Overwhelmed with Fear of the Past?

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Overwhelmed with fear of the past? I understand.

There are days when I get very overwhelmed with the past and I never know when I will get struck by an old experience that throws me for a loop. It gets tiresome, to say the least.

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Just recently, I saw a picture of a young relative of mine on social media that showed her as BFF with a woman who, in a past job, was literally hired to take my job away from me. She was 20 years younger than me. That was a horrific time in my life. My heart started racing when I learned about the friendship with my relative.

But, the difference now is that those overwhelming feelings don’t last for long. I’ve gained tools and understanding that get me through these types of onslaughts of past feelings in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes.

When the phone rings, no matter who it is, my heart races uncontrollably and I frequently have trouble getting it to swipe right to answer it because when I panic nothing goes right. If my screen says ‘private number’, it isn’t getting answered. Period.

What To Do When You're Overwhelmed with Fear from the PastIf it’s certain relatives, my heart will race and it won’t stop for days. I have no choice in my life, at this point in time, but to avoid them. It simply causes too much trauma when we interact. Eventually, I hope that this fades like so many other points of trauma have faded.

One of the things I’ve realized over the past few years is that I will never be “completely healed”. So, I accept that and I’m usually not surprised when anxiety hits me like somebody pushed a panic button.

Even with these ‘minor’ incidents throughout my days, my quality of life is increasing daily and the anxiety attacks are farther apart while I feel varying degrees of well-being for longer periods of time. This is progress. I can’t complain.

In fact, I feel the time coming when I will be more energetic, calm, clear-headed, and progressive than I’ve even been in my life. I know this. I’ve simply improved so much that there’s no reason to believe that I will not continue to improve.

I recently came across a quote that really spoke to me. It gave me courage and I hope it does the same for you.

The question isn't who's going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. Ann Rand
The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. Ann Rand

What to do in a moment of overwhelming fear from the past? Here are some quick things I like to do:

  1. Hug my cat and scratch her ears. Those endorphins are priceless.
  2. Perform EMDR for myself. It’s quick, easy, and it works.
  3. Stretching exercises are the best! Stretch and yawn and breath out all that stress.
  4. Take a warm shower or go for a walk. The ions from the shower and the fresh air from the walk will improve your state of mind every time.
  5. Take a melatonin tablet, drink lots of water and take a nap.

The really good news is that through the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), meditation, and my other daily practices of balance, they don’t harm me as much as they used to and some don’t harm me at all. Although they are still vivid memories, they carry no emotions with them. From my perspective, that’s a huge relief.

Thank you for reading this post. If anything resonates with you or brings up questions, please let me know in the comments below.

Warmly,
Susan

 

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