Anxiety, Medication, & God’s Abundant Grace
By Meghan DeWalt
This is the latest post in a series where guest bloggers share how God has shown up in the stories they never expected to live. May these stories stir you toward hope and give you a glimpse of God’s goodness. Read previously published stories here.
I can’t recall when I first admitted that the physical tension, scattered mental space, and numb overwhelm was anxiety. To be honest, I don’t know when it began happening. Living in chronic pain from hip dysplasia for eleven years didn’t help—not to mention the abundance of family health crises during that time.
It’s funny how trauma—large or small—changes us.
I began counseling in 2017 thinking it would offer practical help as I dealt with familial growing pains and discerned the next right step in my career. I had no idea it would reveal I struggled with anxiety. Anxiety over:
+ fear of the future
+ fear of the present
+ decision making
+ letting people down
+ being too much or not enough
My struggle with anxiety is rooted in negative self-worth—lies I’ve believed about who God is and who I am, as well as fear related to the unknown and not being able to control the future.
Through counseling, years of wrestling over who God was, and the trial and error of supplements to help with my emotional rollercoaster-y menstrual cycle, God met me. He met me in hard spaces as I confronted the true level of my unbelief—and the depths unsearchable of His love.
His peace swept over me like a river to calm and comfort me when the lies were loud and the shame wouldn’t stop. The lies and shame were especially loud and unrelenting the week before every period began. The fact that I can write these words—mild depression the week before every period—is God’s grace in my story. I lived in denial and self-abasement for a long time when my hormones would fluctuate to prepare my body to do what it is supposed to do every month. I thought I was weak, stuck in a deep stronghold of unbelief—it was up to me to fix myself and just live with it. I thought it was solely a spiritual issue that needed additional support.
Through professional counseling and the partnership of my husband, I finally talked to my OBGYN about the awful week-long struggles I faced related to my mental health each month. I felt like a week of my life was eaten away, I was so scattered, often numb, and weepy—and I’d been feeling this for years.
My OBGYN was mightily used by God to root the truth down deeper into me, though it was nothing I hadn’t heard from my husband or friends for the last few years.
It’s not your fault. Some women are prone to this. There is help for it.
In October of 2020, I began taking a little blue pill called Zoloft. After a few days of nausea and sleepiness as my body adjusted to it, I felt normal.
During what was typically the hardest week of the month for me, I genuinely felt a lift. My greatest fear was for that little blue pill to alter who I was, my personality, and further numb me out. I still felt like myself—which was, yet again, God’s provision and grace, moving right into my fear.
I’ve taken Zoloft for four months now. Every morning when I take that little blue pill along with other vitamins and supplements? I know I am receiving a measure of grace from the hand of God. At His direction, after a long journey fraught with snotty tears, frustration, shame, and fear—I took this step of obedience in submitting my anxiety to Him. I’ve come to realize my anxiety doesn’t define me, nor does my anxiety medication. I am not anxious. I carry anxiety. I am not depressed—I feel depressed sometimes.
My anxiety doesn’t define me, nor does my anxiety medication.
2020 was the year to realign my heart to receive God’s truth and light, letting them lead me further into His heart for those He loves. A heart of a holy, good Father who will give His children what they need, every day—including in the form of medication.
Once I owned what I was feeling and didn’t put myself down for feeling anxious or struggling with depression once a month? God met me. There was a lot of processing to do in God’s presence because it all (mercifully!) revealed deeper issues that needed to be submitted under God’s mighty, caring hand—and refined. And part of that, I believe, was beginning my medication, which has allowed me to grapple with conviction, work with God on the messiest parts of my inner being, and walk in step with the Holy Spirit further into wholeness. Mind, body, and spirit—God created all of them, in us.
We are not just souls or hearts, but also brains and bodies—and as He cares for us, ought we not to care for them as well? Sometimes that looks like medication (or diet change, or giving up caffeine, or seeing a therapist). It’s hard work—but it is holy work. And God says we are worth it—because He said we were worth it all.
About the Author
Meghan DeWalt is an author and medical office assistant who is passionate about theology, discipleship, and encouraging others to know and love God more. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Jeff, where they enjoy cooking, adventuring, and serving the Church. You can keep up with Meghan on Instagram, Facebook, her website www.meghandewalt.com, or through her weekly Remembrance & Redemption podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
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