The following is from course member findingpeace28, who shared this on the e-course forum two weeks after her wedding. As soon as I read it, I knew had to share it with those of you struggling with relationship anxiety and, in particular, the connection spike, to offer you a lifeline of hope and a rope of inspiration. As she wrote to me when I asked for her permission to share her words her, “I honestly feel like if I could get through, anyone can. I hope to provide encouragement to those who need it, because I’ve sooo been there.”
I am finally in a really good place after over 2 years of extreme anxiety, and I’ve been wanting to share a positive, encouraging post for a while.
To those fighting, hang in there! You are here for a reason, and your fight, as tiny and barely hanging on as it may be, is still a fight. You may have every fiber in your being telling you you’re different, this is about your relationship, you’re the exception, this work isn’t meant for you, blah blah blah, but in the midst of that is a tiny voice saying fight… stay… Something is here, something you may not even be able to identify… listen to that voice. For me, sometimes it wasn’t even a voice. It was my actions. Buying the e-course, going on the forum, processing with others. Look at your fight.
I am the one that had doubt from the very beginning. I am the one without the infatuation phase. I am the one who was CONVINCED that I was the exception, that I was just hanging on because I didn’t want to endure a break up, that I didn’t want to start all over again. I was the one CONVINCED that my now husband and I didn’t have that “core connection” Sheryl talks about. Yet… I stayed. I fought. I spent days and weeks and months crying, feeling like I just wanted to make it through the day. The future seemed bleak and painful. I isolated from friends and family. I became entrenched, fused with the anxiety so much that it ruled my life.
I experienced most of my anxiety in my body– pit in my stomach, pressure on my chest, palpitating heart. The feelings came first, and then the thoughts. I felt like I had a secret life I was battling to get through. I felt like a fraud, that I didn’t love my partner, and everyone knew. I felt that the fight would be a constant in my life, and I would continue to question my choice in partner, continue to feel the excruciating anxiety day in and day out. That’s simply not true.
The anxiety was always in ME.
I want to list out my main obsession so for those of you who can relate, know you’re not alone.
-Connection was my BIGGEST projection, biggest spike/trigger. I questioned whether we had any connection at all, whether it was strong “enough,” deep enough. I questioned both our emotional and intellectual connection. What kept me fighting, honestly, was when my anxiety first hit, I remember reading something by Sheryl that said connection was hard to decipher when connection to self was lacking. I knew my connection to myself had been murky for quite some time, and I hope/prayed that when I felt more connection to myself, I’d feel it with my now husband. And that’s what happened.
-Did I like him?
-Was he deep enough?
-Were we even friends?
-I had soooo much fear around communicating with other guys, for fear of having a “stronger connection” with them.
I also want to add that fear does take many faces. My fear, although at times was frantic, often manifested as cold, hateful, judgmental. There were so many times I was convinced I not only disliked my husband, but HATED him. Convinced! I nitpicked, scrutinized, watched his every move, etc.
I remember thinking for months and months that either this work was a load of crap, not meant for me, or I was just incredibly stupid for not “getting it.” This work takes time, and although it may feel that things aren’t clicking right away, or even at all, it’s working. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself. Know that you are healing whether it feels that way or not.
I believe that everyone has different things to work through in overcoming relationship anxiety, and it’s not always identifiable, there aren’t always clear answers, and not everything has to be dissected. For me, I had so much growing up to do, learning to take responsibility for myself, my happiness, filling my own well, and learning what a real relationship actually looks like. It’s a work in progress, for sure.
I have an incredible therapist and a phenomenal support group of other Conscious Transitions girls on the e-course forum who got me through, who helped me believe that this lived in me, and I could come out on the other side. If I can do this, I promise you, you can, too.
Today, I can tell you with the utmost certainty that I absolutely adore my husband, his heart, his core, the beautiful, imperfect marvelous human being he is. I love our sweet connection. Our relentless showing up for each other time and time again. Falling down, then getting up. And then doing it all over again.
I still have anxiety, but it’s not about my husband anymore. It’ll likely always be a work in progress.
I never thought my life would ever feel this way, and yet here I am, heart so full of gratitude, so incredibly grateful I fought so hard.
Like I said, if I could do it, so can you. If you read back into my old posts, you’ll see just how anxiety laden my world was.
Keep up the fight, fellow love warriors!
To listen to an audio interview with findingpeace28 in which she shares more of her story, sign up for the free e-course Sampler in the box near the top of this page.