Thursday, August 13, 2015

Self-Diagnosed~Panicky Woman with SPD

Our family waiting for Skillet to take the stage at Lifest 2015

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1: 5-11 MSG 

A few weeks back we were at Lifest in Oshkosh, WI.  Lifest is an annual four-day Christian music festival; it's what makes summer "summer," as far as our family is concerned.  We started going 5 years ago, and, despite moving to Nevada last year, we STILL return to Lifest in WI.

Ironically, I tend to have to fight off panic attacks whenever I attend loud concerts.

Weird, right? Why do I keep going if it causes me distress?

I LOVE the concerts when they start; but the warm ups, sound checks, and opening bands (whose music I may not be as familiar with) tend to set my heart racing erratically.  Once the headliners are performing; however, and I'm standing up and jumping and singing and "air-guitaring," I'm in my own little world and the panic subsides.  Yes, the pleasure of the concert out-weighs my urge to flee; the rewards are great enough that my panic is something I typically handle with prayer and slow-deep breathing.

This time though, at Lifest, I suddenly realized something.  We were listening to an opening band at the grandstand.  My heart began to thump out of rhythm with the the drums.   My stomach began to lurch and turn whenever an electric guitar was strummed.  I started to think, "Oh my's only 4 pm and I have to somehow get to Skillet tonight at 9?  How is this going to happen?"  I began to pray for God to show me the way to carry on through my panic.

That's when it came to me...

How does my daughter get through this?  Of all the people who would freak out during a loud concert, it would be a girl who has anxiety, sensory processing disorder and is legally blind, right?

Maybe I need to cope the way she jumping, dancing, and immersing myself in the music, getting lost in the praise.

So, I started to jump.  Yes.  Alone, in the middle of the field filled with blankets and chairs, and sparsely populated with people (as it was still early)~I jumped. 

                                 To music I didn't know.

                                              To songs that were unfamiliar.

                                                                                  I jumped.

And then something else came to me...

I'm doing occupational therapy on myself.

For years we have given our daughter joint compression massages; and jumping up and down would be achieving the same thing.  I'm compressing all my joints together in time with the music.  I"m soothing myself.  I'm calming my own senses.

So, as Peter pointed out to us in the passage above; God gives us all we need to know in order to enjoy life.  We just need to be wise, attentive, understanding, and alert~we need to pray to Him and listen for His response.

I would have never said, "I'm a sensory seeking adult."  But, really, when I was lost in the music and didn't hold back, the world became peaceful; even blissful.  When I listened to God's answer to my prayer for help; I could follow His guidance.

My response was to RUN...but He told me to REMAIN.

My response was to DECAMP...but He told me to DANCE.

My response was to PANIC...but He told me to PRAISE.

My response was to STRESS...but He told me to SING.

Pray:  Heavenly Father, you really do give me all the information I need, and you never leave me.  I'm so thankful for the times that I remember to turn to YOU first, before I look for any other answers.  I am a mystery to myself, but I am KNOWN by YOU!  You shaped me and formed me; so help me to trust in You, in Your CHOICE of ME.  

~Tammie Hefty


  1. Oh my, I will be writing down your words and keeping them close to my heart. Remain, Dance, Praise, and Sing!

    1. Thank you!!! I'm glad they will be of comfort and assistance to you~I"m gearing up for another music festival myself, and will have to remember them too. :)

  2. we learn so much about the therapy we need from our kids. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. You're welcome, Faith~thanks for your encouragement here!