It never lets up…
You pride yourself on being prepared. You have lists, and you know how to use them!
When others show up woefully under-prepared, you probably roll your eyes (even if just on the inside).
Yet you might marvel at their ability to be so laid back.
When people ask you what you’re so nervous about, sometimes you can’t even answer. It just feels like the bottom is about to drop out. Or you very nearly avoided catastrophe.
“What is the catastrophe?” they ask.
You can’t answer that without sounding ridiculous, so you don’t. All you know is that there’s a nervous energy in your chest that almost never lets up.
The only time it feels quiet in your body is when you’re busying yourself with something productive. Sure, it’s probably just a distraction. It’s hard to care when the alternative is being so uncomfortable all the time and beating yourself up for not doing enough. Never doing enough.
Would you like some of that calm, collected demeanor?
Like in the middle of the night when everyone else is sleeping soundly, but you’re awake and reciting your to-do list for the next day.
Or when your husband is traveling for work, and you’re not quite fooling anyone that you aren’t watching your phone obsessively waiting to hear that he’s there.
Or when you’re supposed to be relaxing, but you’re actually counting down the minutes in your yoga class because you feel like you’re wasting time that you could be doing something productive.
With anxiety, you’re wielding a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, you attribute your success to your anxiety (we can talk more about that later). On the other, you know it causes problems, too…
… like when you are grumpy after having not slept the night before…
… or when your family says they miss you, but hanging out with you is like trying to hang out with a real-life to-do list constantly dictating what they should be doing.
Which makes you kind of resentful, because if they would just do their part, maybe you wouldn’t have to be so on top of everything (and everyone) all the time! You vacillate between angry at being put in this position and contrite.
Because, if you’re honest, you wouldn’t always want to hang out with you either.
The conundrum of asking for help…
Just the thought of asking for help…
You try to talk yourself off the ledge as your mind races through all the possible things that could go wrong… all the things that you need to anticipate.
And talking yourself off the ledge just adds a voice to the cacophony in your head telling you to stop, because you’re making yourself crazy. And then you feel guilty.
And you don’t get the help, because no one takes this shit as seriously as you do (which is infuriating).
What would they say anyway… “Be in the moment.”? Yeah… you’ve tried that.
Here’s the deal: Anxiety is a multifaceted issue.
We can’t “solve” something that’s been plaguing you for decades by telling you to notice your breath. (I’m not saying it doesn’t help; it’s just not a stand-alone solution.)
This may sound weird, but at the core anxiety is not feeling safe. Sometimes it’s physical safety, but a lot of the time it’s emotional safety.
Maybe when you were little things were chaotic and unpredictable. Maybe you were not comfortable or encouraged to communicate and express hard feelings. Maybe you ended up having to take on a ton of responsibility when you were too young.
Life happens… and that doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. It’s now a question of how to make that nervous agitation go away – and that’s why you’re here.
Now, as an adult, it manifests in a ton of sneaky ways. Always worrying that you’re wasting time or your life is passing by before your eyes. Wondering constantly if you’re ever doing enough. Ruminating obsessively about how you might have hurt that person’s feelings when you didn’t smile back at the grocery.
This isn’t going to be fun to hear…
Sure, you really want the anxiety to go away, but you also want to feel as though things are stable and you’re not going to get caught off guard.
If you’re going to take a trip, you best believe you thought of everything. You made sure the layovers were far enough apart, but not too far. You checked and double checked to make sure you packed everything you need. You have every day planned loosely; not so strict that you’ll be run ragged, but there’s something fun to do on every day.
But you didn’t plan for the weather to delay your flight. Or for it to rain the day you were supposed to be hiking. Or for your husband to get sick on the second day (seriously, the second day?!).
Something will always go wrong. That’s a given. And that doesn’t have to be your fault. And often there was nothing you could have done to prevent it anyway.
It’s not about controlling your environment. It’s about trusting yourself to get through the hard moment. Which you can do… and have done.
This is the work. You can learn to relax and just “be.” You can enjoy your time with your people, because you’re really present. You can get in touch with your fun side and playfulness.
It would be my pleasure to guide you there.
We’ll start by validating your feelings. They may seem unreasonable to you given what’s happening in your life right now; but I bet if we dug a little, these feelings would make perfect sense based on what you’ve experienced before.
You get to acknowledge them when they’re there, and we get to treat them like they matter. We’re going to start exploring what it is that you’re actually afraid of and, therefore, trying to protect yourself from.
Are you really afraid that your boyfriend is cheating? Or is it possibly that you fear rejection, and you fear losing someone you depend on?
Then we’ll start to explore when you learned that that was something you needed to fear. Was it when you were in middle school when you suddenly found yourself without your group of friends? Or maybe earlier than that when you wanted to play with your parents, and they were always working.
Somewhere along the line, you learned that something was at risk. Our job at that point is to soothe that part of you. We will practice getting in touch with the part of yourself that knows that even though you can’t fully keep yourself safe, you can do what is reasonable – and that’s good enough.
We will practice getting in touch with the part of you that is so good at being kind and supportive to your friends and family, and learning to direct that inward.
It won’t be easy (or comfortable), but it’s SO worth it.
Anxiety is exhausting.
It takes everything out of you and leaves nothing left for the things you’re passionate about or the people you love.
What would you give to be able to spend a day with your family and feel like you were able to truly enjoy yourself? What is it worth to be able to do nice things for yourself and actually feel rejuvenated at the end?
This can be you.
Call me today, and we’ll get started: (703) 972-5705