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Walk with us through our journey of facing anxiety, in a whirlpool of depression, individually and as a couple.
"Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 1:7
— Chris & Kim Costanza
Wondering who we are?
I’m 27 years old, born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but raised on the grounds of Teen Challenge Training Center (a Christian Drug Rehab center) in Rehrersburgh, PA. I started playing the piano when I was six years old and my love for the arts only grew stronger. Despite being home schooled my whole life I was still involved in the local High School’s musicals. This is when my passion grew for acting. My wife and I are currently living in North Jersey. I work as a sales rep, pursue acting and comedy as well as being actively involved in our church.
How did we meet?
After having a dispute with my family, late one July night, my father asked me to join him on a trip to Pilgrim Camp (yes, it exists). I reluctantly agreed to join him, although everything in me didn’t want to. The last thing I expected to happen while I was there, was that I would meet my future wife. I didn’t know it then, but everything in my life was about to change.
My phone ran out of minutes, I had no car… but nothing could stop me from seeing or talking to her again. I did everything I could to buy a 1989 Mazda 626 to make this work. For 3 ½ years we had a long-distance relationship until I realized I couldn’t live without this person in my life every day.
Happily, Ever After
The years leading up to us getting married, I had a lot of changes happen and not all of them were good. When we got married I felt completely inadequate to be a husband… to be her husband. She deserved more… she deserved better. These thoughts and emotions rooted from my childhood were seeping into our marriage and my everyday thoughts.
I was questioning everything about myself, and fearing everything out of my control. Eventually, I saw how deeply this was affecting my wife. Her ability to handle my issues was dwindling, and I was losing the person I fell in love with because of it.
Watching how my anxiety and depression was draining my wife and conditioning anxieties of her own, I knew I had to do something about it. How could I sit back and watch the one person who would never hurt me, be hurt by me? Neither of us could take it anymore… someone was going to break! Prayer, is where we started to see the change.
People misunderstood my anxiety for rudeness. Large crowds or a lot of excitement would quickly shut me down – but no one understood (except for my wife who was hiding it as well). I needed someone to reach out to me and befriend me, even though I seemed different.
I want to be that person that she was to me, for others. Kimi and I both feel the need to share our stories as we hope they inspire you to fight.
“The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” – Exodus 15:3
EMBRACE YOUR ANXIETY
Hi Everyone! My name is Kimberly, I’m 26 years old, born and raised a Jersey girl. My full-time job is working as an Administrative Associate for a National food brokerage. I was raised in a pastor's family, where I grew up in a parsonage right next door to the church that my father pastors. Yes - it was just as crazy (and fun) as it sounds! Although my husband and I are very ambitious in our career goals - we are still actively involved in our church. I love interior design! I have a secret passion and hope to one day house flip with Chip and Joanna Gaines ;) (hey, I dream big)! I also have a passion and love for people! My hope is to share my perspective of our journey battling anxiety.
How did we meet?
Chris and I met the summer of 2010 at a church camp in upstate New York. Surprisingly, we both attended the same camp our whole lives but we never crossed paths! I'll never forget the first time that Chris looked at me. I wasn't sure if he liked me since he didn't say anything to me for the whole first day. I knew he was leaving in a couple of days and I felt like he was never going to break the ice, so I decided to break the silence. I was surprised to see how much Chris opened up after saying "hello" to him. Which lead to us talking all day and all night until 5 a.m.
When he left, days went by that I didn't hear from him and I thought I wasn't going to see him again. But then I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize - so naturally I had my sister answer the phone (haha). It was Chris on the other line - my sister excitedly told me, "It's that guy!". The rest was history. We dated for three and half years until Valentines day 2014, when he proposed while taking me horseback riding in the snow.
Happily Ever After
Finally, on a warm October day, in the church my Grandparents planted in Floral Park, NY, we said our "I DO's"! It was everything I hoped it would be. Chris arranged a piano piece that he played for me at our wedding ceremony and our reception was held in a beautiful barn on Long Island. I had my DIY Pinterest wedding! A dreamy and dramatic barn, mason jar pies & root beer floats for dessert, family & friends, and the guy of my dreams - what more could a girl ask for?! It was the best day of my life! And this is when our adventure truly began.
In the beginning of our marriage I was hiding a big secret
Chris was battling anxiety and extreme depression (this was way more intense than when we were dating). I kept all of this hidden from my family and friends. I feared sharing this would make them think he was weak… or that they would just simply not understand…
There came a point where I truly thought things couldn’t get any worse. Despite my reasons for not telling anyone our situation, I hoped for someone to relate to – I felt so alone. I knew we needed more prayer and encouragement so I finally opened up to my Mom and Sister. My heart wants to meet and love people who have been through similar situations even if it is not your spouse! Do not give up on your loved one, they need YOU more than any other person in their life.
I was recently browsing Pinterest and found a post that says:
"Here I am again. Feeling like I'm not wanted. Feeling like I'm worthless. And even though I'm alive, feeling dead."
Seeing this post breaks me in every way possible - but it is so real to us. I have experienced my dose of anxiety and depression, but I have seen and experienced my husband feeling these thoughts and emotions, mostly everyday.
So, we are sharing our story. Maybe… perhaps… God willing… we reach ONE person and let you know THERE IS A HOPE. There is more for you. YOU ARE LOVED!
Chris and I recently went through some major changes. After moving from Pennsylvania to New York, again we were uprooted and moved to New Jersey. This was a stressful time for us, but we knew God was preparing us for more. As we continued to pray more than ever, we were individually feeling the need to share our journey. Anxiety has stolen a lot of time and precious memories away from us.
If you’re not battling anxiety… read to understand it and see it.
If you are battling anxiety and depression, we are your friends. We understand. We are here to support you and pray with you.