Today I was joined by my friend Monique Koven to discuss the concept of feeling safe and secure.  Many victims of past trauma or abuse find that anxiety recovery is made more difficult because they are unable to ever feel safe or secure.  This is understandable, and it absolutely adds a wrinkle to the recovery process that must be addressed for these people.

While your past experiences may have taught you that were not safe or secure, this does not mean that you are doomed to forever feel vulnerable in your life.  Abuse and abandonment may have left you with nobody to turn to for support when you needed it.  You may have taken those situations and carried them forward to conclude that you are always vulnerable and never on secure footing.  You may find it difficult to ever really feel safe.

This is quite common and also quite understandable given past experiences.  It can also get in the way of recovery from an anxiety disorder, where intentionally allowing uncomfortable or scary sensations to “get you” is the name of the game.  During recovery we are always trying to learn through experience that you can be uncomfortable and afraid while still being perfectly safe.

For the person wrestling with an inability to ever feel safe or secure, acknowledging why this happens is important. From there, it becomes important to understand and accept that just knowing and validating is rarely enough to remedy the situation.  There are concrete steps – actions – you can take to teach yourself that the world is not inherently dangerous, that you are capable of feeling safe even on your own, and that it is possible to build nurturing relationships that provide the support you need at at times.  Even in the case of trauma recovery, the solution is found in doing more than thinking, feeling, or talking.  All are important, but it is especially important to accept that having repeated experiences with no behavior patterns and progressively positive outcomes is a vital part of the process.  Sitting and hoping to feel safe won’t work until you resolve to teach yourself that past experiences notwithstanding, you are safe, secure, and capable at all times.

Thank you as always to my friend Monique for taking the time to share her knowledge and experience with us.  You can find Monique online at https://cptsdcoach.com or on Instagram and Facebook as “cptsdcoach”.

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Founder and host of The Anxious Truth podcast. Graduate student and therapist-in-training. Author and educator on the topic of anxiety disorders and anxiety recovery. Former anxious and depressed person.