Updated: May 29, 2019
After the breakdown of my marriage, the loss of my family home and a baby within 3 months, my anxiety hit an all time high. I think following the breakup of my marriage looking back I was functioning in fight or flight for nearly 2 years after that. The problem with a body that is flooded with cortisol is that if there are no real dangers, your brain plays tricks with you and starts to invent them and even create situations that could have been avoided with better communication. I. was diagnosed with PTSD in the October of 2015 and I started counselling which helped me to process a lot of the pain. The problem with acute pain and feeling unsafe is that the fear of that pain returning can put you in a position where you make some really stupid decisions because you are trying to avoid the pain again. Often though by trying to avoid something you create the exact outcome you were avoiding. The reason for this is your focus is on the negative outcome. Your/my subconscious creates the exact thing we don't want because thats all you can ruminate on.
I read some wonderful suggestions on a friends post the other day regarding ways to live with anxiety, my favourite one was 'acknowledge if my feelings are based on fact or fear', I mean what a concise way to separate thoughts as just that or actual occurrences. So often we take our thoughts as concrete and sometimes we need to accept that actually this thought I am having right now is not real, has not happened and although is a plausible outcome it is in the future or past and is not the present situation. Even if it has happened before, humans are not in a solid state and they change dependent on situation, mood, time of the month, way they are approached, finances, stress levels, time of day, caffeine intake, I can go on.
So what I am saying is we can imagine the worst outcome, but what is the point? We imagine the worst outcome, one we are more likely to manifest it, two we have to live the pain twice, because our body responds to our thoughts as if they are actually happening, three, often we are making huge assumptions about another persons actions and perceptions of us that really isn't fair on them.
So this year my anxiety came back, I don't know if it was post natal, or what triggered it, but I started panicking about the end of the world, the environment, plastic consumption, indigenous people, it was overwhelming. I had to come off Facebook for a bit because it felt like every thing I read was re Brexit, Trump and all of these huge global issues that right now I have no real control over. I see taking the stimulus (Facebook for me) away an essential part of dealing with anxiety, but for some people the stimulus is toxic relationships (which was my story a few years ago), and my goodness thats a hell of a lot harder than closing a social media account.
So my advice is not going to be leave the toxic relationships, I mean do if you want and are ready, but that advice didn't work for me so all I will say is find a way to keep your brain safe, I found the strength to leave after a few months of playing with the idea of being safe in my head. I have heard of people calling it a golden bubble and that is when you imagine a golden bubble around you, so that you can sit with negativity or toxicity but you don't let your energy get affected anymore, it is not easy, but often their mood can change yours very quickly and I was very open 'I can see you're upset, I hope you're ok but I am not going to let your mood affect your bubble', I was playing with getting happier and it worked.
I wanna say so again but if I start another para that way I am gonna get mad haha, oh bugger it, so, step 1 remove or protect yourself from unnecessary negative stimulus, step two, acknowledge if your thought and feeling based on fact or fear. If it based on fact question this, what is it that is making you so sad, what does that mean you really want, and tell the relevant person, do not tell everyone but the person who you need to tell, because they can't change it or make it better, say, 'this behaviour is making me feel sad, angry, unloved (whatever you feel), and what I really need from you is this so I feel safe, loved, wanted, sexy'. They may have no idea you have been feeing this way, or they may know but not be sure how they could do better. If it is based on fear then acknowledge that it is not real and now imagine the exact opposite, don't just acknowledge it, say it outlaid and have a beautiful daydream around the most beautiful outcome possible. This way you are much more likely to manifest it and you can switch your focus from problems to solutions.
I hope this helps.... lemme know