If ever you experienced being run over by anxiety and not understood where it actually came from, then we have something big in common. It was something that interfered in my life so many times in so many unwanted circumstances, making me ask myself „What is wrong with me?“.
And have you ever experienced that your emotions all of a sudden flood your whole system and rational thinking is gone within an instant? Feeling completely helpless and left in a state without the sensation of any control? And I mean any.
The good news is that it is a very normal response from our body. This state is known as the fight-or-flight mode and it is actually an amazing response from our body to help us survive. And if we face a challenging situation, we can for sure be very grateful that our complex physical system switches into that mode immediately.
The unfortunate thing is that within our culture emotions yet do not have the same acknowledgement than rational structures from our mind. We often got taught to look down at them, to hide them, to shove them underneath the rug, in order to function like expected, like society, family, school or whoever wants us. This wouldn`t be too bad, if we had a place at least somewhere for them, so they could be processed. But so very often we don`t.
And so very often, if they are accumulated underneath the rug, then one day they will cause us to trip. Not only do our emotions exist for a very good reason and that is to give us a feedback in regards to our surrounding, but they do not like to be tricked either.
I didn`t know that, as I really grew up in an environment without any tools to handle emotions. And it is really like that, as long as something is all too familiar to you, you very often are not even aware of it, as it is part of your definition of „normality“.
So in my definition of normality, there was no awareness of having anxiety at all, as it just happened. I freaked out on the inside in darkness, in confined spaces, men approaching me, spiders, tunnels and the list could go on. Not being the person to anyhow show what was going on within, I knew how to keep the cool and my strategy was to avoid all of whatever was triggering me as good as possible. This was the best strategy to me and when you avoid well enough, why ever face the fears?
But let`s be honest, the more you avoid, the less liveliness you might experience. And the weirdest thing of all, looking back, I remembered none that could have justified the intensity of my fears. No memories at all, a complete blank.
So with all the sessions from my countdown, I gifted my self several in regards to the anxiety issues, which was a great idea, because all of them were actually more taking away from my life than enhancing it in any sense. I so to say, jumped into the cold water and incidences, memories re-appeared in the regressions that I had long forgotten, but added so much to finally allow me to make sense out of the inner turmoil I once had. And I am pretty sure, this had happened because of another brilliant mechanism from our brain, which is to hide in amnesia what is way too much interupting with anyhow functioning in everyday life.
Layer of layer was just peeled off and I am still no fan of darkness or confined spaces, but I take it so much lighter. It just does not make me completely melt down inside and leave me helpless any longer. Now, I can keep my cool, because this is the state I choose to be in and I now have the tools in my toolbox to handle my reaction to what I might be facing. To be honest, I am really glad I walked that path, because I now feel like being part of life again.