Have you ever felt like you can't take time to care for yourself because you're so busy caring for others? Do you feel it would be "selfish" to take time away from your responsibilities? Do you feel like no one else can accomplish the tasks at hand, or you don't trust others to care for your children as well as you do? Do you find that you can't rely on anyone and must do everything yourself? Are you wondering how to live a balanced life? Or are you feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed?
In life there are many opportunities to be unbalanced, and not all are bad. Consider the day when you got married to the love of your life, the day your child was born, the day you landed that dream career, graduated from college, or purchased your first car. Even things that bring us joy can also create unbalance in our life. Even when you think you've just gotten things figured out, something changes and you must make adjustments to those changes or remain unbalanced. Did you catch that? If you remain in a state of pre-decision, you will remain unbalanced.
What do I mean?
Well, everything that happens to us requires something from us. We see something happening that needs our attention...the baby is crying, the report card reflects an "F", our husband's stomach is growling, a full IN-TRAY at work; whatever it is, it's requiring something from us...a decision to take action. But, we must FIRST decide what to do before we do whatever it is. Often, when we are presented with a problem, something that requires our attention and we don't know what to do, we get "stuck" in a state of pre-decision making, and this can cause extreme levels of stress.
Let's say you find a text on your husband's phone from a woman and it mentions a rendezvous at the same time you recall your husband will be out of town on business. Wow. Now what? Your brain goes into hyper drive as the questions driven by fear begin to flood your senses:
Do you confront him?
What if he gets angry because I'm spying on him?
Should I continue checking his phone looking for more?
What if he denies it?
What if he admits that he's meeting another woman and he's been having an affair with her. What if he tells me he is leaving me for this other woman?
What will I do then?
We can get this "running in place" feeling where we're exhausted and going nowhere fast. We worry incessantly and still have no clear course of action because nothing seems to be a good solution. The realization of having no answers increases fear (fight of flight) and the feeling of being overwhelmed by constant worry. When you begin to realize how hopeless the situation is, you lay on your bed and pull the covers over your head as depression sets in. The more unanswered questions you have (worry), the more depressed you become because your attempts to find answers usually result in self-criticism, unrealistic expectations, guilt, shame, and doubt, "I must not be good enough for him," or "Look at me! Who could love this mess?"
In her book, "Intimate Deception" Dr. Sheri Keffer identifies this unbalanced living caused by infidelity and relationship lies as, "Intimate Deception Betrayal Trauma (IDBT)" and compares it with military levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, this research is fairly new and hasn't found its way to the medical professional who is unnecessarily prescribing psychotropic medications to address the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
This anxiety and depression flip-flop can be misdiagnosed as Generalized Anxiety, Depression, or Bipolar Disorder by a Medical Doctor who is not asking questions and you may end up on medication that will only worsen your situation.
At Encouragers we believe in medication assignments if they are warranted. But in today's "take a pill" solution for everything from weight loss to behavior modification for children, we would rather start with the least treatment of psychotherapy.
If you have or are experiencing unbalanced emotions and would like an assessment of your emotional needs, call Encouragers today.