I get asked many times what I did to recover from anxiety. I tell them my recovery came through making plenty of mistakes. In fact, no one made as many mistakes as me. One week I thought I had the answer, that this was it, the end of my suffering, when really all I had found was something else to cover it up for a while.
I went from one technique to another, one idea to the next, until I finally realised that I never had any control in the first place, that nothing I could do through personal will could ever rid myself of my suffering. To clear the muddy waters I had to stop stirring them. I saw it like a snow globe, that the only time it settles is when you stop shaking it. I could never force peace of mind, never fight or think my way better. I realised I had to just give up and truly let go.
I got to this point through exhausting every avenue, until I realised that battling how I felt was not the answer. Constantly trying to feel different than I did, just made me feel worse, more anxious and more exhausted.
Giving up the struggle
When I gave up, truly gave up, I felt a little calmer, it was like my body was sending me a message that this was it, that this was the answer and I had to finally listen. Sometimes the storm would still rage, but without me trying to push the storm away it was allowed to just play itself out and eventually calm would be restored.
Me letting go could not end up another technique in my arsenal to try and control how I feel, it had to be a total acceptance of any state I found myself in, good or bad. It had to be the ultimate drop of all strategies and techniques to try and manipulate how I felt.
I then had a deep realisation that our mind and body are always guiding us. If we drink too much then we get a hangover, it is our bodies way of saying it is no good for us. If we eat bad food then we get a stomach ache or get sick, again it is our bodies way of saying don’t eat that again, it is bad for us. The same as if we feel pain inside our body, it is our bodies way of saying there is a problem in that area, go and seek a doctor and fix it. If a snake was biting our foot and we didn’t feel instant pain, it would chew our foot off, so our body sends a message before this happens. So pain is a good thing and a vital part of our survival.
Psychological pain is our bodies way of sending the same message
Psychological pain is the same, as the mind is an organ of the body just like a limb. So if we start to feel mentally exhausted, it is our minds way of telling us to slow down the thinking process and take a break and that the mind is going beyond what it is designed to do. If we feel stressed it is our bodies way of telling us to stop worrying, that it is doing us no good. If we are physically exhausted then it is our bodies way of saying we are hitting our limits and to stop.
Many don’t heed this initial message and carry on over thinking, worrying or overworking and then cross a threshold and have some kind of breakdown. All a breakdown is, is not heeding the warnings your mind and body were sending you and pushing it way beyond its capabilities. It wasn’t the outside that caused the breakdown, it was you pushing your mind and body beyond its limits.
If you feel any kind of suffering then there is usually a message that something you are doing is causing you to suffer, it is like a warning alarm that will keep going off until you listen. The message is never asking you to stress and worry more, it doesn’t even want you to treat the symptoms of your suffering, it wants you to stop doing what is causing the suffering in the first place.
When I felt overly anxious it was my bodies way of telling me to stop worrying, fighting, analysing, that it was not good for me.
I finally listened to this and many other messages it sent and thanked it for always looking after me……