Kerri Sackville (an amazing writer check her out if you don't already read her stuff!) shared this excerpt from her book The Little Book of Anxiety
on her Facebook page today. Seriously I had to read the words and look at the picture nearly a dozen times to take it in. I have spent a lot of today reading over journals and catching myself up to here. There is a huge amount to take in. I read this picture over and over mainly because it is one of the many, many things my psychologist and I were working on at our last session. I started writing a reply to Kerri on Facebook and quickly realised that it was far too long to put on there as a reply!
It seems that I have decided in my head that I am a big, fat fraud and as a result of this revelation to myself that everyone around me is really just humouring me and at some point will all realise that I am this big, fat fraud and run a mile. From what I have written down it would seem that I pretty much rattled off each one of Kerri's dot points above.
Here are some of what my psychologist had to say to me in rebuttal:
- Regardless of what i visualise it might or might no happen there is nothing I can do about it and in the process may make it happen ( in my case on Monday my particular fear/anxiety was around that I am a big, fat fraud and that eventually everyone who has ever turned to me for advice, that I may have given and they followed or any friend I have been a shoulder for or my husband might discover that I am actually really a shitty person and leave me so ultimately my biggest anxiety is around that I will be discovered for being a big fat impersonator or being an adult type person with real and valid thoughts. Let's face it this can't possibly be true because I had to spend time in rehab learning how to use my arm and leg again because my brain was so scrambled that it had to physically stop my from using parts of my body so I would stop and understand that there was a problem with my brain! So really who in their right mind would ever listen to a single word I have to say because I am so full of nothing that is of value or valid. She was telling me that the more I worry the more likely I am to push people away because everyone who was here for me at rock bottom are still here so why would they leave now.
- Worrying about worst case really, truly won't make me more prepared it will just mean that I have worried time away.
- If worst case does happen I will still hurt and be devastated but I will pick myself up and move forward because I have before and I will again.
- If I don't worry it might or might not happen but it hasn't happened yet and we don't know what tomorrow holds only what is now.
- I will be devastated regardless and being prepared will not change this (as much as I want it to!)
- I have absolutely no basis to think that things won't be the worst case because I have a crazy amount of worst case in my past. So my brain is completely conditioned to believe that the worst will happen regardless. But then I feel like a really selfish and crappy person because I live in Australia and I have systems and structures all around me if i fall. I am not living in war torn Syria or Sudan just struggling to find water or food or a safe refuge for my children. What right do I have to think that people I love dying or having anxiety or prem babies or you name it means that I have any reason to think that my life is so goddam special I shouldn't have some suffering.
- And lastly if I don't worry I simply can't imagine that it feels like a nirvana somewhere with unicorns that fart rainbows with pots of gold at each end!
In addition I have a few more crazy ones of my own:
- Fear of not being liked - because I don't like myself so once people (anyone) gets to know the real me they won't like me either.
- Fear of being alone - because who would want to be around me!
- Fear of rejection - so I won't try to make any new friends and boy putting things out there on a blog where people can actually read my crazy that is a huge challenge to the fear of rejection!
- Fear of success - seriously what will happen if I actually do get to a point where my mind is a bit more together and I can start to work on my dreams and they come together what then?!
- Fear of change - let's face it I am not alone here this is a pretty common fear. But I do know a few people that thrive on change but I am not one of them!
- Fear of choice - like I said I am a special breed of crazy! Who wouldn't want the luxury of time and choice and future and the opportunity to quiet the crazy and have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean to explore the choice of where to from here! I am so lucky and blessed to have a huge loving network of family and friends and Australian healthcare system to be able to have this time to get "better' and "find me" in all of this. Seriously, who gets this opportunity and is is scared of it!
- Fear of myself - Yeap I am afraid of myself and who I might be at the end of all this. What if I am actually just a really awful person? What then? For the record my psychologist doesn't believe this to be the case, she actually believes at the core I am the helpful, loving, supportive, giving, creative person that I have always been she just needs me to believe that too.
Today, hasn't been a great day for me. Not really sure why I have had a lot of tears and I have done a lot of reading. But I also had a session with my old physio and I haven't seen her for probably 18mths so there was a lot to catch her up on plus I had some dry needling which often does make me feel a bit emotional (even though the needles where in my bum). Plus someone whom I haven't seen since all this happened but was directly affected by some of my actions* over the last few years got in touch and wants to have a cuppa. They are just concerned with me and that is it but I just don't think I am ready, I am not ready to stop beating myself up for being such a bad person so I don't understand how they (or anyone else like family) can. But that is probably something for a another day. So amongst all of this there have been tears, anxiety, racing heart, fear and so many other things.
One thing I did write down at the psychologist was that I said more than once was that "I know this isn't rational" her very considered response was that emotions are not rational and they do not ever have to be they just are. It would also seem that I did a whole lot of eye rolling in my session with her because regardless of what she thinks of me and regardless of her over thirty years of training and clinical experience with people like me, surely she can't actually think that I am ever going to believe anything except the bad about myself or life.
Sorry for the big blergh today has not been a good day for me so it felt kind of nice when reading Kerri's page that I found out there were a few more out there just like me! It feels like I have a tribe! And a really cool tribe at that!
Big love and hugs to everyone
Thanks Kerri for the inspiration!