God Gave Me Anxiety But He Also Blessed Me With The Strength To Overcome It

God Gave Me Anxiety But He Also Blessed Me With The Strength To Overcome It

Also from me to you: do not Google your symptoms, you'll go crazy.

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The summer of going into ninth grade I used to have three "asthma attacks" every day at random moments. Little did I know they were actually anxiety attacks. This lasted for about four weeks, I think, and then I went to the hospital. We found out I was experiencing anxiety. Apart of me was so happy I found out what in the world was happening, but apart of me didn't know what anxiety was.

To backtrack, I was supposed to switch schools and move out of the home I have lived in for now twelve years. I was supposed to leave all of my friends and start over. I didn't really think it was a big deal mentally. Yeah, I knew it was going to be hard and change is always difficult. Change for me seems like the end of the world at first, but then it gets better. But I guess my body, and way in the back of my brain I was actually really scared, confused, lost, and I just wanted everything to stay the same. I never voiced that though, I just repressed somehow and said: "yay, I'm excited to move and start over." I wasn't really in touch with what I was really feeling.

After years of never having an episode, it all came back. Not going to lie, I'm upset that I am struggling with this and have been for three months. And recently it's moved to another level. Everything really has went from zero to a hundred real quick. As much as my life has played out, sadness made a way and came like a "hey how is it going!" And here I am having to yet again build up the broken pieces that come flooding.

Thinking I had everything under control until one day I had to face the fact that I don't have perfect control. And not having control makes me feel like I can't hold onto something that comforts me and makes me know I'm okay. All my life I never thought I would deal with something like this. I never thought anything would happen to me because I always wanted to make sure I could keep myself protected from everything. I did a good job for many years, but I guess my body and mind finally caught up with a lot of things.

As I type this out I want you to know that this is all happening for a reason. I guess writing this sentence out comforts me in the way I need. This anxiety should not define you. It shouldn't make you feel like you failed at protecting yourself. It shouldn't make you feel any more limited. It shouldn't make you feel like you lost yourself. It should tell you that you are experiencing a lot and that's okay. You are experiencing shedding of the old. You are finally in tune with the things you now have to work on. You are experiencing suffering and all those emotions that follow.

In this God's mercy is so present and it's where we learn humility. In the sadness, and in the anxiety it's where we learn that he is God and he is taking everything to show you how much he can pour into that empty bucket. He is showing you that the only person who can control everything is him. He is God. Once you learn to really say "I surrender...but only say the word and my soul shall be healed" and once you learn to trust and believe with that mustard seed-like faith that's when the click happens.

(And this right here is a note to myself, so I hope this sheds light onto you.)

To stop wanting control and beating around the bush when you tell him that you're ready. When in reality you're not, you're scared of all the stupidest things that can occur. You are afraid of losing yourself in the one thing that roots yourself and has so much more for you. You are afraid of losing what your mind has created you to be and trying to replace that with what the true divine heart has for you. You are afraid if you trust in the divine that somehow that will cause you to lose what you have built your own expectation as.

As St. Paul says "Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead," (Philippians 3:8-11)

"For my power is made perfect in weakness." "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

So as for now find the silence, that afraidness, that feeling of what if's, that never-ending puzzle as a time of reaching out... but also telling yourself the truth no matter how hard the lies want to crawl in. No matter how much your mind wants to really make you feel that the worst is here and is upon you, just stop- breathe and please know this too shall pass.

Also from me to you: do not Google your symptoms, you'll go crazy.

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Troy University Needs to Realize That There Are More Students Than Greek Life And SGA

"In unity, there is strength." - Riverdale

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At Troy University, there are three groups present on campus: those that are Greek, those that are a part of the Student Government Association, and those that are don't affiliate with either.

During my search for a college to attend, one of my stipulations was that I didn't want Greek life to be the only dominant force on campus (along with things such as cost, location, majors offered etcetera). Troy University boasts a Greek population of only 20% and this number intrigued me because, at many schools, it seems to be a higher percentage of students. However, after attending Troy University for a little over a semester now, I doubt this number because every time I turn around, another student is telling me about what sorority they are a member of, or about what fraternity they are a member of on campus.

And, admittedly, prior to the first SGA election, I was pretty clueless as to what SGA was because SGA was not a big deal at my high school. To be more truthful, I didn't understand the full extent of SGA until now while the SGA presidential race is happening.

Greek life isn't bad and those that are a part of Greek life aren't bad. The SGA isn't bad and those that are a member of the SGA aren't bad. It just feels like Greek life and SGA goes hand-in-hand for those that are independent and makes being involved on campus that much harder.

Those who ran for SGA will promote the fact they are a part of a sorority or fraternity, and thus, represent the student body; however, if only 20% of Troy's campus is Greek, how is this true? Something like this is what I mean. There's a lack of awareness that there is more to this campus than SGA and Greek life.

There just needs to be more attention brought to the lack of awareness of those who aren't Greek nor SGA.

For example, during Homecoming, independent organizations participated with the frats and sororities in events such as chalk the quad and making banners. Not one independent organization was promoted for chalk the quad, and I know, as a member of an independent organization, we had to ask to be recognized for winning a place for our banner. I am grateful that we were at least recognized but it shouldn't feel like fighting a war to be recognized alongside Greek organizations for completing the same activities.

This is an open plea to the new SGA President -- bring students together, all students because that is what will make Troy University a stronger college.

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Fiction On Odyssey: A Day In The Life Of A Scops Owl

Within the nest slept a beautiful owl with fluffy feathers that covered its body.

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A fictional (but fairly accurate) short story about a day in the life of a Northern White-Faced Scops Owl.

A Day In The Life Of A Scops Owl

Crickets chirped loudly throughout the soft brush of the savannah. Hidden in the brush, but sat on a low branch in a tamboti tree was a messy nest that had been abandoned long before by the bird that had built it. A new resident had begun to live there. Within the nest slept a beautiful owl with fluffy feathers that covered its body. The bird had feathery tufts that stood up and looked quite a bit like the ears of a cat and a snow white face lined with black war paint.

The rest of its body was mostly gray with white and pale gray under-feathers. The back of its body was marked with thin, black lines. Its beak was curved and a very light shade of yellow with soft, white whiskers sticking out around it. The owl was fairly short and round, so much so that it almost looked like an oval. This particular owl was slightly larger than other owls of her species, which was the only thing that marked it as a female Northern White-Faced Scops Owl.

Bright orange eyes opened slowly and the owl's ear tufts stood straight up to show that she was alert. Her head turned every which way and her eyes scanned the distance for any sign of a predator. When she saw no danger her ear tufts relaxed slightly and she turned to look at the ground below her nest. She could see that a little ways away was a small mouse scurrying around to find a late meal. She could easily swoop in and the mouse wouldn't stand a chance, but…. Scops owls were lazy.

She'd wait. The mouse would come to her eventually-- which it did. As soon as the mouse was right below her nest her wings spread and she brought her clawed feet up as she dropped onto the mouse. He wings silently moved up and down to keep her from landing too hard on the ground. The mouse had never expected her. She had made no noise until she hit the ground and crushed the mouse in her talons. With that, she had her meal and flew back up into her tree.

She had flown to a branch higher than the one that her stolen nest resided on. Her big, orange orbs scanned the distance for any sign of danger or her mate. When she saw nothing she began to call for him with a high and weak, "po-prooh~" She repeated her call multiple times. After each call, she waited a few seconds to see if her call would be returned. A soft noise, almost like a cat's purr emits from the owl. Her eyes are narrowed and her feathers puff out to make her annoyance clear.

When it becomes obvious that her mate will not be returning to the nest anytime soon, she busies herself with preening and watching for danger. As she is working her feathers into their proper places with her beak she hears a rustle in some brush nearby. Her ear tufts shot up and her eyes locked onto the brush. The face of a meerkat poked out and a squeaky growl began to emit from her throat. Her feathers spread out like a turkey's and she leaned down and stared at the smaller predator. She continued to growl as she made herself look as big as she possibly could-- which was almost three times her usual size of ten inches. Her feathers stuck up and ruined all the hard work she had done to put them back in place.

Eventually, the meerkat was scared off and with an annoyed purr the orange-eyed beauty went back to preening and fixed all of the feathers that had been messed up in the exchange with the other predator. It took her a few hours, but she eventually decided that she would be presentable if her mate returned. She looked down at her nest and hopped back down to lay over her three shiny, white eggs.

They were fairly small and the larger nest left a bit of room for them to roll around, but their mother had them situated so that they would stay in place. The gorgeous owl laid in the nest while keeping her ear tufts stuck up and her eyes trained on the open area surrounding their tree. Every so often the annoyed purr would escape her, as her mate had not returned and it was supposed to be her night to hunt and he was to care for the eggs, but it seemed that that wouldn't happen.

Hours passed and the Scops Owl had had a few more meals of mice that had ended up beneath her nest when she was called to alertness once again. A harsh caw echoed through the air with a distinct, "kak, kak, kak". Her eyes found the source of the sound in the distance immediately.

She recognized the Peregrine Falcon was flying in her direction and knew that she must hide before it saw her and she became the larger bird's next meal. She stood over her eggs to hide them from sight and instead of puffing her feathers out she pulled them in tightly into her body and pulled a wing over her chest and stomach to hide the lighter colored feathers there. She stood up straighter to make her body look stretched out and she narrowed her eyes as much as she could so as to hide the bright orange color that would be spotted by the predatory bird immediately.

She held her position and watched the falcon scrupulously. A person would think that she was trying to scare the larger bird away, because of how monstrous and scary the bird would look against a background that she would easily stick out against, and with the fact that she looked like a stereotypical villain or Count Dracula, but that's not the case.

She was trying to hide. Against the tree and her nest, she looked just like another tree branch and she could blend in easily with a tree stump.

The Scops Owl watched as the falcon looked at her tree, but when it didn't see anything out of the ordinary it turned and flew in a different direction to look for food. After she was completely certain that the falcon was gone and that there were no other threats that she needed to protect herself and her babies from, she blinked her eyes open again and let her feather out and her wing fell back to her side. Her beak opened slowly as she yawned and the rising sun shined against her eyes. She laid back down slowly and let her eyes closed and fell into a blissful sleep as she felt the heat of her smaller mate press against her and with a soft and low, "to-whit-to-wheet" he fell asleep against her.

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