When anxiety speaks to us we have to realize that it says nothing but lies !
Survivors of child abuse are all too often plagued by anxiety and depression, our abusers groom us deliberately isolating us from our support networks, by the time the trauma is over we are left with lifelong battles against depression and the horrendous lies of anxiety.
So what is anxiety exactly ? According to anxietycentre.com it is,
Anxiety is defined as:
A state of uneasiness, apprehension; as about future uncertainties. A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
In other words, anxiety occurs when we behave (think and act) in an apprehensive manner, such as when worrying about an event or situation. With this in mind, anxiety is not a force or ‘thing’ in itself. It’s a state of uneasiness that results when we worry. More about this in a moment.
Because imagining the future in an apprehensive manner is a behavior, it’s not caused by a biological, chemical, or genetic problem with the brain. Anxiety results from a certain style of behavior.
That’s the technical definition of it, to me anxiety is that constant lying bastard that tells you that you’re not and never will be good enough for anything that you deserve or even already have.
One example is the a few years ago my former boss messaged me and said “can you call me please, but wait until you get to work” ….. I spent about an hour obsessing over if I should call him or wait until I got to work but I wanted to call because I was convinced he was furious with me for some reason, so I rang him and he rejected the call. Of course in my head it was because he was so angry with me he couldn’t possibly speak to me. So I spent the next hour obsessing over what I could have done to make him so mad that he would reject my call.
As it turns out he rejected my call because he was on the phone to his boss discussing giving me a pay rise, when I got to work he needed me to call him because he was at home on a conference call with his boss discussing my pay rise and new responsibilities and I had to get the orders done for him as well as my job while he was on the conference call.
If I had listened to my anxieties I would have lost my job because I would have pestered my boss to the point of actually making him furious.
This is another insidious way that survivors can destroy their ability to live up to their potential, self sabotage is all too common among survivors of child abuse. A lot of this self sabotage is due to the fact we listen to our anxieties rather than realizing them to be the lying bastards they actually are.
It’s not easy, but when anxiety whispers or even yells, we have to realize that what it is saying is not reality, or even based in reality. We have to realize that it is another symptom of our survival and as such should not be listened to or acted upon.
The toughest part is differentiating between our anxieties and depressive thoughts and reality, we need mechanisms to spot the difference and know which one to act upon and which one to ignore. Doing this can mean the difference between success and failure in a lot of circumstances, it can be the difference between being held back and striving forward in life.
Sadly I don’t have a definitive answer as to how to learn to spot the difference, for me it’s been a series of trial and error as I am a big fan of my gut instincts but even they can all too often be tainted by my depression and anxieties.
I recommend critical (but not too critical) self analysis and being open and honest with loved ones and partners so when you self sabotage your relationships with them they can see it for what it is and hopefully be patient enough to help guide you through it and recognize it as anxiety and depression guiding you down a false path rather than your actual thoughts and feelings.
Learn to recognize when depression and anxiety are settling in and find activities that can break you out of that funk. I use martial arts and fitness, body work is very important to get you moving, release positive endorphins and flood your system with dopamine and adrenaline. Both of which can break depression and fight off anxiety.
If martial arts or fitness aren’t your thing consider a hike in the bush, Australia has some of the best bush in the world. Plan a good hike, take a friend or loved one and just go, take your phones (for gps) and plenty of water and enjoy 😊
A very dear friend of mine uses dance, she literally shakes it off and that works for her and works wonders. Whatever works for you find it and smash it ! Do whatever it takes to fight off the depression and anxiety and don’t let them get hold of you.
Anxiety can whisper or it can yell, but one thing is for sure it is very good at holding us back, making us believe bad things are sure to happen. It leads us to the kind of self talk that sabotages us and our ability to reach our well deserved potential.
Find what works for you, counseling is always a good place to start, anything healthy and positive that helps you to gain control of your thoughts, and helps you to stop your anxieties from taking over is worth pursuing.
We know it isn’t easy, but it is possible. You are worthy and you do deserve the best of everything this life has to offer !
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