This is the email Simon sent me after our final session and it may be encouraging for those who find that relief from debilitating anxiety can take a little time. That the right kind of effort is rewarding, not least from what you discover about yourself that will always thereafter stand you in good stead.
Many thanks once again for your guidance over the past few months; it’s quite astonishing, what one can achieve when you put your mind to things – albeit with a little help! And despite the ups and downs, somewhere really deep down I always felt that I was on the right path. Having now reached a certain peace of mind, it is a little easier to reflect on a few things. One very important thing that I have learnt and continue to learn is the importance to be really kind, compassionate, and loving to oneself (and for that matter, to others). For me it has been KEY to getting back on the right path!I realised that harsh judgement and self-criticism had completely obscured reality, and had huge influences on my confidence and self-esteem! This in turn created ‘the fear,’ that as we know can become so overwhelming! For me it had started to contaminate many parts of my life, and had led to long lasting depressive and anxious states; but in particular, the fear’ had destroy trust and confidence in my ability to engage in a loving relationship (which was so important to me).For me the rehabilitation process required time and effort, as old habits die hard! Those old familiar, deep rooted negative, destructive thoughts had to be gradually and methodically ground down. Being able to spot them and recognise them for ‘what they really were’ (i.e. just thoughts) was an essential part of alleviating some of the suffering, and getting back on track.I still find myself being overly judgemental and self critical at times (as I say old habits die hard) but I have learnt to become more astute at recognising when this occurs. I have also learnt to be more able to ‘disconnect’ from negativity, by being mindful, remaining in the present moment, and using meditation as a tool to steady the mind. This has stood me in good stead so far, and allowed me to really see ‘fear’ for what it is. It has also taught me to be more accepting of ‘how things are’ in life, and not to fight back negative emotions, with ‘shoulds’ ‘coulds’ and ‘what if’s.’I really feel I am now in a position to continue and build on what I have learnt for the future.