I'm feeling worse after feeling better.
The path of getting out of anxiety is not a straight line that goes up, my dear friends.
It's actually opposite.
The line of healing steeps up and down many times. There are moments of feeling good, and then all of a sudden you feel as though you're back to square one.
You feel anxious again and it feels as though you have failed in some way, that you must have taken a wrong turn, that maybe you are the unlucky one and that you can just get better no matter how much you've tried. (Everyone else is getting better, why can't I?) That maybe your "intuition" was right, that you shouldn't be with your partner because you clearly aren't getting better.
... Actually, it's quite opposite.
You, my friend, are actually progressing. You're healing. The path to healing was never painless. It was never a line that was straight upward. Occasionally, the path of healing can be painful and confusing, and it can sometimes feel as though you are doing it all wrong.
But, I promise you you're not.
If you are upset and questioning your progress, then you were unconsciously believing that your plan of success toward relieving your anxiety was going to look like this:
But, in reality. The line of success looks somewhat like this:
The brain is extremely comfortable with habit and comfort. In order for the brain to form new habits and thoughts, it has to use more energy... which, to the brain, is a bit tiresome (but very much needed)!
When we get to these moments of disappointment and feelings of failure, we are hitting another comfortable, pre-existing pattern. Something to work on and train!
It's easy to get into the mindset that we are failing. Especially when we have struggled so much with getting better. But, what if you changed your mindset to thinking that feeling bad (after feeling good) was actually a sign of progress, not a sign of failure?
That instead of being shameful and hard on yourself, that this was an opportunity to be more kind, loving and empathetic to yourself ? That it was an opportunity to train that habitual mind of anxiety and fearful thinking to a mind of openness, understanding growth. And in turn, finally, taking the mind by the reins and training it to become the loving, open person that you want to become.
“Healing comes in waves and maybe today the waves hit the rocks,
and that’s okay, that’s okay darling. You are still healing, you are still healing. ”
— Ijeoma Umebinyuo