It finally happened. Last night I had an anxiety attack. It was relatively minor, maybe a 4 out of 10, but it was a real wake-up call. Although I am a therapist, I deal with all of life’s uncertainties like everyone, sometimes better than others. I was still surprised, surprised that after all the coping skills I have learned and implemented, all of the coping techniques I have taught, I am still susceptible to my emotional self. That’s not to say I am cocky enough to believe an emotional challenge won’t happen to me, only that when it does it scares me, overwhelms me, and takes me to a sense of personal failure. I should be stronger. I should know how to handle this. This is no time for me to be scared. I am a therapist. People are counting on me to be measured and self-assured. With each of these messages to myself, I felt worse, not better; weaker, not stronger; more frightened, not less. Then I actually engaged the primary coping skill I teach everyone. I talked about it. I did, and I cried. I ugly cried. I yelled out “I am scared, and I can’t get out of the what-if’s. This SUCKS.” Miracle of miracles, I felt better. I was able to recognize that I had been trying to busy myself and keep from feeling these things, distract myself from recognizing how this pandemic scare has affected me. I haven’t been quiet or meditative. I haven’t been open or still enough to allow my feelings to have a real voice, so they decided to surprise me with an anxiety attack right in the middle of a TV show I was watching in order to avoid such a response. I feel better today because I am committed to being more honest and still. I will continue to try to do as I teach and allow that vulnerability and uncertainty to come through me to create ever more empathy, compassion, patience, and light. To everyone who is currently trying so hard to keep it together all the time — don’t. Take time to fall apart, it’s the only way to build something new. -Carrie
Please join us for our first community event on Friday, November 3rd as we meet and greet our neighbors at the Jekyll Square on “First Friday” in downtown Brunswick. We will have giveaways, drawings, and bright smiles to share. We look forward to seeing you there!
We are bombarded by ads for products, practices, and publications that promise us how to “fix” what ails us. One of the first and most important steps we can take toward meeting our personal goals is to just begin enhancing our awareness. Such an action may sound easy and effortless and although it isn’t complicated, it takes practice, daily practice. Start by taking notice of when you engage in a certain behavior or emotion you would like to change. Just notice it; become aware of it; recognize it, and acknowledge it. The next step is to engage in awareness without judgment or negativity. One of the most difficult aspects of the practice of gaining awareness is not to assign a value judgment to the recognition. For example: “I am tired…I shouldn’t be tired I have been lazy all week.” The practice of awareness asks us to leave any judgments aside and just be. Therefore, I am tired. Period. Once we get into the habit of becoming more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, we are in a great position to begin to analyze them, modify them, and even change them if we choose. What part of you do you choose to become more aware of this week?
Recently, I had an “AHA! moment”. At Radiant Counseling we believe that therapy is not just for mental health treatment due to difficult times in our lives. Although it is common practice for people to ask, “What kind of client’s do you see” and expect us to list of the diagnoses that we treat, the answer is always, we see EVERYBODY. Therapy can be a refresher, a check-in, a once in a while need to talk about your concerns. Think of it in terms of the things we do daily to calibrate ourselves. You eat a huge burger and fries for lunch; the next day you might need a salad. You stay up too late on the phone or reading a book; the following night you may want to get to bed early. It’s important to do the same for our thoughts and feelings. Too often we get “stuck” in our thought processes and need a little boost to change our perspective. One of the greatest stress relievers in this life is having the opportunity to unburden ourselves. Counseling is a gift we can give ourselves, a spa day for our hearts and minds. Let’s redefine common misconceptions about seeing a counselor to include monitoring our thoughts and emotions the same way we might our weight.
As Hurricane Irma approaches with uncertain results and, necessary preparations being reviewed, we wanted to take a quick minute to reach out. Should this weather system result in a voluntary or mandatory evacuation there are a few things we would like to make all of our clients aware of. Should you voluntarily evacuate and cannot make your regularly scheduled appointment just let us know and we will take you off the calendar (no charge). In the event of a mandatory evacuation, Radiant Counseling will close until is deemed safe by the proper authorities to return and reopen. Both Charlotte and I have decided to make ourselves available by phone should any evacuations become necessary during the time of your REGULARLY SCHEDULED session time. We are happy to reach out during that session time to check-in and touch base. As always, take good care of yourselves and be safe!
Carrie & Charlotte
Radiant Counseling LLC