My name is Dev and I’m struggling with anxiety.
Anxiety had become a significant part of my life, to the point where making any kind of big decision was a real challenge for me. For a while I didn’t think it was a bad thing, I thought it was just part of who I am. But I started to realise that I was letting fear make decisions for me instead of making them myself, which wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t ruining my life but it was holding me back, and it felt like a chain around me, so I thought I’d try the STEPS course and see what it was like.
It’s been a good process, but definitely challenging at times: a lot of looking at yourself and picking apart the way you do things and why you think how you do. You spend a lot of time thinking about the past. It’s hard but refreshing, because you’re finally looking at things clearly instead of trying to hide them away. I found that one of the most powerful things about it was doing it alongside others. Even though we weren’t giving each other advice, just being able to share and be vulnerable with each other built a really lovely community between us and we began to feel comfortable around each other.
One of the biggest lessons I learnt was to take things one step at a time. After the first week I wanted to be like ‘ok, let’s get this done now’, but actually I realised that you don’t have to try and sort everything out on day one! Not rushing takes a lot of stress out of the process.
Another way in which I have learnt to change patterns in my life is by regularly giving things up to God, especially my worries and fears. Once I’ve prayed about something, I’m now able to leave it with him, and allow him to have control. Before the course I’d often find it hard to sleep because I just couldn’t stop thinking about things, but now I’m so much more able to hand my anxieties over to God instead. It really is in his strength, not mine, and I feel like I’ve come away with a real sense of peace from the process.