A Walking Declaration of Everything I Couldn’t Get Right

Am I going to be in therapy my entire life?  I have been going on and off for 17 years, and although there are things about me I have a much better understanding of, I don’t feel any better, anymore confident, any less anxious, any more mature.  I still cry.  I still take everything personally.  I still lash out.

I feel like I haven’t found that one underlying reason that I am the way I am.  EMDR has helped with specific phobias and fears like vomit and letting other people drive me, but this self-loathing, inability to make a decision, fear of abandonment never gets resolved.

Do I just live with it?  Is there a magic formula?  Is it truly day by day?  Will I never wake up one day and realize that I get it, and now everything will be great?  Am I meant to?

Is this where I practice acceptance?  Is this where I take the concept of no positive or negative?  Things just are what they are with no value, no judgement.  Sometimes that sounds so depressing, so boring, so just existing.

I am going to a workshop on cultivating contentment in July, so maybe that will provide some guidance.  I worry, though, about contentment turning into complacency.  I told my current counselor that I am worried that if I become content and accepting of myself, that I will stop trying which will lead to backsliding.  Backsliding into what?  Gaining more weight than I already have?  Becoming more of a selfish bitch?

My mom, friends, and counselor tell me that I need to relax more, but the thing is that I really don’t do as much as I could.  I let my anxiety overwhelm me to the point of exhaustion, and then I get lazy.  When I do accomplish things, I do it in a hypomanic frenzy because I don’t know how long I’ll have the motivation or energy to complete tasks which is often what people see which leads them to believe I can’t relax.  They don’t see all the time I sit on my phone while my 2-year-old watches Bubble Guppies or check Facebook at work.  I could spend more of my lunch breaks taking walks to increase my exercise.  I could create more interactive activities for me and my daughter that will help her learn and cultivate her own creativity, but more often than not I take her to playground and just watch her or put on Bubble Guppies.

Is that the anxiety speaking?  See, it’s cyclical.  I worry too much, and then don’t do anything.  I am paralyzed by the fear of doing something wrong and then the exhaustion that comes from my brain never turning off.

So back to therapy I go.  Back to rubbing on essential oils and yoga (when I don’t make an excuse not to go) and meditation (if I can stop my brain from analyzing whether or not I’m doing it right).

What Helps? What Doesn’t?

So in the past seventeen years I have tried a myriad of therapy and self-soothing techniques to effectively live with the symptoms of anxiety.  In this blog I’m asking you to comment on what you’ve tried, what’s worked, and what’s been utterly useless in your journey to wellness.

The most effective strategies I’ve experienced have been EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and to some extent hypnotherapy.  I also take Pristiq 100mg which has been the most effective anti-depressant I’ve been prescribed.  I know many people that don’t believe that Pristiq works at all, but it works for me.

Strategies that have been less than effective have been regular talk therapy, couples therapy, Zoloft & Paxil, and distraction & avoidance.

So my hopes are that this post and its comments can be a forum for sharing our strategies in the spirit of helping each other.  We do not exist in isolation.  We are not “other”.  We are not weird.  We are not broken.  Please share, and let me know if this is helpful.