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    Fear of germs and sickness

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    Reed Benson

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    Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  Reed Benson on February 12th 2018, 5:51 am

    Hey, guys, I've recently sunk to a major low in regards to my probably-irrational fear of germs and diseases. My wife has had cold-like symptoms (probably related to her pregnancy and not contagious), and my fear of catching it have led to some conflict. I've had vertigo before, so I'm more afraid of catching a cold than I used to be because it could lead to that happening again.

    Even worse is the conflict we had over her desire to eat meat. You see, I'm more afraid of food poisoning than anything, so we never eat meat at home. But she really likes delicious food, and she wants to eat meat often. She never has stomach problems, so she doesn't worry about things like that. She bought some raw meat today, and the bag it was in (just a regular plastic bag, not even tied up) touched the bags that held the vegetables we also bought. She still put the bags in the fridge and prepared her meat dish. Now I'm afraid to touch anything in our little kitchen, much less eat with it. I didn't eat anything but crackers and a banana for lunch, and that seems to be what I'm doing for dinner, to. She got very frustrated with me and yelled at me but apologized for it later.

    So we just have a lot of discord right now between her strong desire to eat delicious food (one of her most favorite things in life) and my desire to eat the same meatless things all the time out of safety.

    I talked to a friend in town on the phone for over an hour about it. It helped, but I'm still afraid. If you could pray for God to...I don't know, make me not afraid or something, that would be great.
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    Paeter
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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  Paeter on February 13th 2018, 12:24 pm

    Man, that sounds tough. I am certainly praying for God to help you both sort through what you're thinking and feeling, and to love each other well as you honor God.


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    jorowi
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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  jorowi on February 13th 2018, 3:48 pm

    Praying for peace of mind and patience.


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    Reed Benson

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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  Reed Benson on March 1st 2018, 5:23 am

    An update: I've had some dark days recently. The meat wasn't the end of it. We had our heating pipes cleaned out last Sunday, and it was not a clean process. Dirty, rusty water got sprayed all over our bathroom and out the door. It's a miracle I didn't have a heart or panic attack, but I think my mind just couldn't process what was happening. I was a little stomach sick for a couple days after that. My wife thinks it wasn't from the dirty stuff but from my own worry. I'm better now, but I have not been eating or drinking well. Food in general just scares me now (even though the dirty water didn't get near the kitchen or dining table).

    There have been times when I've thought that death would be better than living like this, but then I think that dying right now would bring me before a God who is very disappointed in me and my faith. I'm so stuck in myself, I'm not doing anything to bless others with Christ's love. I've got a kid on the way, for crying out loud. How am I going to survive when he/she gets sick or dirty?

    I don't know what I need to get over this. I know it comes from God, but I don't know what it is exactly.

    I have to go back to work starting this Saturday. Gonna be around lots of kids. I'm hoping that the busy-ness will be enough to distract me from my worries.
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    Paeter
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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  Paeter on March 1st 2018, 10:35 am

    Reed Benson wrote:
    I don't know what I need to get over this. I know it comes from God, but I don't know what it is exactly.

    I was just listening to William Lane Craig yesterday, who roughly quoted Martin Luther as saying something like "When we pray for healing, God sends us doctors". It's been my experience that people are the primary means God uses to answer our prayers and help us heal. Are you connected to a local church that has a counseling pastor, or that could refer you to someone you could see to gain some insight on what you're experiencing?


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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  jorowi on March 1st 2018, 11:47 am

    Paeter wrote:I was just listening to William Lane Craig yesterday, who roughly quoted Martin Luther as saying something like "When we pray for healing, God sends us doctors". It's been my experience that people are the primary means God uses to answer our prayers and help us heal. Are you connected to a local church that has a counseling pastor, or that could refer you to someone you could see to gain some insight on what you're experiencing?

    Let me echo what Paeter is sharing here and add a little more:

    You would not appear before a God that is disappointed with you. He knows our struggles and suffering and wants to relieve those burdens.

    Also, the world without Reed Benson would never be the same. God put you here for a purpose and there are people who would deeply miss you.

    Please, find help soon. Don't let depression or anxiety drive you to make an irreversible decision. Here are some resources in China. They're not Christians but you may just need someone to talk to.

    Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center Hotline
    BEIJING
    Hotline: Free: 0800-810-1117
    Hotline: Mobile/IP/extension users: 010-8295-1332
    Website: crisis.org.cn

    Lifeline Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Contact by: - Phone
    Hotline: (21) 63798990
    Website: lifelineshanghai.com

    Also, you can DM me on Twitter and I'll do my best to respond. The time difference makes it tough but know that I'm available.


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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  AdamCollings on March 1st 2018, 5:15 pm

    Hi Reed.
    This sounds really debilitating. I read what you wrote on your blog, which went into a little more detail and my heart went out to you.
    I am praying for you.

    I would echo Peater and John. You need to seek some medical help to better manage this condition. You don't have to deal with this alone. I also want to give you hope that you can get through something like this. A friend of mine has a severe phobia of vomitting and sickness. When she became pregnant, she was worried about how she would cope with her child. It wasnt easy, but now she and her husband have several happy kids.

    This is probably a good time to really deal with this problem. If you can get it under control now, you'll be ready for your baby when it's born.

    I pray you find the help you need
    I pray for healing and recovery.
    I pray for extra grace and strength for your wife as she supports you through this.
    I pray blessing and strength for your marriage.

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    Reed Benson

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    Re: Fear of germs and sickness

    Post  Reed Benson on March 1st 2018, 7:16 pm

    Thanks you all. It means so much.

    So here's what's available to me: I have a friend who just got back for the States. He's willing to talk to me whenever he has the time, but he and his wife will be going to South Korea soon for a little bit. He has a friend coming to visit in a few weeks who is a counsellor, and he's going to set me up at least one meeting with him.

    I also have some coworkers who say they're open to talking with anyone who's having troubles as part of our school's member care program. And there's an international clinic in town that I've been to several times. They may have counseling services, but I'm not sure. Oh, and I think my boss knows a counsellor who lives in town, but he said she's not here right now.

    I do not think suicide is very likely for me. I'm not brave enough for that. I think I'd be more likely to just run away and hide in a hotel or a friend's house or something.

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