Monday, August 9, 2010

This Pain in My Ass that is Chronic Fear & Anxiety

(Title + Photo = Weird Juxtaposition but oh, well...)

I am not back to daily blogging by any means, but I wanted to write a "what's up" type of post.

I recently wrote about the awareness of pain and that continues to be the thesis of my daily life -- the recognizing of what I have been living with in this body for many decades.  The feeling of it.  The noticing of it.

Layer upon layer of noticing.  (And I thought I was a fairly awake kind of person so there is this added layer of "what the...")

The newest thing I am recognizing is the pervasiveness of fear and anxiety in my life.  Like pervasive as in "never goes away."

Anxiety and fear may simmer at low but they are never just gone.

Around every corner -- whether literal or in my mind -- there are threats to be negotiated.

What a way to live!  Sometimes I don't know how I have managed thus far (oh! Hello, repression).

Though Marcy would argue that I was born this way (and not because of genetics or biochemistry but because of some things that happened while I was in the womb), I would say that at the very latest, this manifested by the age of four, when I heard someone's life being threatened.  No more details necessary.

This was a key moment in my little life.  At the time, I stood up and left the room in which I was sitting, thinking to myself that that was something I should not have heard.  This memory is crystal clear to me.

So when I say I suffer from chronic anxiety that is the moment it was born.

I am researching natural remedies, though Marcy is actually encouraging a temporary usage of a pharmaceutical.  I do not favor this at all, as any regular reader knows.

In the meantime, yoga, dance, breathing...all of that and more but I am still this little person walking around with continual fireworks going off inside.

It hurts.  It sucks.  I am sick of it.

(Do not mistake that for despair or depression or giving up.  I do not and will not give up.  It is my nature to keep learning and keep going.  Period.  But for the first time, I am admitting how very hard this has been.)


Linnea said...

Hugs and empathy. That is all.

Bridget said...

Big hugs and whatever else you need.

belladawn said...

I understand where you are coming from. Although, everyone has different stories, I believe that this fear and anxiety stems from our bodies being on constant alert to threat. I say that I have been in the fight or flight mode for so long, my body doesn't know how to relax, even as I am teaching my mind to relax. I think it is a matter of getting your body and mind in sync and memorizing that to your spirit. Your fragile spirit took a hit and your body and mind are remembering. The spirit saw some inexplicable evil and is having trouble processing this with goodness. FEAR is still working on you. As long as you continue to will continue to be anxious. As for potions...I have no answers. This wasn't really an answer at all, just something to think about. I've seen you educate your mind, fine tune your body...what do you need to do for the spirit???

peace, love and sunflowers

Louise said...

Hi Blisschick,

I too have been dealing with anxiety since the day I was born. I took an ayurvedic herb called Brahmi for a long time, and it helped immensely. It helped me get more restful sleep at night, and calmed down my over-anxious mind during the day.
Recently, because I've been going through quite a bit of emotional upheaval myself, I started to take it again and it works so well (and surprisingly fast!). Ayurvedic herbs are extremely safe and have no unpleasant side effects. Definitely worth a try.
I get mine from the excellent organic ayurvedic herb store

Much love and strength to you, dear Blisschick!

belladawn said...

Brahmi, I think I will try this myself.

The other thing I wanted to say is this. Why are we survivors of abuse so scared to talk about what happened? Why are we scared to get angry? Why do we continue to protect the people who hurt us? Why do we skirt around the subject and say, "I had something bad happen!" Why don't we speak up more and just say bluntly, "My cousin touched me inappropriately when I was 6! I did not like it!" There I have said it! He did. I am not lying, I am not making it up. It is true. AND IT DID NOT KILL ME! I will no longer be afraid to talk about it because it makes people uncomfortable. Screw their soul needs healing.

LET GO OF FEAR! Fear that our anger will take over. My anger didn't just take over, all though it threatens from time to time. I was once told that depression is anger turned inward (anger at ourselves). Anxiety could be anger trying to get out (anger at others). Fear rules them both.

Go buy some of the herb that was recommended and then practice being angrychick for awhile!

Christine Claire Reed said...

Bella, WOW! I totally understand you here. TOTALLY.

Read about the beginning of Freud's work when he DARED to side with women about their abuse experiences and how the wider culture yelled, "NO! We cannot be shown this!" and so he completely stopped and became the hater of women that turned into his crap ass work.

Anyway, I try to walk a line and it's not to protect my abusers but to protect ME.

I have seen it all too often -- people are brave and tell their story and then there are all these f'ing know-it-alls who come out to say variations of "grow up. stop blaming...blah blah blah."

As if NAMING and blaming are AT ALL the same thing.

But right now? I can't get into that fight.

And yet...

And yet...I know too well how important total truthfulness is and so it can also pain me NOT to say it.

And yet...there is also SO DAMN MUCH.

I have written a novel about it and the other day, it hit me...WHY have I hidden it all in FICTION!? WHAT have I done!?

So I know there is Big Honest Writing that has to come from me, because someone has to do it, but I'm not ready yet and I haven't decided HOW.


AND GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ellecubed said...

For me, there is definitely a link between anger and anxiety. In fact, I have found the best way to deal with my anxiety has to been to get the anger out. Whether through writing or using my inflatable baseball bat.

Sulwyn said...

I wouldn't wonder about hiding your truth behind fiction. Sometimes that is the most effective way to get the truth out until we (and others) are ready to learn about it first-hand.

As a rape survivor I had times when I couldn't breathe, let alone roll over in bed without triggering a panic attack, and I was able to allow myself to use pharmaceutical support until I could function well enough to find what would truly work for me. Under most circumstances I loathe drugs, but I must admit that it helped as a bridge to what was really right for me. So do consider it an option while you look for something that is closer to your health.

Jacqueline said...

Christine, I so admire all the work you are doing, your determination, and your openness and eloquence in sharing it all with us. I don't think I've ever seen you mention EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) in your blog...I know it has helped MANY people deal with (I hesitate to say overcome) many issues. I have used it with success on relatively minor issues (I'm not as far along as you are in dealing with the major ones!). It is also known as Meridian Tapping Technique. Maybe some of your readers who are familiar with it could comment about it? You would need to find an experienced practitioner. Honestly, I have heard amazing testimonials from people I know and trust. Best of luck to you. Know that all your readers are wrapping you in warm heart-hugs tonight!

Anonymous said...

You are where you are supposed to be.

Always. When I feel down, I tell
myself there is nothing that I "have to" do. Tell yourself "I am taking a break".. Allow yourself to feel like you are on a vacation, even though you may have things to do.

Walks in the sun always help.
Also, Green smoothies- kale, apple, avocado, spirulina. As much greens as you can get will help you!

Have you tried taking Omega 3's and st john's wort? They are supposed to be especially helpful for depression/anxiety. Also valerian, chamomile, lavendar, are all very calming and soothing herbs.

There is a lot of info out there concerning the best herbs and food to eat for depression/anxiety...
Herbs can be very uplifting, and its amazing how when you have a power shake full of amazing superfoods- you cannot feel down...

You are loved and
You are not alone!!

Allow your body and mind to rest.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I totally agree that taking SSRI's and tranquilizers is NOT the answer. So NOT natural.
The yoga & dance will get you through.
I have PTSD, and I have been doing a 21 minute meditation practice every morning for 8 days now, and it has worked miracles for me. It's the very first thing that I do when I rise in the morning.
My bf downloaded this really handy mediation timer for me that he uses. I love it!
I don't if you have a mac, but here is the link to download:

I painted,
"In a Mess
I Found Me"
on canvas and it helps me get through.
You are so strong. Thank you for posting! Bliss u!

ellen said...

I'm glad you are honoring your feeling that you are not ready to tell the complete honest and total truth Christine. Perhaps you will disagree, but I have found that many times, I was not ready to deal with certain things that had happened to me.

With memories that were damaging enough to need to be repressed, it's best to be careful. Your mind is actually doing it's best to protect you after all.

Slow and gentle is the approach that has worked best for me.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Ellen! Yes! I was just reading about the brain and how repression actually works -- how the brain chops the experience up and places it all over the brain in different areas, basically.

First of all, this is ick because then there are all these separate trigger possibilities and you can't necessarily figure out what they are related to.

But second, this is BRILLIANT, because, like you said, the brain is in actuality PROTECTING us.

Crazy. I had never seen it from that point of view.

I always would just feel angry at brain for doing this, and now I know to be grateful.


TheAnalyst said...

Christine, I understand the notion of constant anxiety, as I've been called a "stress addict" before. And even though I'm a therapist, I still face the challenges of my own mental well-being. I believe a lot of our deep anxiety stems from specific incidents in our lives, which caused us to form specific beliefs. As you stated, you know when this incident took place. The hard part is to get to the core message you are sending yourself. A lot of times, these messages we push to our unconscious and/or probably choose not to fully admit out loud. But it is working on 1) recognizing the message (e.g., a women may have a belief that she will never be good enough---this message stems from a traumatic incident), 2) accepting you have this belief, 3) reworking the belief. All of this takes time and work, moving beyond just the cognitive realm.

One activity you might want to try (it helps if someone else you trust, a therapist or close friend/family can push you along) is to focus on the thought and write each thought that comes to mind. For example (this is fiction, but you can understand from this example how this technique works):
[The person will write what comes to mind] I will never succeed-->I am a failure-->I should have tried harder-->My boss hates me-->I received the same feedback from my last job-->I felt the same way in school-->I never felt appreciated by my family...etc etc.

See where it takes you.

On a side note, you are correct about Freud's believes/theories. Many people do not know that Freud once did believe that his patients where telling the truth and had been abused. He tried to publish his findings, but the medical community rejected them. So he then put his own twist on things--some good and some not so good.


Christine Claire Reed said...

Sarah, thanks for the validation. :) It means a lot.

I have worked for 15 years on the story of all of this, but it has only been since I started dancing that I truly FELT it in my body.

As someone with Complex-PTSD, of course, there are a million little daily traumas that occurred, and I am of the same thinking as Bessel Van Der Kolk -- that it is somatic therapies that will now take me to health, as more story telling is actually triggering me intensely.

Even reading about Complex-PTSD (from a purely analytical angle) has been triggering, which just proved to me, once again, that it is the physical work that is best for me at this point.

Amazingly, it unwinds all those threads and shows me my true self.

Yet...I don't do it enough. I am learning that the real issue here, for me, is one of consistency.

Karen D said...

No matter if you share it all or bits and pieces just sharing one word about it is brave and that alone can trigger some anxiety. I know when I have talked about some of my situation I will feel out of it for a few days.. I have struggled with fear and anxiety for so long sometimes I don't know how to live without it. I know on some level I needed that hyper alert awareness to protect me but now it does not and I am slowly releasing some of it. seems slow is my method also. I also FEEL the trauma in my body all the time, I slouch, I cover my middle, I sit my legs closed, all protective poses, my body needs to relax and release but it is not quite ready yet and I am living with that also.
Peace to you and thanks again for all your sharing.

Googlover said...

This was a very thought provoking post. I have a similar thorn in my side. I found the analyst's comments of particular interest. I find that my fear often leads me to be a pleaser and I get in these really awkward situations. I think meds are okay but I am am not sure if they really address the underlying issues. However, sometimes we just need to get through the day. I have consider taking some to get the edge off. I have noticed if I do yoga and spiritual disciplines then my anxiety is more manageable. Soothing rituals always help to comfort me. I wish you all the best. This is a nice space and I am glad I stumbled upon it. Peace.

christine said...

thank you for your post.....I feel like it could've been written by me. I get it.

Toemailer said...

It's hard and the struggle is not to get fed up to the point that you start medicating or drinking. Very hard to be in that state all the time with little things becoming huge events. Yea...

Jan said...

Sending love....

svasti said...

Hope you are travelling well through this time. If nothing else, it's an adventure like no other! xo

Mon said...

yep, we often spend a ton of time, efoort and focus on the fixing, the denying, the 'being positive', that weforget a crucial element - admitting it's damn hard.

good on you.