You Are Whole

IMG_0721I have several clients currently pursuing their graduate degree in counseling. While they’re enjoying their studies and learning a lot, they’re also coming up against the rigid and, at times, judgmental model that informs most Western-based schools. For the foundational textbook for all accredited programs is the DSM-V: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As evidenced by the title, the main purpose of the manual is to learn how to diagnose your clients, which basically means looking for what’s wrong.

We all have plenty of things “wrong” with us; it’s a sign of being human. But we have so much more that’s right. And what I know in my bones is that people are inspired to change and grow in an environment where they feel accepted and loved. We are intrinsically whole, and that place of wholeness dwells undisturbed beneath the walls and wounds of our defenses and heartaches. We needed the walls to survive the pain of childhood, even the second-hand pain of absorbing the unattended wounds of loving parents. But we no longer need them. And the healing work as adults is to soften the walls slowly and gently, with great love, until they crumble and fall to reveal the untouched garden of true Self.

As Rachel Naomi Remen writes in “Kitchen Table Wisdom” (pp. 105-108):

We usually look outside of ourselves for heroes and teachers. It has not occurred to most people that they may already be the role-model they seek. The wholeness they are looking for may be trapped within themselves by beliefs, attitudes, and self-doubt. But our wholeness exists in us now. Trapped though it may be, it can be called upon for guidance, direction, and most fundamentally, comfort. It can be remembered. Eventually we come to live by it.

If you enter into therapy with a counselor who sees you as broken, you will feel broken. But if you’re sitting in front of someone who mirrors back your goodness and everything that’s right about you, you will start to se yourself through those eyes as well. Diagnoses focus on what’s disordered; it’s what the D stands in our garden-variety diagnosis du jour – ADD, ADHD, OCD. If you’re beginning from the mindset that you’re wrong in some way, you’re swimming upstream unnecessarily.

Lets take the common symptom of anxiety. Seen through the lens of pathology we would say that someone has “an anxiety disorder” and the person would naturally feel dis-ordered, as in out-of-order or not working properly. Seen through the lens that views anxiety as a messenger, on the other hand, we would say that someone has the gift of anxiety. Anxiety, a gift? you may ask. Absolutely. For its when you view the manifestations of pain as communication from psyche that something inside needs attention can you peel back the current layer of the onion that needs examination and shedding and move toward your next stage of growth.

In other words, there’s nothing wrong with you for having anxiety or depression or heartache or emptiness. You’re not disordered in any way. Everything is working just fine – better than fine, in fact – when you understand that your pain in all of its manifestations is a signal that something is off-kilter inside. Just like having a stomach ache is your body’s way of communicating that something is awry, so your emotional pain is your psyche’s way of offering an opportunity to learn to attend to yourself with kindness and curiosity so that you can live from your place of wholeness. You’re not defective or disordered; you’re whole and likely highly sensitive, and because nobody was able to guide your intrinsic sensitivity toward creativity or spirituality it had no choice but to morph into anxiety (or any other form of pain).

Looking for what’s healthy and whole underscores everything I do – as a counselor, a wife, a friend, and a mother. This doesn’t mean that I adopt a Pollyanna approach of only seeing what’s right; that would be a state of denial. It means that I focus on strengths, and from that framework of complete acceptance, the places that need attention are naturally revealed. I look for the light first, and then, together, we shine the light on the shadow. That light is inside every person, if only we have eyes to see.

40 comments to You Are Whole

  • Beautiful post Sheryl, it really touched me & made me think a lot. I’ve lost a lot in my life, including my mother at the age of 12. My Father has also passed. I’ve been dealing with OCD since the age of 7. It wasn’t until I came to your site & realized I was dealing with relationship anxiety for the past 4 years. My father was never available. He didn’t show me or my sisters real love. When I got in a safe & right relationship, my wall came up & my heart shut down. He got too close. Like you say. Love means loss. We risk opening our heart. I never thought I’d say this but the anxiety was the greatest gift ever, like you say. If I hadn’t gone through all that pain & kicked fear out of the drivers seat, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It taught me a lot. I thought I had fallen out of love with my bf, but I didn’t. I think I needed to feel that way to realize & learn what real love is all about. I can never be so grateful for your work. You are truly a Godsend 🙂 I’m going to be taking your Ecourse real soon, money is just an issue now. The girls say it’s well worth the money! Thank you again. If it wasn’t for your blogs I’d be so lost & still listening to fear. Thank you Again 🙂

  • Clara

    Thank you Sheryl. I am one of your clients wrestling with this conflict of world views between the psychology course that I am studying, and the therapy that I have found most helpful when I was in my dark night of the soul. I brim over with gratitude that I found you at that time, and thereby was able to move beyond the self-condemnation that came from seeing myself as wrong / broken / disorders / flawed. I really cannot thank you, and the world view you share, enough.

  • MB

    Love this. Beautiful post, Sheryl.

  • Tina

    Well said. The DSM is a tool insurance companies use to reimburse practitioners. “Tell us what’s wrong with them, so we can tell you what numeric code you should assign to them, so you can get paid for your efforts.” I’m surprised it hasn’t evolved to actually prescribing specific acceptable treatments for each diagnostic code. It has kind of come to that in most clinics though. 10 sessions for axis 2 problems (personality disorders), 6 sessions for anxiety disorders (axis 1), and a referral to psychiatrist for meds – ALWAYS.

    Bah. Sorry. This is a hot button issue for me. I’ll stop now before I really get going on what’s wrong with psychology these days…

    • Oh, speak on, Tina. When I was studying 20 years ago the school I attended was just undergoing accreditation, and, as such, wasn’t subject to all of the rigid rules and regulations, so it’s been enlightening and heartbreaking to hear about the changes in these institutions over the last several months. It’s interesting that when programs become “legit” they often lose their creativity and soul.

  • This is wonderfully written. The concept is so elusive yet you captured it and articulated it. Thank you-I will re-read this whenever I need to.

  • Ann

    Hi Sheryl,
    You have beautifully put into words something that i’ve felt since i was very young. My father was diagnosed as a manic depressive when i was a child and i’ve seen that diagnosis do much more to damage than to help him over the years. It has fed into his belief system that he is fundamentally flawed and given him an ‘out’ for his behaviour as he sees it as being outside of his control because there is something ‘wrong’ with him.
    I am almost qualified as a therapist myself now and part of my motivation to go down that road was the sickness i see in the practice of diagnosing people as ‘mentally ill’. I want to be an agent of positive change in people’s lives and help them to see that they are their best guide, if they listen to and trust their inner selves they will be okay, its only when they try to push down and ignore the signals they are getting from themselves that neuroses set in. The neurosis itself is a red light flashing saying ‘something needs to change’, it is not something to be diagnosed and medicated and thereby further ignored.
    Your message is very well communicated and inspirational as always.
    thank you.

  • Ivee

    Wow, this post moved me deeply. I’m currently taking my master’s degree in Psychology and just about to finish my Psychopathology course for this semester. I must say, spending months and months studying about different “disorders” had me looking at “symptoms” in people I interact with, to the point of diagnosing myself. I myself am a wounded person with a painful past, and coming across Borderline Personality Disorder in the course of my study has had me conclude that I may have this “illness”. Highly sensitive and reactive, fearful of being abandoned, depressed and anxious, chronically feeling empty, unstable self-image— these BPD features had me thinking that i may be “crazy”. It came to a point where I actually attributed everything i do, say, or feel, to my “BPD”. I know deep down that the surfacing of these feelings and behaviors may be my way of grieving (late) for the sadness and anger i’ve delayed for many years. Your post has given me hope and self-compassion, to look deep into myself and recognize what these “symptoms” are communicating to me.

    • We’re all wounded, Ivee, and we can all find aspects of ourselves in the DSM diagnoses! In fact, BPD is one that many graduate students self-diagnose, and it’s quite over-used in the psychology world. I’m glad the post has given you a different angle from which to explore your psyche’s communication.

  • Bettina

    Oh Sheryl, the only thing that I can add to all the wonderful post written here, is; I can assure you that the way YOU work, seeing your clients symptoms in this loving way – REALLY takes place in my subconscious mind and grows there from session to session and gives me the allowance to accept myself. It is a long way, but the direction is the right one 🙂 Thank you for your beautiful post!

  • Ashley

    Thank you for this post, Sheryl. I’ve spent most of my life feeling like something is inherently wrong with me and that no matter how much energy I put into healing myself, it’s just not in me to be happy. After years in therapy, just last week my therapist actually worded things almost exactly as you did in your post for the first time ever, so the timing is perfect for me to say the least. I’ve had doubts about my feelings for my boyfriend on and off for a year now, and now that we own a house together, these feelings have recently gotten to the point where they’ve been causing me extreme and often debilitating anxiety. I had a few days last week where I was feeling better than I’ve felt in quite some time, only to have my therapist tell me that he finds it alarming that I’m able to dismiss the severe anxiety I was having only days before simply because I’m suddenly feeling better. He explained that the anxiety is a signal that something is amiss inside of me and deserves attention, saying that I need to figure out if 1. the relationship is heading in the wrong direction, 2. I’m with the wrong guy, or 3. I’m inevitably going to run into these feelings whenever I’m in any relationship that gets to this point. I was a victim of molestation from ages 9-11, which my therapist seems to think is at the root of everything, but it seems far fetched to believe that something that happened almost 20 years ago could take form in this way in the present. I get the feeling that my therapist thinks I need to end the relationship, but he’s framed this as though the root of the anxiety is something I need to figure out myself, and I feel totally lost as to how to go about doing the work. Your blog is the only thing that helps to ease my mind most of the time, but given the fact that my doubts are with me 24/7 and I literally feel as though I’m unable to feel love for my boyfriend, I’m afraid that it may be as simple as me just not loving him. How can I go about figuring out what this anxiety I’m experiencing is signaling? It helps me gain control of my feelings when I remember that anxiety is my body’s way of telling me something is wrong, but how do I find out what that is?

    • A friend

      Hello Ashley,

      My experience has shown that anxiety often hangs on unanswerable questions to which we want to give a clear-cut binary answer that is valid both in this very moment and for all time forever EVER. Do you love your boyfriend? In order to satisfy the anxious mind, the answer must be a resounding, unambiguous YES or a resounding, unambiguous NO. Yet it is clearly not–hence the anxiety.

      Love is many things. It is both a spontaneous state of connectedness, care, generosity, grace, and unconditional acceptance that emerges from an open heart–sometimes without any warning at all, and so it appears to be a gift that is given to us–AND a practice and a way of being that is learned over a lifetime. Because love can be both a surprise and something learned and grown (often through an agonizing process), it manifests in different ways at different times as relationships change and evolve. That is the paradox of love: it is both totally given to us unconditionally and for free, and something we need to learn to inhabit, grow, and give. Particularly in young relationships that have yet to pass through the trials of life that teach what love really is, couples both love and do not love each other *at the same time.* The question is not, therefore, do I love, but am I devoted to this person? And if I am devoted to him or her, am I committed to learning how to love this person as best I possibly can no matter what? A yes answer to that question, to my mind, is love. And thus it answers the anxiety questions as well.

      Disconnection, too, is a part of love. It’s not a problem to be solved, but an encounter to be had. Those of us who have responded to our wounds by shutting down or building strong defenses will feel disconnected more frequently than those who reacted to their wounding by remaining more open. It’s not the nature of the pain and trauma that determines how we live our lives, but how we respond to it. (Strangely, the pain that we erect the most defenses around may be connected to events that from the outside don’t seem very traumatic but which we associated with our most vulnerable places.) And chances are, particularly if we are very sensitive, we have reacted to pain by walling off the parts of ourselves that do the deepest feeling. It’s precisely those parts that need to open in order to fully love another person. Opening them will likely be an excruciating and very long process. But devotion draws us into that process unhesitatingly–devotion owns it for the sake of the beloved person. It anticipates the fight that the old ways of being will put up, and shows them in every moment that there is another way.

      Peace to you, Ashley, on your path.

      • A friend

        Oh yes, there is something else. Regarding the gifts of anxiety: a major gift of anxiety which I have come to deeply appreciate is that it tells me that I am entering an area where there are no easy answers. This isn’t because of some relativistic “it doesn’t matter” philosophy, but precisely the opposite: the areas that anxiety demarcates demand all of us–the entire complexity of our being, of which most of us only know the very tip of the iceberg. These areas are Mysteries, which means they cannot be understood, only lived through.

        Yes, whenever anxiety rears its head, I know that I am in the midst of some magic, some medicine. Yet we choose how we use the magics and medicines we encounter in life. Devotion and love make the Mysteries come alive with the miraculous–which seems extraordinary, but is born from the most simple and fundamental aspects of a life well-lived.

        • K

          Wow. Thanks to Sheryl, and thanks to you, A Friend, on this one. Very well said!

        • Ashley

          A friend, I too am completely blown away by your reply. The fact that you took the time to answer my cry for help in such a thoughtful way was enough to bring me to tears, but the power and wisdom in your words is truly remarkable. As I work toward finding the peace that I’m so desperately looking for, I will continue to look to your words for guidance. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

      • My goodness, friend, I’m blown away by the wisdom in your responses. You’re a very wise and compassionate friend, indeed. Thank you.

  • Leah77

    Exquisite post, Sheryl. This made me cry. I feel so lucky to have found you and feel proud of myself too for taking the plunge to be part of your Open Your Heart programme. Thank you so much for these beautiful words. Zxxx

  • shelley

    Sheryl
    This touches me as it resonates with where I have been and in some ways still am. Wow

  • Angela

    Sweet Sheryl, U are truly adored and loved by so many clients. Apart from this blog every other blog you give us the gift of your knowledge and experience to us in such a way that is so selfless. I remember reading Marlon Brando’s biography and one of the things he said that stuck to me was he went to see hundreds of psychiatrists and none of them helped him. I wonder why? Did he look inside himself and say I’m ok just the way I am? I wonder if got the opportunity to share his personal fears to you..?

  • Mjg

    This is a great post. From the moment my anxiety hit, the first question I had was what was wrong with me. This website has been a God send to help me realize that these feelings are normal and that I’m not the only one who experiences doubt, fear, anxiety. I have been working through the many levels of my anxiety and have come a long way through reading your blog and the comments of others. I am not completely there though and I recognize that it’s a process. Nowadays there isn’t so much doubt, there is still fear which I’m feeling but doing what I want to do (staying with my boyfriend anyway) but the newest hurdle is to get over the feeling that I am forcing things. I have made the choice to love my wonderful boyfriend day in and day out and to love him despite the intrusive thoughts in my head. Sometimes I feel great but other times I think how long will I have to keep pressing on, is the fact that I have to press on a sign that something is wrong? It just feels like so much work, shouldn’t the love be natural? Well the love itself feels natural, it’s the feeling it unhindered by thoughts part that’s a problem. I guess I’m just wondering if it’s always going to feel like work and if there won’t come a point where I can just be and focus on loving him without the added weight of having to deal with the thoughts as well.

  • Jennifer Wilson Loggins, M.S.

    As an Abnormal Psychology professor, this article resonates deeply with what I believe and have experienced to be true about growth and change. I will be sharing your article with my current and future students as an alternative to the pathology-centric paradigm.

  • Iando

    Sheryl and A Friend – thanks for your wisdom. I have been to several credentialed therapists over the past 29 years (I’m 51). I wonder why NONE of them have shared this insight, what I’m starting to feel is “fact” re: anxiety/how it is expressed above. Friend – I’m going to reread and keep what you wrote as a reminder and perhaps an entry way into self-help and growth that after reading has me in some kind of state of shock as to why none of my therapists have conveyed this very important message.

    It brings me (back) to this post I placed on the forum yesterday: We know there are teachers we’ve had in our education that clicked with us more than others, and the same can be said for general physicians, dentists, interior designers, the list goes on. Sometimes it’s not that one is better than another, yet at other times, it is. So, anyone have any bright ideas on how we find THE therapist that is best of us (as individuals)? In the past 3 years, I’ve spent time in therapy with 4 therapists (not at the same time) with the current one recommending I see an EMDR specialist (which I started yesterday). While I have found each therapist helpful, at some point I have felt I have benefited the most I can from him/her and then they either recommend someone else/different specialty or I seek one out. While I suppose one could make this analogous to finding a lifetime partner (i.e. he/she could be 1,000 miles away from us), it is different in that we are seeking much needed therapeutic treatment. <— While this post has been viewed 28 times, nobody has chimed in, yet it's obvious (see above) that people are not getting this needed message. And the way our society functions (or doesn't function well) when it comes to these Important messages, creates issues – anxiety and other issues – that go back DECADES in one's life. I was raised in a very loving home by both parents and 3 older brothers; though I realize now I've been suffering with this whole "anxiety" ball of wax sine I was in 2nd grade (if not before) – hence the EMDR therapy. And on a practical side, therapy is SO expensive, it only adds to the stress, especially when my therapists have not even come CLOSE to dancing around the explanation/wisdom shared above. Friend & Sheryl (and anyone else), I'd be very interested to read your thoughts on all this.

    Thank you,
    Iando

    • If you’ve been with therapists who work from a positive model, it’s important to recognize that your lack of progress may be connected to your resistance to taking full responsibility for your well-being. From the bit I know about you, Iando, what I hear in your comment is some belief that a therapist should be able to rescue you or heal you completely. This will never be the case. It’s a two-way relationship, and without a clients’ willingness to assume 100% ownership for his stuck places, resistance, and pain, the stuckness will continue.

    • A Friend

      Dear Iando,

      You say you keep hitting a point at which you feel that you have learned all you can from a given therapist and need to find someone else, and that this is a pattern that happens again and again. My humble suggestion is that you may be looking in therapists for knowledge you already have in yourself, but do not see as “belonging to you.” You may be giving an immense amount of authority to healing professionals because you see them as somehow wiser or more healthy than yourself, and you assume that you cannot do for yourself what a professional could do for you. So instead of looking within yourself, you keep looking for the perfect practitioner.

      Along these lines, you compare your search for a therapist to a search for THE ONE right life partner. Yet the paradox is that we can’t even recognize our life partner unless we trust and are comfortable with ourselves as we are. People who move from partner to partner searching for the perfect one will likely never find him or her. It is only once we are able to be ourselves where we are–and to admit the possibility that there really may not even *be* a life partner for us out there (there are, after all, no guarantees in life)–that we really open to finding the person who we can grow with in mutuality, and then choosing to do so in devotion.

      Similarly, there may not *be* a practitioner who is THE ONE for you. Perhaps now is the time to admit that you have done a lot of work searching, and that for now you will rest and tend to yourself–with the knowledge and wisdom of your own body, your own soul, and your own heart. This was the path I myself chose after searching for a practitioner for many years. I found many people who were helpful, but no one could walk with me all the way. Sometimes, the Master we are seeking is ourselves.

      As Sheryl wrote in this post–therapists, whether mainstream or alternative, will likely be approaching your condition from a medical perspective that places diagnosis and treatment at the center. Yet you may not actually have a problem that therapists can work with in ways that align with their training! In your post, you say that what stands out to you as most helpful about Sheryl’s posts and my replies are their wisdom. Unfortunately, psychotherapy, as well as the many healing arts that proliferate in our culture, are not (yet) wisdom traditions. Yet if it is wisdom you are seeking, you are already living the life which is the grounds for its arising within you.

      My suggestions to you: Be aware of your body. Pay attention to (and write down) your dreams. Ask yourself the big questions. Answer them provisionally–and re-answer them, again and again. Read the writing of wise people (like Sheryl). Open your heart to wise friends. Make the decisions that will allow you to best support and care for yourself and others 5, 10, and 15 years down the road.

      Finally, know that the path is long, and we never arrive. The anxiety you have struggled with your entire life may be your body’s way of telling you that there is so much more beneath the surface to see, to hear, and to attend to. Trust that. In moving deeper into our own experience, we transform our desires: instead of wanting quick clarity, we come to desire slow-moving truth. And we become capable of hearing when that truth is calling us to act–and how.

      Remember, you are the–only–instrument of your own transformation. Who do you want to become?

  • Rpeli

    I really love what this article raises; I have recently left the field of social work after 7 years because of this sense of pathologising that you describe Sheryl. However it wasn’t necessarily coming from within the field, but as a protective mechanism from within me (and this is something I still struggle with.)
    I guess what I mean to say is that, after having contact with people who sought my professional support, the only way my pschyee felt it could protect itself from all the pain I was seeing, was to label people and put them in groups. As if it say ‘well, Im not like a, b and c. So I’m normal. I’m safe.’ But more and more, the people I was seeing were actually experiencing things I related to (sometimes overly so), and as a result, I became ‘one of them.”
    This type of thinking has really impacted on my sense of self compassion and acceptance, because every time I feel a strong emotion I have BPD, or the like. I can only imagine what this does to a person who has been medically diagnosed.

    • The “us” versus “them” mentality is intrinsic to the field as well – as in, “we, the therapists, are perfectly healthy while they, the clients, are disordered.” This mindset is harmful to both therapist and client as it’s a gross distortion of the truth. We’re all in this together, all gifted and wounded in different ways, and it’s actually because of ones’ wounds and challenges that a healer can often offer the most support.

  • Kristi

    Such thought provoking and love filled responses. I love the idea of being whole. Anxiety and my closed off “places” have caused me much pain over the years. I’m working on acknowledgement-not condemnation of “where I am”. It’s a slow process and I desire to feel whole/connected/content.

  • ML

    Hi Sheryl,
    I’ve so enjoyed reading your posts recently and they have often answered my questions. However I still find myself bewildered as I have no history or anxiety, no family members with a history of anxiety, I’m from a very happy solid family and have had no trauma in my life. I’m married to a man I love so deeply and yet I continue to have this unwelcome sense/intrusive thought that ‘ we won’t last’ and I have not a shred of evidence on which to base this because we have always been a strong couple. In some respects I feel more lost having read some of ypur posts and comments because I can’t find where this pain is from, other than possibly having a fear that i can’t live up to the marriages around me, and so I don’t know how to tackle it…its overwhelming to say the least!

    • There are many people from healthy childhoods who experience relationship anxiety. It’s less important to understand where it comes from then to learn the skills that will help you deal with it effectively now.

  • Katie

    ML,

    I don’t know if this helps, but just wanted to say that I am in the same type of “predicament” as you regarding anxiety. I had a great childhood, very supportive, loving parents, yet also struggle with relationship anxiety. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone!

    xx
    Kate

  • I love what friend said it’s very helpful but I was just wondering what if you really want to commit and be devoted to your partner but your not always positive as why you want to commit to that person ( you just want too ) and it worries you , is that normal ? is that anxiety ?

    • I want to try the course but I have no money right now ,and idk what to do right now because I feel like im just driving myself crazy because I’ll be fine one moment then the next a thought will come up and I’d feel panicky , and today I talked to him on the phone and I just felt lonely and sad I had nothing to say I felt like I was boring him and I don’t feel excited to talk on the phone anymore and wanted to cry and break down because i don’t know if it normal to feel like this in a long distant relationship, we still have some good happy conversation but lately I’ve just been numb but when I do see him when he comes home I’m still a little anxious but I get through it because he makes me laugh and makes feel calm and when I wake up beside him I don’t feel out off place and makes me feel at home and there’s no red flags , but I still feel anxious that we are too different and I’m very Much terrified that my truth is that we aren’t a good match and honestly that breaks my heart , idk why I just really want to commit and be devoted to him 🙁 but something is holding me back
      Iim sorry I know that I shouldn’t be leaving comments for help , i just never felt like this before with anyone else and this is the place I trust

  • And I feel like I still miss him soo much when he leaves **

  • onedayatatime

    I have to share that I love this post and agree with it so much. I also appreciate how inSightful and empowering it is to read. I can relate to feeling flawed. And on the other hand, because I haven’t been diagnosed with a condition from the DSM, and told I am disordered,I struggle with telling myself well since I don’t have disorder I am just an inadequate human being who cant live up to “normal” standards and expectations of living. So there goes my self esteem. Since im not diagnosed with anything, I must just be crazy and need to get over it…and there’s the constant doubt of my feelings, thoughts and insights.
    I also work as a nurse in mental health and I struggle with the rigidity and judgmental attitudes of the culture but also colleagues. I believe in this perspective and the values you write about here whole heartedly And hope I can get to a place in my own career where the attitudes of others don’t bring me down as much. This is beautiful!

  • kel

    First of all, this board is a god send. Thank you, Sheryl. I was married two days ago to a man I’ve been with for 2 years. We have had a wonderful relationship, though not without our ups and downs. Which actually makes me proud of us. About 6 weeks ago I woke up at 5 am frantic about a silly dream. I have not calmed since and my fear has morphed into a paralyzing concern about having been ready to marry and questioning every choice I’ve ever made that’s lead me here. I was engaged once before and broke it off (it was not a good relationship). And so part of my paralyzing fear was having anoher failed engagement. Now that I am married I worry that I made a mistake, even though I know that I very much love him and our life together and want to be with no one else. This anxiety came out of nowhere and is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Though I don’t regularly struggle with such debilitating worry, I am a perfectionist with some worst case scenario thinking and I thrive when I’m in control, I also practice a lot of self loathing. My question is: will this slowly dissipate so I can go back to my fun, loving self and enjoy my husband? My therapist believes so. It seems like the only thing keeping it alive is my dear of the anxiety itself andmy frustration.