Have you ever been stuck, trapped at an airport or on the road due to Mother Nature being a seriously wicked witch?
Tried to make the best of it, tried to see it as an adventure, yet really, deep down inside all I could think about was getting home. Wishing for a pair of sparkly slippers. Click my heels three times and I am there!
Those times were bad enough, but not being able to find the home in my heart were the scariest and loneliest times.
The times when family, friends, new relationships, religion, food, jobs, success, money and the stuff that cluttered my house wasn’t enough to fill a sense of emptiness. A feeling of lack, hollowness, “missingness.”
The times when being me wasn’t enough.
Human nature abhors a vacuum.
The emptiness had to be filled and I was stuck and trapped when worry, anxiety and depression seeped in.
I wished for a pair of sparkly slippers. Click my heels three times and I am there.
Managing and transforming my anxiety disorder took more effort than wishing.
It was a long and winding road learning to trust God again and in turn to trust myself. To experience life without an abundance of worry, to increase my capability to know I am enough and can handle any set of circumstances.
If you’ve never experienced an anxiety disorder, think crisis. Think about how you feel during and immediately after a near brush with danger. The heart races, blood pounds, and your body trembles and shakes while your mind replays the incident.
You think about what might have happened and generally, after a bit of time, you move forward. Some people are able to shrug it off quickly and even laugh about it. Others dismiss it after a while and don’t bring it up again.
With an anxiety disorder, you do not get over it quickly, sometimes not at all. Your mind and body continues to replay the danger, looping it over and over until it begins to affect sleep, work, appetite, and relationships.
The definition of danger and crisis expands to encompass the “little things” in everyday life.
Disorders can be mild to extreme. Anything, and in some people’s cases I do mean ANYTHING, from a dog barking, to someone parking in their usual spot at work, to a simple comment from a family member, friend, coworker or employer are triggers.
As the anxiety reaction heightens, all we want to do is make it stop. Make the pain go away.
In distress, we can’t find home.
I encourage anyone with anxiety to get professional help.
I did not and do not take medication, if you need it, that is a personal choice.
It takes a lot of courage to face the fact that we cannot make it go away, we can only make it better. Trying to make it go away keeps it strong.
Accepting that it exists and can be neutralized weakens it and moves us forward.
Now, instead of feeling an earthquake of anxiety, I feel tremors and respond appropriately.
I mean really, if a bus is going to run me over, I’m getting out of the way, not going to do deep breathing exercises first.
AS THE TREMORS START HERE’S WHAT I DO
1. Use deep breathing techniques.
2. Say to myself, “Hum, interesting,” observing the situation instead of reacting.
3. Say a prayer asking and thanking the Divine for guidance and peace.
4. Stay in the present moment. My brain’s wiring will recall the pain and emotions from similar situations in the past and projections of future “what if’s.” This ingrained reaction can be controlled so old pain does not add to and take over what is occurring in the moment. The brain can be “re-wired” with practice.
5. Observe where I am at and what is the truth of the current situation. Am I truly in harm’s way? Am I projecting my feelings on someone else? Is this a real crisis or conflict?
6. Remind myself I cannot control another person’s actions or behaviors, only my own. By deep breathing, praying and observing, I stay calm enough to make life-enhancing choices about a situation. I can control my response, which could include not saying anything and letting it go or taking appropriate action. (If you do not know what an appropriate action is, relay the circumstances to your therapist or psychologist and ask for their suggestions.)
7. Ask myself, “If by worrying about this situation, am I avoiding looking at something else?” Are there conditions in my life I need to work on or address? Like relationships, being in an unsatisfying job, feelings of unworthiness, etc.
I learned to give myself permission and accept that it is okay to “self-care.” Finding the “missingness” of trusting God and myself did not happen overnight either. More about that in another blog.
Also do mirror work and journaling, use relaxation techniques, repeat positive affirmations and scriptures and work with my chakras and grounding. I keep myself open and receptive to learning more. I’ll share what I’ve learned with you in future blogs.
Without a pair of sparkly slippers or clicking my heels three times, I have learned to stabilize and find home in my heart.
© 2013 – 2015 Susan C. Fix All Rights Reserved
ABlueSquash.com is devoted to transformation and reinventing life. Topics and projects are wide and varied as inspiration is found around any corner anytime, anywhere.
The author of this blog does not presume to offer psychological therapy nor advocates the use of any technique for the treatment of any specific or traumatic psychological condition without the approval and guidance of a qualified psychotherapist. The writer’s intent is to convey personal experience in the hope it may be of help in others’ personal quests for mind, body and spirit improvement. If you use any of the information as a form of self-therapy, the author / writer assumes no responsibility or liability for your actions.