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Old 09-21-2004, 10:41 PM
kim kim is offline
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Default separation anxiety

Dr. Joe I am conerned about an emotioal battle I have been fighting for years. I am self diagnosed with separation anxiety. My husband is on a 6 wk trip for his job and the stress for me is very difficult to handle. As a small child (age 7) my father was in a fatal car accident. When I was 20 my husband was struck by a car and suffered severe head trauma and did not make a full recovery (he was never the same). Five years later we were blessed with twin daughters. One year after I gave birth we divorced and 3 years later I remarried(my current husband). Unfortunately he suffers from my past experiences. I need you advice on how to handle a normal relationship and trust that when one of my family members leave for an hour or a day that it is o.k. Please feed back Kim
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:48 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
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Once a foundation of insecurity is established, the mind begins to spin fictions of fear, doubt, danger and chaos. Whatís happening is that your fantasies (that you canít handle being alone or separate from family) are beginning to become a form of auto-suggestion and, in a sense, youíre hypnotizing himself into being fearful (i.e., ìI canít handle this alone.î). Obviously, this quickly becomes a habit as confidence erodes and is replaced by distrust and insecurity. Try to understand that thereís always a choice.

In my book The Power of Self-Coaching, I have a technique call Self-Talk. One of the important steps in learning Self-Talk is learning how to separate facts from fictions. Insecurity has clouded your thinking with fiction, i.e., that you canít be alone; that you need your husband near you, and so on. These are expressions of insecurity, distrust, and loss of confidence. And these are all habits.

Minimize, donít maximize your anxiety-- I find it imperative that you begin to see your problems as habits and nothing more. Most people have too much respect for anxiety. What I mean by this is that they feel they have this terrible condition or illness. They treat anxiety as if it were an ìit.î According to Self-Coaching, it, anxiety, doesnít exist! What we call anxiety is an array of symptoms that you generate by allowing yourself to be victimized by Reflexive Thinking. You donít get anxiety, you generate it! Think of it this way. Make a fist. Look at your fist. Now open your hand. What happened to your fist? Anxiety is like a fist, it really doesnít exist, not if you learn to let it go. When I say it doesnít exist, I donít mean to imply that youíre not suffering with diverse symptoms that we commonly refer to as anxiety symptoms, what Iím saying is that once you stop treating anxiety as an illness and start treating it as a habit, youíll finally be in an empowered position to make the shift from impotence to potency. Bottom line: Self-Coaching insists that anxiety isnít your problem, feeding it is.

Please read my articles in the Self-Coaching Philosophy and Anxiety section in this website. And remember, habits are learned and habits can be broken. All habits. With an understanding of exactly whatís going on youíll be in a position to start living your life more courageously. Just remind yourself, the only reason you think you need your husband nearby is because you refuse (for now) to realize that everything you need you already possess. You need to learn to trust it.

Yours truly,
Dr. Joe
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