Why is it scary to be still?
This was what the OT asked my son during his assessment yesterday and it struck the very core of me. THIS is the question that lay behind my own healing journey from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Why did I need to push, do, achieve, succeed always? Why did I always have to be on the go? What was I scared about?
No amount of supplements and diets to heal the physical imbalance and depletion in my body was going to answer that question. The answer was the very root of my chronic exhaustion and lay within my emotions and my psychology.
The answer was – I was scared of feeling. I was scared of feeling scared. I was scared of feeling powerless. I was scared of feeling alone. I was scared of feeling overwhelmed and I was mostly scared of ever having to feel like the scared, powerless, alone, overwhelmed child I had once been (which many of us have been at some point in our lives). So I moved. I did. I strived. I performed. I shaped myself and lost touch with who I really was so I would not have to feel. This ultimately made me ill.
My best friend used to call me Tigger. This was because I apparently had so much energy and bounced everywhere. That would have been good if it was from a healthy place. It mostly wasn’t. Like my son, my need to move and be on the go was because I didn’t want to sit still with the uncertainty and confusion and reality of the world around me.
In fact, many times where chronic fatigue is at play that energy is not healthy energy. It can be the wired feeling that happens when cortisol and adrenaline are out of balance and coursing through the bloodstream because the nervous system is out of whack. It can be the experience of constantly being in fight and flight because that pattern has become hard-wired into the brain and body. And it can be because being still is scary.
And why would that be? Because deep down we don’t feel safe enough to just be still and feel. We have not been taught that it is safe and normal to feel fear and anger. We have not been shown how to manage our fear and anger and we remember well that when we did show fear and anger it often didn’t end well – punishment, criticism, abandonment, disconnection or something else may have happened because those around us also did not know how to be with those emotions and often modelled that it was better to disconnect or keep moving.
This pandemic has really impacted all of us and especially our children. I am seeing it big time with my children. It triggers me. I want to get moving and run and hide like I always used to do. Sometimes these days I do. But mostly I am sitting with my feelings and letting them be there in a way that feels safe and I’m constantly bringing myself back to being grounded, connected and safe. I am reaching out for support and receiving what I am given. These practices are what I have learned over the last 7/8 years and at times I still want to resort to my default. But they are what have saved me and what enable me to hold a space for my son when he bounces off the walls because he is scared or feels powerless.
To say these practices have been life-changing is an under-statement. More like life-saving. I am deeply grateful for the darkness I walked through to learn what I have learned. That is why I feel so strongly about sharing all of this through my Fatigue to Flow coaching and via the Facebook group.
If you want to explore this more then sign up for a complimentary discovery session and I can help you see how the Holding Personality shows up in your and how to tell when you’re no longer in a physical and emotional state that will enable you to heal.