“Overcoming worry” by Kevin Meares&Mark Freeston
I decided to write few things as I’ve noticed something interesting. I joined (of course!) another Facebook group (apart from already joined depression, epilepsy and hamsters) I joined GAD group. I do admit I haven’t been particularly an active member of the group but I read one post where someone was basically saying that her and her husband are anxious and both of their children have an anxiety disorders. I can’t remember what exactly it was and what actually she was asking but from the tone of the answers and the question I drew a conclusion people were seeking an advice outside (diagnosis, hereditary) but not really inside themselves. So I actually as a part of my therapy I decided to give myself a pat on the back. I actually identified I have GAD and I’m working on it and I’ll do my best NOT to teach my children same habits as I have.
So the journey has started. The week just gone was difficult. I was fine and then Sunday evening my anxiety went completely over the roof. I felt awful. I knew that I didn’t want to feel like that. I realised that it’s not the situation it must be me, the fear is inside. Part of GAD is feeling uncomfortable with your especially negative emotions and trying to get rid of them asap. I wish I could just click my hands and the problems would disappear. A magic wand.
I started thinking, searching and of course discussing things and my counselling sessions. I think counselling has been the most beneficial but it’s was good to dig dipper for more answers.
I need to learn to allow myself the emotions I feel. It’s ok to feel what you feel. I shouldn’t feel guilty or telling myself off for what I feel. I feel upset, I feel angry, I feel tired, I feel anxious – that’s OK 🙂 That’s what I feel. No judgement. Nothing. Acknowledge the thought or feeling and let it go.
The root for most if not all anxiety is uncertainty. And that’s an interesting issue – I have no tolerance to uncertainty. It is the UNCERTAINTY of the situation which makes me anxious. I have always reacted the same way to problems but they have never been as big and never lasted that long! So because the uncertainty is bigger then usual and lasts longer, my anxiety is much bigger then usual. And it become an obstacle to my life.
Well, if we feel uncomfortable about something being uncertain…. what do we do? try to increase the certainty of the situation. In my mind, the best way to do it is imagine possible outcomes. But focusing on the negative as if I can make myself prepared for the negative I’ll be ready when it happens. So I’m imagining the seizures and trying to be prepared when they happen. But when I start imagine it carries on, each thoughts produces more thoughts and the picture gets out of hand. And it gets more and more negative and more and more scary. So does it help? does it make the situation more certain?
But it’s a habit. I still think, that I can cheat my mind and make myself prepared for the worst.
So, the advice is to go the other way. If I can’t make the situation certain…. maybe it would be worth working on making my tolerance to uncertainty bigger.
And it should be a small step at the time as it’s a huge task. Start small. I can’t tackle the biggest problems but start small from small thoughts. I have started and making a diary of how it makes me feel to change the habit and what do I think etc. I have no answers yet if it works but I believe it will. That’s why I’m doing it.
I started Tuesday but yesterday I felt so overwhelmed…. I literally had a mixture of emotions and thought it my head. I didn’t know what I should or shouldn’t feel. It’s not even should it’s…. changing the automatic habit of 37 years…. it’s TIRING. Its unsettling. It requires concentration. It’s a constant questioning your mind. It’s testing it. It’s challenging it.
I also started meditation. I’ve never been a believer of that sort of stuff. But I started with Headspace. I’ve done so far 3 lessons 3min long each… I actually really like it! it connects with what I said above. With acknowledging the thoughts and letting them go.
I do admit last night I felt like I wouldn’t cope. But today I decided to add also at least one positive which happened each day. Today I think it was my hard work. The fact I’m trying. I’m so used to thinking bad about myself and putting myself down. But no, I’m working hard on this, I want change and I want my girls to avoid the problems I have. And that’s a good thing 🙂