Someone recently asked me to describe why and how anxiety causes irritability, frustration, and anger. What came to mind immediately was the idea of carrying around something heavy with both your hands all day, like a kettlebell.
To me, that would be an almost impossible task, plus it would be really painful. Carrying this around all day would make it very hard for me to accomplish anything else. Anxiety is like a kettlebell and it takes a lot of energy to carry something like that all day. It will make you tired, It’ll make you frustrated, and It’ll make you angry.
All these things happen because we’re too busy trying to cope with anxiety, and we don’t even realize it. So instead, we carry it around and struggle to catch all the other things that come our way. Instead, if we can, we have to stop, bend over, pick up the item we couldn’t catch, ultimately exerting more energy to pick them up.
Imagine how hard and painful living life like this would be! I think that’s one big reason. It’s important that we figure out we have anxiety. If we don’t figure out that we have it, we don’t know we’re carrying around a kettlebell all day.
But how do we know we’re doing something that we don’t even know that we’re doing? This is one reason therapy can be helpful. A good therapist is trained to walk through the pain and confusion with you and to identify what’s going on. We all have underlying behaviors and patterns to which we are oblivious. Many of us have fears, pain, and trauma that are so ingrained and so internalized we don’t even realize there is a different way to live. So we instead go about the day, pretty much unaware. I have many people come to therapy and say, “I just don’t feel right. I thought I was okay with where I was and what I was doing, but now I’m realizing something’s wrong.”
As a therapist, personally, it’s my job to say okay, I get that. I understand that you’re in a confused, and possibly unhappy, place right now, which is incredibly frustrating. Yet, as a team, I think we can work together to figure out what’s going on, how to best help you process the issues and work through them.
I want to point out, therapy isn’t a miracle cure , and only works as hard as you work. The more you do outside of therapy and apply it to your life; The more you are likely to see positive progress.
I have a lot of clients that I’ve seen quick, positive progressions. I can attribute that progress to the work they do outside of meeting with me.
That being said, I understand that it’s really hard sometimes to put that work into action because life can be overbearing sometimes. So I don’t judge another person for not being able to apply the work to their lives all the time. This just means therapy might take longer.
So from my perspective, anxiety, it’s like a kettlebell, something really heavy that you carry with both of your hands, leaving you bound. You shouldn’t have to live that way, but I think a lot of us do, and it’s super frustrating. Which is why I think finding a good therapist is important.
I know the cost of health care and mental health can be astronomical. It can be overwhelming and sometimes it is just easier to not deal with the prospect of finding someone. But there are a lot of us that work on sliding scales these days. For example, I had someone told me the other day the lowest they’ve worked for is twenty-five cents. There are many therapists willing to help, but we don’t know you want/need help until you come to us. So if you’re ready, willing, and able, I really hope you find someone who you can work with, and can afford.
Mental health and shouldn’t be something that is a luxury. Just like physical health. We should all be able to access and you know even if the system is broken, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways around some of the bigger barriers to getting help. So don’t let anxiety be your kettlebell.