Mental Care

TODAY IN THERAPY – You Are Normal

After random, episodic periods of anxiety and unease, I decided to go to therapy (if you haven’t read that post, click here). My first session concluded with three main points:

  • Everyone in life, at some point, goes through some level of trauma
  • That trauma gets digested and internalized by your subconscious, ultimately playing a key role in shaping your outlook on life, and
  • That trauma was being manifested as anxiety and to conquer it, I needed to unpack it.

After telling my therapist all about my own “traumatic” life experiences, she advised that I start seeing her every two weeks. Rather than shy away from the reality of my anxiety, I decided to share my experience to inspire others to go to therapy.

At my first session, I felt uncomfortable with the thought of spilling my soul to a stranger. This time, I felt more experienced.

My motivation for seeing the therapist was to get an answer to the “why’s”. Why was I experiencing this and why did it start now?

But my thinking process had to shift to the “what”. What was triggering my sudden onslaught of anxiety? What event occurred in my life to cause these emotions?

The Normalcy of Stress

The theme for this session tackled the idea of normalcy. For the past few months I experienced vivid nightmares of being hurt, loss of appetite due to feelings of unease, and general feelings of overwhelm.

This was out of the norm for me.

When you experience anxiety, you feel like things are out of your control. You feel depleted and exhausted. Sometimes when you explain these feelings towards others, they make you feel minimized because they don’t understand you. In some cases, people can see your anxiety as a weakness.

But these feelings are normal. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Stress is relative. But the important thing to realize is that everyone has stressors in their daily lives. People can handle stressors differently than others. Some people have a different threshold to the amount of stress they can handle at a given time.

Whatever your threshold for stress is, there is nothing to be ashamed of for admitting that the stress and anxiety you are experiencing has become unmanageable.

Some days I need to remind myself of this fact more than others, but you are normal for being anxious. You are normal for feeling overwhelmed. Life is overwhelming. There is nothing wrong with seeking external help. Remind yourself of this every single day. Whether it is talking to a friend, family member, or with a psychologist in therapy, it is normal to both feel anxiety.

The most significant thing you can do for yourself is listen to what your body is telling you – and that includes your mind.

What are some of the ways you deal with anxiety?

26 thoughts on “TODAY IN THERAPY – You Are Normal”

  1. Thanks for sharing Ayana. I deal with anxiety (or anxiety adjacent feelings), with deep breaths and focusing on what I can control, on what I can do right now. For me, anxiety is like pent-up emotions about not dealing with or doing something. Perhaps I feel that way and get caught in inaction because of a traumatic experience.

  2. You’re post is really inspirational. To deal with my anxiety, I try to get mind on something that helps me relax, like reading or spending time with my family. It feels abnormal, like you are the only one going through it but I need to keep in mind that it is normal like you said. Very motivational, thank you 🙂

    1. Good point! The anxiety feels lonely but I’m not the only one dealing with it. Thanks for the read 🙂

    1. I’m the same way. I started getting nightmares every night and feeling like crap every morning, so I was forced to see one. good luck with your search!

  3. I agree with you. Everyone suffers from these problems we just all have different ways of coping and finding someone to help you cope can be a life saver.

  4. I love this! I think many people don’t realize that some anxiety, occasional bouts of depression and feeling blue from time to time is part of being human. You can’t know happy without knowing sadness.

  5. It is really a good post! Hopefully I can read more and more blogs from you in the future! Thanks for posting!

  6. This is such a good content! Hopefully I can read more and more blogs from you in the future! Thanks for posting!

  7. It can be so hard sometimes to open up to others, but it usually helps. My husband is my sounding board. I get the most anxiety from stressing over little things for sure.

    1. Same. My boyfriend has been my rock through it all, but I want to learn how to depend on myself too. Thanks for reading!!

  8. Such an honest post. I do suffer from anxiety too but it is as a result of not knowing the outcome of the situation. I also know stress plays a huge factor as well.

    1. I think stress may be a large part of it. I have been very stressed the past few years, and now that I’ve cleared my plate it seems like I forgot how to unwind. Thanks for reading!

  9. Thanks for opening up and sharing your story. Even your experience with therapy is helpful as it removes the stigma of asking for help.

    1. And thank you for reading! The way I see it, it’s easier talking about it than it is experiencing it. So might as well start a discussion 🙂

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