days. Thank you so much. I relate to all of this and it’s good to know I am not alone.

  27. Hi
    I understand what you mean by the anxiety when the noise and touch is almost amplified to a point where you get so stressed, it’s so hard to explain, and touch also almost feels in a weird way almost painful although it’s not. And you have to try and pretend that it’s ok, but you don’t always get that right.

    I wish I could cry and then express it, but I can’t seem to do that.

    Thanks for your article,
    it’s “nice” (the wrong word to use I know) but the knowing other people get the intensity of it. And you are not alone in feeling things like that or crazy.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks for being here, Anne. Yes, I know what you mean. It’s helpful to know others share a similar experience. God’s grace in not feeling alone. xx

  28. Hi
    I understand what you mean by the anxiety when the noise and touch is almost amplified to a point where you get so stressed, it’s so hard to explain, and touch also almost feels in a weird way almost painful although it’s not. And you have to try and pretend that it’s ok, but you don’t always get that right.

    I wish I could cry and then express it, but I can’t seem to do that.

    Thanks for your article,
    it’s “nice” (the wrong word to use I know) but the knowing other people get the intensity of it. And you are not alone in feeling things like that or crazy.
    Thank you.

    (sorry Anne is my second name)

  29. Dear Becky, I can see your gift as a storyteller shine, placing us right in the middle of your story, so we can feel and see what God is showing you! You have a gift for putting into words what you’re experiencing, so others can have words for their experiences – inviting others to hold themselves gently with compassion and honesty, without shame, so that they no longer need to be hidden but loved back into life, by being present and seen! Thinking of you! Love you, friend!

    • Grateful for your words, Bonnie. Thank you for all the ways you encourage others by also sharing the gritty places in your journey so God’s glory can shine through. Love you.

  30. So true! Thank you for sharing this Becky, its good to know that we are not alone and learn to be patient with ourselves. God bless you!

  31. Becky,
    Have you chosen not to use medication to help control your anxiety? What would you say to someone who feels using medication means they are not trusting God?

    • Hi, Daphne,
      For me, I’ve found therapy and other coping/mindfulness strategies to be helpful in managing my anxiety. While I don’t have personal experience using medication to control anxiety, it’s definitely something I’m open to if needed.

      To someone who feels that using medication means they are not trusting God, I would say, nothing is beyond the reach of God to be used as a tool for our good and His glory. If someone uses medication to control the pain of a throbbing tooth or broken bone, if someone uses medication to bring down their baby’s fever or control their high blood pressure, then they know that medicine does not negate faith in God and His power to heal. Medication can certainly be a God-led part of our health and wellness — physical and mental health alike. I’ll cheer on any woman in whatever path to healing God leads her on.
      xx

  32. thank you Becky. You have just described what I have been trying to explain to my family for years. Usually it is sounds or large crowds closing in on me. The only way I can cope is to cry. bless you for sharing.

    • Oh, Dona. I ache for you yet I am also filled with gratitude because God is so gracious and faithful to use our pain and unfine places.

  33. Becky, this is so beautifully written. I can’t relate to anxiety and I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but your words brought me into this raw experience. It gives voice in a way that helps you process and it also helps others look on with compassion. Shame works in the darkness so giving voice to an experience is so powerful to bring it into the light!