10 Things to Remember When Dealing with Anxiety

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This week marks the next step on my path towards feeling whole again. I've been out of program for two weeks now and have spent that time thinking about what I want this journey to look like. I've realized that I need whatever it is I do to have a deeply spiritual aspect. My issues go deeper than something like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can treat*. My sadness and anxiety come from my core, and that influences every single thought and perception that runs through my mind.

My plan going forward is to meld narrative therapy with many other philosophies that you do not find in the Western Medical Model in regards to treating mental illness. While I will still be going to counselling, it is a type of counselling that focuses on using creativity to heal. I am working with my doctor for medications to help manage some of symptoms of mental illness and chemical imbalances, but I'm also looking more into holistic health and using herbs, spices and probiotics to treat the issues as well as the symptoms. I will be joining Corey's yoga nidra group. I have an appointment with Kael Klassen for shamanic healing. I have started swimming. Hitting bottom has forced me to realize that the way I was living my life was not in tune with what I needed to follow my highest path - I am taking this time to reset and redirect.

To honour this, today I am sharing the pieces that stuck with me through program. These are the things that helped me get past thinking suicide was my only option. They are what helped me realize that maybe there is another way out of this. These touchstones are what I try and go back to on the days where it takes me three tries to get myself out of bed, or I spend my nights in a ball exhausted because I've had so many panic attacks that day. My hope is one of them may be what you need to read in this moment. And if not, that is okay too.

~ Like your choices, like yourself.

~ Being afraid of hurting yourself may be a form of protecting yourself.

~ It is easy to understand these theories when everything is going okay. The learning and practice comes when everything is falling apart.

~ If you have a stable identity, it is harder to fall apart and feel lost. A stable identity stabilizes you; it is an anchor that gives you something to hold on to. 

~ Emotions are not a call to action. They are neither good nor bad. They are there for a reason - they are trying to tell you something. Give them space and awareness, and respond rather than react. 

~ What you put your attention on grows.

~ It is okay to need help. This is hard work, and there will be easier days and harder days. Each has it's own purpose.

~ Focus on physical sensations when trying to get out of your head or stop thoughts from spiralling. Pet a kitty, rub your hand, or stand outside and be mindful of the sensations.

~ We are all on our own journeys, and are all doing the best we know how. Accept your journey; be aware of it without judgement. 

~ You are your own person. Set up your boundaries to reflect that. By learning about your boundaries you are learning about yourself. Establishing boundaries is not selfish; you are improving your relationship with yourself and with others by showing up honestly and authentically. It is an act of self care, self compassion, and self respect.