Fear!!! It is a word that I don't think we like to use. Anger seems to be the word of choice. I see a lot of people angry these days. Angry over the elections. Angry over inequality. Angry over the way life has or has not turned out. Angry over past hurts, past abuse, and unhealed wounds.
For a long time I found myself experiencing a lot of anger. I was angry over things that happened in my life. I was angry over things that didn't happen. I was angry because my car broke down, or because I had to get out of bed. I was angry because someone didn't say what I wanted to them to say, or didn't invite me to something I really wanted to go to. I was angry because of all the violence, and I was angry because I felt so incredibly helpless. I was just angry....or so I thought.
But when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I realized how incredible afraid I was. I had been afraid for as long as I could remember, but his diagnosis made that fear unavoidable. I realized that all of my anxiety, anger, and depression, really had to do with fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being in control. Fear of being alone...This list could go on and on.
The truth is I never really had control, and deep down I knew that. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. As a counselor, I knew all the tools to use. I love deep breathing, mediation, listening to music...etc. I knew the coping skills, but nothing seemed to help. When I finally realized the source of everything I was experiencing had to do with fear of the unknown, it seemed to help me begin to truly develop a plan for myself. A plan that I am continually adding to and taking away from as I learn myself.
For me my self-care plan to manage the fear includes:
Limiting the amount of time I spend on activities that drain me
Cultivating a supporting support system, and letting go of relationships that drain me
Adding more adventure and joy in my life
And accepting that I have anxiety, and using medication to assist.
The medication aspect was definitely the hardest decision for me. I don't like taking medicine, but I realized that I wanted the chance to live life to the fullest, and my anxiety was keeping me from doing that. For me medication has helped tremendously.
The point of all this is to say that I think it is important for us to be honest with ourselves, and really look at whether or not it is anger that we are feeling, or something else like fear or sadness. Then we can truly began to develop our own path to healing.
Need some help creating your own self healing plan? Give me a call today at (501)499-9231. I am a licensed professional counselor, and I work with adults, couples, and families assisting them with anxiety, depression, maintaining a work/life balance, improving relationships, and finding joy in life. I am here to assist you in any way I can.