Because I said No! (trigger warning)
So, we all talk about anxiety....but when do we actually look deep into it and say look I'm done. So let's start about me. My anxiety has also been, like most from triggers. We all have them, but sometimes we don't have a clue what they are.
I remember about 10 years ago I was working in a stressful job and I started to get panic attacks in work. I couldn't believe what was happening and I had absolutely no control over it. So I went to my doctor and she referred me to counselling. I loved my job and I didn't want this anxiety to affect it.
After a few sessions of counselling I was asked did I want to do sessions with another therapist about triggers. This word was a first for me. I had no clue what they were so I said okay let's try it out. I remember they were 1 to 1 sessions and the first day she gave me diary sheets. She asked me to write in these each time I felt anxious and to do it for a week.
I did it and after a week we looked at the sheet together. I had written down the times and the circumstances and who was there etc. What I learnt as the weeks went on was that my triggers were very clear to me. I wasn't getting anxious for no reason. There were actual situations that made me feel anxious.
The next step was to see if I could avoid these situations and hopefully these panic attacks would ease. Unfortunately for me, these weren't situations but they were people. I have always found it very difficult to comprehend how people can be so cruel, hurtful and narcissistic. I could never understand it and unfortunately I would try and help. Little did I know that some people were very comfortable being like that.
It was actually a turning point in my life finding out what made me anxious. I always thought I was a very confident person. I could do whatever task was asked of me whatever it was. I could go anywhere and try anything. But how do you stop being anxious if people are the issue? Do you hide? Because that's not practical. Do you stop trying to help people even though you think there is good in them?
This is something that I have struggled with my whole life. Understanding how people are so intentionally hurtful and cruel and unfortunately I have always seemed to align myself with that type of person. So I could help them.
Around 3 years ago this situation of being to nice exhausted me. I had come to a point where I had literally allowed every person around me take advantage of me and continue to do so. So I decided to say no! I'm not doing this anymore. It's not so bad to be selfish and look after how I feel instead of how others feel. So I started to step away.
This meant relationships, friendships and family members. If anyone made me feel anxious, upset or lacking in self worth, they needed to go. Now I don't mean the odd thing here or there I mean if someone was persistently hurting me without reason only because I was being nice.
It's taken me a few years t completely walk away and it's hard. Others don't like it. They have been used to taking advantage because I allowed it and now Tara says no? So let me tell you, you will get a backlash of some sort. That's expected. It's like you are pulling the rug from under them without any warning and hey look now you are also changing and you look happier. They aren't used to it. So don't blame them and try (god I found this hard) to not react to their anger or discomfort about it.
I had this nature because I grew up wondering why I wasn't loved by people that were meant to love me unconditionally. I unknowns to myself tried to find love from any (I mean any) person who I thought might have the understanding to do so. It always failed. Why? Because I didn't love myself. I had no respect for looking after myself first.
Now? I say no and walk away from anyone that is only in my space to hurt me and you know what? It was such a scary thing to do at the start, but now, I can go by my day with far more calm.....and happiness that I never felt before. If they feel entitled to be in my life when I don't feel like it's for any positive reason...then I say No!
In the words of Oprah. What I know for sure is my happiness means that I can live a life that I deserve and that my kids will thank me for. Because to me, that is all that matters.