PSA: Most of my clients don’t think their problems have much to do with anxiety because they don’t think of themselves as anxious people. Instead, they think of themselves as
- frustrated by people (maybe even specific people) who aren’t ^^^
When they come to see me, my clients tend to say they are tired, overwhelmed, and stressed.
They often (literally) check the boxes on my intake questionnaire for trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, and say they have a hard time making decisions in life – big or small.
Guess what – that tiredness my clients feel? The overwhelm and stress? It’s usually because my clients are working hard, carrying a ton of responsibility and have big dreams for their lives that they’re throwing a TON of effort into achieving – and they’re doing this in their personal AND professional lives.
Here’s the thing though – keeping it together isn’t the same as being okay.
My clients’ kick-ass qualities are often what people praise and admire them for. As employees, opportunities for advancement come their way often because their employers know they can depend on them. As business owners, they are the poster children for the impact personal development has on leveling-up in life. They’re the epitome of devoted partners and parents. The hard work, organization, dedication, and responsibility my clients live with are like little mini-versions of themselves and these parts are their greatest assets…and their biggest pains in the ass liabilities. These parts often wear my clients down by:
- reminding them to work really hard now so they can rest later and have the life they want…someday.
- endlessly planning and revising and replanning new paths to getting the life they want
- constantly questioning whether or not that was the best decision to make
- comparing them to other women who look as together as they are but actually seem happy
That (^^^), dear reader, is also anxiety. In therapist-speak, we’d probably refer to it as “high functioning” anxiety, meaning the anxiety doesn’t render you a puddle on the floor, but it’s still there. In its most boiled-down form, anxiety is just a felt-sense that something is…
…unresolved. Missing. Left undone. Unfinished. Might not get finished. Not safe. Might not be safe. Incomplete. 99 out of 100.
Anxiety is a normal part of life and therapy won’t get rid of it because there’s no such thing as no anxiety. Just like there’s no such thing as no earthquakes or no cancer or no breakups or no papercuts – and for my clients, anxiety basically is death by a thousand papercuts.
But – just because anxiety is a normal part of life doesn’t mean you have to spend all your energy fighting it. Feeling the lesser-known effects of anxiety (exhaustion, stress, overwhelm, trouble concentrating and/or sleeping) in your life doesn’t mean you’re failing. You’re not tired because you’re not doing enough or because you’re weak, and for my clients, they’re certainly not tired because they’re slacking. My clients are tired because they’re working too hard and don’t feel safe taking a break.
In therapy, I help you do more than “cope” with your exhaustion anxiety, I help you get acquainted with those hardworking, dedicated responsible parts of yourself and redefine the relationship you have with them. You can learn how to live in harmony with the kick-ass, hardworking parts of you – appreciating them, rather than feeling exhausted by their demands.
I’m here for it.