When I was seeing my therapist, Ken, for anxiety, I was forced to do a lot of introspection. I guess that’s what therapists make you do, look all inside yourself and shiz. During one of my sessions, I was explaining to him how frustrating it was that I had panic attacks due to my food allergies. It got to the point where anytime I would put something in my mouth, even if I had eaten the food hundreds of times before, I would have a panic attack. The “what if” thoughts took over the logical parts of my brain and I was convinced that I was going to develop an anaphylactic allergy to every single food on the face of the earth.
I said to Ken, “I just wish I didn’t have food allergies!! If I didn’t, I would have no anxiety!! Life would be so simple. Other people don’t even know how easy they have it.”
Ken peered at me over his glasses and gave me a little smirk. “Is that the case? You think you wouldn’t be having panic attacks if you didn’t have food allergies?”
Ken had a way of looking at you and phrasing things that made answering simple questions suddenly difficult. He could ask me “do you like cheddar cheese, Courtney?” and I would sit there on his leather couch asking myself “oh my gosh, DO I??? I know I enjoy the taste, but deep down in my heart, do I REALLY like it? What would I sacrifice for cheddar cheese: my waistline, my paycheck, my firstborn? What does it mean to really like something?” He was a good therapist. He inquired. He made me inquire.
I thought for a few minutes and realized that my anxiety/stress/panic attacks were not a result of my food allergies. Sure, that was a nice excuse and a great reason to hyperventilate on the side of the road or during a meal, but my food allergies were not causing my anxiety. My perspective and way of thinking was causing my anxiety. I didn’t answer Ken’s question immediately though, I wanted to be honest and fully confident in my response, and didn’t want to rush the process of getting there.
A few weeks later, near the end of our time together, I said to Ken on the way out of his office, “I will always find something to be anxious about. If it’s not food allergies, it will be something else. There will always be something wrong, something to be anxious over, it’s just the way I perceive it that determines how I will react, how it will affect me.”
He smiled a huge, proud papa bear smile, put a hand on my back, and said “there you go, Court.”
To be continued…
5 thoughts on “Always Something Wrong (Part 1)”
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Hey Court ~
Nods on how therapists can make you reflect on things. It sounds like he was good for you. (But from your post I gather you no longer see him?)
I also see this is Part 1 …
I just wanted to stop in and give you a hug
And well .. *smiles* … just because. Stopping in and checking in on friends is a good thing yes? *smiles*
Yep, he was great for me!! I don’t see him anymore except when I’m having a situation I’m just “stuck” in. My last session was over 2 years ago and he basically told me that as bittersweet as it was, I didn’t need him anymore. He was right, but I totally miss going!!! The things he taught me will always be with me. Clearly it’s been over 2 years and I’m still reflecting on our sessions together! Loved it.
Thanks for the *hug* 🙂 How are things with you?? Things are great here!!
Great post, Courtney. To kinda’ summarize what you’re saying, here is the:
Biblical version: Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Musical version: http://bit.ly/Hazel_CYM
I love that verse, thank you for reminding me of it!! Funny how no matter WHAT we are dealing with in life, there is always a verse to go with it .