The previous post was a little dark and hopeless, so I wanted to let you know things have dramatically improved since then.
Fortunately, I had an appointment with my fantastic therapist, Dr. Z, shortly after I wrote that post, and he helped me gain perspective. I will share some of what he told me in the event it can help anybody else facing a similar situation.
My primary concern was that I was getting significantly off balance after a period of relative stability. I thought all my hard and painful work of the past three years was coming undone. In the first five minutes of my session, Dr. Z helped me see that wasn’t the case.
He said the anxiety I am currently experiencing is a “necessary anxiety”. He said it’s a normal response to the dramatic changes I am currently experiencing. He contrasted that to my previous state when I was nearly incapable of doing everyday things like leaving the house or being in a crowd.
It seems so simple when I look at it that way: situational anxiety due to big life events vs. generalized anxiety due to irrational fears.
Two very different things, but to me they were both the same.
Dr. Z helped me see that the situational anxiety is currently screaming at me, and for good reason. But the generalized anxiety that held me prisoner for so long is still actually quite manageable. I’m still leaving the house with ease. I’m still living my life. I’m still able to do things I wasn’t able to six months ago.
As it turns out, I was in an anxiety fever where not only was I anxious, but I was anxious about being anxious because I thought everything was falling apart.
But when Dr. Z explained that I had excellent reasons for being anxious at this moment in time, it was like he blew the clouds away from the sun, and my anxiety fever instantly broke. In fact, he told me if he had my life on his plate right now, he would feel anxious too. So, that made me feel much better. And normal. And able to breathe.
I was able to immediately drop my fear that I was going back to the anxiety cul de sac of Hell from which I fought so hard to emerge. I left Dr. Z’s office feeling lighter, happier, more balanced, and less fearful.
That is the power of a good therapist, and I am so very lucky to have found Dr. Z. Now, if we can only convince him to move to Virginia with us……..