Overcoming Crippling Anxiety

Crippling anxiety is when you can’t go to the bathroom for hours because you are paralyzed by overwhelm. I was completely shut down. The thought of getting out of bed to go to the bathroom, take my contacts out, and take my medicine was exhausting. I surrendered and stayed in bed. I even nodded off. I woke up with pain in my bladder because I really had to go. I reached out to my mom and friend for support. My husband stayed by my side.

What ultimately helped? I Googled paralyzingly anxiety and not being able to go to the bathroom and couldn’t find anything. So what actually worked for me? My friend suggested I trace back to the original trigger. I knew what that was and followed it forward to see what might still be lingering. Once I opened up that awareness I was able to budge. I got up and used the bathroom, finally!

It was then that what was really bothering me surfaced. I sobbed and let out the pain. What my therapist had helped me realize is the need for self-compassion. I comforted the baby me who was abandoned by my parents. I validated and comforted the adult me who did not feel accepted fully by another parent. I cried over feelings of loss and longing. It was quite cathartic. Nothing external changed and I will probably always struggle with this person in my life, but I rode the wave of emotions. I am (relatively) back to baseline. That’s success. It’s not about not feeling pain. It’s actually about honoring the pain and moving through it when it comes.