You know how some people have one defining personality characteristic? Like Jane in Accounts who is obsessed with her cat, Mittens, or Brian from the gym who only ever speaks about the new diet he is on where he has to eat a raw egg every 29 seconds. It's like that, but my thing is anxiety. He could no longer withstand any amount of physical activity without experiencing a massive amount of anxiety and an increase in digestive issues he had for many years. It got to the point where Jeffrey couldn't really function in a meaningful way. The Treatment Despite the fact that Jeffrey was fifty years old when I met him, I had to teach him the basics of relationships and boundaries. Before we began bodywork, it was imperative that Jeffrey and I establish a sense of trust and safety. To do this, I did a lot of education about boundaries, healthy relationships, and the importance of Jeffrey being his own advocate and taking charge of his medical decisions moving forward. I made it clear that I would be a sounding board in this process. As we discussed these issues, I would ask Jeffrey what he noticed in his body and where he could feel emotion or sensation cropping up. Jeffrey couldn't feel a thing. The only thing he could feel was the pain the cancer had left behind. Thank you, but I appreciate the opportunity to serve you. When a king begins to act like a king, it is not long before someone else is king! Serving is a way we can place value on one another. A wise man is a server. As they walked into the great hall, Michael pointed to the throne. May I touch it? Certainly, Solomon replied.

Sit in it if you wish. It is only a chair. Michael touched it carefully and eased himself onto the throne. The super awesome fun thing about having anxiety is it's bloody hard to talk about it with any other human being because talking about yourself makes you anxious. But when I was diagnosed I started reading blogs and articles from people who seemed a lot more in tune with their anxiety. Their words and the sense of control they seemed to have over their disorder gave me hope, so I began writing too. Most of it I didn't post, because most of it was the drunken ramblings of a moron, but it started to help. A year after my diagnosis I found that talking and reading; They put my condition into perspective, and gave it parameters I could understand and fight against. Anxiety is a completely individualistic disorder: my experience will be different from yours, and yours will be different from the next person's, and so on. But even if we are all fighting our own unique battles, we can fight them together. We can normalise a condition that is still seen by many as a weakness, or a character flaw. Through conversation and education we can help ourselves and help others, because we are, quite frankly, fecking brilliant. And every time he felt the pain, his mind went directly to the worst-case scenario and his digestive issues got worse. Once Jeffrey and I discussed the reasons why fear is nothing more than a projection of a story, it was time to shift that understanding into his body through a felt sense of safety. This process began with me letting Jeffrey know that I heard him. I heard and understood where he was coming from and why he felt the way that he did. I came to understand that Jeffrey's inability to feel his body was a result of fear. Fear that any feeling meant that he was sick again or that he was going to get worse. Anything that he did manage to feel in his body resulted in a sense of complete overwhelm and a surge of anxiety.

Through touchwork, I was able to help Jeffrey move back into his body. I began by helping him build up a sense of safety. We used different interventions, including breathwork. With a grin, he said, I feel very small sitting here. Solomon chuckled. Then added seriously, The responsibility that comes with leadership is humbling. When I sit there, I am grateful for the lessons of my father. He has been dead now for many years, but his lessons still guide me. Michael remembered his own father in the hospital. What lessons has he tried to teach me? I hear him, but do I listen? Solomon interrupted his thoughts. It is time for us to part, my friend, he said, handing him the scroll. A theme I noticed in a lot of articles on anxiety and mental health is that the writer will fall into the cliche of misery memoir'. <a href=''>It</a> can be just 80,000 words about how bad they have it and then, wait, OK, everything is fine now. <a href=''>I</a> want to avoid that. <a href=''>You</a> don't want to know about me, I am boring. <a href=''>I</a> put my Totoro2 onesie on one leg at a time just like everyone else. <a href=''>I</a> do, however, need to explain why I am writing this, and to give my condition a bit of context, so we will cram that into a different couple of articles and we will never speak of it again. <a href=''>In</a> the following nonsensical ramblings that have been collectively labelled aarticle', you'll find examples of my own experiences with anxiety, some fairly badly written metaphors, investigations and analyses, interviews with other people who suffer with anxiety and their unique experiences with the disorder, long sciencey words to make me sound clever and fairly terrible attempts at humour, because levity is the .

To put it simply, let's find out how to survive anxiety, and let's kick its arse together. THE CLICHED INTRO The human brain can do anything. I physically held the place on his body that hurt while he breathed into that space. We got to the point where Jeffrey was able to help regulate his nervous system by engaging in diaphragmatic breath, which is very effective in managing and decreasing stress and anxiety. We also discovered that the sensation of heat made Jeffrey feel safe, so we began to work with that. I placed heating pads on Jeffrey's stomach, neck, or wherever he was feeling pain. The heat allowed him to experience the pain in what he interpreted as a safe way and, also, put him in a position to specifically identify and put a voice to where his pain was. Interestingly, Jeffrey was a successful businessman and had no problem trusting his gut or speaking up in that realm of his life. I used business scenarios to get Jeffrey to drop into his body and notice what it felt like when something was right or wrong. Over time, he learned to translate those same feelings and subsequent actions and reactions to his personal life. I also guided Jeffrey through the process of taking charge of his own health and wellness. Jeffrey began seeing a naturopath I referred him to and, after a while, when physical issues came up, I suggested that Jeffrey take that issue to the naturopath. I hope that our time together will bring more understanding to your life's journey. I can do nothing to help your struggles and would not if I were able. Battle the challenges of your present, and you will unlock the prizes of your future. Thank you, Your Majesty, Michael answered. Of course, Solomon replied. He smiled and bowed slightly. It has been an honor to assist you.

Michael watched King Solomon until he disappeared through a doorway flanked by guards at the opposite end of the room. Slowly, he slid back onto the throne and smoothed the king's words onto his lap. The Second Decision for Success It can compose symphonies, theorise on the vast absurdity of the cosmos, create artwork that can make grown humans cry. It can love, it can make connections with other human beings that can define your entire existence, it can relay experiences to others in prose and poetry. It can invent, innovate and pioneer. It's really quite incredible. But when I talk to my anxious brain about this, it's less than reasonable: Anxious brain: Let's have anxiety! <a href=''>Me:</a>But, but the other things? Anxious brain: `You heard me. You know that trope in movies where an angel and a devil appear on the protagonist's shoulders? Now imagine that, but it's just a boring, annoying, tiny version of yourself that appears on your shoulder to tell you everything that you're doing wrong with your life and revels in over-analysing everything you do. I also recommended that Jeffrey contribute his own opinions about what he did and did not want to do when consulting with the doctor. When Jeffrey's pain kicked up, I had him call his friend, Jack, who felt safe. During these times, Jack came over to Jeffrey's house with his dog, and Jeffrey touched the dog with his hands and feet. This was particularly effective because of Jeffrey's neuropathy. It gave him a sense of being able to use his hands and feet in a tactile way that felt comfortable. These multiple practices gave Jeffrey a new way to begin building a safe container within himself and to establish a sense of responsibility for his own care. He learned to trust his own experience to gain an understanding of what felt right and wrong for him.