Posts Categorized: Soul Care

What Everyone Should Know About Panic Disorder

What Everyone Should Know About Panic Attacks www.monahodgson.com

Let me introduce you to my friend, JJ.

During my first experience seeing JJ Heller and her hubby Dave on the stage at a women’s retreat in September, the Smothers Brothers came to mind. (I know…you’re probably too young to remember the Smothers Brothers Show.) The recollection had nothing to do with the couple’s stellar song writing and melodious voices. Everything to do with Dave’s droll wit. So fun! And their time onstage so soul-feeding.

If you ever have the opportunity to see JJ and Dave perform live, run don’t walk to the venue. In the meantime, you can follow JJ on YouTube or Facebook. Below JJ’s post, you’ll find links to JJ’s music.

What Everyone Should Know About Panic Attacks www.monahodgson.com

by JJ Heller

Perhaps like me, you struggle with fear. You’re not alone, you’re not going crazy and God is not disappointed with you.

Something that was and is really important on my own journey of healing is hearing other people’s stories, so here is a bit of mine.

I first started dealing with panic attacks, also known as panic disorder, in 2003 when, all within a span of one month, my husband, Dave, and I graduated from college, got married, moved to another state and decided to pursue music as a career. My body didn’t know how to handle the stress.

Because of my strange health symptoms, I was convinced I was dying of something.

The physical reactions seemed to come out of nowhere and would scare the living daylights out of me. I would be sitting on the couch and all of a sudden I would notice my fingers starting to tingle and go numb, my heart would start pounding, I’d have trouble breathing, and I’d feel dizzy like I might pass out. It was terrifying.

On several occasions I went to the doctor to figure out what was wrong, and each time I was told I was incredibly healthy. I had a heart monitor hooked up for 24 hours, but even that reported I was healthy.

Instead of feeling relieved, I grew frustrated that they couldn’t find the cause of my symptoms, and I was still convinced it was only a matter of days until I would be knocking on death’s door. It wasn’t until I started doing my own research that I discovered I wasn’t dying.

I was having panic attacks. (more…)

A Cheat Sheet for Defeating Distractions

A Cheat Sheet for Defeating Distractions www.monahodgson.com

During a stroll between morning meetings, I ducked into my favorite building on the grounds of the Mount Hermon Conference Center. The A-framed chapel ranks high on my list of favorite places to visit.

With each foot-lift on the redwood steps, the tightness in my shoulders eased.

A Cheat Sheet for Defeating Distractions www.monahodgson.com

A time-worn wooden pew welcomed me. As I settled against a corner at the end of the pew, my breathing slowed and my spirit quieted.

The chapel provided a perfect place for pondering and praising. The perfect place for shifting my heart away from niggling details and temporal concerns, to return my attention to the Divine and the eternal.

A Cheat Sheet for Defeating Distractions www.monahodgson.com

Seated in solitude, I gazed from the sheaves of golden wheat pictured in the stained glass to the evergreen-draped redwoods towering outside the window. Massive reminders of my Father’s faithfulness.

When my attention settled on the cross, praise to my Savior–my Salvation, my sustenance, and my strength–poured from my lips.

Then. I. Looked. Down. (more…)

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