She walked into my house with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She described herself as paranoid, and her anxiety was palpable. I really had to work with her, to steer her away from the vortex of emotional drama, to get her feet back onto dry land, so to speak. By the time she left, her shoulders were lifted, she was smiling, thanking me profusely. Why? Because I was able to show her that she was not, after all, paranoid, and that the anxiety she said was becoming ‘louder’ in her head, every single day, needed to be listened to. Not overwhelmed by, not drowned by…….but listened to.
Several times she slipped back from calm thinking towards the entrance of that bubbling vortex of miserable anxiety and over – thinking (overlaid by attempts to shut it all up and bury it)……and I had to be firm with her. No more vortex. Pause, breathe, and then go to the bottom line. Work out the facts, and separate them from the drama. And then respond from that place, if necessary, rather than repeating old reactive patterns. Why? Because if she genuinely wanted to move away from feeling so emotionally over – loaded and trapped, if she wanted to feel more in control of her everyday life…..and her future…….the old way would not cut it.
I did my usual: ‘if you do this, then this is how things will be; if you do that, then that is how things will be. Here are your choices. These are the potential pathways that lie ahead, where your personal development, and your relationship, is concerned. You are not stuck….or at least you don’t have to be. There are no magic, instant answers……but there ARE choices, and there is more than one potential pathway to follow’. I gave my best, as I always do, but when she left my home, she was on her own, so to speak. She had a recording of her consultation to refer back to, when necessary, but she alone can keep herself safe from the vortex, until it no longer poses a threat. I wish her the best of luck…….she has great potential, but she also has consistent work to do. I believe in her……and hopefully she will believe in herself.
It is easy to behave in a paranoid way, and to think idealistically and unrealistically. We are all guilty of it, from time to time (though yes, it has to be said, I have come across a few who have turned paranoia and idealism into an olympic sport!). However, sometimes our ‘gut’, our inner knowing, is absolutely right…..and it noisily eats away at us until we quietly and calmly listen to it. And once it feels we have genuinely listened, it tends to stop munching and shut up. However, it is difficult to separate what is pure desire/wishful thinking or fearful/paranoid thinking, from what is intuitive, gut prompting……especially when we are hovering dangerously close to the emotionally reactive vortex of misery and temporary insanity! I am pretty sure we can feel the difference, if we really stop, breathe, and step back a little. Gut prompting is insistent, and feels solid, even if it is painful. The other is changeable, draining, and uncomfortable in a different way…….somehow, deep down inside, we do know. But maybe we don’t want to know, because knowing would mean we would either have to take action, or let go of something. Sometimes, unconsciously, the pain of not being sure is more comfortable than facing change. You know, we humans are too darned complicated for our own good!