Struggling with intense anxiety

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Joined in 2013
December 4, 2013, 07:15

Hi there everyone,

I am new to these forums so please excuse me if I am repeating a topic someone has already discussed.

I hope I don't cause anyone else struggling any distress, but I very much need help and don't know where else to turn.

I am a 27 year old lesbian who was raised in a strict Christian home. I came out about 3 years ago. It was not easy and isn't always now in regards to family. I stopped going to church a few years ago, initially just due to feeling anxious and insecure and not wanting to be pressured to get involved etc. I was quite emotionally used and abused by an extreme church as a teen so church was an issue despite being gay. Like a lot of homosexuals, my faith has changed a lot since coming out. I don't think it's entirely a bad thing at all. That's another story, but in short I'm confused about my faith and starting to feel intensely anxious. I have a beautiful, amazing girlfriend. She is my first partner and the love of my life. We've been together almost a year and live together and plan to be engaged next year. She's not from any kind of religious background and has no interest as she's seen the damage it's done to me and others. That's kind of another story too, but I guess my point is that for the past couple of months I have been lying awake at night feeling condemned…like I'm going to go to hell. Whether it's going to hell for being gay or living with a partner before marriage or just because I don't fit the mold, I've no idea, it's just how I feel and I can't stop it even when I know different logically. It's getting worse and worse and the anxiety is starting to take over my life to the point where I fear I'm going crazy. I do suffer from anxiety anyway, so it's just a bad cyclical thing. I just can't see God as loving and compassionate, but my whole life has been more about fear as so much was drilled into me as a child that I must do/not do but with no real reason or explanation behind it. I do believe God exists and that Jesus died for us etc etc but my reasons for keeping faith are more about fear of hell than anything more positive. I honestly had been fine until the recent election when so much debate and opinion was stirred up and I read too much and let it all get to me. But I don't know what to do to find any peace now, to settle the anxiety and to get on with life. I know I need to talk to my partner but I don't want to freak her out, people not from these backgrounds don't understand the language of it all and I honestly envy them. There's a lot more I could say but I think that's a good enough start. Please help me and point me in the right direction.


A very desperate Renae

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
December 4, 2013, 14:16

Hi Renae,

First welcome to F2B. As you read through the many stories on this site you will soon see that many have struggled with their sexual orientation as well as being a Christian and how to reconcile the two. There are some wonderful resources on this site, I encourage you to read the stories and any of the resources.

Do you have any techniques your do when you feel anxious, like concentrating on your breathing, sitting in a quiet still place etc. If not I would encourage you to speak to someone and learn some techniques you can do to help settle yourself. Are you seeing anyone re the anxiety? I would suggest you visit your GP and speak to them and ask for some blood tests to make sure nothing is out of wack. I have a friend whose thyroid has issues and she was suffering terrible anxiety attacks.

Are you seeing a counselor? It might help to have someone face to face you can talk your feelings over with.

When you are feeling anxious, stop what you are doing and take a few deep breaths and clear your mind, think of something positive.

You are loved and you will find peace, many here have been through their own struggles and come out the other side feeling free to be themselves, happy in who they are. There is hope 🙂

Eric Lee
Joined in 2011
December 5, 2013, 15:34

Hi Renae,

Welcome to F2b.

I would like you to know, you are not the only one.

There are many resources you will find helpful. I'm not sure where you are – Freedom2b meet once a month in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Let us know if you are around the cities.

If you read some of our stories here, you will see many of us share a common theme that is reconciling faith and sexuality. Some have decided to leave church; some are active members of church from different denominations. There are many of us with different background. F2b is a safe place and will take it as a privilege to journey with you together.

Feel free to let us know how you feel and where you are at the moment!

God bless.

Joined in 2013
December 7, 2013, 00:38

Hi Mother Hen and Eric,

Thanks for replying and for your support.

I have had tests recently which showed I have a disorder called pyrroles, which means my body does not absorb much B6 and zinc. It causes a host of symptoms including anxiety. I'm not seeing any counselors for it right now, just a naturopath to try and treat the root physical cause.

I wouldn't know who to turn to to talk to about all this…a mainstream psych would tell me I'm disturbed and a Christian counselor would tell me I'm doomed?

I will certainly look around and check out the resources. I have read a few bits and pieces in the past that were helpful, including some of Anthony's book. It is just so hard to sort through the jumble of mixed and confused messages from so many different sources. I never thought homophobia was damaging me to the extent that it is. I had not long ago come to accept and love my sexuality. I could even thank God for it for a time but now I feel like all the words that were accumulating that I thought weren't effecting me are eating away at me and I'm terrified.

Anyway I will read up and try to find a way forward. Thank you again,


Eric Lee
Joined in 2011
December 7, 2013, 07:37

Hi Renae,

It seems to me that you are feeling anxious is because not only you are having pyrroles, you are also troubled by the thought of re-conciliating faith and sexuality. It must be full on.

It also seems to me that you are a strong and courageous person because you had taken action to share your story with us and also looking for support. It is very encouraging and I thank you for reminding us that we are in this together.

You are definitely not doomed! In fact, you are loved. Loved by God, loved by people around you, loved by us.

Please keep in touch with us. I'm interested to hear from you. You could also message me if you want some privacy to talk through things.



Joined in 2010
December 8, 2013, 16:11

Hi Renae,

Firstly, welcome to F2B! I think you'll find this a place where you can be yourself, and let me encourage you to attend one of the chapter meetings if you can. It can be an amaing experience in many ways.

I'm a counsellor and run training for other counsellors/psychs on working with lgbti. Fortunately more and more Christian counsellors are lgbti affirming – you just need to do a bit of homeork before you chose one. If you're in the Melbourne area, I might be able to help or at ;east point you in the direction of somebody who can.

Peace and hope.


Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 9, 2013, 23:50

Hi Renae

I second the wise comments of the others above.

There are good counsellors and mental health clinicians around who will be able to support you, by listening in a non judgmental way and helping you sort through your feelings and thoughts. Lots of people have suffered anxiety and it is treatable. I don't know much about pyrolloes but do you have a good GP to help with this alongside the naturopathy?

The GP can also refer you to a mental health clinician for free or low cost counselling.

Feel free to send me a PM if you would like more information about counselling in your area.


Ann Maree

Joined in 2009
December 14, 2013, 17:29

Hi Renae

The fact you are here on the Forum is a great start, so feel encouraged that you are making progress in the right direction.

Your partner may not fully understand all you have been through but there are plenty of people who can identify with you, so do check out f2b.

Also, there are many excellent counsellors around who won't condemn you.

Knowledge is power so keep across your medical condition.

Take care and be kind and gentle to yourself!.

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