‘There is beauty inside of you waiting to be discovered. Your perception of yourself has nothing to do with the outside world so if you cannot see it then it is time to go within.”
If you are currently reading this feeling lost, and in need of guidance, I certainly hope that I can at least set you on the right track of your personal search for answers. I want to share, and it is not a secret that I have been suffering from an anxiety disorder for years, if you are experiencing the same, please know that I feel your pain. I honestly feel for the panic attacks you have experienced and for the many times you have felt inadequate and defeated. And if you have not been told this yet, please trust me when I say: you are not crazy, not broken, and you will not spend the rest of your days like this.
When I first started my journey of recovery, at first I was looking for the quick fix, the magic pill, I wanted a quick exit out of it. I was looking for answers in books, websites, and Substances thinking that I would find the help I needed on the outside. Little did I know that I had all the answers with me and it would take a lot to uncover.
After a year of ups and downs and many sleepless nights, I can say that I have accomplished a new sense of peace and purpose and I want the same for you. My dear reader, I want you to be the best version of yourself starting today.
The first thing you need to know is that your anxiety as awful as it feels, it is not the cause but the effect. This means that all those panic attacks and sensations throwing you into dismay every time are just the symptoms of the real reason: Emotional trauma. All your answers are in your memories, and once you start witnessing them, you will understand why, your own body was trying to keep you from having to go through it, again.
Now I want to clarify and bring light to what trauma is, although abuse comes in many forms, I know that when we hear the word, we think of the most horrible physical or sexual violence and although yes this is in fact and undeniably traumatic. We tend to overlook the different types of traumatic experiences anyone, but specifically, children go through.Just to name a few think: neglect, bullying, invalidation, abandonment, verbal attacks, physical or sexual violence.
In my childhood, I went through a lot of traumatic experiences, always feeling helpless to the circumstances. I became so conditioned to feel like my opinion did not matter that I internalized everything and made it my own. I believed the different times I was made feel like I wasn’t enough and lived this truth every day for far too long. Every time you experience abuse, it creates a layer of false beliefs and insecurities and the longest it goes for, the more terrible and devastating your present anxiety will be.
When I first started digging into my past my defense mechanism was immediately triggered, I had stored so much pain for so long that any attempt to unlock it only increased my panic attacks, and this is just a warning sign. This is just an alarm going off inside of you. Your brain in every effort to protect you has locked away so many awful memories and keeps throwing all this distraction manifesting as panic attacks, blurry vision, a feeling of fainting, disconnection from reality and many other uncomfortable feelings.
I am not implying this is not horrible. It is! I am saying: this is just the surface of the reality right underneath and for you to be free from it. You need to go down the darkest days of your life and get to the core of your false beliefs.
There are many things I do to help my recovery from my emotional trauma, I want to share a few, you use the ones you feel most connected to or use them as a reference and starting point in your own search for love, peace, and happiness:
- Seek a therapist: this will allow you to get guidance and also have a safe space for you to share whatever comes to the surface. Do not be afraid to share your secrets for fear of them sharing it, by law they cannot. Also, they will not be biased and will give you useful feedback and advice. If you do not know where to start Here is a link.
- Do not expect miracle work, many of your first sessions will be around establishing trust and getting to know the basics of what you should expect. Also, know that your therapist cannot ”fix” you and you will be doing most of the work.
- Do not put a time stamp on this process, this is a mistake I made, and it was hard to correct, getting to know yourself will take time, and you will progress at a very steady pace, but there’s no way of telling when you will feel done with it.
- You will hit a lot of emotional lows, and at times it will feel as if you will never get passed this sad moment. Trust that nothing lasts forever and this stage is not the exception
- Isolating yourself to be alone will become a necessity: You could not do this work if you are surrounded by distractions, so keep in mind that, parties, alcohol, sex, food and drugs are tools you could use to cope with the emotional distress. Be strong and treat your cravings as a sign you are on the right track.
- Be compassionate, and although sometimes you will not know how. Just be patient and know that this is how Self-love is created. One day at a time and treating yourself as a work in progress and not a lost case.
- Distancing from those who hurt you will be ideal, they are a constant reminder of your pain, and you deserve better.
- Your work is not about gaining validation from the same individuals who harmed you but loving yourself so much that now you validate yourself.
- Expressing your emotions will be a most so allow the tears, the pain, the rage and anything else that comes up to flow naturally and unjudgementally. Now that being said, when it comes to anger I highly recommend to be mindful of your triggers and remember you are working on being a healthy and grounded individual so do not hurt anyone in your path, you will not create love in yourself by harming others.
- Your job is to become the observer in the of your emotions and let them come and go as they please, see them as waves in the ocean.
- Journaling your experience will be very beneficial, express your thoughts and feelings by writing, recording, posting, painting, singing or playing instruments, supporting your creativity will have significant healing effects.
- Lastly, support yourself in any wholesome and healthy way you like, whether you choose to exercise, connect with nature, try new things, travel, practice yoga or meditate. Do what your heart asks for.
If you haven’t yet, I invite you to read my article about Self-love here, this is a continuation of my Self-development series. I wish you great success on this journey and ask you to be your own hero starting right now.
If there is anything you want to ask, feel free to drop your question below.