And there’s a significant difference between the two. To start with, monsters are not real, anxiety is, but it’s important to recognise that anxiety is only monster if you let it be. This is what I’m starting to understand and every moment of it is like a mini revelation. Yesterday at therapy we did an exercise where you sit comfortably and simply try to acknowledge your anxiety. To start with, it’s very difficult, because (at least for me) the trained reaction I have is to fight it, worry about it, try and run away from it by any means necessary. Anyway, I remember sitting there, feeling the crushing feeling building up in my left side, the sweats, tingles, frustration, panic, worry, concern, everything awful you can think of all pact into one little painful object right around my left lung. Even writing about it now, the pain starts to reappear. It seems pretty standard that whenever I talk about anxiety, I get anxious. However today, I have a different approach to it. I’m inviting it to appear, to be present. It’s not a problem, I’m not going to judge myself, worry about it, or have any reaction to it at all, I’m simply going to acknowledge it. I’m simply going to be aware of the anxiety, simply going to be curious of it. It’s very hard to do to start with. We did this exercise for what I would imagine was 10-15 minutes and for 95% of that I felt like I was about to explode, I really wanted to get away, the pressure building up, my world crashing down, spiralling out of control so rapidly it’s not even possible to explain in words. I stuck with it, and as the seconds passed, it got just so ever slightly easier. The change was so small you cannot notice it, it’s like watching the big hand on a old grandfather clock move. It was only in the last maybe 30 seconds that I started to realise that I could simply sit with the feeling, I could just…acknowledge it. Not be scared of it, or run from it, or distract myself from it. Just…sit with it. It takes times to understand this process and I can tell you it’s not easy. Each time I come back to do the exercise I have to start from the beginning again, but each time, it gets ever so slightly easier to reach the point of acceptance and acknowledgement of these feelings. I’ve been running, distracting and worrying about anxiety for longer that I can remember, and it’s well engrained in mind. It will take time, effort, energy and perseverance to change the way I think. There will be days where I don’t want to try, there will be days where it’s much easier and I feel like I can overcome anything. This is normal and a path without obstacles and challenges is a path not worth taking. I will overcome my anxiety, no I will ACCEPT my anxiety. In fact I’m going to stop calling it anxiety because giving it a label it is not ideal. I’m just going to call it a sensation. I’m going to ACKNOWLEDGE this sensation. I’m going to be CURIOUS of this sensation. I’m going to ACCEPT this sensation. I’m simply going move forward with my life and when the sensation emerges I will greet it with curiosity. Deep breaths, close your eyes and really just let yourself feel the sensation. Just let it happen and simply be curious about it.
My stream is very slowly starting to pick up speed, getting more viewers everyday. I have a few people who’ve come back multiple times and I can slowly see a community starting to be built. I want it to be a place where anyone can come to talk about anything they want to without fear of judgement or ridicule. This is my streamDream (haha) and I’ll do what I can to make it happen!
If you want to help, or have any ideas or recommendations I’d love to hear them!