Thursday, June 5, 2014

[Anxiety Series Part 2] The Relationship Between Authenticity and Anxiety

Mom and Dad!     Do NOT read any further.  Look away.   Look away NOW!

This post does contain some adult content but it will be articulated with grace and dignity.

Discovering the Why behind your What is essential for healing and change!

I was mopping the floor a couple of hours ago, but my brain was off somewhere else doing its own thing.  I suppose I was mulling over the next blog post in this anxiety series.  I started to think about my Anxiety Blaster Method and I couldn't tell you how, but I suddenly began to consider my libido. 
My libido should look like this  
yet it looks like this.    And
it's been that way my whole life.  It's not medicinal or dietary or circumstantial.....it just is.
I cut my teeth on all things birds and bees long before I became sober.  All my points of reference on the matter come from a sick brain, and I am absolutely certain that failing to follow God's plan of sex after marriage further exacerbated aspects of my broken brain--it did damage.  Indeed it did damage.

My untreated Bipolar II created a situation where I craved validation, worth, and purpose from a man--but with a twist.  I wasn't an insecure person.  I knew my worth.  I was too young to have conceived a worldly purpose--eliminating world hunger, eradicating homelessness, etc.  Yet I behaved as though my purpose was to be some man's woman.

I behaved this way because anxiety told me to.  I was extremely uncomfortable being single and if you were to ask me why--I would not have had a logical answer or any answer for that matter.  But, that was before I knew to search for the why behind my what.  I was a slave to my feelings.

(I now know that the Core Issue behind that Unsorted Anxiety was me trying to fill a hole in my soul.  I was a Christian, but Jesus was not yet the center of my joy.  Years later, I found the well and I'm not thirsty any more......but I digress.)

It was January 2006 when I met my husband.  We were just friends for 5 months, dated for 2 or 3 months, engaged for another 3 or so months, then married.  It is quite normal for one to put their best foot forward and be on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship, and then it's typically down hill from there as both parties relax, let their hair down, and everyone's true colors begin to show.
My "best foot" was on steroids, fueled by anxiety, burning with the need to fulfill my (unsubstantiated) purpose of becoming his woman.

Fast forward to the present.......one of my husband's biggest complaints is that I don't behave sexually the way I did when we first um  married.  He resents me for the changes because it seems to him that he was hoodwinked--this was not the woman he'd signed up for.

Whenever the discussion comes up, I poopoo his complaints and re-explain that attraction is all about chemicals in the brain and remind him that it is scientifically impossible to recreate that feeling and blah blah blah.   I have never intentionally portrayed myself as something other than I was, so I resisted his accusations of being a fraud......until today.

This morning I put that Unsorted Anxiety that demanded I become some man's woman into the Blaster and was stunned at what came out: I was a fake and a phony.  Me!! The one who prides herself on "keepin' it real" and being brutally honest was in fact quite full of hooey and at times disappointingly inauthentic.

Unsorted Anxiety Wreaks Havoc on the Pace of Your Lifemill!

That treadmill down there is a metaphor for my life--the life I have to live every day.  The pace that I can maintain on my Lifemill (life's treadmill) is based on a slue of variables, but it is my own, unique pace.  The woman on my right may be sprinting and the man on my left may be crawling--everyone's comfortable pace is different.

As life starts to get a bit stressful and too many things get piled on your plate, the speed on your Lifemill begins to increase.  Eventually, it may increase to a pace which you are unable to sustain at which point you are forced to dial down or decrease the speed until you have returned to your own, unique pace--the pace you're able to maintain long term.

We learn from experience the price of not dialing back in time.  Life can cause side aches.  It can cause dizzyness and fatigue.  You may experience severe shortness of breath or muscle cramping.  Failure to adjust one's pace can lead to injury--shin splints and stress fractures, muscles tears, etc. 

And God forbid you should ever know the shame of "hitting the wall" and having to quit.  Oh the humiliation of having to dismount the treadmill prematurely!

Seven years ago, I had loads of Unsorted Anxiety just floating about, telling me to become some man's woman.  My failure to Blast this Anxiety and discover the Core Issues--the what behind my why, caused me to act in an Inauthentic way, giving birth to a new set of anxieties, more stress and shame as I dialed back to return to a comfortable pace on my Lifemill.

A comfortable Lifemill pace is dependent on a delicate balance between Authenticity and Anxiety.  Anxiety begs for Inauthenticity with the false hope that it will slow the Lifemill.  False.  Anxiety requires Authenticity for balance, for stability, for a maintainable Lifemill pace.  Authenticity at times may seem painful or uncomfortable, but a little discomfort and long term balance is far better than temporary comfort and long term unrest.

Inauthenticity Wreaks Havok on Your Lifemill 

As an inauthentic mate, I had "turned up the speed" on my Lifemille to a pace that I could not even remotely maintain long term.  Dialing back to a maintainable pace has resulted in a ton of anxiety regarding our sex life and it's been a vicious, seven year cycle of shame and stress fed anxiety that causes my Lifemille to race, repeatedly requiring me to dial back, the cyle then repeats and on and on and on.

You're probably tired simply from reading that--and I've been living it!  
I owned my actions for the first time today and apologized profusely to my husband for my behavior.  He passed out from shock and when he revived I apologized again........I kid. 

The relationship between Anxiety and Authenticity can either be an exhaustingly vicious cycle or it can be a conscious, steady, healthy balancing act--a tool even, that keeps anxiety at bay and maintains a psychological homeostasis.  Authenticity sets you up for smooth sailing to Balance-ville; whereas, inauthenticity wreaks havoc as it requires additional behaviors and thoughts to resume that comfortable pace on the Lifemill which then introduce additional stress and anxiety and the cycle repeats.

Sobriety Facilitates an Environment for Personal Accountability

We (the sober crowd) all know our psychological limitations, our levels of tolerance.  Those of us with broken brains know the areas in which we are fragile--we know how far to push and when it's time to back off.  The term inauthenticity in this context refers to those times when we behave in a way that does not honor our limitations.

I have begun to consider all the other ways I've been inauthentic and how that has added to my stress and anxiety....

Inauthenticity for me has been over-committing myself to relationships or situations when I know I don't possess the necessary psychological stamina.  Cue the vicious cycle of anxiety and dialing down.

Anxiety anticipating the discomfort of said commitment.  Anxiety regarding the enormity of said commitment.  Dial down by backing out of or flaking on said commitment.  Cue anxiety caused by shame at my failure to honor the commitment.  Dial down by comfort eating........Inauthenticity.

Inauthenticity for me has been purporting to be the life of the party.  It is playing the part unto exhaustion--the type of exhaustion that induces anxiety.  Now I'm dreading the next social gathering and the part I've committed to playing.

Dial down by constant comfort eating at the gathering.  Anxiety that I can't seem to lose the weight!  Dial down by flaking out at the last minute for the next social gathering.  Cue anxiety caused by loneliness and isolation and a profound shame because of failure.........Inauthenticity.

Inauthenticity for me has been being the slave of ridiculous standards spawned by the harsh judgement I've meted out on others.  That judgement feeds a paranoia that I too am being judged by this standard--this standard of cleanliness, this standard of etiquette, of parenting, of beauty, of achievement.

The Lifemill is smokin'! as I race to appear to be something I'm not instead of being the best me that I can be as unto the Lord and prayful regarding my imperfections.  Cue anxiety.  Dial back by isolation as protection from (nonexistent) judgement and self imposed shame.  Cue anxiety caused by loneliness and isolation and a profound shame because of failure.........Inauthenticity.

It is a lie.  
It is a mental trap straight from the pit of hell designed by he who seeks to
steal, kill and destroy.  
The vicious cycle is not of God! 
For He has come that we might have LIFE and have it more abundantly!  (Hallelujah!)

The Holy Spirit is the Christian's most dependable alert to Inauthenticity and He is most effective if we have hidden His word in our hearts.
Hebrew 2:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 
If you don't actively seek the why behind your what, if you fail to Blast your Unsorted Anxiety, you will be a slave to your feelings.  You're feelings are human--faulty--not dependable--dangerous.
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV The heart (your feelings) is deceitful above ALL things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 
I'm also beginning to see a link between my pride and anxiety.  Pride initiated my judgmental spirit which caused my paranoia of being judged by that same ridiculous standard, immersing me in a storm of anxiety.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
It is a somber reminder to "....take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)  A reminder to think on only godly things. (Philippians 4:8)  That's what Blasting is--it's taking captive every thought.  When we don't Blast our Anxieties, we leave ourselves wide open to Inauthenticity and the inevitable battle to maintain balance on a jacked up Lifemill.

Won't somebody Holla Back! and let me know if I'm making any blasted sense. :OP  Has anybody else discovered some Inauthenticity in your life that is negatively affecting your ability to keep a sustainable Lifemill pace? Click to recieve Meds, Coffee and Prayer by Email
Today, may your crawl, your walk or your run be calm, collected and cool as a fan on this great day that the Lord has made.  All my crazy crazy love.....