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December 8, 2015
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January 8, 2016

Healing Anxiety

A week or so ago, I was feeling intense fear and anxiety. This was a result of several things, but most of all that I was running out of money and didn’t know if I could get some more in time to avoid a really horrible situation.

In my mind, I had a few fears, which I suppose you could call partly-conscious, because it took a bit of effort to bring them into conscious awareness, and because they conflicted with what my rational mind thought was true. I feared running out of money and either ending up on the street or going crazy or both, and ending up killing myself because the suffering was too intense.

At some point I made a more conscious effort to face up to those fears. I brought them into my awareness, and reflected on how irrational they were. Irrational for two reasons: one, they were unlikely to come to pass, and two, even if they did happen, they wouldn’t justify this extremely unhealthy state of mind in the present.

What came to me as I did this was the affirmation, “What I am, cannot be hurt”, “What I am, cannot die”, and “What I am will always go on.”

Not everyone will be able to make use of such affirmations, of course, because it only works if you actually believe this. But I do. Actually, more to the point, I feel the truth of this. Looking inside, I can sense what I really am – a spirit – and sense the immortal and unhurtable nature of that essence.

With these affirmations, and feeling the truth of them, my intense fear collapsed. I understood that if I did go crazy and die, what I truly was would still not be hurt. I understood that though part of me feared the end, another part of me knew I was endless.

Doing this, I found myself forced into the present moment. In my mind I was stretched into the future, trying to protect a future self that didn’t exist yet. But when I remembered that what I am cannot be hurt, there was no motivation to stretch myself away into the future. Indeed, it seemed like an awful lot of exertion. Instead, I was in the present moment, and while I could sort of see the fear remaining there somewhere in my consciousness, I no longer had to pay heed to it. I was safe, and the only place I needed to be was here and now.

After some time repeating my affirmations, the intense fear I’d been going through had lifted, and I felt lighter, even a little euphoric.

Fear has come back in lesser forms since then, but I’ve been using the affirmations and this tends to prevent it going into a negative spiral. That really consuming, really horrible fear seems to be gone, though.

A day or two after this transformative moment, I had a thought which I hadn’t had for some years: life is supposed to be enjoyed. It seems that remembering I cannot be hurt removed the heaviness and world-ending importance from things, even from spiritual and altruistic pursuits. Sure, I’m still interested in helping the world heal, yet I also realise that nothing really matters in an ultimate sense. What we are, cannot truly be hurt. Of course, pain is awful, but I think seeing this aspect of it takes off a certain edge. Pain was worse before, because I thought we could be truly hurt. Now pain is bad, but I know it cannot really touch us.

I’ve tried to remember to enjoy life, and it’s brought about some nice moments, simply enjoying sensations and experiences without needing to get anything out of them. I also forget to enter this mental space, and the inertia of years of fear and negativity still drag me down. But I suppose a seed has been planted, anyway. For now, I’ll just try and keep reminding myself of the truth, and I’m sure I will get some good personal development out of this exercise.


Hedonism And The Meaning Of Life


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1 Comment

  1. Cado says:

    Have you ever read anything concerning Complex PTSD, or CPTSD?
    I recently came across a book that’s been exceptionally helpful in unwinding the damage that’s been done to me by my own actions and by others: Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
    That outlined exactly what I’d been trying to get to ever since my time on the Pavlina forums, and given what you have said about yourself and your experiences, I think it would help you.
    If nothing else, I would recommend looking into the concept of emotional flashbacks and methods for managing them. This is a fairly brief but accurate synopsis of what they are, and it’s essentially what separates PTSD from CPTSD: Emotional Flashbacks – CPTSD

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