Hi everyone. Throughout the month of March, and by special request, I’ll be talking about anxiety – the different types of anxiety, how you can manage it, the role of psychotherapy and medications, etc. Because we ALL experience anxiety at some point in our life to varying degrees, and because one of the hardest things about anxiety is being vulnerable with others, I decided to start off the month with a bang! I’ve decided to be vulnerable with you about the anxiety I’ve recently been experiencing and what I’ve been learning from it. After all, I can’t expect my clients to face their fears if I’m not willing to!
Here it goes (deep breath)!
As you may know, I’ve recently opened my private practice (Legacy Counseling Service), which has been something I have dreamed of since my early days of graduate school 14 years ago. Prior to this, I worked as a psychologist for 8 years at the VA in Tampa, FL. Now this job had stress and anxiety, but there was stability and certainty. Now that I’m self-employed, I find myself wearing multiple business hats that I’ve never worn before, and that is causing me to feel anxious! When I’m wearing these business hats, or sometimes when I just think about putting these hats on, I’ve noticed my mind telling me all kinds of things: “you shouldn’t have left the VA,” “it’s too hard,” “it’s not working,” “you don’t know what you’re doing,” “people will judge you,” “I’m not providing for my family,” “what if I fail,” and the list goes on and on and on. These anxious thoughts keep me up at night and I have more restless nights than I ever have. I escape the worry and anxiety by playing with my kids, delving into a book or the TV, or procrastinating and spending too much time on Facebook.
You can probably relate to some, or all, of the things my mind is telling me. The truth is, we are ALL in this same mess together. We all have fears, insecurities, sadness, loneliness, etc.…it’s just that some find the courage to admit it while others have not yet found that courage.
Along this journey of starting my practice, I’ve been paying attention to what my mind is telling me and I’m trying to learn from it. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: 1) there is power in support, 2) there is power in focus, 3) there is power in letting go and trusting God, 4) there is power in “just doing” even though it’s not perfection or you’re still learning, 5) there is power in waiting, and 6) there is power in perspective.
So, here I am. Doing what I ask my clients to do: sharing my vulnerabilities, branching out on this new path to follow a dream, being worried but doing it anyway, and practicing trusting God with the small moments of my new “job” and just continuing to work my dream, work my dream, work my dream.
Stay tuned for my next few blog posts and I’ll share more about these areas I’ve been learning about support, focus, and letting go, as well as “just doing,” “waiting,” and “perspective”. In the meantime, if you want to chat about any concerns and talk about whether counseling would be helpful to you, give me a call at 539-777-1129 or email me at Dr.Leedy@Legacycounselingservice.com
(Whew…glad that’s over…now I can breathe again!)
Dr. Leedy is a clinical psychologist in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. She serves clients in the Tulsa area and surrounding communities via face-to-face and online counseling. She specializes in help people improve their lives as they adjust to chronic pain, illnesses, insomnia, depression and anxiety.