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Anxiety: The Blur

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  • #179745
    cali sister
    Participant

    ive written a few times in tiny buddha. the last time i wrote, i never replied to the wonderful people who replied to me – i was in a weird place where i could not get myself to type. and now, i have no idea how to return to that post!

    ANYWAY – I am here today to write more. ANXIETY. i try so hard not to let it define me – society talk about how mental illness isnt who YOU are – its just something we struggle with – like having diabetes or hypertension. i have not mastered this yet bc anxiety takes over every second. SECOND. blurry vision, not hearing what someone in front of you is saying because you are stuck in your head, amnesia, feeling heavy/overhwhelmed – FIGHT OR FLIGHT is always on.

    I am asked many times what my trigger is. I used to always answer and say – nothing, i’m just anxious – ijust have baseline anxiety all the time for no reason whether im on the beach or studying for an intense exam. i am so sick of it. i cannot take it anymore. i cannot function like this for the rest of my life. I WILL NOT DO IT! I know my trigger – or for a better explanation, i know the root of my anxiety. I assume defeat. I am confident that i will fail. For example, i can no longer read books bc as im reading it, the entire time my brain is saying “well you wont get this anyway. do you even know what youre reading? wow youre reading slow. you used to read faster” SHUT UP!!!!!!

    my least favorite part about anxiety is that i feel like im never actually REALLY FEELING the emotions that i am feeling. in other words, i cant fully experience the emotions my brain is having. i never think anything is real. i feel that i am always passing everything off like “oh, whatever, thats not real anyway.” i can never INDULGE or be PRESENT. i want to be here and now.

    We learn all these techniques – breathing etc. I am writing here bc i want to know more. I can hardly breathe as it is, and when i do try breathing exercises i get lightheaded. what else is there for a chronic basis to get through the day. Yes, i am aware of self-care, mindfulness, yoga, meditation – I will do that after work. I want to know how to get through EVERY SECOND. Every second of this life. Living one minute should not be this difficult. I am fully aware that change is not instant and we really have to work hard towards it – but there must be SOMETHING.

    #179767
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    Welcome back. To access your previous threads click on your user name, then on “topics started”.

    I have to get away from the computer for the next sixteen hours or so, as I am experiencing some Blur myself. Will read and  reply to your share then, and to anything you want to add to it by then.

    anita

    #179771
    Peter
    Participant

    It sounds like your anxiety often results in anxiety attracts which are often triggered by feeling anxious about being anxious. That might sound odd however when we get to the point of a anxiety attract that is usually what is happening. Our attention becomes fixated on the anxiety which feeds the anxiety and we get stuck. No wonder we can’t breathe, all our energy and attention is stuck in a loop.

    Worry about the future and failing may be unskillful and something to work on, however it is normal. These fears (false evidence appearing real) can be dealt with however the anxiety is getting in the way and taking up all your energy. The issue is not your fears but anxiety. Let the issues behind your fears go. You can deal with them after you learn how to work with your anxiety. One step at a time. Trying to fix everything all at once will only feed your anxiety.

    Having had anxiety attacks I learned the key was to stop fighting them and allowing the experience to flow. The first step was to notice and make the experience conscious as soon as possible so that I could respond and not just react.

    Saying No I Will Not let myself feel anxious is only going to feed the anxiety and encourage an attack. The next time your experiencing an attack see if you can let your self observe it without judgment. Notice which parts of your body gets tense and when your mind becomes fixated. Notice what your consciousness fixated on and practice withdrawing it, distracting yourself from it, look away. Notice if you are applying labels to the experience and practice acknowledging the thoughts as information without labels of good or bad. Notice if you get angry at yourself for the labels you created about your experience. How much of the anger and anxiety you experience a result of the labels and how much on what is or has occurred.  (How much of the experience was objective and how much subjective.)

    In this way, the experience can flow through you vice creating a log jam, (picture yourself as a running river) Eventually the amount of time in the attack will decrease until you won’t bother with them anymore. The anxiety having served its purpose as something to push against for greater awareness

    I like to picture my consciousness as a dog with normal dog characterises like curiosity, playfulness, loyalty and protective. My dog awareness is easily distracted… squirrel…  and sometimes that protective loyalty pays to much attention to my anxiety which makes it anxious or on what it can’t see or know (uncertainty) and so barks and barks or worse bites and won’t let go.  During these times, I picture attaching a leash and redirecting the attention elsewhere. Often it just takes a slight tug on the leash. (Never a bad dog or becoming angry. It seems the dog response best when I’m calm and intentional) I picture myself training my conciseness to heal, to fetch, to play, to protect… Instead of my conciseness directing me I direct my conciseness.

    #179773
    cali sister
    Participant

    thank you so much, anita

    #179775
    cali sister
    Participant

    Peter – thanks for your insight. The dog example is great – esp since I love dogs so much and just got a puppy! I am just so sick of always having a baseline anxiety. I have no idea how it feels to just be. I am always so tense.

     

    What kinds of meditation have helped you?

    #179785
    Peter
    Participant

    When I notice myself feeling anxious I stop what I’m doing and take moment and remind myself that I am not my thoughts, I am not my memories/past, I am not my emotions. I am the observer of thoughts, memories and emotions.  In this way space is created to take a breath and change perspective to what is happening around me allowing the experience to flow.  That statement is also the mantra I use when I start a specific time of meditation. (Eventually the practice of meditation isn’t something a person does only during a specific time a day but a practice of every moment)

    Another mediation visualization I do is imagining myself as a wheel with spokes. I notice that as the wheal turns there is a difference perspective of time depending where my awareness is directed.  When directed at the end of a specific spoke the wheel contacting the ground for a moment (present) and then going around… From this perspective, the world rushing by can be intimidating as my attention is constantly moving between what is coming and then what is past. I then draw my attention down the spoke to the center of the hub. From this perspective, the center of the hub spins so quickly that it remains still. The still point. From this point the past, present, future occur at the same time and no longer intimidating.  I look out from the still point and see the world as it is and say yes. I practice directing my attention up and down the spokes and rest at the still point

    “At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” – TS Eliot

    I also like the Zen practice of entering into an activity like archery or dance where the focus isn’t only on the outcome but allowing the experience to teach us. As you train your new puppy (congratulations) enter into the experience and allow it to teach you. One thing I noticed about dogs is that they react to the energy of the owner more then they do with words and commands. This is a perfect place to practice being calm and intentional as you train your puppy and then maybe practice the same techniques with yourself. Practice showing yourself the same patients and love that you show your puppy and remember to have fun with it.  The puppy will love you without judgment can you learn to love yourself with out judgment?

    #179865
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    I think that November 13, 2016 was the first time you posted here, on your sister’s thread. That was more than a year ago. You wrote there: “she (your mother) starts screaming horrendous things … continues to scream about how this has all happened because of us… and this is the suffering they get from their sacrifices”-

    she, your mother is wrong: your anxiety, cali sister is the suffering you get from your mother’s mistreatment of you, from her screaming at you, for one.

    My suggestions regarding your anxiety:

    1. You have to stay away from your mother. This is not all that is required but part of it, the beginning. I understand that you moved across country at one point. Are you still away from her? Got to keep physically distant from her so you are no longer available for her screaming at you. Because of her past mistreatment of you, the mere  spending of time with her, even  on the phone, can be  harmful to you, even  when she doesn’t scream at you.

    She is the cause and trigger  of your anxiety, stay away from her.

    2. Once away from her, you still have  her voice  in your head, that voice is the mental representative of your mother, continuing to mistreat you. Even if you have no contact whatsoever with your mother, her mental rep continues her… work.

    Having  very  limited or no contact with your mother is still necessary because the real life woman is maintaining her mental rep in your brain.

    What about the psychotherapy you attended at  one point, and are you still taking those anti depressants that you started, I believe, January this year?

    4. You wrote that you experience anxiety every second, all the  time. This is impossible. The brain is not capable of that, it has  to take its breaks. Notice the breaks  it takes, the calm in between and share about those breaks if you’d like.

    – in your previous threads you did not respond to my replies to you. If you’d like  to respond, I can share more with you, we can go back and forth and  maybe get to  a better  understanding.

    anita

    #179881
    cali sister
    Participant

    Hi anita-

    My sister and I love your responses and hold them very near. The reason I dont respond (sounds stupid) is bc I get so overwhelmed and then do not even know what to say..and then time passes. I will no longer do that.

    In response to your questions – yes, I moved across the country. And will probably never return physically close to her. I still am on the anti-depressant but will likely be switching or tapering off. I have not seen a change. Will be seeing a doctor soon – i made an appointment. I myself am a clinical pharmacist.

    As far as for therapy – I did therapy here. And my free sessions ended with that man. I have someone who is certified in CBT – appointment is set up, but it conflicts with my work schedule so I may have to change it around.

    Moments when I feel no anxiety – when I lay on my back and do not THINK about breathing. When I am laughing at something I find very funny (it is not hard to make me laugh).

    Later in this thread, I would like to tell you about my work anxiety as well. Thanks so much for what you do, anita

    #179883
    cali sister
    Participant

    Peter-

    I love the wheel with spokes analogy. That works perfectly for me. The still point. When you typed about that, I had tears in my eyes. It was so beautifully written.

    And yes, the puppy is a great way for me to practice. Thanks so much for your insight. I will write more when I get the chance.

    #179887
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    You are welcome and thank you for your words of appreciation.

    What you referred to as baseline anxiety, ongoing anxiety (with breaks) is a habit of the brain, in actuality, a habit  of releasing certain chemicals that  are  responsible to the  very unpleasant, subjective experience of anxiety, the  symptoms you listed.

    Like any habit, this  habit is  difficult to change. The anxious-habit/ baseline anxiety is  very difficult to change and it  takes a  lot  of  time, a lot of patience and ongoing attitude  of gentleness with yourself to change  it. It takes months if not years, and if you persist, the improvement will be so gradual, so … excruciatingly gradual.

    But healing is possible, gradually,  if you prepare yourself to how long it  takes and  how persistent you have to be. And most importantly, if you realize that most  of the  work of healing has  to be  done  in moments  of distress.

    Post again anytime.

    anita

    #179903
    cali sister
    Participant

    Dear anita:

    Thanks. One of the things I struggle with the most is this: I wrote this to myself prior.

    I have been miserable and suffering all of my life. And now I am stuck in this job that I truly believe I hate. Why do I have to continue suffering. At this moment in my life, you may ask, wouldnt you hate any job? I do not think so. I am creative. I want to express that. I really do not like what I do, and I have known this for years. Should I have stopped while I was in school? Probably – but that time has passed now. Everything i remember about my life has always been a struggle. from inviting gabriella over to my pool to being bullied in high school to being suicidal in college. why do i deserve to keep struggling and suffering. I am only 25. why would i continue doing something i hate so much. I have no desire to read the things I have to read – I could care less. Life is short – i do not want to spend it like this.

    I feel that ^ way very often. And then sometimes in a couple hours i say, well suck it up youve made it this far, you have your doctorate, just do what makes you happy on the side. Fine – but its so hard for me to even get thru the day or wake up since i really hate it. Thus, I go back and forth. Reality wise – I would love to have a career coach or someone who can help me decide what to do. With the path im on, money is not an issue. I can’t just quit

    #179917
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    You have suffered your whole life because it was inflicted on you to begin with, again and again. As a result, you got injured, that anxiety baseline was formed, that chemical habit established, a  baseline that  is  not congruent with making choices that  benefit you. Problem is you will continue to suffer. Your life can get better, much better, only it takes a  long time and work, and persistence and patience.

    In that process, there will be more suffering.

    What matters to  the quality of your life is your experience in-between-the-ears, in that short distance. Whatever needs  to be done, the micro work (correcting thinking, mindfulness and so forth), and the macro work (changing jobs, distance from people, life circumstances), should be  done for that purpose- making the experience in that brain a way better experience.

    A combination of micro and macro work will do, will make your life way better.. definitely by thirty, I am thinking, but somewhat better every day of work, as you persist.

    To benefit from a career coach, you will need to be calm enough. With “the  Blur” it is difficult to have a clear view of anything.

    anita

    #179919
    cali sister
    Participant

    Anita,

    I understand. When I see people around me doing what I will eventually do starting next July, it makes me cringe. And they are not cringing. They enjoy it. They put work into it bc they want to. I do not want to.

    #179927
    anita
    Participant

    Dear cali sister:

    I don’t know if others not cringing means they are experiencing joy. What matters is what you experience. Cringing is not a good experience.

    It is okay for you, cali sister, to not suffer, to not cringe.

    Do you believe that there is a reason, that you deserve to suffer/

    anita

    #179931
    cali sister
    Participant

    Anita,

    I do not deserve to suffer at all. No reason at all. I deserve to feel refreshed and not cringe. I know I will find what I love and that still point. I know it in my heart. I just do not know the first step to take – with regards to career.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 338 total)

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