Anxiety Punched Me In The Gut At 4:30am

The Reality of Dealing with Chronic Anxiety

Grace Bianco


Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

The funny thing about dealing with an ongoing mental illness is that sometimes it almost goes away for a little while. I say “almost,” because even on a good day, there’s still some kind of battle going on inside of my mind. Those better days can also go through longer stretches. And just when you start to “relax,” anxiety will hit you out of nowhere.

That’s what happened to me at 4:30am on Monday morning.

(Pretend the clock says 4:30) Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Early Monday morning, I sleepily walked back to bed from the bathroom.

I checked the time. Technically, it was 4:34am.

I sighed with relief. I still had a couple of hours before I had to wake up. I felt so tired.

I laid my head down. When all of the sudden, flashes of things I worry about went through my mind. I couldn’t make it stop. With the random images flooding my mind, the doomsday thoughts started pouring in.

Then came the rock in my stomach. It’s like extreme tension all stored in a tight ball that just sits in my stomach. I refer to it as a punch in the gut, because one second, my stomach is fine. The next second, there’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

My heart rate started rising. I needed to calm myself down, or I was never going to fall back asleep.

I had been doing so well with my mental health. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening.

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Absolutely nothing had happened on Sunday that I would have found triggering.

In between praying and trying to get a grasp on my mind, I kept telling myself, “This isn’t real. Nothing is happening right at this moment to react like this.”

I prayed over and over. I kept telling God, “It’s in Your hands, not mine.” I said it…



Grace Bianco

I am the author of “Party Pooper: Growing up with Anxiety.” I love oversharing my life. I talk about my faith, marriage, mental health, & everything in between.