“There is blood flow!” Those are words that came as an excitement but also came with confusion. Our cardiologist explained that I moved from being a high-risk case to a low-risk case which you would think would make me happy but so much fear still sat in my heart and in my mind. You see, I was diagnosed with Anomalous Origin of the Right Coronary Artery in January of 2020. This rare heart defect is only found when athletes or active people pass away suddenly. So when I got the news that I was diagnosed with this heart defect, I feared for my future on this earth. With this diagnosis came a lot of tests to see if there was proper blood flow to my heart or if I would need open heart surgery.
After all the tests were done, I was told I am a miracle. The cardiologist himself was shocked at the proper blood flow and the fact that I wasn’t such a high risk case. The other reason he was so shocked was that my major artery took a 90 degree angle and that can cause more issues as well. He said only 5% of cardiologist cases have ACA (Anomalous Coronary Artery) and only 2% of the cases can live with them. On top of that, he said that only 1% of those cases don’t need surgery. So I’m rare! Now, I had been told I had to find a way to manage my stress to help alleviate the symptoms I was experiencing.
Easy enough, right? Man, you’d think so. Stress and anxiety have always been an issue for me. I hold onto my stresses which, in turn, builds my anxiety. So for me to just let go, has been a huge lesson for me. Over the past year, I have been learning what my triggers are and how to alleviate the anxiety without going onto anxiety medication.
Remember what the bible says, “Do not worry about tomorrow”? Yeah, for some that is easy, for me, it seems almost impossible. So I have been working on turning to God during those times of stress. I am learning to rely on Him and not turn straight to anxiety. I know that He will take care of me. When those moments of anxiety come my way, I do one of the following things:
- Listen to worship music. Listening to worship music has taught my heart to pause and think about all of the blessings God has given me. It has reminded my soul to relax for I know God has this. He has me in the palm of His hands.
- Reading His word. Again, this is one I struggle with but reading Psalms has reminded me that I am not the only one who faces the feelings of loss, fear, depression, and all of the other feelings of hopelessness.
- Devotionals and Christian self-help books. I know some may think “self-help books are not for me” but I mean it when I say they truly help. I have learned so much about myself and about my relationship with God by just reading these books. I grow closer and closer to the Lord every time I read them. Give them a try. I promise you won’t regret it!
- Prayer. Just being able to ask God for peace in my heart has helped me get my feelings out in the open. Plus, of course, God always loves to hear from us. There are days I don’t feel like speaking out loud and that is okay. I write down my prayers and stick them in my prayer closet (or war room as others call it). Whatever way you want to pray, pray. God is listening to you and cares about you.
If you are struggling with anxiety, try these steps. See if they work for you.