As if it’s something you choose?!
When I suffered from acute anxiety I was often treated as if it was a choice, a switch I could just turn off and everything would be okay. I’d be less of a pain in the butt. It surprised me that those around me didn’t realise that if there was an off switch I would have hit it faster than the speed of light, the moment I knew what anxiety felt like. But that’s the way of the world, simple answers to the problems you don’t have.
Take a walk with me
I’m 16 years old. It’s a beautiful sunny day in South London. One of those good to be alive days. I feel good. I always feel good.
I decide to go and meet my mum from work. I set out feeling great, I’m enjoying the walk, full of the joy of being alive. I take one step. Yes one step. Everything changes.
This feeling that I have no name for hits me in the stomach. I didn’t have the words to describe it, it was just awful, horrible, heavy.
That’s how anxiety and I first met. In one step. I had no idea what it was, I literally couldn’t name it. But it was going to go wasn’t it? That which you’ve never felt isn’t staying for 35 years is it? Thank God I didn’t know that’s how long I would battle this thing. I walked on.
As you read, it didn’t go. It never went. I remember good times during those 35 years but always, somewhere at the back of my mind it was there, waiting to come forward. Sometimes it was intermittent, sometimes it was bearable, sometimes I didn’t know how to drag myself out of bed and go on.
I can understand that people go fed up with me, but with the exception of a mentor who did his best, no one tried to help me. No one sat me down and asked me how I felt, why I thought I felt that way. Moreover, they saw that I had real problems in my life but no one suggested that I solved them, or offered me a weekend away to stop and think.
One person told me later that he was desperate to stick me on the back of his motorbike and take me away, the night before my first wedding, but it was too late then. It was wonderful to know that he saw and thought about it, but no way would I have had the courage to say yes.
I was ridiculed, laughed at, bullied, tutted at, told I was a nuisance, but never helped. Things are so much better nowadays, anxiety is no longer hidden as an embarrassing situation that no one can cope with, especially those who don’t have it. It’s out in the open and thank goodness for that.
The way out
I found two interim ways out. Spiritual thinking and a gluten free diet. Now, please remember that I can’t make any medical diagnoses, promises, or even suggestions, I am only telling you my story here. I decided to stop eating wheat as I was told it can be complicit in digestive issues, and a month later my anxiety dropped to normal levels.
I did not expect this, but I know other people who have said the same, so I share it just in case it will help you.
The second interim way was spiritual thinking, and although looking at life in a different way definitely helped to ease my anxiety and give me a feeling of more control, it did not cure it. It took it from unbearable to managable.
The way out part two
The next step in bringing me down to more normal levels was a visit to The Conference for Consciousness and Human Evolution (TCCHE) held in London every August Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve mentioned this before and I’m going to keep drip feeding it into the blogs as it’s vitally important.
Through that conference I discovered things about myself that I didn’t know, how I scientifically hang together as a human and how humans work. It really opened my eyes to the fact that I knew very little about myself and my programming and operating procedures.
For example, your subconscious is over 90% of your mind right? Your subconscious is programmed into the cells in your body! Yep that’s right. Your body knows how you react to certain situations and when you’re in one your cells send a message to the brain “be anxious now”, and off you go.
I obviously can’t explain this in any depth as I’m not a scientist. But if you read Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr Joe Dispenza and then buy the 2 CD meditation set of the same name, you will not only know a lot more about the recent discoveries in human biology and ‘stuff’, you will be holding a potential way out in the palm of your hand.
The meditation CDs require dedication – to yourself. You will have to sit down every day for a month alternating between the two CDs. On a bad day when you can’t concentrate listen anyway, changes will happen. On a good day you’ll be breaking through the old programming and creating a new programme for your cells. In other words, deprogramming your anxiety.
This is the key word with anxiety. People get you to talk about it, to share, to explore it, but at some point you have to tackle the causes.
If your anxiety is clinical then you do that via the medical profession, obviously some people prefer the holistic route, and I certainly took that one, but my anxiety wasn’t due to a clinical imbalance. However…
If your anxiety is not clinical then it can almost certainly be helped by making changes in your life until you’re in a good place, with good people, doing things that make you happy. This, of course, will take time and effort. You won’t need to move out of your comfort zone though…you’ll need to smash it to smithereens and cast it to the four winds.
Just when you’re exhausted by life!
Exactly, and guess how I know that? I hit rock bottom, realised that for me the only way was up and that I had to do the climbing. It seemed like a ridiculous idea, I tried, I failed, I slipped back, I started again, I got more tired, and repeat! I started in the wrong way.
The right way is meditation such as I’ve suggested. Unless anxiety is clinical or diet related, it’s the mind that is in trouble and the mind that needs care. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, are all mind-care activities. They’re what you use when your mind is under pressure to learn to help it relax.
Will it relax at first? Will it heck-as-like, it will take that nice quiet space to remind you of everything that’s bugging you, in triplicate. You’ll need to get used to saying ‘it’s okay, I’ll get to all that later, just rest!’ Given time it will, and that’s why a guided meditation is the best idea. It only requires you to listen. If you can’t, put it on when you get into bed and allow yourself to relax and fall asleep, it will still work. Just make sure your earphones are comfortable.
Some people also find that a walk puts them into a meditative state, swimming, running, cleaning the oven (yes I know I screamed too but apparently that works for some). If what I’ve suggested doesn’t work then find out what does work for you.
If you try meditation first, heal that mind and reprogramme those cells, then start to tackle the problems in your life, you have way more chance of success. I’ll come onto a method for doing that in the next blog!
Problem Identification without Thinking
See you in the next instalment
To your happiness
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.