Tuesday, February 7, 2012

standing in the the thick of it,
surveying the damage and now wondering how i was going to repair,
i was treading in dangerous waters.
and it seemed, i could go either way.
find the 'answer,' the cure, a solution to my lifelong struggle,
or get swallowed up whole by what lay quietly below the surface,
the darkness and doubt and exhaustion from the fight. 
sentenced to a life of fear and anxiety.
whether by miracle, karma, the grace of God, i got my answer.
i found my 'IT.'
from the 'nervous sufferings' of a fellow human.
in one night, my life and way of thinking would start to be reversed.
i mentioned before that i found guidance in an on-line program,
in the middle of the night,
after spending a good amount of time pacing back and forth on google,
looking for answers, the how's, they why's, the now what's.
there is SO much out there on the subject,
the internet a never-ending self-help book.
but where do you land?  what's right?  is it better to meet with someone weekly to talk?
is it better to find a pill that brings solace or numbs the pain?
everyone handles stress and approaches life differently. . .this we know.
so what worked beautifully for me,
may be of no use to the guy next to me, especially if they're not ready for it.
i was ready.
that being said, i'm not going to mention the site i used.
(if you are dealing with anxiety, depression, rage, obsessions, and want help, just ask.  i'll send you the info i have.)
but unless you're needing it or wanting it, this, i am not going to share.
as much as i want to, because it changed everything for me,
because of the inner peace and guidance and inspiration it has brought me,
and because i kinda' feel like i owe my life to this man and the forum of people
that so honestly and humbly share THEIR stories there,
well, it's seems a crime to not pay this info forward and spread the word.
but you have to be open to it.
and i know so many of you reading this aren't or haven't ever experienced anything i've been talking about.
so i want to save it for those of you who are really interested.
so again, i'll just keep it simple.  in that it is a program to teach a new
way of thinking, that for someone like me,
was EXACTLY and JUST what i needed in those moments of repair.
knowledge and understanding that i needed and quelled everything i had come to know and THOUGHT, to be true.
it tossed me a life raft in those dark waters,
and pulled me back up on the boat.
within an hour of enrolling in the program, at 12am on a sunday,
i got a call from the counselor of the program.
a kind and loving old man with an english accent, from new zealand.
welcoming me and telling me, "Liz?  i'm not the least bit worried about you.  although this is terrifying, it's not the least bit serious."
hearing those words brought me instant relief from my panic,
from the fear that i would never recover from this way of being.
i sat up listening to the hours of tapes the rest of that night,
in to the next week.
the next month.
the next year.
the first month, i felt like a completely different woman,
from such the stark contrast i was, only a few weeks earlier.
i felt like i finally had solid footing.
i felt like i FINALLY understood why i was this way.
and it WASN'T a chemical imbalance.  it wasn't my childhood sneaking up on me.
there WASN'T anything wrong with me.
i learned (among many things,)
that i had SIMPLY become of afraid of the state i was in.
it wasn't the plane, or the crowded room of people, or travel, or cancer, elevators or church pews,
it was the FEELING of fear and the symptoms that those feelings drummed up, that i was afraid of.
i didn't trust myself.  i was afraid of MYSELF.
this may seem deep, but it's actually really simple.
my own suffering, along with the guidance of a program,
lead me to a revelation. . .
that at ANY point, i could make a new choice, think a new thought, step off the ride.
i know, easier said than done, though.
how can we reverse something that has become so ingrained in us?
something we have carried around with us like an old friend all these years?
it's not easy.  at all.
it requires a serious rolling up of the sleeves,
no brute force, no 'head-down-plowing-in-to' the object ahead,
just surrender.  and lots and lots of practice.
it has taken lots of time, lots of setbacks, LOTS and LOTS of practice,
to change my thinking.
i rode on the coattails of my mentor and his encouraging words, for the first month,
and it was one of the most peace-filled months i've had,
but wasn't long before my old ways started to seep back in.
the mini vacation was lovely, but i soon realized, i wasn't really DOING the work.
and i haven't stopped since.
the work has become much more effortless.  i see and feel how i've been changed,
how my first instinct isn't to run, or avoid, or force or distract myself.
it's to stay.
just STAY in any discomfort, pain, fear until it passes.
to WELCOME in all my fearful thoughts, old habits, negative thinking,
those old friends,
but only to say hello.
not to stop and talk, be persuaded by, or coerced in to a hand-holding relationship.
just a hello and good to see you and take care.  bye bye.
(that's just an inkling of what i've taken away from it. . .will share more on that in the next post.)
will i ever be TOTALLY free from fear?
doubtful.:)
i'm human.  i still fear things.  i won't be skydiving anytime soon,
bungee jumping off the highest bridge, mountain climbing,
bats. . .i'm terrified of bats (the furry ones, not the wood ones.)
i know myself well, now.  and know what i'm capable of.
and being a mother. . .that job itself, well, fear is part of the gig.
but i GET IT, now.
i have slowly but surely, patiently and with help,
reversed the damage that fear had done.
something i TRULY thought was impossible,
a mountain WAY too big and treacherous for hiking.
but even for a cynic and skeptic, believing that people can't change,
i did it and continue to do it,
finding fresh landscape in the old me.
one i have come to love, respect and FINALLY feel comfortable in.:)

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