First and foremost, I am not a doctor but I feel like I have studied extensively all there is about anxiety. I tried everything to feel calm and reclaim my life and nothing did the trick so quickly or so easily, as hypnotherapy did!
I got clean and sober about 4 years ago. I took away the thing that I believed alleviated a lot of my anxiety. It really just made it so I didn’t care how I felt… because I wasn’t Feeling anything. If I had a feeling, I knew how to take care of that! Just drink some more or smoke a lil more weed. Then I forgot I even had a feeling, including the deep feelings of anxiousness I couldn’t even acknowledge I had. As soon as I put the alcohol and drugs down all of my feelings came flooding back. The one that became the most debilitating for me to deal with on a daily basis was feelings of anxiety.
If I had to leave the house….when I would leave the house…I did so much just to get myself out the door. I regulated what day and time I would leave, when I expected the least amount of people and traffic out. Where I lived allowed me to ride my bike. I didn’t have to deal with the feelings of anxiety around driving. What if I got in an accident? How much gas was I wasting? Would I get a parking spot?
If I began riding my bicycle into the center of town and there were too many people, I would turn back around and go home. Even when going to the grocery store, I would turn back around and go home. It didn’t matter that I had waited until I had absolutely NO edible food in my house because I didn’t want to leave until I HAD to! I would return home, without food, to a home with no food in it.
I wanted to avoid the feelings of anxiousness I would feel trying to walk into a grocery store with so many other people in it. Not to mention the feelings of overwhelm from the bright lights, the amount of choices or the possibility of running in to someone I knew and having to try and make small talk. I Hate small talk!
Fast forward a year, dealing with this all to the best of my ability. I used different defense techniques. I would go out into the world when I felt the safest. I avoided people and situations that triggered these feelings of anxiety, as much as possible. Many times I would agree to go to dinner with friends and have to leave the restaurant before we could even order because I felt so anxious and overwhelmed.
I don’t want to recount all of this to trigger anxious feelings in you, but only to let you know, I know what it feels like…I’ve been there too!
Occasionally I have that feeling still. The biggest difference today is that I have tools that help me. Those old feelings no longer limit me in my life, in any way! And for that I am eternally grateful!!!
Ok…back to a year or more into sobriety, when I am coping as best I can, I began working with a traditional psychiatrist. We aren’t working specifically on my feelings of anxiety but more about improving my life. Eventually, I change my diet. I add even more exercise to my life, because I am naturally an overly active person. My mind is overly active so my body needed to be overly active as well. It helped to release some of the constant thoughts that were swirling around in my mind. Being active also eased some of the constant worry about what would happen in the future.
You know they say depression is reliving the past and anxiety is living in the future and I was an expert at living in both. Living in the present was not even on my radar, let alone something I was able to practice. I don’t know about you but my mind was too full of 1,000 thoughts bouncing around to even notice that there was a present.
I could be talking to you, all the while I was wondering if I had left all the lights on and how high the electric bill was going to be. I could do this with a smile on my face, appearing completely engaged in our conversation. You would never know I was a bundle of nerves and anxiety had you looked at me. Does this sound familiar?
Sooooo….I tried all these natural solutions. Changing what I ate, getting more exercise, meditating…which really meant sitting for 5 to 10 minutes trying to not get up because of one more thing I had to take care of. Still the anxiousness kept me from enjoying life. Under the suggestion of my psychiatrist, I began taking medication. It was a little combo for depression and social anxiety. Depression was my underlying symptom because I really loved living in the past…but low and behold…this thing that I had been denying I even had a problem with, began to clear up.
I no longer felt like running away if there were more than 2 other people in a restaurant. If there was a short line at the check out stand in the grocery store, I could actually wait in it to buy my food. This is how strong my denial had been and how much I had convinced myself that this low level feeling of anxiousness that permeated my entire being must be normal. Isn’t this what everyone experiences living in our fast paced society now a days?
Well apparently it isn’t…or at least it doesn’t have to be! You too can feel at peace in the world. You too can feel calm, even when uncomfortable stuff is swirling all around you. AND you can do it without being on medication for depression, or anxiety or anything else. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
So, I stayed on the medication for about 4 months. I felt better. I felt that all my brain chemistry had gotten the boost of serotonin it needed. I discussed it with my psychiatrist and we decided I could go back on them again later if I needed to.
The depression was gone, the anxiety was relieved for many situations. I continued with life thinking it had gotten as good as it was going to get. I still had to leave the restaurant sometimes. I still could only visit with friends every once in awhile and preferred to be by myself most of the time…but life felt manageable. Until a new solution presented itself.
My friend did an online summit for depression and I joined up, even though I was feeling pretty good at the time. Again, I like to study something until I am blue in the face. It’s probably that active mind of mine. The internet makes it so easy to participate from the safety and comfort of my own home, so why not?
As part of this summit I was introduced to hypnotherapy. I had little to no idea what hypnotherapy was. About 10 years earlier a friend had done some hypnotherapy with me and it had been a cool experience. But it was nothing life changing, like what I’m about to share with you now! Even if you have had some experience before, don’t give up without viewing it through a new lens! I mean, you could have the life you have always wanted…one where you can go and do whatever you want, with whomever you want…without being blocked by the fear that anxiety will take over and things will be ruined.
So this amazing hypnotherapist, Grace Smith, offered a discounted membership to her hypnotherapy “Netflix”. I had liked what she said, so what did I have to lose? I was already stuck in such a rut! Why not try something new? What could it hurt? Well it didn’t hurt at all!
It actually began to give me freedom.
All I had to do was listen to some hypnotherapy recordings each day and I just naturally began to think differently, to feel differently and then eventually to act differently. It happened so naturally and so easily and effortlessly I barely even noticed the changes.
I might not have noticed the changes but those around me did!
In situations where previously everyone had to walk on egg-shells just to avoid triggering me in some way, I was happily participating. I no longer had to sit off in a corner, protecting myself as though some disaster was about to befall me. I was in the mix, laughing, having fun with everyone else!
You have no idea how freeing it felt!
Well maybe you do…I hope you do!
And if you don’t…I really hope you will soon!
I could leave my house whenever I felt like it. I could go to dinner in a crowded, noisy restaurant and either not even notice or breath through any uncomfortable feelings that might have begun to simmer. Even more exciting is it gave me the confidence and the desire to share hypnotherapy with other people. So many people I know feel anxious on a regular basis and I wanted to give them hope that there is a solution that really works.
Hypnotherapy worked so effectively for me, I decided to study and become a hypnotherapist just so I could share the amazing transformation I experienced…with you! We deserve to live our best lives! We deserve to live a calm, peaceful life doing what we want, when we want, with whomever we want. Don’t allow anxiety to run your life any longer. CloseYourEyesGetFree with hypnotherapy today!
If you are also interested in studying to become a IACT Certified Hypnotherapist, the Grace Method Hypnotherapy School is opening it’s doors to new students soon. Check it out!