Do I need to write a DISCLAIMER? Here it is!
DISCLAIMER : I have no PhD on Psychology, whatsoever, and I am basing every insight I write from my personal experiences, books read, and my actions towards each experience.
What is Anxiety?
If you check out the English Dictionary, it is defined as "The feeling of being anxious"
Anxious - experiencing worry, nervousness or unease; very eager and concerned to do something or for something to happen
If you check out the Medical dictionary, it is defined as "generalized pervasive fear"
Anxiety state -is a condition in which anxiety dominates the patient's life
So even just be a clear definition, anxiety connotes that there is already negative feelings welling up inside of us. We have different sources of anxiety, but the common denominator is that our anxieties are hard wired to us because of our past experiences, most of it is from childhood.
Our anxieties vary because we have different childhood experiences.
Some people feel anxiety when they don't have money, or work because their sense of security is having both of them. - These are the people who happen to grow up poor, or lacking.
Others, have a fear of rejection (another form of anxiety) and that their sense of security is having a relationship or partners. - These are the people who were sexually harassed/raped, or verbally abused by parents, or not having the parental guidance during growth years.
Some others feel anxiety when they aren't in control of the situations they face - These I think are the people who grew up following orders from other people, and now wants to be in control.
Even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of anxiety!
I have first 3 anxieties, money, fear of rejection, and control freak!
My money anxiety was brought about not during my childhood days, but when I was in high school, I grew up with a family that let's just say, can afford more than others. We weren't rich, but I was well provided. When I was in high school, the company where my father worked went into bankrupt. I am the oldest female daughter, and that I felt that I need to help my family. Then I was completing my high school, and my aunt was very kind enough to help me with the education. By the time I went to college, I had 2 jobs. I lack sleep, Everything was really stressful. I can't live without money! Had to earn earn earn. That made me feel good every time I get my paycheck. If my money goes lower than 50, I would panic. I didn't realize then it was anxiety.
My Fear of Rejection anxiety was brought about during my childhood days. I was sexually molested. And by that experience itself, I did not love myself. I felt I was rejected, that nobody loves me, and that I was dirty. Another childhood experience on that is that my grandmother will not be satisfied if I went home with a silver or a bronze medal in academics. Because she wants it to be gold. If it is silver or bronze, it is not accepted. Even if I tried so hard, I never got a gold medal! And with that I keep on beating myself up of not being good enough. I never loved and accepted myself because of those experiences. When I have friends, I make sure I do things that are agreeable to them so that I will feel loved and accepted. And when it comes to dating, I make sure I am in an acceptable packaging. I was not myself. I have only few great friends, who were so understanding and accepting. When I had my breakup, my gosh I was like killing myself of depression because I felt totally rejected.
My Control Freak nature is I think were brought about by the first 2 anxieties. I always wanted to be in control of the situation. However, I always fall short because there are really some things that are out of our control. But I was thinking I could control it, then again, I beat myself up for that.
What were their relationship to my addiction?
I am a PMO addict, now on my way to Recovery. I was observing myself. My CONSCIOUS self and my UNCONSCIOUS SELF.
My conscious self wants to Recover. A few years back, I would go on relapse after relapse after relapse. Why? Because when I reboot, I just focused on abstaining. And yes, it was really effective! But then when faced with Anxieties, my Unconscious Self would capitalize on my vulnerability and voila! I am back on PMO! for months! I would feel guilty that I did not control myself from it and before the day is done, I am on my nth time of my masturbation! It was only this year I realized that my anxieties are the reason why I am an addict.
Here was my scenario after the breakup:
------------> Breakup -------> cry cry cry ------->negative thoughts in my head (I am not pretty, I was not good in bed, I don't have a nice body, I am selfish, I am insane, I am dirty, I am stupid etc -the list is really long!) --------> need to feel relieved from it --------> Porn, Masturbation Orgasm --------> feel guilty I did PMO -------.> Look at myself dirty and unaccepted ---------->back to negative thoughts.
That was my crazy cycle. When I have enough of PMOing (which means I am taking my conscious effort to start Recovery). But then another big anxiety forming event happens and voila! Cycle goes on again.
If we can take time to really know what is causing our anxiety, and the cycle of our addiction, we can really see that our addictions are driven by our anxiety. Like in the medical definition, anxiety dominates our lives! Just by that definition we are already controlled by our addiction-anxiety cycle.
HOW TO GET RID OF OUR ANXIETY?
The Power of Now! (This is a book I read) and the title says it all
- If we focus on our life on the NOW, and not being driven by our past experiences, or anxieties of an unknown future, and being able to just appreciate things on a NOW basis, we can already feel some changes in us. The reason why meditation is a calming exercise it is because we are in tuned to the NOW. In meditation, we are encouraged to focus our attention to our breathing, the senses of our body during the time we are meditating. And with our attention to those wonderful exercises, we already are able to be in control on how our brain works. How we think. It is not an easy exercise, our incessant stream of thoughts will continue on to nag us, but now we are AWARE!
Positive Thinking/Optimism and Gratitude
-In the cycle, I wrote Negative thoughts. If we reverse that to positive thoughts, we will love ourselves more. Just take for example, think about what your partner loves about you. Your eyes, lips, nose, teeth, sense of humor, caring attitude, etc etc etc. The list will be longer than our negative thoughts. Being grateful for the blessings we receive. We have eyes that can see , others are blind. We have nice house to live in, others sleep on the streets. We have work that pays for the bills, others don't even have a job. We have food on the table, others beg for leftovers. There are a lot of blessings we can count on a daily basis. From electricity, water, technology, people. You name it, there are blessings! It is a matter of appreciation and turning around our perceptions.
If we are able to get in control of how our brain works, it can work wonders in getting rid of our addiction. All we have to do is focus on our positive aspects. Making our strengths stronger, and our weaknesses weaker. We are not slaves of our addictions and anxieties. We are in control of our decisions!
We can recover!
I am hoping I made sense, at least a little! And that I helped