Recently I had some ups & downs with the anxiety I experience, partially as the results of the experience of growing up with a personality disordered parent. There were a number of things going on in my life, such as the usual work stress we’re all dealing with in this economy (less people to do the work due to layoffs, wondering if more layoffs are looming, etc.)
One very positive change that is going on is I’ve learned to distinguish between her critical voice and mine. I thought hers was mine because it was so internalized. But my therapist asked me to listen more closely to see if it actually was my voice and it turned out it wasn’t. Mine is a lot more forgiving an easier on me. As a result, I’ve been gaining some confidence, but I still have my slips & slides into the old ways of relentless self-criticism. I liken it to surgical pain. It hurts, but it’s part of the process and there is healing as the goal. Oddly enough, the tensions between the new and old way made me anxious too. I didn’t figure that out at first, but even positive change can be anxiety provoking.
And there was a random dial from my brother’s phone number. Last year, I was acutely aware of the holidays because they were the first set after cutoff. But this year, it kind of snuck up on me. I didn’t know why I was feeling anxious, but yesterday at work, the holiday connection hit me. Once I realized that, I felt so much better because there is a reason for it. Yes, I’m so anxious, I will get anxious if I can’t figure out why I’m anxious! LOL 🙂 I had been slipping back into some bad habits of coping & beating msyefl up, but realizing why was enough to snap me out of it.
It feels kind of strange to be in this state of transition as I’m letting go of old ways and taking on newer ways of coping. Sometimes it feels like the old two steps forward and one step back. But I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to make this progress, even if it isn’t as linear and quick as I’d like.
I’m also thankful to my friends and extended family. I’m thankful to all of the other folks who blog about their own experiences with these issues and/or participate on forums. It’s been very helpful in realizing what’s going on and feeling less alone. And getting their perspectives on building and developing better coping methods. I’m thankful for the friends and family who make me laugh. And even though work’s been crazy, I’m thankful for good co-workers and supervisors who don’t let it affect their attitudes and keep a sense of humor.
Wishing everyone who celebrates a Happy Thanksgiving!