Finding Love: Anna’s Journey from Social Anxiety to Empowerment


Dealing with anxiety is something that is very real, very present and really annoying for most of us at one point or another. Right now, with elections around the corner and dire but mixed messages about the economy, anxiety is a lot more real, and a lot more present for some of us.

So I thought that I might talk a bit about some of the anxiety I’ve helped people though along with the outcomes that those people have had.

Strangely enough, with the caveat that people have to be willing to change some of the things they are doing, it’s even one of the easier things to beat.

By way of example there is this lady, who I’ll call Anna, who initially was quite outgoing etc. She lost her house and her job during the big Christchurch quake and spent the next couple of years arguing with the insurance company.

Anyway, during the course of all this she found herself withdrawing from society. It took her a while to notice but she lost interest in all the things that she loved to do with other people. She found herself making excuses as to why she didn’t need to go outside, find new work, join social activities. Eventually, to her horror, she realised that she didn’t even recognise herself anymore.

She couldn’t point to any ‘one thing’ in her life beyond the earthquake but it just seemed like ‘every thing’ was somehow slightly nerve-wracking, or difficult, or too tiring.

Eventually she got in touch with me because I work online. I wish I could say that it was due to referrals but she wasn’t really interacting with the outside world at that point. We arranged a single session, the thought of committing to more than that was too much for her, although, in the end we did two sessions.

We didn’t speak too much about her experiences, instead I reminded her of who she was. We woke up long slumbering parts of her, allowed some bad habits to dissolve and taught her to take advantage of her own forgotten resilience. In all, I think we took around three hours over two weeks.

When she contacted me again a month later she was talking about the yoga classes she was taking, a role-playing group she had joined and how she had updated her CV and was actively looking for work with some interested nibbles from potential employers.

As always, look after yourselves out there but remember that I’m fairly approachable if you would like some help.

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