The biggest privilidge a therapist has the pleasure of witnessing is seeing change before their eyes.
It’s the last week of the anxiety management and mindfulness courses this week before breaking up for Christmas. I didn’t know what to expect starting tutoring but it has exceeded my expectations. The attendees have fully embraced and enthusiastically participated, done homework, practised meditations and been brave enough to show their vulnerability and share their stories.
Week on week they feed back how their lives are changing, what is working for them, questioning what is not. They want to feel better and for anxiety to not have such power in their lives.
I’ve learned from them too. Barely able to make eye contact to begin with, the bond I have watched them form is beautiful. They give each other support and, united by their difficulties, have made friends.
Their individual life stories, some harrowing and some ordinary with no huge life trauma behind it, show that anxiety shows no mercy. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate against class, age, background or race. People suffer behind closed doors because of the stigma attached and not wanting to show others on the outside that they are falling apart.
I listened to the unique ways that anxiety impacts their lives and just how isolated people suffering can feel. Just joining in this group, listening to others share their negative thoughts or what their anxiety feels like has made them feel a little less crazy and a lot less alone.
Anxiety and depression sufferers don’t have a limp, a scar or a bruise. They’re tormented by internal battles that are terrifing. To feel like you’re literally losing your mind and like you have no control is frightening to say the least.
Anxiety isn’t a sign of weakness, its a sign of someone having had to stay strong for too long. #endthestigma