Whenever I hit a wall in my life, my pledge to myself and to you my readers is to find a solution to get out of it. This builds up a practice of positivity and self care. And this momentum is what helps you heal. When you have been dealing with anxiety and panic, I find this is the best way to help yourself. You have to DO something about how you feel, even if you don’t FEEL like it. Hell, especially if you don’t feel like it 😉
I read an article this morning and it resonated with me. Here is my take on it, in light of the massive setback I find myself in recently…
1. You Will Heal as you LEARN
When anxiety rears its ugly head, it can feel all consuming. You don’t know why it started, but you know it feels awful and you want some answers. When you actually get a diagnosis, such as Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, etc., something about this makes you feel relieved at first.
Finally, you have a label, a name, for why you feel like crap all the time. A doctor or other medical professional has given your ailment a name. And not only do you get a diagnostic name for what this awful thing is, you might even get some medications or counseling sessions to help.
After awhile, it doesn’t help to just know you have your anxiety diagnosis. You get sick of feeling scared and agitated all the damn time. You need to feel better. So you seek out answers.
This was my situation exactly. I had a diagnosis since my early 20s, but that didn’t really mean much. Because I was still suffering from anxiety all the time! Sure I felt better when I took a pill, but once it wore off, the anxiety came back. After awhile I could still get anxious and have panic attacks even being on high doses of medication! So I went on a decades long journey of self education to learn about this ailment and hopefully get some relief.
And life changes, I changed, my situation changes. What I have found is that while the people, places, and things in my life may be very different from when I was younger, the basics of anxiety recovery stay the same.
Anxiety tries to trick you and make you think you can’t deal with THIS situation, but I assure you, you can.
In my anxiety recovery journey, first I looked to doctors and professionals for a cure. I also prayed blind and desperate prayers to God to heal me and make me the way I was before, all while I stayed numbed out on medications and not really doing anything to help heal myself at my core.
What I have learned over the years, is that without fail, the way to healing is going through the pain while at the same time, taking gentle and loving care of yourself.
The journey out of hell and into wellness starts and ends with me. I am the common denominator. Anxiety happened and it became a thinking pattern. This became a miserable way of life. Decades into it, I learned to have compassion for myself and I slowly began to heal.
Some people don’t take as long as me to learn to get better. It is what it is. I am a slow learner. But I am still getting better. I have learned that slow and steady still wins the race.
2. You Will Heal as you TRY
What I learned from very, very smart people including Dr. Claire Weekes, Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Victor Frankyl and others, is thatin a nutshell, your life is what you make of it. If you think bad thoughts, you suffer. If you have a good reason to get better, and you go after it sincerely, you will heal.
The human body has an innate ability to heal itself. With anxiety, you have to take yourself gently by the hand and try to help yourself. No one can heal me but me. And no one can heal you but you.
It’s like riding a bike. You have the ability to learn to ride it, but no one can take those handlebars, get in the seat and start peddling but you.
I have been so stressed and dealing with my present situation, that I did lose my perspective and forget to do the very basics that always bring great relief to me when I am in an anxiety state.
But that’s ok.
I know that I can pick myself up, dust myself off and try again. I can remember that I learned long ago that setbacks are expected and normal. Everyone goes through them. I have had setbacks before and I have learned to feel better again.
What I cannot do is nothing.
When in an anxiety state, if I just ball up on the couch and eat chips and zone out in front of the television, it may feel comforting in the moment. But I know I may not sleep that night, and the next morning it will be impossible to go to work with a calm and rational mind. This will keep me in an agitated and unhappy state. I HAVE to get out there and make myself feel better.
What did I TRY today to help myself? Here is a rundown.
I searched for and found a nice program of Guided Meditations called The ReAwakening. It promises to help you take control of your life in 16 days. I am on day 3. I do feel better already. I am working this program sincerely and following along with the instructions, giving it more than the 10 minutes a day it asks for.
Today I woke up and did my Guided Mediation from the ReAwakening. I am also giving myself the gift of writing this post. I knew I had to make a plan to feel better given the past few months of stress in my life. Writing things down always helps me and gives me something I can look back on later when I am feeling like crap again. Because let’s face it, life keeps happening, and it’s always a roller coaster ride right?
Today is my day off and once this post is done, I am going to take advantage of this glorious spring weather and get outside. I will play with my wonderful dog Buddy who is such a good boy.
And I will continue to do my 60 Second Panic Solution program. This has helped me more than I can say in the year that I have been using it. It helps stop panic attacks, plain and simple. The only time it doesn’t work is when I forget to do the Triple A Technique. And lately I’ve been too freaked to remember what to do when panic just strikes out of nowhere. Hence I am giving myself the gift of the ReAwakening, to help me feel better all the time, and as a balm to help me through this challenging period in my life.
3. You Will Heal as you STAY.
Stay present in your life. I need to keep my head where my feet are at all times, but most especially during times of great stress. This is because when under stress, my head will go off and predict what may happen and it’s always horrible and the result is I will be worse off than ever.
There is so much benefit to learning to STAY present and focused in the moment. Right now, it is quiet and peaceful and the sunlight is pouring in through the windows. Buddy is sleeping in the next room. Right now, there is No Problem. Thank you Lord!
Learning to stay present and focused is a practice I give myself daily. I start my day with some form of meditation. This helps me to always be the master of my mind. This helps when I am in a state of racing thoughts, because I know I can go back to myself and remember the beginning of my day when all was well and quiet.
Here is a practical example:
Bob texted me while I was typing this post. The text was doom and gloom. Here is part of it:
What a shit show here. I pulled a guy aside and he was almost crying. I’m anxious. I’m sitting between the 2 assholes just doing my thing until my 230 interview.
I get texts like this from my husband every day lately about how bad it is where he works (even though they all got fired they are obligated to stay until July). And it is very easy to get caught up in the drama of it. Negativity and anxiety are very contagious
So what can I do? I can take one conscious breath. I can notice that my feet are in my kitchen and that is where my head is too. I can look out the window and see the glorious sunlight. I can give thanks that I can experience this beautiful moment. I am grateful that I am home and this was just a text. It is much harder to stay present and be calm within when he is in the same room as me and feeling worried and anxious.
I am healing because I am staying where my feet are. To the best of my ability. Today in the kitchen. The other day at yoga when I had that massive panic attack. On Sunday when I had those other massive sucky panic attacks. I stayed. I didn’t remember what I needed to do exactly, I forgot to do the Triple A Technique both times. but I had the presence of mind to remember to STAY. I knew I could see it through and I did.
How you can STAY and See it through? Stay present when you are with someone who is suffering. Stay present when your anxiety rises up. Stay present in your own life. Be there for yourself. If you invest in your anxiety recovery with a program or therapy, then by all means, be a good student and see it through. Work your program to the best of your ability. Give yourself the gift of healing and feeling a little better every day. If you plant the seed and stay present for the season, you will reap the harvest!
4. You Will Heal as you LOVE.
I love my husband. I know he will get through this time. How do I know this? Because I am praying every day for him. I am not nagging him or giving him advice because I have none to give. I am staying out of his way. I am supporting him as much as he will let me. I am staying focused on feeling good and sending him healing energy.
“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.” – Sai Baba
I love myself. I know that I can give myself the energy to heal, because I am a child of God, and we are all made in His image. I used to not love myself, but eventually I learned that I am pretty loveable. Later in life I questioned whether it was selfish to love myself. Today I know it is not selfish to care for and love and value yourself. I am all I have. I have the God-given right to a good life. I am grateful that I love myself today. I am grateful that I am healing.
“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” – Gary Zukav
I wish you peace,
image credit: © 1939 Warner Home Video.