I first called Life Strategies because I noticed that I was beginning to repeat negative behaviors from former relationships in my current one. During our first session, Vanessa and I discussed my history and she asked me if I had heard of anxiety disorders (I hadn’t). We talked about what that meant, and we decided on an appropriate course of action.
We began exploring some of the reasons I had anxiety, and as importantly, ways that I could learn to cope with it. We talked about things that worked and things that didn’t; about places I had succeeded and places I had failed; and about good stuff too. Funny stuff, happy stuff, things that made me cry and then laugh at my tears. Through it all, Vanessa was steadfast. A constant source of understanding, wisdom and an amazingly perfected “go-on” nod. She guided me to discover ways to strengthen weak areas in my life, and taught me to discover areas of strength I had never known I possessed.
As the end of my time with Vanessa approached, we turned our attention towards the future. She gave me homework–books to read, things to think about–in preparation for my moving to a new country. She spoke candidly and kindly about my relationships and my own thought patterns about changes–both in dealing with them and in making them.
I sometimes dreaded my Tuesday afternoon appointments, trying to find excuses not to go, thinking of ways to talk myself out of going, but I always went. I knew it would be hard–excruciating, sometimes–and it would hurt. But after every appointment, and in the days that followed, I found myself clearer-headed, more aware of myself and my feelings, and more in the moment. Able to focus on the important things, instead of the worrisome things. My time spent with Vanessa was tough, rewarding, and has not only helped me to grow, but has taught me how to continue growing.
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” –General John Stark