My Thoughts on Anxiety
I hope that all my client's and followers of It's just a feeling are as well as they can be and are positively working towards a better quality of life from their anxious feelings.
I am finally back to working on my blog posts which are generated by my thoughts and my work with Anxiety Disorders and Depression.
During this month I would like to talk about why people who have anxiety may search for someone or something that can or will confirm that they in fact are uncurable, do have an issue, or are wrong or different in some way. They crave conformation that they are the untreatable one, they crave the label as it may confirm the reason that may explain why they feel so bad.
There must be a reason for this feeling, almost like a sense of feeling that once I have the reason I know that these feelings are coming for a reason.
"I am different, something is wrong with the way that I am,I'm not like others, I think and feel differently to them"
In my experience of both having anxiety over many years myself and emotionally supporting others who are suffering anxiety symptoms, I dont think that I have ever spoken to one person who has accepted themselves with their anxiety as ok just as they are. Each person has declared to me that they are different to others, their anxiety is much worse than anyone elses and they are in some way, wrong or different. They are the one who cannot be "cured".
It seems like they are looking for a reason to feel this bad and once they have found that reason, the reason why they are wrong or different, then somehow that validation will bring them relief.
But will it? What is the benefit of that label? That validation?
Why chase it so much?
It's almost like the "validation" will go something like this:
"There you go, I told you, I am different, I am the one who cannot be cured, I am just wrong, something is wrong with me, I'm different to others, I need to find out what is wrong with me"
But during my own reflections, I wonder what that means? What is the benefit?, most if not all people will never really find the reason they reacted like they did to anxious feelings, some may be able to identify a situation, some won't, but not the reason for their reaction and subsequent choices to avoid the fear and create a bigger problem. One thing is for sure, anxiety drives us to search tirelessly for the reason that we are different, why we react with such fear and it is often a fruitless search.
I hear many generalisations within my discussions with anxious people such as:
"I know no one else I know feels like me"
"There is nothing else that any one can have that is as bad as feeling anxious"
"My fear is the worst fear, its much worse that being fearful of anything else"
"Thoughts I have are real bad, I could never repeat them, no one has thoughts like me"
"I feel this is never going to go away and I cannot bear to think that I will be always like this"
Surely, thinking in this way, is repeatedly confirming to oneself that there is really something to fear here and sending the constant message that there is no recovery and all is hopeless.
In fact, and yes I did use the word FACT, this is just not true. Anxiety cannot hurt you, its basically a learned reaction to an emotion, and if you can learn it, you can unlearn it.
It is our own belief about ourselves that is wrong.
Labelling oneself in this way and then striving to have it confirmed by a therapist or a medical professional I would think would make it harder to climb out of the hole we are in would it not? "There you go, I knew it!, I really am different so therefore there is no point, I am a lost cause"
Most anxiety invest a lot of time and perhaps also a lot of money in this relentless search, visiting medical professionals constantly in case they missed something, asking therapists to help them when in actual fact most working with a therapist will help themselves with the correct environment and support from the therapist.
On reflection, It feels like the anxiety talking almost, a bit like the fear monster (who tries to keep people stuck) "You are the worst, there is no cure for people like you", remember he really does need you to believe this to stay stuck.
So logically, is striving to prove this to yourself fruitful or will it just serve to keep you stuck? It's often the belief we have about our anxiety or ourselves that is the problem, not the anxiety itself, it doesnt keep itself going, we keep it going for us by continuely making the choices and decisions that keep us stuck.
Intrestingly, I was the same, but many years later I still look back and wonder what would have happened to my wellbeing to have it confirmed by some means that I was wrong and different, when really that was not the case at all. I had anxiety, and for me the "cure and coping method" that would prevail against all other, was the fact I needed to see that I was not bad, wrong or different and accept myself with all my quirks exactly as I was.
What would it be like to think that anxiety or not, you are ok just as you are, with our without some anxious feelings?
In my opinion, most people who are reading this blog right now share a common desire, to feel better!
Would that not be the opposite to trying to validate yourself as ill, or believing that you are different and uncurable?
The experience I have (and I can only speak for myself) is that my behaviour was keeping me stuck, once I let the desire to find out why I had anxiety and believing that, that was because I was in someway uncurable and a person with issues and accepted who I was right here and right now, I began to turn a corner.
Is it not more fruitful to consider that right now is all we have, and the choices and decisions we make going forward ARE within our control, regardless of how strong anxiety feels.
That is right, its ok, you can drop it and just leave it right there. Walk away from trying to prove something or having control, it is not necessary to recovery.
In my experience as a sufferer and as a therapist, self acceptance and knowing yourself are very, very powerful tools to trusting in your own ability to heal, and just to be ok with you.
The human has an inbuilt mechanism to heal, if only we let it..
Until my next blog...
On a separate note to my blog post
I just wanted to update everyone on my work over Christmas and going into the new year.
I will be out of office from Monday 17th December 2018 until Friday 4th January 2019, after which I will be back at my desk around my other working commitments.
At the moment there is a short wait after booking a chat session to commencing sessions with me of about three weeks. That said I will be in touch to book your session once I recieve confirmation of request, referral and payment.
Going into the New Year, I will be still taking client's in the UK for face to face session for those near my geographical area or via Skype and telephone for those further away.
Please note that although I do not in any way suggest clients should book sessions, as it must be a personal decision if it feels right for the person concerned, however, it is more beneficial to work with a client over a period of weeks rather than over one session. For information blocks of six sessions do have a small discount.
CD and MP3 will still be available to buy.
I am just in the process of sourcing locations to conduct a small number of day workshops, if these are of interest to clients and followers of It's just a feeling then please contact me to register your interest. These will be small workshops of around 8 people only.
Finally, I know it may be a challenging time of year for those suffering with anxiety but i would not feel it would be right to not pass on my good wishes.
When I began to write It's just a feeling all those years ago, my aim was to offer some explanation for the bewildering feelings that come with anxiety and to try and provide the knowledge honestly that would support others also feeling as I did. I have had many humbling messages of feedback where clients feel it has helped them to understand their own symptoms and I am very proud to have been a small part of support for those clients that have taken the time to provide positive feedback from their own journey. I hope to continue my support where I can during 2019.
So may I take this opportunity to wish all followers of It's just a feeling a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all health and happiness during 2019 as you strive to remove your own unhelpful anxious feelings and regain quality of life.
Best wishes again,