Posted in Being Human, codependency, Relationships

Second Most Common Reason Relationships Fail

Last week I wrote about the number one reason relationships fail.  (Read that post HERE). Today, I am writing about the second more common reason for relationship failure:

Unmanaged Anxiety

Anxiety is Normal!

First of all….anxiety is normal and we all have it!  Anxiety can be mild as in the case of “butterflies” before an important event or severe as in the case of a full-blown panic attack.  Anxiety can manifest in a simple case of nerves or escalate into emotional collapse or mental paralysis.  Anxiety has many faces and degrees of severity and it arises out of a multitude of situations.  Sometimes anxiety is situational and at other times, it arises out of unhealed emotional wounds or physical trauma, as is the case with PTSD.  Anxiety also acts as an alert system notifying us that there is something within us that wants to be known – our truth (ie. Kundalini Awakening, Ascension symptoms) our desire for a life of meaning, the longing for fulfilling work, needs that are not being met, etc.  Anxiety is normal.  We all have it, and anxiety, in and of itself, is not bad.  Instead, anxiety is there to help us understand something deeper that wants to be known.

stress

The Problem

The problem is that in our culture, we are not taught how to identify anxiety or what to do with it (except numb it through medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, etc.). Not knowing how to identify anxiety or what to do about it would not be so much of a problem if we only have ourselves to deal with.  As human beings, however, we live in community. If we are not identifying and managing our anxiety properly, it tends to come out sideways, doing damage to ourselves and the people around us (Where do you think wars come from???).

The Blame Game

The most common way that unmanaged anxiety “comes out sideways” is in what I call The Blame Game. When we have unidentified and unmanaged anxiety, the go-to place of this anxiety is most often projection.  We feel unease, but we haven’t taken the time (or don’t have the skills) to identify what we are feeling and why.  So, instead of taking responsibility for our own inner terrain, we are certain that the people around us are responsible for our unease (our husband, kids, roommate, parents, co-workers, etc.).  We blame them for our feelings, then we either lash out in anger or turn the unease inward and harbor resentment toward “the other” for making us feel this way.

Healing our Relationships

One step we can take toward healing our interpersonal relationships is to learn how to identify and manage our own anxiety.  When we take care of our inner terrain, we no longer have the need to make “the other” the enemy. Taking care of our anxiety facilitates honesty in relationships which thereby cultivates intimacy. Managing our anxiety also gives us the tools through which we can cultivate healthy communication with others who have also learned to manage their anxiety – making overall better relationships….period!

 

Need support in identifying and managing your anxiety? Call Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to schedule an appointment.

Or check out our upcoming e-course, Happily Ever After – from Co-dependency to the Fulfillment of Love which explores all the reasons relationships fail and provides tools through which healthier intimacy can be attained.

 

 

Posted in grief, mental illness

Mental Health Week – Wrap Up

First of all, a huge THANK YOU to all who have contributed to Mental Health Week(s), through their article contributions and participation in discussions!  I am sure the discussion is not over and submissions on this topic are always welcome!  I am humbled to have been given this opportunity to provide education and support for individuals who are suffering with mental illness and their families, as well as helping the general population to gain a better understanding of these conditions.  Today’s blog provides a few final words on support and will direct you to some great resources in support of those with mental illness.

Advocate  Advocate  Advocate

The biggest lesson I have learned in the treatment of mental illness is the importance of advocacy.  In particular, we are called to be our own advocate – and if we cannot, our family members are called to be one on our behalf.  If we want effective treatment and relief of the symptoms of mental illness, these are the things we need to do, and our family members with us:

  • EDUCATION – We need to learn EVERYTHING we can about the symptoms we are experiencing and if a diagnosis has been offered, we need to learn about our diagnosed condition.  Learn about the disease, how it works, the symptoms, how to recognize when we might be in danger (to ourselves or others), what are the prescribed treatments for the disease and what additional supports might be helpful.  LEARN.  READ.  ASK QUESTIONS.  SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
  • MEDICATION – If medication is prescribed to treat our condition, we need to learn everything we can about the medication.  Ask your doctor.  Look it up on the internet.  READ the pamphlets your doctor gives you.  How does the medication work?   What are the possible side-effects?  How do we recognize when it is, or is not working?  What are the symptoms that might arise to tell us that the medication is not the best for us, or that it is no longer working?  When is it appropriate to cease medication?  What does withdrawal look like? What are the counterindications of the medications or possible negative drug interactions?
  • GRIEF When we receive ANY medical diagnosis, there is grief.  This is especially true in the case of mental illness.  Learn about grief and how to process grief.  Seek the help of a grief counselor or Spiritual Director in helping you move through the grieving process.  Allow yourself to grieve, it will prove to be invaluable to your healing.
  • WHOLISTIC Supports NAMI reminds us that the greatest success in relief and recovery of symptoms of mental illness come out of an integrated approach.  Seek supports.  Research which forms of support might be helpful to your condition:  diet, exercise, nutrition, mindfulness practices, energy work, creative endeavors, counseling, therapy, support groups, service, etc. etc. etc.
  • NAMI – Check out the NAMI website for your closest NAMI chapter.  NAMI provides education and support for those suffering with mental illness, along with their families.

My Favorite Books

As a final source of support, I wanted to share with you, three of my favorite books on the topic of mental illness:

Hidden Victims, Hidden Healers by Julie Tallard Johnson.  In this book, Julie provides an 8-step process of healing for family members of those with mental illness.

Waking the Tiger by Peter A. Levine.  In this book, Peter describes trauma and its chemical effect on the body, especially the brain.  (trauma is often at the root of symptoms consistent with mental illness).  He then provides practical tools for the release and healing of trauma.

The Instinct to Heal by David Servan-Schreiber.  Servan-Schreiber provides information on seven natural therapies that have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

Thank you for your participation in Mental Health Week(s).  And if you have articles to submit, I am always happy to share them on this blog.  Keep ’em coming. 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com