2. ANXIETY (cont.)
In the present : Our internal process causing anxiety begins with some action.
Most often it’s our own which we judge harshly (see Laundry List ), the harmful, self-hating thoughts about some ‘failure’. Only then do we become overwhelmed by fear/ anxiety/ panic.
OR the action can come from someone else treating us the way our family did.
RULE: Our negative, narcissistic, paranoid beliefs ALWAYS PRECEDE anxiety. Many of us don’t know this because we don’t :
⚡️pay attention to the chatter in our head
⚡️notice what we’re actually saying to ourselves (CDs)
⚡️realize it’s distorted alcoholic &/or co-dependent
⚡️understand that most of the mental spinning is just a bunch of dangerous LIES!
We just end up FEELING scared, worried, in danger!
• Yes, we do indeed carry with us piles & piles of old anxiety – from our traumatic, abusive, chaotic childhood. So, present-day distressing events – often beyond our control – can re-traumatize us, bringing to the surface long-held fear & panic we may not even have known was there
It’s the constant fear we felt on an almost daily basis as kid – not given comfort for, & then punished if we cried or objected! And the causes of that fear never got talked about.
Those unresolved emotions became stored in our body as feeling memory (summary) – which need to be verbalized with safe people, then cried out & pounded out.
• At the same time – we currently add emotional stress to our lives by many self-defeating actions & inappropriate relationships, but more commonly by continuing to believe the abusive messages we got at kids, which we hold as gospel truths!
ALWAYS remember that both accumulated fear & current anxiety is in our WIC (“If it’s hysterical, it’s historical”), who still loyally agrees with the Introject’s messages.
Whenever this wounded Child Ego State takes over – we can’y manage well or choose differently!
😿 It’s not up the child part of us to know how to function in the world!, especially given our woefully inadequate upbringing.
🤓 Rather, it’s our grown-up responsibility to develop a Healthy Adult & Loving Parent (the UNIT) capable of acting in safer, more successful ways.
RECOVERY anxiety: At first, anxiety & guilt will come any time we break family rules as we Heal & Grow – when taking better care of ourselves, when letting others be loving & kind toward us, when changing how we interacting with other in new positive ways…..
This anxiety is from our earliest experiences, the WIC still believing (T) that we don’t deserve good things, SO if we change our patterns & focus on taking care of ourselves :
• we’ll lose the love of our family, spouse, boss, friends, children….
• we’ll be punished / ignored (again)
• we’ll be all alone forever
• we’ll hurt other people….
PAY ATTENTION! Al-Anon’s 3 As starts with Awareness – so we need to stop & ask:
“What is my WIC saying to itself about this situation?” // “How accurate is it?” // How do these ideas reflect my alcoholic family? // Do I need to check out my thinking with someone sane & trustworthy? // What would be a kinder, more loving way to think about what I did or didn’t do?
When something doesn’t work out for us – like getting caught in a mistake, or someone doesn’t like something we did…. we wonder why.
INCORRECT: Only focusing on what you’re thinking, which is usually very self-abusive.
√ Focusing on the emotional pain a situation caused – assuming the anxiety is only from the difficult event (unaware of negative thoughts)
The way to understand what’s going on inside – is to apply T.E.A. accurately.
What generates our reactions to an external upsetting event (A) is our Thinking, which causes Emotions, which may or may not lead to your Actions in response.
Look for what you’re saying to yourself (T) when trying to explain how you feel (E) about an event (A).
NEXT: Anxiety & TEA #4