This has been a long time coming.. Over the last week I went through the most difficult time of my life; and it completely broke me open. I wanted to write about this sooner, but I had to be sure that the way I am dealing with my own anxiety and fear is not just another means of avoiding or suppressing it. Of course, all important issues seem to come back in cycles throughout life, but perhaps this time I found a way to treat it and help it heal..
”To look into your fear is the most courageous thing you can do” – I remember hearing it somewhere, but at that time I thought that love was the only way to be and fear is something to avoid. Oh how terribly wrong I was about the latter! I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for a long time now, it prevented me from moving forward and gave me a fear of life itself. Anyone who has ever experienced anxiety knows, that there is little worse in this world than feeling like you are constantly being hunted down. The fear becomes so immense that it tenses and can even paralyse your whole body, you can neither breathe nor escape it. It is a powerful state of emotions that can lead anyone to suicide or hospitalisation, if followed for long enough.
The biggest problem is that we create for ourselves a wealth of coping mechanisms, which don’t actually work in our favour. There are medications people take, which help them to suppress their fears and depression; maybe they feel great for a while, but the pill just kills the symptom, not the cause. From early childhood I was taught that if I felt anxious or depressed, I had to go and do some cleaning. Yes, it helps to distract yourself and make you feel ‘useful’ rather than ‘worthless’, but to whom are we supposed to be useful, if not ourselves?! That temporary sense of achievement becomes our escape tool, and eventually – our prison.
I can say that throughout the years I became a master of creating coping mechanisms whilst I feared looking at myself properly. I made nature my escapism. It worked, but for how long can one run away from his/her fear? In nature the anxiety symptoms can be relieved, but without a proper look into oneself and at the core of the issue, it is not released. When I realised this concept, I stopped running. I decided to sit still with my eyes closed for as long as it took, and focus on my fear, allowing everything and anything to come up, so I could take a proper look at it. My childhood traumas were haunting me, I was seeing visions of the past, sometimes even remembering the feelings of actual pain I once experienced. It completely broke me down, I had a strong urge to distract myself, but I invited it all instead. And that decision, to see my fear for what it truly was, opened the door to more and more pain and grief which I had accumulated throughout the years and never allowed to come out. I won’t lie, it was the scariest three days of my life, and it grew bigger with each day. I reached the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. Something clicked in my brain and I gave it permission to consume me. At that moment everything CHANGED. I completely surrendered to the pain and fear instead of trying to change myself or push away all these horrible feelings. At that moment, it all STOPPED! I appreciate that this is unlikely to be the end to my problems, but it is definitely a step in the right direction!
Anxiety is a most underestimated emotional state. In most cases it is suppressed trauma that you keep re-living sub-consciously. If you are experiencing this, perhaps try and listen to what your body, feelings and dreams tell you. Listening can be your best tool to self healing. You will discover the truth, be it what happened in your past, or a realisation that you are NOT your fear, but a separate being who is experiencing the feeling; allow it in and give your fear some love as you would love a child. That scared and traumatised part of you is in need of that motherly love, as it was the lack of love that formed traumas in the first place. It is a scary thing to uncover and it is much easier to go through it with someone supporting you along your journey. Don’t be afraid to seek another’s help! And if you feel like there is no one there – please, contact me, and we can go through this together.
In the end, nature is our best healer, but we need to remember, that we all are capable of building a figurative prison for ourselves. Be gentle with yourselves and don’t forget to breathe 🙂
A well-wisher, Ursule ♥