Who else is guilty of constantly trying to fix themselves? If you feel any kind of emotion other then happy or content, you wonder why you feel that way, what you need to do to fix it, reach for self-help books and dig deep to fix your problem…
This was my life for so long. Trying everything and anything, again and again to try and fix myself, fix my mind, fix what was going on with me whether it was my anxiety, my OCD, my insomnia or feeling depressed. Every single time a bad, intrusive thought popped up into my mind I felt uneasy, panic, wondered why I thought such insane thoughts, wondered how I could get rid of it, wondered what was wrong with me, why am I so different, why cant I have normal thoughts like other people and not feel anxious 99% of the time???? I took every emotion, every thought, every event that happened in my life so damn seriously no wonder I was an anxious wreck.
I can’t even count how many self-help books I bought and read or googled how to fix anxious thoughts, how to overcome OCD, how to cure insomnia, every day I would be trying to find something that could fix what I thought was, a broken mind. I would try positive thinking, replace happy thoughts and images instead of bad ones, I tried distracting myself, I tried so many workshops and courses, I even tried literally arguing with my own mind to try and shut it up (crazy right?) but nothing seemed to work. I kept falling back into my anxious patterns and kept on wondering what or who could fix me. Feeling tired, desperate, helpless, and discouraged over and over.
UNTIL… among my search on how I can fix my mind and go back to “normal” I came across an article. It wasn’t about self-help or anything like that but it introduced a brand new concept to me. That the reason nothing is working, no self-help book or workshop or method is healing me… is because I don’t need fixing. I’m perfect the way I am, I just have to let go, and ride the wave of anxiety, OCD, insomnia instead of resist it. Theres nothing to be fixed at all and those thoughts aren’t who you are and that I had to get in touch with the real me. Reading this totally blew me away and it made 0 sense to me but I figured hey lets give it a try, what have I got to lose?
This article told me that whenever you get anxious, or have scary thoughts, or even with insomnia where you cant fall asleep and your anxious, all of these things, you do NOT have to try and fix. You don’t have to anything at all. You just have to sit with those thoughts and feelings, you have to ride it out, you have to FEEL all of it in order for your body and mind to heal, and everything will fall back into place. It told me to just go about my day instead of hiding from the world because I was scared to feel which I used to do all the time. I used to skip out on going out with my friends or would race home from family events, dinners, whatever it was because I was scared of becoming anxious in public places or around people. I kept running and running from my problems. So when I read that I didn’t need to do that anymore, to just live my life and NOT let anxiety control me I felt such relief. Like a big huge weight lifted off my shoulders, I felt a sense of freedom. Like okay so if I just let go of the struggle, let go of the fight, stop resisting my own mind and actually just let it do its thing, let my mind have crazy thoughts and just go about my day I’ll be healed.
This is the absolute ONLY thing that has worked for me but don’t get me wrong, it was fucking hard. It was uncomfortable as hell having to just sit with your anxiety instead of do something to make it go away. But the more you ride it out and let it be there, let those OCD intrusive thoughts just hang out, the easier and easier over time that it gets. Until you have no symptoms at all, and you recognize it as just a thought, and then once you stop giving power to those thoughts, they peace out and your left feeling calm and happy once again. I had a lot of ups and downs because you don’t block anything out or force things down. You FEEL everything. You absolutely have to FEEL in order to HEAL. So yeah its harder but its worth it in the end because you feel free and that nothing can hold you back.
The funny thing about anxiety, OCD, insomnia, depression is that the more you fight it, the worse it gets. The more you give in to the way your feeling and believe all of those insane thoughts in your head, the more power you give it. Stop fighting and just let your thoughts and feelings be? Those thoughts lose your power over you. When your thoughts lose your power over you, you stop feeling a racing heart, sweaty palms, chest tightening, panicky feeling you get from anxiety because your mind and body are so insanely connected. You feel the way you do, because of the thoughts your mind is telling you.
You don’t need to fix yourself because your perfect the way you are. But its important to remember, when I say the term healed does NOT mean you are free of any of life’s pain, imperfections or from feeling any sadness, grief or nervousness. When I talk about being healed I mean you learn how to accept life as it is. You accept the good and the bad, you accept the awesome, happy feelings and also the feelings that may not feel so good. I’m not telling you that your never going to feel sad or hurt or anxious ever again. No I’m telling you that you need to stop fighting and resisting and just accept life as it comes instead of being scared to feel emotions. Healing is simply, unconditionally accepting whatever life has to offer you at that particular moment. You can choose to resist it and cause yourself suffering, or accept it and be free. You can choose how you react to the way your feeling and what your thinking.
Practicing meditation and mindfulness has helped me grasp that concept because its not so easy to grasp the first few times around. You have to connect to that inner part of you and actually practice acceptance in order to see what I mean. I didn’t heal from my OCD, anxiety or insomnia until I started accepting them and welcoming them into my life instead of hating myself and thinking something was wrong with me. Theres nothing wrong with you either, we are human and emotions get messy sometimes. That is OKAY! Embrace it and work with it!! Not against it.
I still do self-care things and read personal development or self-help books but I don’t do them to try and “fix” me or rely on them to help me feel better. I just do that stuff because I love myself and because its enjoyable for me.
If you guys need some more clarity on what I mean about not trying to fix yourself, go to tinybuddha.com and search “Stop trying to fix yourself and start enjoying your life”. This was the article that changed my view and perspective on life and really allowed me to start healing. This website is amazing in general and has a lot of insightful articles. I came back to this article and website so many times along my journey just as a reminder that feeling pain and anxiety is normal, and just part of the process. It doesn’t mean you need to be fixed or that something is wrong with you.