Multitude of Counselors

My Brush With Suicide

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jennifer Jill Schwirzer (Host), David Guerrero, Nicole Parker, Paul Coneff, Shelley Wiggins


Series Code: MOC

Program Code: MOC000017A

00:26 We are sharing tools to fix the tough stuff here
00:30 at the Multitude of Counselors today
00:32 and we're so glad you could tune in to our Program.
00:34 The title of our Program today is: Getting Past Panic.
00:37 Let me talk to you a little bit about Panic Disorder.
00:41 It's an Anxiety Disorder characterized by recurrent
00:44 unexpected panic attacks.
00:47 They may include such symptoms as heart palpitations,
00:51 sweating, shaking, shortness of breath,
00:54 numbness, and a feeling of impending disaster.
00:57 Our guest is nodding as I'm saying these things
01:00 because she has experienced this,
01:02 the prevalence for panic disorder
01:04 ranges from two percent to six percent in the United States.
01:08 Panic Disorder often coexists with other disorders
01:12 such as a mood disorder
01:13 which often onsets after the panic disorder
01:16 so the person starts having these panic episodes
01:18 and they think, "My life is falling apart"
01:19 and then they get depressed about it... or whatever...
01:21 so things can build upon one another.
01:24 The cause is pretty much a confluence of factors,
01:28 there's a high degree of genetic heritability
01:32 with all of the anxiety disorders
01:34 so you can blame your family for it,
01:35 there's also congenital factors,
01:38 when the mother is carrying the baby,
01:40 the baby is going to feel the mother's anxiety
01:42 so that can influence you.
01:44 Often, "Home of Origin" factors...
01:46 the behaviors and attitudes you see demonstrated
01:49 by family members... you learn those behaviors
01:52 and we often acquire panic or anxiety because of those things
01:56 and then also, anxiety disorders are very strongly correlated
02:00 with poor bonding in the home of origin...
02:03 I'm not saying all these things are true of our guest...
02:05 it may not be true at all
02:07 but we find that the mother and the father of the child
02:10 really do a lot to build that child's nervous system
02:14 so it's good to remember those things
02:16 when you're raising children
02:17 and also lifestyle choices such as
02:20 using drugs, using alcohol using nicotine and caffeine...
02:24 anything that upsets
02:26 the delicate balance of neurotransmitters
02:29 can trigger or worsen anxiety problems,
02:31 so we want to take care of our brains
02:34 because those neurotransmitters are very delicately balanced
02:37 by the Creator and we need to respect that.
02:39 Well, the good news is that
02:41 even if you do have an anxiety disorder,
02:43 perfect love can ultimately cast out fear
02:45 and we're going to be hearing about that today
02:47 but, often when people go to a physician or to their counselor
02:51 or to a psychiatrist to get treatment
02:53 for an anxiety disorder,
02:55 what we will find is that they will give them either
02:57 antidepressants... which can also help with managing anxiety
03:01 or drugs called: Benzodiazepines
03:03 those are very commonly prescribed.
03:05 My concern with "Benzos" as I call them
03:07 is that they're highly addictive...
03:09 within two weeks, you'll start to experience desensitization,
03:12 have to take higher doses to get the same effect
03:14 so I really prefer... if people are going to use Benzodiazepines
03:17 that they use them only episodically
03:19 and not consistently.
03:21 one of the most important things we can share
03:24 with those that have anxiety disorders
03:26 is how to breath properly,
03:27 we need to learn how to breath properly.
03:30 Ellen White said that students should be taught to breath
03:34 and that implies that we don't know how to breath
03:37 and so, what we do...
03:38 and I think all of us as therapists
03:39 teach people how to breath deep and slow
03:42 which activates the cerebral cortex
03:44 because you're choosing to slow your breathing down
03:46 and when you activate the cerebral...
03:48 frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex,
03:49 it helps to calm your limbic system,
03:51 kind of the way a mother calms a child.
03:53 A simple healthy lifestyle can contribute,
03:56 cognitive behavioral therapy
03:58 where you sort through your "thought life"
04:00 and you receive healthy and balanced thinking
04:03 from the Lord Jesus
04:04 can often help set us on a straight path
04:07 and so we want to introduce our guest and our counselors today
04:11 and get into this... this issue because
04:13 so many people have anxiety disorders...
04:15 almost 20 percent of the US population
04:18 will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder
04:20 at some point in their lifetime
04:22 so you're in good company, having experienced it
04:24 and we're looking forward to hearing from you.
04:26 This is Kessia Reyne Bennett, she is a doctoral student,
04:32 she goes to... what school do you go to?
04:34 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
04:36 Jennifer: In Chicago where she lives with her husband
04:38 and her beautiful child, Nika
04:41 because I see her on Instagram all the time.
04:43 Kessia: Yes.
04:44 Jennifer: Yeah and she's beautiful,
04:46 we're so glad you're here today to be honest with us
04:48 about a patch in your life... and it was quite a long patch
04:51 where you wrestled with a pretty serious disorder
04:54 and, by the grace of God, you found some things
04:57 that have helped you and you're able to talk about it
04:59 so, praise God for that and I'm so glad you're here.
05:02 We also have professional Counselor, Shelly Wiggins
05:04 from Michigan,
05:06 she has a private practice in Michigan,
05:07 we have the illustrious, MFT, Paul Coneff from Texas
05:12 and we have professional Counselor, Christina Cecotto
05:17 from Georgia.
05:19 I always think Tennessee... she's right on the border...
05:21 so glad you guys are here
05:23 let's talk about your story, Kessia,
05:27 when did this start and how did it start?
05:30 Yeah, well, I was a convert as a teenager
05:34 and a couple of years into my faith-walk with Jesus,
05:38 I went through a spiritual crisis...
05:40 with a little period of rebellion...
05:42 and that caused some spiritual disruption in my life
05:45 and some spiritual anxiety,
05:47 coming out on the other side of that,
05:49 I started experiencing these
05:51 episodes of just intense anxiety...
05:55 like very strong dis-ease that would move into...
05:58 such an intense place,
06:00 I had a hard time getting out of it.
06:02 I wouldn't have known to call that
06:03 any kind of a panic attack or anything like that
06:06 but I had this overwhelming sense of danger
06:10 and dis-ease and fear
06:12 so that progressed through my teen years...
06:16 I went to college and university,
06:18 I got married and so on
06:21 so that carried me all the way through
06:22 until I was in my mid-twenties
06:25 when the Lord gave me a deliverance
06:28 I couldn't have dreamt of.
06:30 Wow! well that's a very sweeping overview,
06:33 can you unpack a little bit,
06:35 tell us what happened to you
06:37 on a cognitive level and a spiritual level,
06:39 you said you were rebelling so to speak,
06:42 and then this onset occurred so did you connect the dots
06:46 or think that that was because of rebellion
06:48 or what would happen to you?
06:49 Yeah, definitely, I mean, so...
06:52 so, I had misrepresented myself, I'd told a lie
06:55 and I didn't want to go back and un-tell it, you know...
06:58 I didn't want to be embarrassed and face up to that and...
07:01 so I was avoiding it
07:02 and in avoiding it, I just kind of slid right into
07:06 a whole set of behaviors that no one would say is good
07:11 and while I was there, the Lord rescued me
07:14 like a little brand from the burning...
07:16 and set me back on a path to be closer to Jesus
07:20 but I still had this leftover.
07:21 Jennifer: Can you tell us about the behaviors
07:23 or would you rather keep that to yourself,
07:24 it's totally up to you.
07:26 Kessia: I think I'll keep that quiet but the...
07:30 they left this residue with me, right,
07:34 and on the other side of that,
07:36 I felt... although I had made the right... wrong,
07:39 and I had gone through...
07:40 Jennifer: Oh you did go through...
07:42 Kessia: I did, finally...
07:43 Jennifer: That was embarrassing.
07:44 Kessia: Yeah, right, it was.
07:46 Jennifer: But it was worth it.
07:47 Kessia: Yeah, totally worth it, totally worth it,
07:48 of course, on the other side you're always thinking,
07:50 "Why didn't you do that sooner?"
07:52 But on the other side of that,
07:53 even though I had righted the wrong the best way I knew how,
07:56 the anxiety remained so I just kept thinking,
08:00 "Oh, there's something else, there's more I have to do... "
08:02 and so I would,
08:03 I tried every angle to try to kind of purge myself
08:06 from that sin and to right the wrong
08:08 even after it had been righted again and again
08:11 so I couldn't be free from the sense of anxiety
08:13 and I attributed it to,
08:14 "Oh, the Lord's communicating to me that
08:17 that hasn't been taken care of yet.
08:19 Jennifer: Well, what wrongs did you right, I mean,
08:21 you'd already righted the wrong
08:23 so you said, you kept righting the wrong.
08:25 Kessia: Yeah, so I kept thinking,
08:26 "Oh what about these other people?
08:28 That one public presentation,
08:30 and it was to a whole group of people
08:32 and I... can I...
08:33 if I see one of those people on the street,
08:35 do I run up to them or tell them or do I seek them out?"
08:39 Jennifer: You were speaking in public
08:41 so you felt you had to track down everybody that was there?
08:43 Kessia: Yeah and just... "Did I mislead that person?
08:46 Did I say that to that person?
08:48 And I'm kind of searching my mind
08:50 and... in a kind of obsessive way and then I start,
08:53 "Okay, I'm going to re-confess this... "
08:55 I think every Christian's gone through something like that,
08:59 "Oh, I'd better re-confess it
09:00 and really, really repent of it this time"
09:02 so I was just... "I need extra confession...
09:05 extra repentance... extra amends... "
09:07 just trying to keep that anxiety at bay.
09:09 Shelly: It's almost a hyper spirituality
09:12 that was probably bringing the anxiety even further...
09:15 to an elevated level.
09:16 Kessia: Yeah, definitely, I'm one of those people
09:19 who naturally has people-pleasing tendencies,
09:22 I'm conscientious and so to people like me
09:25 commandments and rules and exhortations hit very hard
09:29 so "Oh... " and you know,
09:31 God had used a sense of dis-ease to communicate with me
09:34 that things are not right and they needed to be righted...
09:37 but I was unable to see whether I had turned pathological
09:40 and I had misinterpreted it.
09:42 Did you experience some relief
09:43 when you originally confessed the wrong?
09:45 Okay, so then you thought, "Well, if I keep confessing,
09:48 maybe I'll get more relief" right?
09:49 Yeah, yeah and actually, wonderfully, God, at that time,
09:53 just at that juncture, after I'd righted those wrongs
09:57 and I did experience quite a freedom,
09:59 He introduced me in a deeper way
10:01 to the experience of righteousness by faith
10:03 and gave me the gospel in a deeper way
10:07 and then the panic came, so how do I...
10:11 Were you aware of any of the negative thoughts you had
10:13 behind the panic?
10:14 Panic is a strong feeling, were you aware of any of that,
10:16 what the thoughts were about yourself?
10:20 Oh, about myself... It was more...
10:22 I just felt like I was in spiritual danger...
10:25 I just felt kind of a danger
10:26 so almost like a "spiritual oppression"
10:28 is maybe how I would have characterized it,
10:31 so early on...
10:32 Jennifer: Did you keep thinking, "I'm lost?"
10:33 Kessia: Early on... no... early on it was
10:35 "Okay, I need to pray for spiritual protection
10:39 because I had righted those wrongs
10:41 and I was kind of counting on the grace of the Lord Jesus
10:44 but as they persisted,
10:45 then, that confidence began to wear away
10:48 and then after a while... the most intense season...
10:52 it turned into... not just "lost" in some vague sense
10:56 but like, "I'm trying to sleep
10:58 and I'm overcome with this panic experience,
11:01 I'm falling into the abyss of God's absence... "
11:04 and then later... God's non-existence...
11:07 Christina: Yeah, sounds like you were relying upon your feelings
11:09 to tell you whether you were okay with God.
11:11 Kessia: Hmmm... hmmm... yeah and I had all of this theology
11:15 to correct me, right,
11:17 so I would move from here to there
11:20 and here to there and so...
11:21 Jennifer: What's the here and there?
11:23 Kessia: From my feelings to my theological convictions,
11:26 and my feelings and my...
11:28 so my feelings were definitely saying, "Doom... "
11:30 my theological convictions... "Well, let's see...
11:33 from what I know, I... this is what's right
11:36 and I did that... and this is what's right...
11:38 and I did that... and God is like this...
11:39 and I depend on Him for that and... "
11:41 Jennifer: Righteousness by works...
11:42 so, there was a conflict between what you believed
11:46 and what you felt?
11:48 Kessia: Definitely, until...
11:49 you know, and in that conflict one of them is going to give
11:53 and my theology started to give... on a personal level,
11:57 I could have easily counseled Shelly
12:00 about God's goodness and grace toward her
12:02 and how righteousness by faith works
12:03 but in my own heart, I thought, "But I...
12:07 God is communicating to me that I am doomed
12:11 and I just cannot figure out what to do to get around it... "
12:14 so I started just avoiding God
12:17 in all the ways that were private.
12:19 I'm still praying publicly, I'm preaching,
12:21 I'm a theology student, I'm giving Bible Studies,
12:24 I'm counseling people in that... in that way lay people do
12:28 and... but in my own private life,
12:31 there was just disaster.
12:34 Jennifer: There were crickets between you and God.
12:36 Kessia: Well, it was more like peals of ominous thunder.
12:40 Jennifer: Okay...
12:42 Christina: Looking back, do you...
12:43 do you still see it as God was speaking to you
12:46 and telling you that you were doomed?
12:47 Kessia: No, no, no, I mean...
12:49 Shelly: You corrected the source of that message?
12:52 Kessia: Yeah, one of the things I didn't realize till later
12:55 was... I had an underlying physical situation happening too
12:58 with my blood sugar,
12:59 so I have a kind of a hypoglycemia
13:01 where it doesn't even immediately get better
13:05 after I eat... it gets worse and then it gets better
13:08 so every time my blood sugar dipped or spiked...
13:11 I would have this physical reaction, right,
13:14 I had a physiological experience but those began to be
13:18 so associated in my mind that once I was on the ramp,
13:22 I just flew down the freeway at panic.
13:25 It's so much, emotional reasoning...
13:27 what we call "emotional reasoning"
13:29 where you look at your feelings and you see them as a source
13:33 of evidence of what's going on
13:34 and then you believe them and then the feelings escalate
13:38 and then you got even more evidence that something's wrong
13:41 and it can snowball so badly
13:44 and this is where someone who understands
13:46 the mind and how these things happen... can get in...
13:49 and... did you reach out to anyone or...?
13:51 Was there nobody that understood or...?
13:54 Kessia: Sad to say, the few times I had made
13:57 overtures to reach out, they just were rebuffed... so...
14:01 a professor of mine that I really trusted
14:06 asked me how I was doing,
14:07 I opened up my heart a little bit to him
14:09 and he said, in essence, "I'm so sorry to hear that,
14:12 imagine how hard it would be for someone
14:14 who's not as close to Jesus as you are... "
14:16 and I thought,
14:18 "Okay, I'll try to imagine that, thanks so much... "
14:21 So it just...
14:22 Paul: Missed the mark by a mile.
14:24 Kessia: Yeah, yeah, it was... it was really hard for me,
14:27 you know, 'cause I'm getting up courage
14:29 to open up and tell someone, "Yeah, my life is unravelling...
14:33 I'm not sleeping or eating or speaking... correctly...
14:38 my relationships are a mess,
14:41 my internal life is in complete disarray,
14:43 I'm failing my classes from straight 'A' student to 'F'"
14:46 I mean, I was on the verge of dropping out of college,
14:49 breaking up with my... now husband,
14:52 I mean, leaving the Faith, maybe,
14:54 because I just...
14:55 Shelly: So it was serious affecting your ability
14:57 to function on a daily basis.
14:58 Kessia: Yes, absolutely... work, school, relationships,
15:03 physical health, I mean... the main thing was,
15:06 I couldn't sleep because at night,
15:08 that's when... I mean, as I lay in the dark...
15:11 I would stay up as late as I could...
15:14 just... I would stay up till 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning
15:17 and people would be like,
15:18 "What are you... why are you doing that?"
15:20 And I'd be like, "Well, I have so much to do,
15:21 I'm a double major and... I work these hours... and... "
15:24 Shelly: You were probably pushing yourself
15:26 to the point of exhaustion so you could sleep.
15:28 Kessia: Exactly... that's exactly it
15:29 because I didn't want to be awake for five seconds
15:32 when I entered that dark place.
15:33 Jennifer: And then sleep is so essential
15:35 to restoring the nervous system, so you're not getting any sleep
15:38 so your nervous system is even more raw
15:39 and you've totally spiritualized the problem
15:41 to where you think it's about you and God and really it's...
15:44 it's more about what's happening in your body
15:48 with the hypoglycemia and a very common disorder,
15:52 "nervous system fluke" that a lot of people suffer from
15:54 did you eventually find out about Panic Disorder?
15:57 Kessia: Yes and it was such a relief.
15:59 Shelly: Where did you find the definition?
16:01 Kessia: Well, I think it was Teen Vogue.
16:03 Shelly: It wasn't on Google?
16:05 Kessia: Yeah, it wasn't on Google,
16:06 this was... I was working as a receptionist
16:09 and they had a whole stack of magazines...
16:11 there was nothing happening in the lobby
16:13 so I picked one up, so I was looking through it
16:15 and there was... I can still picture the page
16:19 just very brief vignettes from three young women
16:21 who had experiences with different mental illnesses
16:24 and one woman... in two paragraphs...
16:28 described my life and I thought, "What?"
16:31 that was... yeah, that was a game changer
16:34 then I started reading about panic attacks and panic disorder
16:38 I talked with my family about that...
16:40 saw... "Oh, this relative and that relative... "
16:43 then these people in my nuclear family.
16:44 Jennifer: You had it all over your family tree.
16:46 Kessia: Yes and then I... so having that named was so...
16:51 because now, I have permission to say,
16:53 "Oh, you're not telling me the true feelings...
16:55 I'm just experiencing this. "
16:57 Jennifer: Exactly, now you can sort of re-identify...
16:59 this isn't who you are, this is something you have.
17:02 Paul: It seems you have more choices now.
17:04 Shelly: Facts and feelings... "Who's going to run the show?
17:08 Or can we find that middle ground and begin to decipher
17:12 and integrate that whole process... "
17:14 because God an speak to us through our emotions,
17:17 He can prompt us and say, "This isn't right... "
17:19 you pay attention to that feeling... for a reason
17:23 but don't want it to drive the entire being...
17:26 Kessia: Yeah, just separating fact and feeling...
17:30 that was the first helpful step and as Paul was saying,
17:32 having choices now,
17:34 "Oh, is this experience because of A or B or C or D?"
17:38 And now I've got more tools to be able to say,
17:40 "This isn't the voice of God speaking doom to my soul
17:43 and letting me in on the spiritual realities...
17:45 this is something else that needs to be addressed. "
17:48 Was that the beginning of your turnaround...
17:50 when you were able to define it, give it a name...
17:52 and sort of separate yourself from it a little bit?
17:55 That was a huge help, definitely a turnaround...
17:59 my coping strategies became coping strategies
18:02 instead of just survival strategies,
18:04 now I'm able to do things like the breathing regulation
18:08 that you mentioned at the start,
18:10 I'm able to... to have activities
18:13 that I can kind of go into default mode...
18:15 so, something for me... I would walk and count my steps
18:18 just trying to get my brain out of that... that loop... that...
18:21 Jennifer: Could you break that down a little more?
18:23 So you'd do something to distract yourself.
18:25 Kessia: Yes, distraction was really crucial for me...
18:28 just to take me out of that downward spiral...
18:32 just step out of it... so I would go on long walks...
18:35 I would count and breathe so maybe I'll count up to five
18:39 and then hold it and then count down to five
18:41 or I'll just count my steps to 800
18:44 or I'd read a really boring tax book I had at my house,
18:48 just trying to convince me of that.
18:50 Christina: Bringing yourself back to reality...
18:52 Shelly: Going for those long walks...
18:53 I don't know if anyone ever explained it to you
18:56 but you actually activated three different levels of coping.
18:58 Kessia: Tell me.
19:00 Shelly: Okay, by walking... just the right and left process
19:05 you're triggering the right and left brain
19:06 so sort of like, taking an issue and shifting it back and forth
19:10 reason... feelings... your thoughts... feelings...
19:13 until it kind of shifts out...
19:16 Jennifer: You're bilateralizing your brain...
19:17 Shelly: Processing while walking...
19:19 talking with a friend... praying and walking...
19:21 very therapeutic...
19:23 so you tapped into something you didn't even know you were doing.
19:26 Kessia: That explains why walking
19:28 is still my favorite therapy, I love that, thank you.
19:30 Jennifer: It's super therapeutic...
19:31 super therapeutic... that's how I feel.
19:33 Kessia: Yeah, so, that... that was super helpful for me,
19:35 now I could start coping in these kinds of ways.
19:37 Jennifer: But... so you're saying that you're...
19:39 the spiritualization of the problem caused you to lead
19:44 in order to sort of decompress from the problem
19:47 you needed to un-spiritualize,
19:50 so you needed to ground yourself which is physical reality...
19:53 and whether it be a boring tax book or a walk...
19:55 just get into normalcy mode...
19:58 but I'm really interested in the spirituality aspect of this
20:03 because we know that everything's connected, right,
20:05 but sometimes those connections go bad...
20:07 we're really into the spirituality of mental health
20:09 but sometimes things go awry with that process
20:13 and we can get overly spiritual, in a way, about things
20:16 isn't that kind of what was going on with you?
20:19 Kessia: Yeah, definitely,
20:20 one of the ways I think about it for myself was...
20:24 God's move in my life... and I think all of our lives
20:27 is to get us into better and better touch with reality
20:31 and so, I had to make a distance for myself,
20:34 when I was in the panic attack, from spiritual things...
20:37 because I couldn't receive them in a real way...
20:41 I couldn't understand them truly... as they truly are...
20:44 so, to pray, for instance...
20:46 would intensify my sense of panic
20:48 so prayer... instead of being a refuge...
20:50 is now an unsafe place,
20:53 so I do have to pray and read Scripture
20:55 when I'm not in a panic mode
20:57 but because of the way that my mind was thinking,
21:00 I had to say, "You know what?
21:02 Scripture tells me God is like this...
21:04 righteousness is like this... the gospel is like this...
21:07 so, I need to take... just trust that...
21:11 put that over here... " and then, as you said Jennifer,
21:14 ground myself in the physical...
21:15 to keep myself from misunderstanding
21:17 and misapplying...
21:19 Christina: It sounds like... not that she was being
21:26 overly spiritual but that
21:27 you were misunderstanding spirituality...
21:29 that kind of sounds like that's what was going on.
21:34 Jennifer: But it's amazing how many church members go through,
21:36 people that were involved in religion... left... you know.
21:39 Paul: It's like, the Holy Spirit does bring conviction
21:41 along with encouragement... blessings...
21:43 but it sounds to me like
21:44 it moved from conviction to condemnation...
21:46 so that's not from God... that's from the enemy...
21:50 and so, to me, you're learning how to separate out...
21:53 like you said, "Okay, this isn't true about God...
21:57 and now as I realize that... this isn't about God...
22:00 this is about distorted thinking coming from the enemy... "
22:03 and then, you can go for a walk and help in...
22:06 and get more grounded in who God is
22:08 and a personal relationship with Him...
22:10 because that move from conviction to condemnation
22:13 really gets a lot of people
22:14 and then, the natural progression is
22:16 "If God's condemned me, that's not a good feeling...
22:20 so now, I got to move farther away from that
22:22 which moves me farther away from God. "
22:24 Kessia: Yeah, and I think that distorted thinking is that
22:28 a perfect description of it,
22:29 so, having just to, kind of, cast my faith on...
22:33 "Okay, whoever comes to me,
22:34 I will never... for any reason cast away"
22:37 or something like that, "Okay, that's sure and certain,
22:40 now I'm going for a walk... I'm going to read a tax book
22:44 or I'm... " whatever...
22:45 to kind of disentangle myself from that.
22:48 You know what you're doing as well
22:50 which is really interesting is you were moving the...
22:52 from EQ to IQ...
22:55 when you read a tax book, for example,
22:57 or when you go outside...
22:58 so that emotional level was lessening
23:01 because you were bringing in the intellectual side
23:04 and so, that's one of the things
23:06 that seemed to be able to help you to come back to reality...
23:09 you'd be able to reason through what was going on
23:10 and understand it.
23:12 Plus just the calming effect of adrenal glands
23:18 and what's going on inside the brain...
23:20 we see something in the grass
23:23 and we assume it's a snake and flail arms going...
23:27 we're flooded with adrenalin and then we go,
23:30 "Oh it's just the hose... "
23:31 well, the adrenalin is still in your body...
23:34 you have to flush that out somehow
23:36 so again, by walking,
23:38 you gave yourself the best therapy
23:40 that you could have ever done
23:42 and that probably was just God prompting you...
23:43 you didn't even know it.
23:44 Christina: And literally, the Cortisol comes out
23:47 through our sweat glands,
23:48 I mean, that's what's so incredible
23:50 the new studies have found that the sweat...
23:52 literally the Cortisol hormone...
23:54 the stress hormone can come out through our sweat.
23:55 Jennifer: So when you exercise, it helps manage stress.
23:58 Christina: Right, and same with tears
23:59 but imagine... maybe we can just exercise a little bit more
24:01 and then we won't have to have those breakdowns and...
24:03 Jennifer: But the breakdowns are good for you.
24:05 Christina: Right, sometimes they are good,
24:07 sometimes they can be really bad.
24:08 Paul: And that Cortisol keeps us up at night
24:10 that's why we physically can't sleep.
24:12 Jennifer: Oh... so, working out during the day
24:15 helps get rid of excess Cortisol...
24:17 it might help you sleep... or crying...
24:19 Christina: Definitely, that's number one.
24:21 Jennifer: Now I have an excuse to cry.
24:22 Shelly: I got to share the "onion" thing real quick...
24:25 they did a chemical study of the tears...
24:29 when you chop an onion, you know, crying...
24:32 Jennifer: It paralyzes you.
24:33 Shelly: Yeah, temporarily...
24:35 but the genetic composition of tears...
24:37 when we have an emotional release...
24:40 had endorphins in it.
24:42 The tears that you cry when you're cutting an onion
24:45 does not have the God-given endorphins
24:47 that calms and relaxes the body
24:48 so tell me if God is not involved
24:51 when we need to cry in release...
24:53 Paul: And grieve our losses.
24:55 Shelly: A lot of people do a disservice,
24:58 whether it's in church or other settings,
25:00 where they're just trying to hush down the problem
25:03 maybe that's just actually the healthiest process
25:05 a person can be having.
25:07 Paul: It seems like a lot of the Psalms...
25:08 there are a lot of cries and pleas to God...
25:11 where they're processing directly with God
25:14 but like you're saying, Kessia...
25:16 it's not always possible to do that
25:18 so God meets you in the tax book,
25:20 He meets you as you're walking.
25:22 Shelly: Or sitting on the floor just trying to breath
25:25 in your nose and out your mouth
25:27 to get yourself to calm down
25:28 and to think clear... to make the next decision.
25:31 Kessia: Right... and you mentioned the Psalms...
25:34 and those became really helpful for me too
25:37 because I wanted to stay in touch with spiritual things
25:39 even in my panic... because, I mean, ideally...
25:42 it's like, "Oh, I prayed through it" right,
25:44 that would have felt very righteous to me
25:46 but I really wasn't able to do that
25:49 and God did give me the wisdom to say,
25:51 "If this is pushing you farther
25:53 into a false understanding of the world,
25:56 take a step back... "
25:57 but I started memorizing the Psalms
26:00 and then when panic would come
26:02 and I wanted the assurance of Scripture...
26:04 I wanted that comfort...
26:06 I could repeat those words
26:07 without having to think about them
26:09 but they're holy words... I'm repeating them back to Jesus
26:12 but I'm not having to engage in the sense of pleading
26:15 that could just increase my feelings of stress and anxiety,
26:19 that was really very helpful.
26:21 Paul: Instead of hoping against hope
26:22 that somehow prayer is going to change you...
26:24 that you're going to change God...
26:26 you're getting... your focusing more on
26:27 what God's Word has already said.
26:28 Kessia: Exactly, because once I realized,
26:31 "Oh, I'm living... I'm living with these feelings
26:34 that are out of line with the truth of God and Scripture...
26:37 I need to get my mind to get around this
26:41 so even if my feelings never do,
26:42 I know I can rely on that and I can know,
26:45 this will pass...
26:47 it will not be forever, God is still God...
26:49 you are still His daughter.
26:51 Shelly: The only thing that goes with that...
26:54 and I teach this to people is,
26:55 to remind yourself that
26:57 a panic attack is not going to last for a month,
27:00 it's not going to last for a day,
27:01 it's not probably even do an hour's kind of limit...
27:07 it's minutes...
27:08 we can survive minutes of things
27:10 and it just kind of brings it into more manageable place
27:14 but you know, that's time and skills and practice.
27:17 Kessia: Yeah, and realizing for me that my greatest fear
27:22 wasn't this or this or this that I was getting panicked about,
27:24 it was the fear of fear...
27:26 Shelly: Exactly, so that adrenalin
27:28 was flying through your body and you didn't know it
27:30 and you didn't know what to do with it.
27:31 Kessia: Yeah, but God delivered me... hallelujah.
27:33 Shelly: Yeah... amen.
27:35 Well, we could go on and on about this topic,
27:38 one in... almost one in five people
27:41 are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder
27:44 at some point in their lifetime,
27:45 that's how common these things are
27:47 and so you're in good company if you struggle with anxiety,
27:50 there's lots of us out there...
27:51 you're also in good company with a loving God
27:54 who is big enough for this, who can show you the way out
27:57 even if somehow it got associated with Him
28:00 and your religious experience was challenged...
28:02 courage...


Revised 2017-08-10