Affording myself kindness, patience, and understanding.

“Michael, why can’t you show yourself the same kindness, patience, and understanding you would afford someone else experiencing Anxiety or a panic attack?”

Zing! Lesson number one of three from yesterday’s visit with my therapist.

A lump started growing in my throat. I was almost ready to start sobbing.


My therapist looked at me with a facial expression conveying, “That was not a rhetorical question.”

Me with a cracking voice, “Because I want to present the best me possible.”

“In those moments, Michael, maybe that is your best!”

More silence as I tried to both wrap my head around the lesson while trying to wiggle myself out and still expect more.

The immediately following conversation is hazy to me. All I can say is that she talked about how I process things intellectually, physically, and emotionally.

And my answers were well thought out in the intellectual and physical sense. But emotionally, I had to be okay with not always winning against Anxiety … in private and in public.

Intellectually, I would say that there’s a certain integrity I need to afford myself — affording yourself “integrity” seems like the wrong word since it’s usually a presented as a responsibility. But what I mean is that I need to find a way to show integrity and congruence: If I believe certain things are true and acceptable for others who suffer from Anxiety, I have to find ways to do so for myself.

This … this is going to take a lot of thought and feeling.

Stay tuned — on this and the other two lessons.