How does your anxiety define what you experience?

It is Wednesday.  Again it is Group.  

There has been a fortnight break since the last.  

I notice the dread arising in me as I drive towards the city.  

I would happily not attend. 

In the dark of the winter’s night, I am propelled forward.  

I step inside the room, I notice my heart racing.  

Small talk and niceties past, group begins.  

As others speak, the limelight is not on me, yet my heart continues to pound.  

Someone notices my discomfort.  I am asked if I would like to contribute.  

Wondering inside if I sound like an idiot, I share a little piece of my life.  

Others respond.  

I feel judged and fearful of their sharing.  

A silent rupture in relationship occurs.  I feel lost and isolated in my experience.  

Anxiety reigns. 

Others re-clarify their response and I realize that my own anxiety, defined what I had heard.

Their anger was not my father’s, projected at a small child.

It was their own experience.

That is theirs, and this is mine.

That was then, this is now.

I am safe.

The anxiety lessens.  

My body softens.  

The Group ends.  

Once more, I am meeting my anxiety.

Reflection: “How does your anxiety define what you experience?”  “How do you understand that pattern has come to be in your life?”

(Sarah Sacks is a trained group psychotherapist and avid believer in the potency of Group Therapy)

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Sarah Sacks

Sarah is a qualified and experienced counsellor, meditation teacher and group facilitator. Sarah's years of body based based practices, in meditation and yoga, have led Sarah to believe in the inherent wisdom of the body. In line with this belief, Sarah has trained and qualified as a Whole Body Focusing Orientated Therapist, Transpersonal Counsellor, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher and Group Psychotherapy Facilitation. Over the last 5 years Sarah has worked in the not-for-profit sector, the community health sector and privately, as a generalist counsellor and group facilitator. Sarah has experience working with children, families and adults around issues of; isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, anger, separation, addiction and general mental health. Sarah's warm and intuitive counselling style, along with her extensive life experience, enables Sarah to gently support her clients towards their own path of change. Qualifications - Bachelor of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Transpersonal Counselling, Bachelor of Business (International Marketing & Trade), Diploma of Arts (Japanese), ACA (level 2), qualifying member for CAPAV