Suffering the hell of anxiety and panic
An excellent and heartfelt reminder on the need to be. It is so easy to be caught up in a whirlpool of resistance (against pain) that we sometimes forget that “living” happens when we go with the flow of life. This is something I try and remind myself of every day.
This reminds me of the skill of “observation” from CPT (and Buddhism!) in that observing what is happening is the only way to make it through with less suffering. This was a great post! Thank you!
Just yesterday I was talking with a friend who is currently going through some difficult times and I said to her, that she needs to "be." Do not fight the real feelings, but be with them. I also recognise in myself that my empathy comes from being the child who was pushed and pulled under. My sensitivities that were so ridiculed, are what make me a loving adult. Thank you for your words of comfort today, Renee!
Thank you Renee. I'm reading a book currently that talks about this too. Allowing.
This reminds me of the advice given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: just take it as it comes. It's hard though: I have to constantly remind myself of this wisdom.
Thank you for your recommendation, Renee. As bit happens I recommended yours in Substack chat last night.
7th grade is the worst. It is a year that should have extra counselors, therapists, meditation, & extra time away from peers.
I thought everything was going fine. I didn't have friends all year, but it wasn't fine. A very tall girl threatened to beat me up, scheduled a time and place (7 am in the annex hallway). Why you ask? Good question. I was never given a real reason. We had never spoken. I was terrified. The fear was real.
In my crying shower, I looked in the mirror and saw an awkward, pubescent, chubby 13 year old, the thing I hated the most about my face was the hair between my brows. I decided to shave it. In all the heated, shaking awkwardness I missed the mark. Too much eyebrow disappeared. Shit, could it get any worse? Maybe I could draw eyebrows on. Lots of people do it, right? I shaved them both right off & cried. Sat down in the shower and ugly cried. Eventually my dad's terrible advice resounded in my head, (he really did try to parent, but he just wasn't equipped to handle a spirit like mine). I remembered his story of confusing your opponent in a fight. Catch them off-guard, make them uncomfortable, even afraid before the fight begins.
The next morning in the annex, she looked at my face and commented how ugly I looked. She wouldn't touch me because I looked "diseased". It was music to my ears. She never touched me. The humiliation that came with 2 weeks of no eyebrows was minor. No one ever talked to me anyways, I could sit alone at the lunch table, without bruises or broken bones & without big bushy eyebrows. Just my books & a lunch tray. Thank goodness.
Fast forward to today, the anxiety is not the same. It's leading a group of people & give presentations regularly. It's not knowing how to respond when someone is upset with me.
It means making big decisions where there is real ramifications for others & no one to provide guidance. I cannot shave my eyebrows to stop these possible failures.
I have learned techniques to calm the inner ugly-crier, but sometimes a tear or two sneaks out. These techniques are not fail-proof. I could use more & am eager to hear your techniques in mustering courage and calm in difficult situations.
"As soon as I allow myself to be pulled out to sea to swim the edges of my fear, courage and faith and trust develop that becomes so deeply integrated in awareness."
Dear Renee, this post echos of pure compassion. What a liberating piece of work. Thank you so much for sharing. This is something that I did not know I needed.