Vertigo, Panic, and Feelings of Insanity

Let me start by saying  – “My mind can be a scary place sometimes.”

I’m not sure why but over the past few weeks I’ve been hit with sudden bouts of dizziness. The first time it hit I was at work. One minute I was typing away at my desk and the next I was holding on for dear life as the whole room seemed to spin out of control.  The swirling passed after a few minutes but since that day it keeps happening several times a day. According to all the doctors I’ve been to so far the dizziness is vertigo but I say its scary! My symptoms range from a little off balance feeling to having the whole room spinning.  I never know when it may happen, so normal life things like going to work or just going to the store have been hard to do.  So far, each bad episode has passed after a few minutes, but my fear is – what happens if it doesn’t? Can this ever start and not stop?!

Add to the vertigo that I caught some sort of illness last week and had a fever the second half the week and then add last Saturday afternoon. Saturday,  I was sitting on my couch watching TV when a sudden wave of fear gripped me out of nowhere.  I had nothing to fear yet I felt as if sudden doom was happening.  I have had panic attacks before, but nothing like this, this was the mother of all panic attacks and for the rest of that day and all night I felt like I was stuck in a sea of fear.  The worst was the night…every time I would doze off would wake up with the most awful fear gripping me with my heart pounding so hard it felt as if it were going to explode.  Sunday morning it was not only fear but now I was exhausted from no sleep and also an anger feeling was gripping me. I am not sure what that was all about because I am not usually an angry person. By then I was feeling as if I may be going crazy and wondering if maybe I may have a brain tumor or something.

I told my husband that I wasn’t going to church but then at the same time I  knew I needed to go.  I didn’t want to but I did.  Back and forth and back and forth I struggled with that but eventually found myself in the car on my way to church.  In the car, I felt so terrible I was panicky, had stomach issues, and the weird anger… I even told my husband that if someone asked me how I was that morning instead of my usual ‘I am good’ response, I was just gonna say, “I am terrible!”  That is so not me.  Really.

So we get to church and seriously getting in the door was hard, this probably will sound horrible for me to say, but everyone is just so happy at church, and to be honest I think I just wanted all of those smiling people to ignore me for the day. But of course they didn’t and of course, I didn’t tell anyone about my fear/anger/crazy/whatever-was-wrong-with-me problem. And thankfully I was nice.  We went in and sat down and a friend came to chat and before you knew it I was even laughing over some silly story she told. The laughter felt really good, but it was short lived because just as the service started, I felt that familiar dizziness.  By the second song, I was in the bathroom putting cold towels on my face while holding on to the walls waiting for the dizziness to pass. I finally made it back into the sanctuary by the sermon but now the panic was back and it was gripping me so bad.  I felt as if I was suffocating, drowning right there in the back row of the church service and nobody knew.

I wanted church to be over right then so I could leave and I almost did leave, but I didn’t and thank God I didn’t because the sermon series we are in at church right now is titled ‘The Armor of God’ and the message this week was ‘Helmet of Salvation.’

Imagine that!? The sermon was about the Helmet of Salvation when the place that’s been under fire all week for me is my mind and now my pastor was talking about guarding our minds against enemy attacks!

I felt myself clinging to the scripture as we read it.  Familiar words that I have prayed a lot over the past few months actually –

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20

After the message everyone stood up to pray, I wanted to stand but I couldn’t, I felt like I was teetering on the edge of a cliff with fear and dizziness so I stayed down in my seat for the prayer. I don’t really remember the words that were prayed, but one part I do remember is the pastor pausing for us fill in the stuff we needed to let go of and God’s voice in my head saying, “You’ve gotta let it go, I’ve got this, trust in my love. All you have to do is let go, I promise I will catch you.”

I did and just as He promised He caught me.

My Pastor had no idea what was going on in my life when he prepared his message this week but I know without a doubt God knew!

My armor was back in place.

I’d like to say that for the rest of the day I was well, but I wasn’t.  I actually went home and laid down for most of the day, but no matter what happened all day if that panicky feeling came along, I’d lean in more to God remembering that I had to use his armor to protect my mind and my day was pretty peaceful.

I went to bed last night and had a really good night of rest for the first time in a long time and so far today I feel refreshed and I am thankful.

As far as my health goes – I’ve been to 3 different doctors so far and have an appointment with an ear specialist on Oct. 4 and today I am seeing my endocrinologist. So far no one knows what is bringing on the vertigo, and I also suspect the panic may go hand in hand with that. I hope someone finds something easily fixable.  No matter what happens though my prayer today is this…

Father, Today I place life in your hands realizing I can’t do this alone. You’ve brought me through so much and you have never left me to face anything alone. Your peace has carried me to where I am today, and now to the start of this new day. Without you I couldn’t make it, please don’t ever let me stray away from that knowledge of your power and how I need to make sure I am tapped into you to stand firm against enemy attacks. Thank you for everything you do, but most of all Thank you for loving me.  Amen

Thank you for reading and make today a great day!


Check out this video by Jeremy Camp – Same Power


Peace in Your Strength

isaiah 41;10Most of my life I have had panic attacks.  When I have a panic attack most of the time they come out of nowhere and most of the time they seem to be about nothing. At times they can be so strong they cause me to lose a grip on the reality that I am having a fear about nothing.  When a panic attack starts usually at first I will feel an overwhelming sense of doom, and then the fear will start to come in really fast eventually overwhelming me. Over the years I have learned how talk myself out of having a full blown panic attack. After Jesus came into my life they seemed to not be as severe anymore though I did still have them from time to time.

They came back pretty strong again when I woke up one morning almost 4 years ago with a bright glow in my eye due to a blood clot in my eye (story here). As I went through my eye issues over the next few years at first I spent a lot of the time in panic. Gradually over time God started really showing me how he was there with me during those times and eventually I noticed I did not have many panic attacks anymore and if I did they were very short lived.

Today I was driving my car and suddenly I noticed bright glow in my left eye…you know how when you look at the sun and then look away, how for several minutes you will see a glowing spot in your eyes??  What I saw looked like that.  Because that glow is what I saw the morning I woke up with the blood clot in my eye now sometimes a glare off the sun or a light bulb will send me into panic.  I know that sounds silly but that is how my mind works.  So as I was driving down the road today I must have been looking at something that caused the glow to happen. The minute I noticed it panic started to grip hold of me. But suddenly the words “Jesus please take this” came out of my mouth and then I began to thank him for all he has done for me.  Within a matter of second’s peace replaced the fear.

It took me a few minutes before I realized what had just happened.  I remember a time I would go and cower in fear at the first inkling of panic with it eventually turning into a full blown panic attack.  I realized today that I didn’t do that, I realized that somewhere along the line I have learned how to face my fear with strength in knowing God has it under control.  Wow it was so cool to realize that I now take security in the fact that panic does not own me because I chose to let go of it.

Over the years I have found out that a lot of people don’t understand my panic attacks and to some people a fear of nothing seems silly.  But to me the fear I feel in a panic attack is very real and is something way bigger than I can deal with.  I now know that the fear was never mine to deal with in the first place.

When God created us he did not give us fear instead he gave us strength. He gave us the strength that can only come from him.  All we have to do is call on him, trust in the fact that he is bigger than our fear.  Once we believe and trust him we can relax and live in his peace.

Dear Jesus
Thank you for the peace that you just gave me. I know that if not for you sometimes panic would overtake me. Thank you for giving me security in knowing that when I call out your name you will grab onto my hand and lead me back to peace. I trust you and I know you are faithful. I know that nothing here on this earth can separate me from the peace that I have in you. When anxiety and panic sneak in and try to grip me I know where to turn to find peace. When I turn to you, your peace wafts over me, and takes away my fear. Thank you for loving me and surrounding me with you power.



The Time is Now

I woke up in unable to breathe today…

Just breathing can sometimes be hard to do especially when there is a storm raging around me. Each day I have asked God to make it stop but lately the troubles are piling in, swirling and raging around me like a hurricane.

I have heard that in the eye of a hurricane there is a calm and peaceful place.  God has carried me through so much in the past 3 years and thankfully even though the storms kept coming God always seems to keep me centered and safe in the peace of His watchful eye.

Though sometimes hard, the past 3 years have been a huge miracle to me.  God has carried me through a vision problem that almost caused me to lose my eyesight in my right eye.  While He was healing my eyesight He also healed me from the blindness I had to the world around me by showing me things I had never cared about or noticed before.

God has helped me give up alcohol and shown me I do not need it in my life to live.  God has also helped me get over social anxiety.  I can remember a time that I could not sit in a room full of people unless I was drinking wine to take the edge off.

God has used me to lead Bible studies when I know nothing about the Bible and He helped me speak in front of my church 2 times about the kids of Compassion and THAT is amazing when I think about the fact that I used to not even be able to get in the door because of the fear of all those people!

In March God took me to Haiti to meet my Compassion sponsor child.  On that trip I rode on a bus packed in like a sardine with people I didn’t know for many hours and I loved it!  I still am amazed by that… Haiti?? Me?? No way? Yes way! With God all things are possible!

If you would have told me 4 years ago that one day I would be a Christian and attending church let alone all that other stuff I would have told you that you were nuts!  Oh by the way I forgot mention I now work at my church!? That one still makes me want to pinch myself from time to time to make sure I am awake and not dreaming. Those are just a few highlights, I could go on all day long about all God has done to change my life.

Though God is always good, life still can at times be hard.  About a month ago I started having  vision problems in my other eye. Have visited the Retina specialist again to be told we can not do anything at this time but wait.  Some days I have panic attacks because of the odd things that I see in my vision field.  This Wednesday I am scheduled to have knee surgery and  then in 4 weeks I will be having surgery on the other knee.  There are also a few more things I can not share publicly but involve people that I love.  I have days I almost cave in under the weight of it all but Jesus keeps holding my hand and giving me the peace I need, by showing me all the blessings in my life and reminding me of all the things he has carried me through before.

This morning I found myself venturing out of His peaceful place into the raging wind of the storm.  At beginning of this blog I wrote…”I woke up in unable to breathe today”,  I could have written that yesterday and the day before that.  Each and every day  if I don’t lift it all up to God and let go of it I will begin to feel myself suffocating.

There is a song called ‘Help me Find It’ by Sidewalk Prophets that I love.  Every time I hear it I find myself singing along and also singing it to God. The words to the song say

I don’t know where to go from here, it used to seem so clear, I’m finding I cant do this on my own.

I don’t know where to go from here, as long as I know that you are near,

I’m done fighting I’m finally letting go,

I will trust in you, you’ve never failed before, I will trust in you.  

If there’s a road I should walk help me find it, If I need to be still give me peace for the moment,

Whatever your will, whatever your will, can you help me find it? Can you help me find it?

Today when I woke my vision was cloudy, my knees were weak and my heart felt broken but I continue to I breathe Jesus in because I know without him I could never do this.

With every breathe I take He gives me the peace I need for that moment.

Though I have nothing to give Him He still keeps on giving to me.

I have never had to take one step alone and I never will

Peace for the moment.

The panic has subsided and in my heart I feel peace now.  I asked him to help me find it and he did.

Today is the day He gave me his grace,

Today is the day He will guide me,

Today is the day He comforts me,

Today is the day he gives me hope.

Today is the day he gave me Peace.

For I know the plans I have for you, ”declares the Lord,“ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Below is a link to the Youtube video ‘Help Me Find It’  by, Sidewalk Prophets

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,


#HMFI – @swprophets.