Uncovering Anxiety

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32

Fran came to see me because she had an anxiety attack and had felt very anxious for the past week. Anxiety nearly always comes from a fear of finding out the truth about one’s own unconscious thoughts, feelings, and motives. As Fran’s therapist, I asked about the significant people in her life. She had normal responses until I mentioned her mother whom Fran was going to visit the next week. Then Fran’s neck developed red blotches, her pupils dilated, her hands got sweaty, her arms crossed and her eyes looked away from me toward the floor. She denied any problems with her mom, but her body told me she was lying to herself. It turned out that her mother had always been very narcissistic, demanding, and conditionally accepting.

I finally convinced Fran that her coming vacation and her week of anxiety were no coincidence. She was bitter toward her mother and feared being aware of her rage. As Fran looked at the truth and wept, she knew she would have to learn to forgive her mother. She had to learn to protect herself from her mother’s abuse. Fran’s anxiety would take time to resolve, but looking at the truth was the beginning.

Thought:  Whenever I feel anxious, I will pray for insight into the truth inside myself, then seek the truth from friends or counselors God sends my way.