I never used to think of myself as anxious. I thought it was totally normal to:
Stay up after a visit with friends and run through the conversations to make sure I didn’t say anything wrong.
If I did say anything slightly wrong or off in any way, wonder if I just ruined the friendship.
Wonder if everyone thought I was stupid.
Call to apologize for every wrong step. This is good if you have offended someone. But I did it for minor things the person didn’t even remember or notice.
Think that if someone was upset, it must be something I did.
Not trust that anyone just liked me for me. I always thought there was an ulterior motive or people were just putting up with me because they were kind. Or patient.
Think, “I don’t belong here. I shouldn’t be here.”
When I’d go places with my kids it was even worse.
I’d feel absolutely judged by everyone.
If my kids cried I was sure people were thinking I was a bad mom. That I should never have brought my kids to this place.
Before we’d leave the house, I’d want to back out and stay home. This was frustrating because we had 4 kids and getting them all ready to go could be a major process!
My husband would have a couple of them buckled in the car and this feeling of dread would come over me.
My kids were little. Crying, being rude and getting a little out of control were par for the course. They were not perfectly quiet. And no one but me expected them to be that way at a restaurant. So I’d get in the car and go because by this time the kids were excited and I couldn’t back out. And I would have absolutely no fun out with my kids. I couldn’t relax or get the feeling of being judged out of my head.
That, is anxiety. I never knew that. I thought anxiety was only panic attacks and phobias. I had lived with this low level angst most of my life. I had obsessed about what other people thought and tried to make everything perfect as long as I could remember.
It wasn’t anxiety to me, it was just me. There was no separation. Until I had a Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) session. But I didn’t go in thinking I had anxiety. I wanted help to be able to be around people without feeling like I needed to hide. I told the RTT Therapist, I want to be able to be comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to be able to feel confident. I wanted to be comfortable in front of people to ask questions and be myself. So that’s what I told the therapist. I want to feel OK to show up.
So I had the session. Afterwards, I felt like I could show up! Like, “I deserve to be here! It’s OK that I’m here and I’m not bothering anyone. I am a good person and I am enough.” I listened to my recording over the next 30 days. That helped me to be kind to myself instead of always being mean. It was around day 20, that something just clicked for me. I just sat and cried as I realized how mean I had always been in my head and that I could be nice to myself and actually love myself!! What a crazy idea.
Before RTT I knew in my head before that it was good to be positive. Good to have faith and love others. But I had never really understood this powerful concept of loving myself. This changed everything! When I love myself, it overflows to others. And they feel it. It’s no longer this thing where I’m saying and doing things to make people happy or not offend anyone. People can sense that. And it’s not a thing where you feel less than others or insecure. They feel that too.
I no longer have to worry about what everyone else is thinking- because it no longer matters. The truth is most people are busy NOT thinking about me. They have their own lives to worry about.
I can respect other people now, instead of being tied to their opinions and having that run my life.
I can disagree with people and set healthy boundaries, without feeling like I’m bad or wrong.
I can show up to a place and know I am allowed to be there. This may sound weird, but for me it’s a really big deal.
I can now go to restaurants with my kids and sit and enjoy the experience and know they’re good kids. This is really helpful now that they’re talkative teenagers.
I know I’m a good mom. Not perfect, but good.
I can allow people to love me and like me.
I’m not so concerned if people don’t like me. I still care, but it’s not overwhelming anymore. I’m learning that I can be around people who like me, not just tolerate me.
I know that I’m enough. I’m not perfect. I’m not even perfect at not being anxious 100% the time. (No one is) But I am enough and that feels so good!
I no longer “should” all over myself. I don’t look at all my activities and live in the past, thinking, “ I should’ve done this. I should’ve done that. I shouldn’t have said that.”
So once all these changes in my thought process happened, I was like, “Oh! I totally had anxious thoughts and feelings! Now that they’re gone, I can see how they totally controlled my life.”
** Disclaimer** I’m not diagnosing myself or anyone else. That’s not what RTT therapists do. What I do want to let people know, is that worrying constantly, overthinking and second guessing is not a fun place to live and you don’t need to stay there.
I still have anxious thoughts, but now I understand that I need to sit with them and figure out where they’re coming from and deal with the feelings. I don’t just live like that. Now it feels uncomfortable to be anxious and comfortable to be me. That’s such a better place to live!
If you’re seeing yourself in this post, please know it’s possible to get relief. You deserve a kind inner voice, not a mean critic. If you’d like more info about Rapid Transformational Therapy, please visit www.cyrinatalbott.com
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