Every two weeks, I go to therapy for about an hour. Whenever that Tuesday or Wednesday comes along, I find myself with a sense of calm and security. Whatever happens that day, I know I have a safe space to talk about it by the end of the day. Making the decision to go to therapy is never an easy one, but once you are there, it becomes something you never knew you could live without. A welcome presence of knowledge and self-awareness.
I’ve wanted to do this series for awhile now. Post therapy thoughts. My therapist is incredibly real and chalk full of advice that really goes a long way for me, so I thought I would routinely share my thoughts and what I’ve learned after each therapy session I attend.
For today’s session, the main topic of discussion was learning how to have more fluidity in my life. With my anxiety, I tend to make everything very black and white. Relationships, work, family, etc. But all of those things are not so concrete. Because I grew up in a family system that operated in such black and white, closed ways, I’ve lost out on the ability to let go.
Due to the fact that I was so held to my word and life was so planned out growing up, I’ve always had anxiety with plans changing or being cancelled. In reality, it’s okay when people run late. It’s okay if I say no to plans. As my therapist says,
As people, our thoughts and emotions are constantly changing – we should be able to change our plans as well.
Another thing we talked about was a new journaling exercise for when I get hypersensitive or into one of my ruminating spirals caused by my anxiety. We found that a lot of my high anxiety is caused by my fear of the unknown. My therapist focused on this phrase she heard me say,
“I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Since this a trigger for my high anxiety, she suggested an activity where I try to pause and write down potential solutions. This way, I can have active solutions in my head to minimize the fear, and to bring reality into the constant irrational cloud that is my anxiety. She then told me after I’ve written these solutions down, to search for the reality based ones. The closer I can get to reality, the better.
Anxiety is a challenging thing to live with. Not only do you have to deal with your current state, sometimes there’s a residual effect. What you’ve experienced in the past can dictate your future actions. This is something we have to continuously fight. My therapist also reminded me that I am separate from my anxiety disorder. She said,
Your anxiety disorder has issues with plans being changed, not Erica.
Your anxiety disorder is confused and insecure, not Erica.
It’s a much-needed reminder to be directly told that you are not your anxiety.
I am secure in my relationships.
I am capable of being more fluid.
I am worthy of happiness.
I am enough.
What do you think of Post Therapy Thoughts? How has your latest therapy session helped you manage your anxiety?