Trying to Escape Anxiety

March 25th, 2014
How much of your day is taken up by the subject of anxiety?In my book I said that someone once said to me ‘Paul you will never get better until you stop trying to be better’. It is something I tell others and they ask me exactly what I mean by this.Well maybe your reading this page in the hope you will feel better. You may pop down your bookstore for the latest self help book, maybe this is the one, maybe this will make me feel better. What about reading a few of those internet affirmations, they seem to work for a few minutes, maybe I will take up exercise, go for a walk in the park, that may make me feel better or a new pill or vitamin, the new counsellor that may be the key. Maybe Google away today, find that page that makes me feel better. People can also turn to drugs, alcohol or food and again to make them feel different, never facing how they feel.

People also do this is real life, the new relationship then I’ll be happy, the new house, the new car, gadget, then things will be different, better.

People are always trying to be somewhere else, to feel different, but the anxiety sufferer takes it to a different level, their whole day and life seems to be trying to get somewhere else, to feel different, to think differently.

One day after years of doing this myself I realised where I was going wrong, it hit me like a brick, I had spent years trying to feel better and it did not work, those feelings kept coming back and there I was back on the same old hamster wheel.

So what am I trying to say here?

Well the way to over come anxiety is to stop trying to feel different, stop trying to get somewhere else. When you stop trying to control yourself, then you’re in control.

Whatever you try to get rid of always comes back and by constantly trying to rid yourself of a feeling you are feeding your respect for it, it becomes more of an enemy. My biggest mistake was that I was always trying to escape how I felt.

When you feel overwhelmed, anxious or any kind of negative emotion then for once experience it without trying to escape, fix or control it. Don’t label a feeling as good or bad, look at it with compassion, as something that is just part of you and your make up. Again don’t do this to try and make yourself feel better, as you are back in fix mode.

Some people say when they have a migraine the pain only lessons when they give into it, when they let it pound without stressing about it or trying to try and control or force the pain away. Well it is the same thing. The reason we find this so hard is because every instinct tells us to do the opposite, to make this better, to feel different, when the answer is to allow.

So do I say don’t take up exercise, read a book, take the odd vitamin, see a counsellor? No – as all these things helped me once I stopped using them as a tool to feel better.

So when you exercise or take a walk do it without an agenda, no doing it with the intent to make you feel better. Read a book to build up your knowledge, but don’t see it as the miracle cure that must work this time. See a counsellor to offload as it is great to find an ear, maybe she can make you see anxiety in a different light which will help.

The same goes with changing your diet, do it without an agenda. I have people ask me all the time questions like ‘Will herbal tea help with anxiety?’ what they mean is will it get rid of it. Whilst we stay on the ‘Get rid, feel different’ route we will always be stuck.

Go into anything with an open mind, if things improve then great, if not then fine. People though go to different counsellors, then the hypnotherapist, the CBT specialist, the lady who does acupuncture. They constantly swap and change because they are looking for someone to make it go away. I know as I was that person, I wasted thousands on so called cures, the people that promised to eliminate it, that’s what I wanted, not for one minute would I accept this as part of me. This is why people often Google, they are looking for something to make it go away, they are looking to feel different.

The day I stopped trying to figure it all out, stopped trying to fix or feel different was truly the day that things got better. I could finally accept there was nothing to escape, nothing to fix. By no longer trying to feel different I actually did. Oh I still felt crap at times, detached on occasions, but I just saw it as nonsense, part of my conditioned mind and let it be there.

I hope people can understand what I am trying to say here and that it helps in some way.

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

How to ease Anxiety

January 10th, 2014

Firstly a belated New Year to everyone and I hope 2014 brings you what you wish for. A quick side note as plenty of people have emailed about this. My app ‘Anxietynomore’ is now finally back in the app store after a technical problem that is now sorted out.

This post was posted on my Facebook page so many may have seen it, for those that have not then here it is.

I was at my local bookstore recently and saw plenty of titles about relaxation, this took me to thinking about certain websites that promote relaxation when feeling anxious.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with promoting relaxation, I swim, walk and run because I not only enjoy it, but also believe that exercise and the outdoors is a great stress buster, but in my days of suffering I always did this before I felt overwhelmed or overly anxious, not during, as during would have been attempting to control or rid.

I also used to be a searcher when I felt anxious, by this I mean I would search for ways to ease it, make it go away, my reaction to anxiety was, ‘This is bad so it must be fixed’ so each time in the future anxiety was seen as the enemy, the horrible thing that had ruined my life and must be eliminated. I would read book after book, search around the internet, look through the yellow pages for someone who could make this horrid thing go away, my life was consumed by finding the secret to making it go away.

But wait, Why did I always feel worse when I reacted to anxiety? Why did trying to find a way out make me fall deeper? This is because I was entering a cycle. I would feel a rush of anxiety either mentally or physically and fight to feel right instead of letting myself naturally come out of it. By trying to relax or talk your way out, you are trying to force something, you cannot force yourself to do anything, it’s like trying to force yourself to be happy, force yourself to sleep, you cannot.

I came across a website last week that said ’10 ways to cope with anxiety’ and then went on to list ways to keep it at bay. I am so against this approach, I only freed myself of anxiety when I allowed every aspect of anxiety to enter my life. I hid from none of it, no longer tried to keep it at bay, to talk my way out of it. To rid our self of emotions then we have to feel them, not suppress them, supressing them rarely works and just brings them back stronger another day.

Feeling anxious is testing, it is a pain in the backside at times, but if we lose the need to control it and let ourselves come out of it naturally we may find far more peace and no longer enter the cycle of constantly trying to find or force a way out.

Anxiety feeds on your dislike of it, which leads to suppression tactics and the constant search for answers, it feeds on your fear of it, which leads to you hiding away and letting it make decisions for you. Take it’s fuel away and allow it to be there without it dominating you and what you do. To recover from anxiety you truly don’t need anything, no 10 ways to cope, no mantras, no  safety behaviours. You just need to have faith that your fine with anxiety in your life. The only thing that changed with me was my attitude, there was no magic tablet or formula. I just stopped fighting myself, I stopped trying to escape my current state, I did things and trusted I would be fine, I had faith that time would heal me. Letting go of control actually gave me control. I got to the point where it did not matter how I felt and that was true acceptance.

Hope that helps in some way

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on Facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

Letting go of yourself and anxiety

November 28th, 2013

Before I start today’s post a lot of people have been emailing me asking why the app is no longer available. Well it is a fault on apples side and after numerous phone calls trying to sort it out they have promised to get it back up by next week.

O.K on to todays post which is entitled;

‘The battle with myself is over’

A lot of anxiety sufferers are in a constant battle with themselves, I was on a daily basis also. This battle can take many forms.

It can be;

Trying to figure out why they feel a certain way.

Trying to come across as normal

Trying not to think about anxiety

Trying to hold on to who they are

Trying to feel a certain way

Trying not to feel a certain way

Trying to think a different way

Trying to be somewhere else

Trying to use mantras they have learnt to help ease how they feel

The list goes on, but there is one key word there and that is the word ‘Trying’. That word is what causes the battle as they never accept their current state, it’s always about feeling different. This tires the already tired mind, this stops you engaging with the world around you, this adds pressure to feel a certain way. This keeps you stuck on the subject daily until you feel you can think of nothing else.

I also went through these daily rituals, each day was another battle to get through the best I could, to try and figure it all out, maybe today everything would just slot into place, maybe today I would wake up and it would be all over. Then one day after tiring my mind and body out it hit me that the only way to stop thinking and obsessing about it was to allow it. Not the half hearted attempts I had done before, but a full on allow.

Firstly I understood that allowing would not have me feeling great, forget that, that was the mistake I had made before, I had used it to feel better in the past. Also I wanted to move on from the subject, after years of thinking about it then it would not go over night, my attention would stay on me for a while but this was a long term thing. Last, but not least I had to let myself collapse fully, this meant let my thoughts think whatever, let my feelings go haywire, no more thinking I can accept that, but not that, no more trying to hold on, keep a grip on myself, I had to allow myself to fall in a hole, feel as yuck as needed without going back to old habits of trying to fix.

The statement that I wrote down at the time was ‘The fight to control my mind, my thoughts and my feelings is over’ and I meant it. I could no longer care if I felt good or bad, alert or distant, clear or foggy headed, anxious or not, a racing or still mind, nothing was off limits anymore. How could I worry if I had completely allowed? how could I try and fix if I had fully allowed? how could I keep going over and over things if I had fully allowed? This was a process and a lot of feelings surfaced stronger than ever as they were no longer suppressed or controlled and had the space and freedom for once to be felt and then to escape.

It’s the need to control, the instinct we are born with that kept me in the loop. It’s not always easy to stay calm and not get involved when your thoughts and feelings are racing around, but these feelings are not you, they are just surface feelings, an off shoot of anxiety and are totally harmless, they can only hold the respect you give them. They actually want to be left alone so they can go ahead and heal, they don’t need your constant worry and intervention, the best way to fix yourself is to stop trying to fix yourself.

Hope that helps in some way

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

How my battle with anxiety ended

November 7th, 2013
Hi Everyone, I am using Facebook as much as the blog to put info out so I will share any new posts on both, below is the latest Facebook post that hopefully will help. Apologies for the different font, it was how it came out after copying and pasting.
I just placed this statement on my twitter account as it was something I wrote down many years ago and it stayed with me for all these years and one I use in general life, which was; ‘Everything is at it is and things go how they go’
It was essential for me to develop this attitude years ago and it did become a built in attitude and not just words on a peace of paper. You cannot say something, but then not believe or mean it, as was the case with me at first. I would go into a situation with these words, but really I was saying ‘Everything is as it is and things go as they go, but please go well, let me feel O.K’ or I would use it thinking ‘I will feel great now with this statement’ only then to still feel anxious and think, ‘Well that did not work’, little did I realise I was missing the point, it was not there to make me feel better, it was there to stop me avoiding, it was not there to make me feel great, it was there to stop me trying to feel different.
The whole point was it was not about striving to feel good anymore, which had totally had the opposite effect and my whole day had been consumed by it. It was about accepting who I was and situations with utter acceptance. Some days would be good, some days would be bad, some situations would go well, some not so well, I would now try to be neutral to it all. I would stop ‘Trying’ to feel different, I would stop watching my own social performance, there would be no more inquest when things did not go as I wanted. But in time I got far more out of this statement when the meaning truly sunk in. I stopped worrying so much about future events, I stopped mentally going over things as much, I stopped living inside my head as much, wondering how I felt or how things were going. My mind felt clearer, my anxiety levels dropped.
Someone who worked in a hospice once said that when someone finds out they have a few months to live then understandably their initial reaction is anger, resentment and huge sadness, but in the last couple of weeks when they are resigned to it and fully accept it then a huge sense of peace comes over them, many saying that they had never felt calm like it. I learnt a lot from that story and understood that it was my resistance to my current state that had caused me so much more suffering and it was time to fully accept it and stop fighting against myself.
If I did not wage a war with my mind and body then it would not wage a war against me.

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

How to not allow your anxious thoughts to become who you are

October 21st, 2013

I put the same post on here as I did on Facebook earlier this month and it was so popular that it received 3 times more hits than any other post so I decided to expand on it, also this comment below from the last post is so true and encouraged me to write a more detailed post.

“Kristina thanks a lot. You are right, I have to change my attitude to my thoughts. My problem is that I believe my thought, believing it, I accept it as a reality and thus become afraid of it. I need to not respect the strange and abnormal thoughts. That is the key.”

The post is really to express that you are not your thoughts or your thinking, you are separate from them and it is your choice if you wish to believe them or not.

A lot of people are a slave to their thinking and see it as the truth and follow it without question, if I think it then it must be true and all decisions and actions are then based on what they think.

It is like someone who has been cheated on in their last 3 relationships, they will then be much more inclined to have thoughts about the next going wrong and their new partner and the relationship may have to suffer because of this. The thought will be ‘He will probably do the same to me’. She may then question where he is, continually seek assurances and drive herself silly through her insecurities until the relationship finally breaks down. Now there was nothing wrong with this thought, it came through a belief created through past experiences, but she became identified with the thought and saw it as the truth. It is always the association to a thought that makes it seem real.
If this lady could have caught the thought and realised it was part of her past experiences and not fact then she could have put her insecurities to one side and enjoyed the relationship instead of letting a thought destroy it. Those insecurities may have still popped up, but she could have seen the truth behind the thought and why it was there and not to treat it as fact.

This is the same as when someone may go to a supermarket and have a funny turn and then their mind creates the thought ‘Hey danger, don’t go back there’ this is in no way true as what danger is there in walking around putting groceries in a basket? If the person can see past the thought and do it anyway, then they will see the truth that it was just a thought and not based on fact, just a past experience.

This is where the old saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ comes from as it is basically saying recognise your fear, but do it anyway as it is a false fear and by doing it you will find out for yourself. Once you do it and you survive fine (even if you do feel uncomfortable) then the thought process next time is ‘Hey I got through fine, no danger there’ again your experiences are shaping your thought process. There are many people in that supermarket with no concern whatsoever as they are all fine and safe, just as you are too, so don’t let a thought trick you into thinking otherwise.

On the other side of the coin if you came face to face with a tiger and the thought was ‘Danger, get out of here’ then the thought is real and helpful and is there to protect you as there is real danger and you need to avoid the tiger. This is what we were programmed for and the reason we need to feel some fear, the reason your mind looks for fear and tries to protect you. But there is no real danger in visiting a supermarket or visiting friends, so it is tricked by anxiety into getting it wrong and these are the times when you decide to not believe your thoughts, see the truth behind them and do it anyway.

Remember thoughts are not the problem, you can think whatever you wish, it is your reaction and your belief towards them that is.

This is true with my anxiety and how I used to see thoughts as fact. I was very bad socially when at my worst and when I came through I carried a lot of my old fears and experiences around with me and thoughts like ‘People aren’t interested in what you have to say’ or ‘I will just feel awkward all night’ or ‘I don’t fit in socially, so why bother going out?’ with this belief system I would hide away in the corner or make excuses not to talk to others or try and rush the conversation, totally believing my thoughts about who I was. My thinking was totally wrecking my life and the decisions I made and how I acted. This was not me, it was my thoughts based on past experiences that I decided to believe that were causing me all this pain and restricting my life so much. I had chosen to believe my thoughts about who I was and how I would perform and so tried to protect myself by hiding away in the corner or not going out at all. This had to change and I knew I was being a slave to my thoughts and that I needed to separate myself from them, to let them say what they wished, but to just do things anyway and not see them as fact or become involved in them.

On realisation of the above I also started to catch what I was thinking and would see the silliness behind it. An example would be a neighbour approaching and the thought then would be ‘Oh god don’t let her come over, I will have to chat and then I’ll make a fool of myself, quick indoors’ I would habitually run indoors and then think phew got away with it, right I just need to wake up one day and all this will be behind me. I never truly looked at the silliness of the thought, it was just a case of it must be the truth because I thought it. When I finally did stop and truly looked at the thought I had a realisation that my life would never change whilst I was controlled by my thinking, I realised that the thought was absurd, what danger could there possibly be talking to the woman four doors up? I also realised that in this and other occasions that my mind thought it was keeping me safe, but in reality it was doing a bloody damn awful job of it as all it was doing was restricting my life.

So the next time the neighbour approached or there was a social gathering I may have had the same thought, but dismissed it as false and did it anyway, it was actually quite amusing at times when I looked at what my thoughts came up with and the absurdity behind them. Things did not always go great feelings wise, but as usual I just went with how I felt, all thoughts and emotions are fine and after years of conditioning I did not expect things to go perfect in all the things I had previously avoided, but there was a big shift and in time through no longer associating with my thoughts and seeing them as facts my life started to open up, my restricting negative thoughts began to disappear, I did not need protecting from the woman up the street or a gathering of friends, it was absurd later to think I did. My confidence in every aspect of my life began to grow and the old confident me came back and all because I decided to no longer believe or become associated with my old and conditioned thinking. I could think, but I did not have to believe.

I am sure my mind thought it was keeping me safe at times and it was only gathering thoughts through past experiences, but these thoughts would not shape my future behaviours or experiences, from now on I would.

To no longer associate with or believe my thoughts whilst understanding why they came was such a big part of my recovery.

I hope I have explained well enough what I am trying to get across and I am not trying to simplify things as nothing happens overnight, but I hope people get something from the above.

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

Help and advice with anxious thinking

October 7th, 2013

Hi all, I have just posted the below on my facebook page, so I will share it here also.

I hear a lot of people complain about upsetting or scary thoughts. The simple advice here is to remember that you are NOT your thoughts, whatever passes through is just anxious thinking, yes thoughts created because you’re anxious. Rather than pull away or believe them, allow yourself to think them with no resistance and observe them in a curious way. Anxious thoughts love people to fear them, believe them, react to them, the more respect they are given then the bigger the impact, the bigger the impact then the more they are feared, the more they are feared then the more they growl, the more they growl the more down and frustrated the person is and a cycle is created. If this is a problem then just remember that these thoughts are NOT you or who you are, you are NOT your anxious thoughts, they are just a by product of anxiety and it doesn’t matter what the thought is, what it says, it’s false, just be an observer of the thought and don’t get caught up in it. Allow them to come and go as they please and instead of pulling away or reacting, observe the false message that just popped up, smile at it and move on, allowing whatever wishes to come next.

Secondly a lovely lady who follows the blog also started a blog of her own and I promised to eventually get around to putting it on here for others to see. Again it was posted on my facebook page so some may have seen it already, but for those that did not here it is.

http://www.worryfreelife.net/my-story/

And finally we lost a few posts after the blog was recently compromised, I have not got around to bringing them back up but will do so in the next week, the comments will be lost, but the posts will be back.

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

Making space for your anxious thoughts and feelings

September 18th, 2013

We can start with this post that was deleted as it was on my facebook page also, I will add more as the weeks go by so there is as much info on as there was before.

Today I wanted to talk about giving space to unwanted thoughts and feelings as I still read posts on here about people wanting to find ways to rid themselves of anxious thoughts and feelings. One of the best tools to do this is to give them space to be there and just see them as a passing emotion.

I used to wake full of anxiety and my head was all muddled with anxious thoughts. I would then spend the first hour of my day trying to make sense of it all, question it and try different things to make myself feel better. This used to have the opposite effect and make me feel worse most of the time. Then one day I remember waking and feeling awful and then just as I was about to start the struggle, I just decided to let the feelings be there without struggle or objection, just for once they were allowed to be there and take up my space. I did not do this to feel better, I had just had enough. The result was that I instantly felt calmer and more at ease and realised I then had been doing everything wrong. It was the struggle that was keeping me in the loop. These feelings needed to be there and the more I tried to shove them away then the more they knocked on the door. They were like a troublesome party guest that you keep trying to throw out, only for him to keep knocking whilst making more noise, the more you struggle to get rid of him, then the angrier he gets and the more he tries to bother you.

Another example was that I was awful at talking on phones for a long period of time. I used to get pretty anxious and would try and either cut the call short or ramble my way through it the best I could, I would also pace up and down whilst taking the call. I think the anxiety of how I was coming across was the problem. I was pretty advanced in my recovery at this point and it was just something that I thought I was stuck with and had no idea why. I then remember taking a call from an old friend and start pacing up and down whilst trying to hold it together by rambling on, when a huge light bulb moment came on and I realised it was my feelings I was running away from and I was not giving them space to be there. I instantly stopped pacing up and down and allowed myself to feel anxious instead of rambling and all this pacing up and down to cover it all up. Again the difference was immense and I started to feel far more at one with the conversation and not me. In a short space of time I was fine talking on the phone, it was me that was creating the problem by not giving myself space to feel anxious, instead I was anxious about feeling anxious, which just doubled the feeling.

This is also the way to get past anxious thinking, allow space for your anxious thoughts to be there. Don’t expect instant miracles or use this as a tool to rid yourself of them, just allow them as much space as need be without expectation for as many times as need be. It is all about being more at peace with yourself, people become anxious about being anxious, worry that they worry, anxiously think about their anxious thinking and then wonder why they never break out of the loop.

To finish anxious thoughts and feelings just want a chance to be there and then they will go quitely, if you keep pushing them away and go into struggle mode, then they will keep knocking to get in and you will constantly keep trying to keep them at bay. It is this constant struggle the causes the problem.

Just learn to give your feelings the space to be there whilst living your life and being you, don’t feel the need to be on guard for them or work them out, whatever may come just be at peace with it and give your feelings and thoughts space to be there. How you feel now is totally natural in the circumstances, so stop struggling with yourself and leave it be.

Hope that helps is some way

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter or on facebook www.facebook.com/anxietynomoreuk

Blog compromised

September 17th, 2013

Hi everyone

As you will have noticed I have lost a few posts, the site seems to have been compromised in some way. I have done everything to restore it and not lose anymore info and set up new security measures. I will organise a new post for next week for people to start posting on.

Regards Paul

Help and advice with Social Anxiety

December 13th, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Well this will be the last post before Christmas, so a happy Christmas to everyone. It is not my favourite time of the year and I am glad when it’s all over, but I will try and put my bah humbug to one side and enjoy the good parts of it :-)

Today’s post is about Social Anxiety, again the post may help some and not others, but I try to add a full range of topics so as to hopefully help as many people as possible.

Social anxiety can take many forms and many people may not even know they suffer from it. I was one of those people that even when most of my anxiety had gone I would feel strange and odd in front of people and avoid any eye contact. I would also get what I call brain freeze where I would just go blank and clam up, not knowing what to say and then feeling really embarrassed and stupid.

It helped when I learnt this brain freeze was just a stress reaction and not something where I was wired up wrong and that I would always be this way. Initially I truly thought I had no control over how I felt in front of people and would just try and get through it, hoping I did not make a total fool of myself or in most cases avoid any social interaction at all. As usual I was never happy with this and refused to just accept that this was me forever. I then went on a journey of discovery about every aspect of social anxiety and realised it was me that was doing this to myself and the main culprits were avoidance or if in conversation, trying to rush and act my way through it, whilst hoping people would not see through me.

I would also do the usual subtle avoidance tricks like looking at my phone to avoid chatting, sitting in the background hoping no one would notice me, staying silent and adding nothing to a conversation, crossing the road if I saw someone I knew. Does that sound like I was adding to my social anxiety? Of course I was, I was reinforcing that people and conversations were the enemy and must be avoided at all costs. Of course I was responsible for the way I felt and the lack of moving forward!

At this point through what I had learnt, I decided to reverse the bad habits I had developed and there really is not enough space here to write everything that I did learn, but here are the key points.

Firstly a lot of my Social Anxiety came through the fact that I thought people would see through me and the ‘anxiety’ game would be up, add that to the fact that I felt like I was always being judged. I always felt I had to keep things buried, smile in the right places, act my way through, that no one must know my secret and that I must come across as normal! Trying to do this makes you feel like two people, one trying to have a conversation and the other trying to hide how you feel. So this was the first thing to change. I had to understand that people were not judging me and even if they were and my voice wobbled and I said something silly then so be it. The key point here also was in the past when things went bad I would see it as a failure and build up my avoidance, now when I stayed and chatted, even if inside I felt awful, I would see it as a victory, something to be proud of, proud that for once that I did not run away. I understood that this was a long term thing and conversations would still be tough for a while, but in time they would get easier, it was the long term plan that was important, not the short term. In the past I demanded way too much and wanted to get it right first time and if not then I was sure I had made a big fool of myself and mentally punish myself and avoid even more the next time.

The second thing I did and this was a tough one, was to truly no longer care what people thought. This was hard at first as we do care what people think and saying it without meaning it can feel like a false signal. So yes we all care, but is it really that important? Always caring what people think has a big effect on your personality, in fact it crushes it, as your always trying to come across the way you think you should and not as you, this in itself erodes your confidence. Also many people who care always play it safe, like they daren’t show the real them in case people won’t like them, better to agree with others or say nothing, they also tend not to have an opinion on anything and it’s all to do with wanting others to like them. Well I like people with an opinion, a view, it makes them what they are. So this was another step for me, no more agreeing if I did not mean it, no more hiding in the background with nothing to say and if I had an opinion I would share it. I would fully be me from now on. Again this was not an instant ‘I feel confident’ trick and it took time, but being me had me feeling far more real, it really built my confidence back up.

The other thing I did was to stop all avoidance behaviours, if I saw someone I knew I would not cross the road, if I was asked out socially I would not make excuses not to go. Again this was tough at times and went against everything I had taught myself, but bad habits got me into this hole and good habits would get me out of it. But I had a new approach and that was ‘Instead of worrying about situations, I just took them as they came’. Without the big build up before the event, just taking it as it came made things go far better, many times I thought, ‘Wow how easy was that’. Again if it did not go great then that was fine also, I did it and that was the main thing.

Lastly a big part of social anxiety is confidence, a confidence in yourself. To boost my self-esteem I decided to get myself fit and lose weight. Changing your life for the better can really make you feel good about yourself and that only adds to your confidence. I felt great by getting fit, mentally and physically and was very proud of my achievements and this led to me feeling far more confident and confidence really does help you when mixing with others. My anxiety levels dropped a hell of a lot also and I felt far more clarity mentally and this in itself made conversations far easier.

With my new look and confidence I then decided to do something I would not have dreamed about a few months before and joined a running club.  Meeting and talking to loads of strangers whilst doing something positive took me right to where I wanted to be. I no longer go to the running club, but a few of us still meet up a couple of times a year.

To finish I would like to say that whilst we think everyone notices how we are feeling, that people are judging us, they really are not. They are too busy with their own lives and problems to care about us. Also a small stutter or odd conversation will not have others judging you, they would hardly notice and so what if they do, it’s hardly a crime and will be all worth it when you reach where you want to be.

The 2 things that are the main causes of Social anxiety are;

Caring what people think and worrying how things will go

So no more excuses, no more hiding away or playing it safe, no more worrying how things may go or what people think, just begin to put yourself out there and feel a new you emerge. I was rewarded for all my hard work, for all those times I put myself out there when my instinct was to avoid or make a quick exit. For making the effort to get fit and build my confidence back up, to begin to mix with people once again.

I hope the above helps

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter

The best way to overcome anxiety is to do nothing

September 24th, 2012

Hi Everyone,

Well the last post was a while ago so I thought I was due to say a few words.

I also have a few bits and bobs to cover before we go on to today’s post. The first being that the anxietynomore app is now available as an option on the Android as well as the iPhone. As usual I don’t push things on anyone, but it is there if anyone wishes to buy it and a few people did ask me to let them know when it was available. As it is new if anyone has any problems then just let me know.

The other thing is Doreen who posts here will now help moderate the blog. This will help keep it spam free and make sure it runs as it always has and stays a friendly and helpful resource. I do need help as every year things take off more and more. In the last year alone the book was made available on Amazon and in many high street online and offline stores and is mainly sold outside of the site these days. The book also went onto the kindle and is hopefully due on Amazon.com very soon, making it easier for people in the U.S to purchase it. The app was also created in different versions and has been very well received. The trouble with all this is it takes a lot of time up and I am forever on with a project and I will be the first to say certain things have suffered as a result as it takes time away from other things. Things are calming down a bit now and I promise to be around here a bit more to contribute, the blog and site is where it all started and it means as much to me now as it did when I first set it up.

Anyway on to today’s post:

Many people ask me what they should do to eliminate their anxiety or how do I get rid of this particular symptom? I was one of those people who went over and over things, trying to find a solution to the way I felt, constantly trying to stop myself feeling this way. Well that was my mistake, I was ‘Trying not to feel a certain way’. One thing that I learnt very quickly is that “Trying to rid ourselves of anxiety only increases it”. Yet this is what most people attempt to do and just end up more entrenched in the habit. I say the opposite and tell people to feel it, to go towards it, do nothing to try to get rid of it. People develop safety behaviours and avoidance techniques that can severely restrict their lives because they don’t want to feel it. How can this be the way forward? The truth is that it is not, I only turned my life around when I finally accepted that I had anxiety and it was not going to go over night, I shook it by the hand and said “If you are going to be around for a while then we may as well get along”.

To recover from anxiety we have to be willing to feel it and that’s means taking it with us wherever we go. Yes for a while we will still feel anxious, we may still feel detached or have anxious thoughts hanging around, that’s fine and only to be expected. We also have to be willing to feel it for a while, not a day or a week, but as long as it takes. I have people email me and say some lovely things about the book after reading it, but I had one a few weeks ago saying ” Paul I have just finished your book, but I am not cured”. I am struggling to understand which book she read as it says nothing about getting to the end and a magic wand comes down and cures you. This is the sort of person that will be off next week to try another miracle cure hoping that it will instantly go away, she has no intention of feeling anxiety for a minute longer.

The more desperate you look for recovery, the further away it can seem as you are putting so much pressure on yourself to feel better and making it your whole life. Why not just step back and do nothing, whilst getting on with your life as you normally would, this will do you far more good long term. I am not trying to make it sound easy, it is not at times and I used to want to hide away at home and shut out the world, but I refused to as I wanted to be part of that world again. Just so there is no confusion, when I talk about doing nothing, I mean no longer trying to fix or figure it all out, not doing nothing by sitting at home looking at the ceiling. Go out and live your life, uncomfortable or not, take all your insecurities with you and feel it all at will. You don’t have to wait until anxiety leaves you to have a life, you can have one now. If you want to be part of the outside world again then go and join it, don’t let how you feel stop you.

The constant stress and battle to feel better is what kept me in the cycle, it consumed me and my day. So just try not to become one of those people. I know we feel like we must keep on top of things, to get the better of this thing, but it has the opposite effect. One of calmest and most together people on the planet are Buddist monks and their whole belief is to just be, to not over think or worry about things. Since my own recovery I have a new outlook on life and don’t worry about trival things or things I can’t control. I am also a far more forgiving and laid back person and it is what I learnt through my own recovery.

To finish I will never forget a story I read where 3 men were burgling a store in the middle of the night and were caught and arrested. They interviewed one and he said that when he heard the sirens he was full of fear and dread, then when the police were outside shining lights in that his fear increased and they tried to hide. But he said once they had them surrounded and made it clear that they knew they were in there, then they all lit a cigarette up and felt a sense of calm. It was like ‘O.K the game is up, come and do what you have to do’. I felt that story reflected me and my anxiety, I feared the feelings for years and tried to keep them out, once I gave in and allowed myself to feel this way then there was a sense of relief and I felt calmer.

To finish today’s post  I am also going to add a list of tweets I recently put up on my twitter account to encourage people, I hope they help in some way.

Anxiety is like quicksand, the harder we struggle to escape, the deeper we sink.

A tired and overworked mind tries to drag you into worrying about anything and everything, just resist the need to get involved.

If anxiety tried to stop me doing something, I would do it even more to show it who was in charge.

Stress on a healthy body registers a small reaction and is dealt with as a problem to solve; stress on an anxious body gives an exaggerated reaction and makes things seem far worse than they really are. The problem is the same; it is the reaction that is different.

Avoidance is something you create; don’t blame it on your anxiety

Don’t keep endlessly looking for a cure to your anxiety, create one by no longer letting it rule what you do and don’t do.

Making the decision to allow anxiety into your day releases so much pressure, stress and worry and gives your mind and body the space to recover.

I created a lot of my own problems through avoidance, I uncreated them through non avoidance, it gave me my life back.

How you feel today has no bearing on how you will feel in the future, things do change.

Don’t get lost in a world of self-criticism, wishing you felt differently, the first step to recovery is accepting how you feel for now.

To overcome anxiety we have to be willing to feel it.

Fears are never as bad as we think when faced, their growl often turns into a whimper, it’s our imagination that makes us think differently.

People who suffer with anxiety tend to avoid feelings and then blame it on the place or situation, suggesting it’s that which causes anxiety. Lose your fear of the feeling and then every place and situation is the same.

Thanks Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter

Anxiety becomes a learned behaviour

July 17th, 2012

Well sorry this post has took so long, but as stated I went away for a few weeks and I have just got back, recharged and refreshed. Today’s post covers something that is very important and was something that kept me in the cycle of anxiety for a long time. I am all for changing behaviours to move forward with anxiety, although saying that I am not one for going down the homework route or filling in progress sheets. That was never me, I always liked a simplistic approach rather than loads of garble or medical jargon.

I have always believed anxiety is made far over complicated to recover from by some. A good understanding and the right attitude did it for me. Understanding what was happening when I felt anxious and why I did, did far more for me than any other so called help that was thrown at me in the early days. Once I understood far more, then I worried far less and stopped going over and over things whilst trying to continuously fix it. This obviously helped as with less worry came less anxiety, the less I went over and over things, then the more open and flexible my mind was. Having the right attitude helped in no longer let anxiety rule what I did and did not do. At first I hated the way I felt, I would tense against it daily, try and push it away, get really angry about it, avoid everywhere and everything that made me feel this way, no wonder I got worse and my life got narrower.

I now understood it was not just going to disappear and I just learnt to just live with it, take it with me. Did I like it? No, but it did not hinder me as much and I wasted far less of my day on it. At one time it was all I thought about, the subject was me 24/7. My whole life revolved around getting better, then I realised I had to stop trying as this was the very thing that was hindering me. So I made friends with it, took it with me and stopped treating it like the enemy. If I felt odd and anxious, then so be it, I was tired of trying not to feel this way. Yes it took time to build up the perfect attitude and I would sometimes have a good cry or feel sorry for myself on a bad day, but the next day I was back out and not letting it dominate my life like it had.

Every habit can be changed as long as we understand that it wont happen overnight.

There is one question that I asked myself whilst suffering and when answering I wrote down a list of things that had become a learnt behaviour. I can’t say this was the exact list below, but it would have been something like it and I am sure some others can identify with it. The reason for the list was that I wanted to identify what learnt behaviours I had developed and try and reverse them.

So the question to anyone is;

What do I do differently now, to what I did before I suffered ?

My list would have been something like the below;

I went over that conversation I had with my friend and wondered if I upset her?

This is an easy one for anxiety to grab hold of as we feel far more sensitive than we normally would do and may look into things far too much. I remember this one as I was very sensitive. People had to act the way I thought they should or I would think I had done something wrong or they did not like me. I identified that I would not have done this before I suffered, so the anxiety was to blame and that in future I could think this way, but I would just let it go and know I was being silly or over sensitive. I would no longer see it as the truth.

Did that workmate notice my anxiety? I tried so hard to cover it up.

Well I would never stand there in the past trying to cover things up as there was nothing to cover up. I started to ask others who knew I suffered if they noticed how I felt and they said no, sometimes you may talk a little faster, but no we don’t notice. This meant a lot to me as you tend to think everyone notices how you are feeling but are just keeping it from you. So I then stopped trying to cover up how I felt, if I stumbled on a few words or rambled a bit then that was fine. I knew from experience trying to cover up anxiety had the opposite effect, as you were then anxious about people seeing you anxious, which put far more pressure on you to come across as O.K.

I worried about going to that social function next week

Well again I would not be worrying about going to a social event pre anxiety, I would be looking forward to it. I then realised I was not scared of the event itself, I was worried about being anxious and how I came across. There is no instant switch to stop you getting anxious over a social event, but it taught me that I had to just take things as they came and that feeling anxious was not then end of the world and the more I felt it, then the less I would feel it. I had to get used to it and put myself out there and then I would train my sub conscious to realise there was nothing to get anxious about. So basically I went to social events and took them as they came, not worrying if I felt anxious or not. Most times I would feel some anxiety, but it was never as bad as I thought it would be and usually by the end of the night I was chatting freely and as expected in time it just got easier.

I kept checking in to see how I felt, having internal conversations to try and make sense of it all

Again this is something the regular person on the street does not do, even if they had broken there finger they would not check in every few minutes to see how it felt. They would just understand the pain will go in time and there is nothing they can do about it. When I learnt that I could not switch anxiety off, it was a relief. I no longer had to search in my mind for that instant cure and I could just move on with my day and think about other things.

I got home and put off things that needed doing, I just didn’t feel like it

Anxiety can make us feel mentally and physically tired, as our body is working faster than normal and stress hormones do affect our muscles and make them feel heavy. Add that to an over active mind and we can feel tired and weary for no reason. The best thing I did was to do the jobs that needed doing and get out in the fresh air. Lounging around feeling sorry for myself made me feel even more exhausted.

Today I avoided anything that may make me anxious and built my day around it

Again this is something I did that I would not have done in the past. I realised that anxiety was beginning to control what I did and did not do and I wanted to take charge again. So I no longer avoided feeling this way, no more living a life full of safety behaviours. Anxiety could not harm me, it was only adrenalin on an overworked nervous system that created was was just an unpleasant feeling. I am not saying I woke one day and did everything. I just learnt to see the signs of avoidence, where I would be just about to make excuses not to go somewhere and then just get my coat on and do it. The well known saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ was never far from my thoughts.

I went over and over things trying to find a way out a way to make this horrible thing go away

Before anxiety came along my thoughts would be about the weekends plans, the new top I had seen, my friends and family and certainly not about the way I felt. When we become so engulfed in ourselves and how we are feeling then we become very internal and have little time or space in our mind for anything or anybody else. The subject becomes us and the more we think about it, the more distant and detached we feel, so we may then think even more about our situation. This was certainly me and it was a vicious cycle. I was convinced if I kept thinking of a way out, then eventually I would hit on the answer and I would be free. All I achieved was to become like a walking shell that had no interest in the outside world. I just thought about me and found it hard to break free. It was like I was behind a pane of glass and the world was on the other side and I was not part of it. This I would say was the lowest point of my anxiety. But once identified I understood why I felt this way and then began to worry less and less about the state I was in. I then had to learn to live and work with this distant/detached feeling and not be so impressed by it. And in time the less I thought and worried about myself, the more engaged I felt with the world around me again. You don’t have to suffer with anxiety to get to this state. Have you ever seen that lost and glazed look on someone who has lost a loved one? You may ask them something and it barely registered. Again this is because they are thinking so deeply about what they have lost, they let nothing else in and they become distant to their surroundings. In time the grief eases and they become part of the world again. This is exactly what I had to do.

I met a friend in the street and just rambled on trying to get away as quickly as possible

Another classic thing that I did, I again identified that I did not do this in the past and that the best way to overcome it was to stay in the conversation and no longer run at the first sign of adrenalin. This really was what it was, I had taught my body to see danger in someone approaching and it set off the fight or flight, run or stay. As usual I did not want to feel anxious so I went for run. I again realised there was no danger talking to a friend in the street, I was just running away from making a fool of myself. So the next time the blast of adrenalin came, I just stayed and although it did not go particularly well,  I knew I would look far less strange staying than I would do running off each time and more than that I knew the long term rewards would be worth it. And in time I taught my body there was no danger in that friend in the street, the blast of adrenalin weakened in time as I had chatted many times now and had got used to it. It is like a bungee jumper who feels far more adrenalin the first time he jumps that the 20th time. His body has got used to it and in time produces less adrenalin.

We don’t always identify these learnt behaviours whilst we are doing them, as we tend to just do what we think is best at the time. It is only when we step back and observe how we are acting or write down the things we do now that we did not do before, that we can become aware of them. We all know our own bad habits and what we can do to improve them. Don’t just follow the same down trodden path, the short term, but safe way, the path that has no victory’s and little, if any progress. Try and identify what you now do differently and see if like the above you can change the habit or learn a new attitude.

I hope the above helps

Paul

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter

Acting your way through anxiety

May 4th, 2012

Hi everyone,

Well this will be my last post for a while as I am going on a 12 week retreat around Devon and Cornwall on Sunday. To be honest I did a mini one years ago and found it an excellent way to detox the mind. I just found being away from all the memories and stresses that seem to keep my anxiety ticking over a real help. It was like dumping everything in a bin and leaving it all behind. Speaking of this it leads me on to this weeks post.

I do use twitter and although it is a personal account I do add statements that I think will help people and last weeks got a massive response with people retweeting it and adding it as their favourite, the tweet was;

‘The worst part of my anxiety was trying to cover it all up and pretend to the world that I was fine, I learnt to stop caring what people thought”

I was also recently talking to a friend who suffered badly with depression and he said the same. The pressure to try and hold it all together, smile in the right places, plan things to get through a situation, analysing it after, thinking where it went wrong, trying harder next time to make it go perfect, thinking and planning inside with internal dialouge whilst in a situation. The list was pretty endless for me and was the sole reason I developed social anxiety. I was so used to having an awful time in people’s company and hating acting my way through that I started to avoid social occasions or people. If I was walking through town and saw someone I knew then I would think ‘Oh please don’t come over’ and if they did it was all about getting away, rambling at 10 miles an hour (must not let them notice). In doing this I had started to tell my sub concious that people and social things were to be avoided and it just carried out this order and saw them as something to avoid and get nervous about.

Well I spotted this cycle and realised I needed to stop it and that came through no longer making an issue out of going places or meeting people. It meant just putting myself out there and not caring how it went, if I still felt nervy and tounge tied then so be it. What was the alternative, to just keep on avoiding and making things worse? Again this was not easy, but as soon as someone asked me to go somewhere or do something, then I just did it and took all my insecurites and nerves with me. And I found without all the pre planning before hand, without the ‘watching myself’ and trying to act my way through it that things were better, still not great, but better and more importantly I was telling my sub concious that things were ok, we are not running away or avoiding people today. My life now was about opening doors and not closing them, I was fed up with closing them and if opening them brought some discomfort (which it probably would), then so be it, it was the long term I was looking at, not the usual short term ‘Safety behaviour’ the quick comfort blanket that brought so many long term failures.

A lot of people see anxiety as something that ‘we just have’ and that we just have to wait until it goes away . But a lot of it is self created through the habits we create. Every habit can be reversed and a lot of that starts with us and the way we approach things. I was stuck in bad habits for years and learnt to reverse them. I did not just wait long enough for anxiety to leave me and one day got lucky. It was a change in attitude and approach that brought me my rewards, a surrender to everything that was going on, no longer letting it control what I did and did not do, where I went. I did not become brave overnight, I just took small steps that turned into huge strides. Going back to the social anxiety, I was the same person with the same anxiety levels, yet one day I was making excuses not to go out, the next I was sick of my life and decided to now go and come what may. I was avoiding the feelings, not the people or the place, that is key to anyone who suffers with anxiety, you are always avoiding the feelings yet blame the people or the places suggesting it’s them that create it, so you avoid these people or places.

I will leave that for today as a lady from this blog passed me on a poem that I said I would place on the blog in my next post. It is about her recovery with anxiety and is really well written. To finish from me, I will keep people up to date on twitter about my trip and will have people to look after and moderate this place when I am gone and will also try and post when I can. I am also meeting someone from this blog on my travels so looking forward to that also.

Anyway here is the poem and remember stay positive and keep opening them doors ;-)

From my bed where I lay

Thinking life was over

From the thoughts that came my way

Believing life was over

What demon had taken me

From a girl who loved life

To this empty shell

A scared, broken, mother and wife

Lying in silence

Watching and waiting

For the voices I thought

Would start in my head

Listening and waiting

Driving myself crazy

Oh God, no this is it

What is my mind creating?

I am now dead, I was inside

Nothing was real

Nothing felt mine

Numb without tears

Lifeless and fears

No love to give..

STOP this ringing in my ears

So fast came strange feelings

Terrifying panic

Is the sky falling down

This really is manic

Don’t want to be alone

I want to be alone

I’m feeling so so tragic

What must I do

What must I make happen

Searching for answers

So I can map them

Reasons for me

To know why I’m feeling

As weird as can be

This can’t just happen?

A racing mind, full

Of what ifs and maybes

This is too much

I must surely be crazy

My head is so full

So heavy and thick

My stomach, it churns cartwheels

I feel so so sick

Truth told, there really

Are no answers

You are here now

You have to be with your monsters

You have to go through

You will find your way

The best way out is through

At the end of the day

I thought I was crazy

Going mad, felt so unreal

These feelings I’ve met with

I can reveal

Will trick you and turn you

Til you think life has gone

But I want you to know that you can move on

Time

Little by little

Day by day

To bring you through

Do it anyway

That dreaded task

You just cannot do

Leads to another

Through and through

You just cannot do

So on, brave heart

A little at a time

And you will see that

You really can shine

It will take time

Step by step

Hour by hour

You will see yourself begin to flower

To face your fears

To go it alone

To see yourself through

Into the great unknown

That slight turn of thinking

No matter how small

Will lead you to greatness

No time left to mourn

To take that first step

For what you must do

Is believe in yourself

You really will come through

Your head hurts like hell

It’s swimming and giddy

Your eyes are all blury

Shocks through your body

No one will know

It is what you’re going through

They’re not to know

No one will know

Unless they too, have been through

A day, you feel fine

Oh great this has gone

To be awoken next morn

To find, back its come

A good day turns to two

And then to a few

And bang here it comes

hits you out of the blue

Never lost heart

This is what must happen

To find inner peace, to grow and to strengthen

We’ll learn from these times

Hey, I felt so good then

So I know that I will

Find peace, happiness again

So your will grows stronger

A little day by day

You keep moving forward

It has to be this way

For now at least

Feelings come and go

They won’t last forever

I want you to know

Those days will serve me

I’ll never forget

How bad things were

But you know, I’ll never regret

What happened to me

What’s happening to you

May feel like it just came out of the blue

But when you recover, you truly will see

What lead you to this great anxiety

You’ll know and you’ll see

Believe me

Now on with my life

I am now going forward

But how grateful am I

That I had fallen

I truly believe, sometimes we have to break

So we can fix ourselves up

with knowledge, understanding – How Brave!

So if you’re feeling right now

How I did back then

I give you my heart

And again and again

Will say to you onward

To take the first step

Nothing will harm you, there’ll be no regret

You will be so glad that you kept

Trying and trying

And one of these days

Your heart will start flying

You will say to yourself

I’m glad I never gave in

I did what I feared

Again and again

So on, brave light

And be on your way

To do what you must

Day by day

The glimmer of hope

You see shining anew

You know you can do this

From one who came through X

Paul

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter

How to calm an over active anxious mind

March 7th, 2012

Firstly sorry for a bit of a disappearing act recently, as stated the App has taken up so much of my time and the book has shot up in sales with Amazon and certain shops now stocking it. Everything has taken off in the last year or so and it is hard work keeping up and I have to cut back on certain things.

I should though be around on the blog more as things have calmed a little and it starts with todays post.

A mind that never seems to switch off

I know a lot struggle with an over active mind and wonder how to calm it. Again there is no quick fix, but I will pass on what really helped me. I like others struggled with an over active mind that did not seem to switch off, it really was the last thing to settle. When we are anxious then our body works over time and the reason we may sweat or feel restless and unable to sit still, with this comes an over active mind that seems to start on one subject then jump to another with little rhyme or reason.

Firstly I realised that a calm mind led to a calm body and the mistake I was making was to try and figure my way back to a calm mind, to try and unravel what I was doing wrong, what I needed to do etc. I was sure there was a secret out there that just needed discovering. It was then that I realised that I did not need to figure my way back to a calm mind, I just had to stop going over my past experiences and stop peering into my future experiences.

People may have different experiences but the root to cure is the same, I will give you my own example which stemmed really from a fear of losing the people around me that were close to me;

My main problem was that I would keep jumping back to something that happened last week and how I felt, this would mainly be negative thinking like ‘That night out with friends last Tuesday did not go well at all, next week I will try harder to fit in and come across as normal’. So then I would be looking into this coming Tuesday and building up to what to do to make sure it went better this week, so as to make sure I did not ramble through and come across as odd, what I had to do was do this or that and I would then go with a bunch of mental instructions and the night would again be a disaster as I would not be joining in, I would be mentally trying to fix myself and remind myself what to do. Then home again and looking back to how bad it went and feel sorry for myself and fill myself with self pity, waking the next day trying to find more answers.

This is what I mean by looking back, I would constantly go over how things went and what I could of done better, then I would be looking into the future and plan certain things to make sure they went ok. All this mental planning was constant and it could be a simple trip out with friends or going round to a family gathering, I was obsessed how I as coming across and how things were going, then filling myself with negative thoughts about how bad my life was and how it was not fair that others could enjoy themselves and not me, more thoughts on how to fix it, my mind just never switched off.

How I over came this was to say to myself that this was the last time I went over something that had happened and the last time I planned for something that was up and coming and more than that I would not entertain another negative thought. I had to change this pattern as it just was not working.

Through habit my mind would sometimes drift back to something that happened last week or try and plan for the future, but I would say ‘No I don’t do that anymore’ or a negtive thought would come up about my situation and I would say ‘No I don’t do negative anymore, anxiety has taken enough of my life, it is not having anymore’. I would then wake up with a smile on my face and just face the day whatever may come, no planning, no safety behaviours, no negative thinking about my situation, no going over something that someone did or said or how a situation went. I am not saying from that day on everything was brilliant, it was not, but it was far, far better.

This new approach was a major breakthrough for me and I felt far more mentally free and even though at the time I was not a big believer in how close your thoughts were to how you feel, without all the negative bombardment of my situation I felt so much better. I can’t express how much not going down the road of self pity and negative thinking about how you feel is so important.

Other things I did

I always tried to stay positive and just when anxiety was just about to control what I did or did not do I would say ‘You have had enough of my life you are not having anymore’.

I also got into meditation a little, maybe just 3 times a week for half an hour. I would just get out of the bath when most relaxed, lie on the bed and just put on a C.D or headphones and drift in and out with the soothing music and would feel so refreshed afterwards, I still do it to this day.

I made sure I got out in the fresh air and went walking, running, cycling, again a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. I also cut my drinking down and felt so much better for this. I still went out as much as before, but instead of getting drunk I would just stick to 4 pints.

Again it is not an over night thing but the above really helped me on my way to who I am now.

I would also love people to watch a film that had a big effect on me after my recovery and just shows the importance of a calm mind. The link is here and it is over a few episodes and around 3 hours long altogether, but do try and watch it, it is very inspiring and a real eye opener.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_zDtdYu3mA

Paul

New Anxietynomore App

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter

Anxietynomore App

February 28th, 2012

Anxietynomore App

Me and a developer who actually comes to this blog for help, have spent the last 5 months creating an app for the Iphone and the reason I have hardly been around recently, it was such hard work and took up so much of my time.

Many people used to email me and ask why I did not have one and how useful it would be. So no trumpets or sales pitch as people know I don’t push anything on anyone, if people want it then I am just making them aware of it’s presence.

We did though both spend a lot of time and money trying to create something with loads of features and new information whilst trying to make it as cheap as possible to people. The price is £9.99 and is available from the istore or a by searching on your phone in the app store under anxietynomore.

It has the full book on there, a section with new information, direct links to this blog, site and my twitter account and a full audio and video section.

If anyone decides they would like it then I hope it helps them, for more information on it visit the page below and do check the video out at the bottom.

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/anxietynomoreapp.html

Please feel free to continue posting on the previous post for help and support. I will leave this up a week and then post a new one next Tuesday.

Thanks Paul

With anxiety we have 2 roads we can follow

January 3rd, 2012

Hi everyone and welcome to 2012, I hope everyone had a good Christmas

As stated I have been very busy with another project , it is now just about completed and I will reveal all that in my next post. But it has been the reason I have hardly been around, it took a lot longer than I expected and a lot more work. I am also looking for more success stories for this project. I tend to get emails or posts of thanks on here when people recover, but rarely a more detailed story of their recovery. If you wish to forward any on to me then just email me your story and I will tell you exactly hat it is for before publishing it.

I am going to put up 8 posts this year and I have a clear view of each one. 2012 is the year I hope to really get certain things across and this comes through what people post on here and continually struggle with.

Right on to today’s post which is called 2 roads and the choices we can make

When we suffer from anxiety we can hit a fork in the road and make 2 choices, one sign points us to a safe, but lonely road, a road that leads nowhere, the other points to a road that is full of life and choices, the road looks more daunting, but leads to a fulfulling place.

I once saw a documentary on a soldier who lost both legs in Afghanistan and when he came back to England his mother said he gave up on life, he just stayed locked in his room, locked in his own head and became very depressed with plenty of ‘Why me’? He had decided to give in to his disability and taken to hiding away feeling sorry for himself. This was until someone came and spoke to him and said ‘You can have a very fulfilling life with the way you are, you just have to make the choice to live again, how will you know if you don’t try?’ From that day this solider was determined to give life a go and stop hiding away feeling sorry for himself. He made a choice to forget his disability and went out socialising, finding local clubs he could get involved in. It followed him on from this and he went on to represent his country in a particular sport and made so many new friends, going on to life a life that he started to really enjoy.

I am telling this story because this person had a choice, he also met a fork in the road and took the safe one at first, to hiding away feeling sorry for himself, the road I took many years ago. Well I was sick of this road and I decided one day to stop wishing it all away, anxiety was just the way I felt, there was nothing I could do about that, I had to accept that it was part of me for now. The outside world had not changed and anxiety or not I was going to be part of it once again.

We can choose a road of avoidance, one of trying to control our anxiety, thinking this temporary relief will help us long term. But it never does and leads to a very restricting life, one were we make excuses not to go here, not to do this and that. We are giving in to the way we feel and letting it control us and what we do, this is the wrong road and leads to more feelings of hopelessness and disconnection with the outside world. You also begin to make deals with your anxiety, ‘I won’t go here if you leave me alone’, ‘I will avoid this place if you don’t come today’.

By human nature we try and find relief, normally it is the right thing to do, but with anxiety it is the opposite, because in trying to find relief your life becomes narrower and narrower, you begin to feel more and more sorry for yourself as you hate that you can’t go here or there. You can also start to go over and over things in your head, either trying to make more deals with your anxiety or knowing that this is not working and then trying to find another way out.

No matter how hard you try to make deals with anxiety, it never seems to be satisfied.

One day you must realise this safe road is not working, it is leading you nowhere, it is just restricting your life more and more.

Let’s go to the other road, the one without safety behaviours, without control and avoidance. This is the road I finally decided to take and anxiety would have to come with me, it no longer had a choice, there were no more deals to be made, no more excuses, if it wanted to be part of my life for now, then so be it, but it had lost it’s hold over me.

At first going out and about and not trying to avoid my feelings was hard and I felt disconnected for a while, but I no longer cared, it was caring so much that got me into the hole in the first place! If I let anxiety into my life without question, then what is there left to fight? What is there left to go over?, What is there left to avoid?, What is there left to control?

The mistake people make is that they are always trying to feel better, this has the opposite effect as you never truly let anxiety in this way. I may post something and people may then use my words as a mantra, say it is ‘Truly accept the way you feel’ they may then repeat this to make themselves feel better. There is the mistake, they again are trying to control their anxiety with a saying, trying to control it.

When I took the choice of the other road, I expected to still feel anxious, I expected to still feel disconnected, more in fact as I was going out of my comfort zones, I held to expectations to how I would feel, my only goal was to live a fulfilling life again, how I felt was secondary and certainly not something I would be trying to control anymore, I had tried this for years and it did not work.

In time this second road lead me to a far better place, to a more fulfilling life, places and experiences I had avoided in the past opened their doors and let me in, my life grew and grew, feelings and insecurities dampened. The other road had the opposite effect, life became narrower and narrower, I felt more and more isolated, my whole day seemed a battle of avoidance and control, no wonder I never got anywhere. But I loved this new road, it was not as safe as the other road and had a few bumps in it, but it was full of victorys and suprises, I felt good about me again, in control.

I was actually always in control, I just never realised it. I had just had to let go of all my uncertainty and insecurities and embrace life again.

To finish just remember you are not your anxiety, you are not your thoughts, so don’t feel the need to control. Many people who progress and those that recovered tell you that eventually they just became on observer of the way they felt, they shifted their focus elsewhere and it did not seem as important as it did before, it was just something in the background. This is because when they accepted it as part of them through understanding, they could begin to focus on other things in their life, they had stopped spending hours inside their head trying to constantly fix things, constantly find ways to control or rid themselves of the way they felt. Until you truly let anxiety in without question and stop making deals with it, then the same fruitless battle will continue. Nobody has ever fought or thought their way out of anxiety, it is like quicksand, the harder you fight to free yourself, the further you sink. 

I hope that post helps. My next post will address how to get out of your mind and free yourself from over thinking.

 Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year

December 24th, 2011

Hi Everyone, I just firstly wanted to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and best wishes for next year as this will be me signing of until then.

This also gives me time to reflect on the last year and certain observations. I will say in the last year I have seen a shift in people’s attitude to anxiety. We have also had some recent high profile cases on depression and other issues which seems to have woke people up that there can be other problems out there and attitudes have to change. Recently many famous people have come out to speak out on the subject and organizations have been set up like State of Mind, which helps ex rugby players with mental health problems.

Mental health is no longer a stigma, no longer two words to be avoided and it is something that many, many people suffer from at some point in their life, be it anxiety, depression or anything else. It certainly does not mean you are going crazy or this is you for ever, so many people do get the right help and move on with their lives. You will be amazed at the people who find out what I do and say, ‘Oh yes I once felt like that’ or ‘My sister suffers with that’. It is extremely common and thankfully attitudes are now changing.

On the blog itself, well it has been a very successful year with so many coming back to say they have recovered or are well on their way. That is something I never tire of hearing and it is great that people come back and share their stories. Many don’t post on the blog, but I get as many emails telling me the same thing. I even had someone telling me that their doctor pointed them  to the blog, which is something everyone here should be proud of. It really has become a great little community that helps so many people, many who don’t actually post, but just come and lurk and find comfort in what others have to say.

To finish it does take time to recover and you can slowly see people’s posts get more positive and educated as time goes by, until they are then helping and advising others. I see many come here distressed and at the end of their teather. But all you can do is sit back and let them learn gradually, I wish I could wave a magic wand and everyone would be o.k. I have said in the past the one thing that kept me in the cycle for so many years was trying to find that magic sentence or pill to make it all go away, it was just a battle each day from when I woke, to when I went to bed.

Finally as someone said the other week, I have slowed down on posts recently as I want them to be really helpful and not just post for the sake of posting. The next one I promise will be on the 2nd January, one that I am sure will help. I should also have more time to answer here also, again I have been very busy on something which is just about completed now, so I should have more time.

Thanks for everyone who has posted here, especially those that have advised, you will never know how much that means to people.

Happy Christmas and 2012, lets make it the best year yet

Paul

Anxiety success story

October 13th, 2011

Hi Everyone, I was asked by a member if he could let others know about his own story of recovery. I was only too pleased and thought I would do a new post with the story included.

Firstly I would say the hard part of recovery is keeping the faith that things will get better, too many people are impatient and think how they feel today, is the way they will feel in the future. I was tested many times through my own recovery and the odd day I would shed some tears, feel frustrated and back to square one. I would also feel the need to scoot off and find the miracle sentance or cure that would make it go away instantly. I knew though that I had to stop looking for a way to make it go away and become one with it. To take the sting out of it you have to learn to be fine with the way you feel. Don’t be anxious because you are anxious !

Also another part that is very important is having the faith in yourself. When anxious our subconcious plays many tricks. We may think about going somewhere or doing a certain task and the hovering anxiety tells us to take the safe route and hide away, don’t go. Then we get frustrated that we can’t do ordinary tings and start questioning everything. It really is about feeling the apprehension and just doing it anyway, what you are getting is a false signal caused my your current state. I could write a long list of all the times I just went straight through my insecurites, my fears and apprehensions and nothing ever happened. I knew this was the way to get my life back, to stop giving in to my anxiety, to take away it’s power and see what it really had, I wanted to stop closing doors and start opening them and this meant going against my instincts and start living again. I can’t recall how many times people have come to me and said ‘I used to do this, but I can’t anymore’ when asked why they can’t, they cannot answer. You can do anything you want, there is nothing to stop you, don’t listen to that voice that says you cannot and start to nurture that voice that says you can. To feel normality you have to live normal, to lose your fears you have to go through them, not around them, you have to have the faith that although you may not always feel great, you will be fine. Anxiety symptoms really are surface symptoms, you have not lost who you are, that person is just waiting to resurface again.

Anyway here is the story that was passed on to me, hope it helps and inspired people.

Hello everyone, I haven’t visited this website in so long. The reason? Because I am no longer anxiety ridden. In fact, I rarely think about it anymore. Now that I went back to see what’s new here, I realized and got reminded how many people are still suffering with anxiety, the SAME way I used to. I remember when my life was hell and anxiety cosumed me every moment of my day. Everything,  had to be planned “in case I panic”. I avoided many activities. I almost became house ridden, but thank God I went to go see a doctor specializing in anxiety and CBT treatment. After I saw him, I wasn’t cured, I just felt a little bit more comfortable and he boosted up my confidence that I could beat it. I remember thinking “How long will it take? Why has it been a year and I am still anxious?”. The main solution came from this website. Paul was so right when he said “just start living your life, stop consuming yourself with anxiety and constantly researching it. Just stop and do the things you used to enjoy and the freedom will come to you, layer by layer, slowly but surely if you just stop thinking about it constantly.”

I remember asking myself “How can I stop thinking about it and live my life when I feel like im on the verge of an emotional breakdown or something?”. But I SLOWLY stopped letting anxiety ruling my life. I was scared to do everything I used to do at once, so I started “progressive exposure”. I would go out where I would feel somewhat comfortable at first, then once I got more confidence I started throwing more things into my daily activities. Eventually I got confident that even though I am out and I have anxiety INITIALLY, I am still going to stay there and I will NOT run home and avoid it. I knew that this is an essential part of recovery and no magic pill will ever make me feel better, it was up to me and slowly I started enjoying my life again, I got more confident and rarely get anxious anymore, when I do, I know I am not going back to square one again. after all, anxiety is a natural and a normal human emotion. 

I know we became used to being ’scared ‘ of anxiety, thinking we MUST not feel it ever, but in reality, we will feel it on many occasions and take it as a normal part of life where we know it will not stick around forever. The real difference between “normal people” and anxiety ridden people, is that anxious people experience anxiety and take it as a some sort of catastrophic event, where as normal people experience it , and say “oh well” and move on with their activities and the feeling eventually passes, that’s the KEY. 

I hope this short story helps. just stick with this website, get courage and start living the life and it shall pass, I promise.

Anon

I just want to add something to the story sent in above;

The key point is that you probably will feel anxious when you go somewhere or do something that in the past you have avoided, but so what? Again feeling anxious has been here since the dawn of time, it is how people reacted to it that differs. Remember it is just adrenalin, it cannot harm you , it’s just a feeling, a feeling that was put there to protect you, it truly is nothing to run or hide away from.

I always found that when I did not go for the quick escape or run away from it and rode it out, then it always calmed. You cannot produce adrenalin indefinately anyway, that is a medicl fact, so it will always calm. I eventually got to the point where I did not care if I felt anxious or not, it made no difference to me, it was just became a harmless feeling and that was when the real progress started as it was no longer an issue.

I hope the above helps and inspires people.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

I always feel everyday is a battle with my anxiety

August 11th, 2011

Well as promised here is the post I promised, again the last few weeks have been a bit all over the place with the post on the run and the film/song. Today we go back to advice which starts below.

I actually got the idea for the post when I was on holiday last week as I was sat outside in the sun having a bottle of cider and looking at the great view. It was then I remembered a holiday I had when I sufferered many years ago and spent it all trying to feel better.

It started off with, ‘The holiday will make me feel better’

‘I will go for a walk and that will make me feel better’

‘I will go swimming, that will make me feel better’

This really was all the holiday and each day was about, making myself feel better. This is what I had to change, to stop trying to feel better, to stop always trying to supress the bad. It was only later when I truly understood that I had to be o.k with the bad, go towards it and feel it. I had to stop trying to supress the way i felt and stop spending all my day seeking to feel better, trying to avoid and supress bad feelings. This was the battle I was still having with myself, a battle I could never win. If I stopped trying to supress the bad and walked alongside it, the battle would end. I had to stop trying to make the pain go away, I had to stop trying to solve the problem that i could never solve.

I have a small interest in buddism and it is all built around having a calm mind, it does not want to fight all day, to battle with feelings, to keep trying to supress, it just wants to be left alone. i had to stop aiming for peace and just let it come to me.

The more we allow the bad, allow ourselves to feel the way we do without supression, without searching for peace, the less respect we give it and the stronger and more resiliant we become. The less we use our minds to solve a problem time and time again, the more flexible and at peace it becomes. This of course goes against our impulse to fix things, we have a scratch and we itch it, we are always looking for comfort. But it is this looking for comfort with anxiety that keeps us in the cycle. 

I am sure everyone who has improved or recovered here will say one thing. That they hardly if ever fight or battle with how they are feeling now, that they have stopped trying to mentally run around and solve the problem. It really is about letting things go, throwing away all your coping tools. It’s almost like being stripped naked and just being you again with all the past anxiety baggage left behind.

I dropped and no longer had aims of who I wanted to be, about how i wanted to feel, whilst I was always aiming, then the fight was still on each day, striving to be something or someone or to feel a certain way.  This led to tremendous relif in the long run and made me feel far more relaxed, a relaxed mind leads to a relaxed body. I had to learn though not to fight towards relaxation or seek it out like I did on the holiday I mentioned earlier.

If people truly accepted themselves for who they are, then the blog would be dead, as everyone would just be living alongside the way they felt without question and without fight. This is because it is in our human nature to avoid pain, to avoid feelings, to seek feeling better. It is this automatic reaction that we need to change. I no longer seeked out the good or avoided the pain, it was part of me for now and I had to accept that, I learnt to be o.k with not feeling perfect. I gave up the battle to feel better, to work it all out, it had drained me for too many years and got me nowhere, if something was making me feel worse, then why not seek out doing the opposite. If only it was our human reaction to do nothing, things would be far easier.

To finish I remember a documentary on T.V about a lady who was burnt very badly in a fire when she was younger and at first she hid away, hated her refelection, was full of hate and self pity. Her life was utterly miserable, she was full of hate and self pity , all created because whe did not want to be who she was. When asked what turned her life around, she said it was the day she finally accepted herself for who she was, this was the only thing that truly brought her peace and gave her, her life back.

Wise words indeed

I hope that post helps people and they can really relate to it

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

My charity run for anxietyuk

July 21st, 2011

Many people may remember me doing a charity run a couple of years ago for anxietycare, a London based charity that does great work and relys totally on volunteers. Well I decided to get fit again and do another one, this year for another excellent charity called Anxietyuk . They are the largest charity in the U.K and rely on donations to keep them going and are manned mainly by volunteers. They do some great work and have helped many people at their lowest ebb,  that first contact with someone who understands and does not judge is so important and without charitys like this it would not be possible.

If any would like to sponser me I have set a page up where people can donate, again I don’t want anyone to sponser with money they can not afford, any size donation all helps, but it is always a personal choice. I hope to raise as much as I did 3 years ago and will be bugging friends and family :-)

I promise also to get more involved in the blog when I come back from holiday and place a new post up. I have been so busy recently and things will be back to normal when I get back on the 12th of August. Please just use the other blog posts for help and advice, even though I go away on Monday, people will still be looking after and moderating the blog.

If anyone would like to sponser me for the run which is the Wetherby 10k in september, then the page is below and I will also thank everyone personally, it means a lot.

http://www.bmycharity.com/anxietynomoreuk

Thanks Paul

Anxiety film and song dedicated to the site

June 15th, 2011

I received two emails a couple of weeks ago which I found very interesting and I wanted to share. Both were very humbling and really meant a lot to me, they were a short film and song, both inspired by the site and book.

The first email was from Dash Berlin, who has had huge success around the world with their music. The email with the link to the song is below. I truly love the song and the style of music is really my type, I have also placed a link to the lryics below the email.

Hey Paul,

Just wanted to let you know your (life changing) book has inspired us
to write this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qScjGvaix0

All over the world people are singing a long..

Cheers

Seb

Lyrics

http://artists.letssingit.com/dash-berlin-lyrics-disarm-yourself-feat-emma-hewitt-qdt6b8m

The second email came a few days after, which stated a short film was made in dedication of the site/book. Here is part of the email after I gave feedback telling us more about the film. I watched it and found it very well done and I could relate to so, so much of it, it was basically my life many years ago.

Hi Paul,  I’m a Uni student and I made it for my final major project. The guy in it is an actor from Manchester!  We want to enter it into various film fests and try and get it nominated at the royal television awards. It’s on vimeo and feel free to link to it.

I really really appreciate your positive feedback. I’m glad you can relate. It was such a hard topic to try and tackle. There is so much you could try to squeeze into a film that it was difficult to decide how it could be done as simply as possible. I was a little worried that people wouldn’t get it. By all means share the video around it will be nice to get interest. I hope it works to give others hope and Fingers crossed we get good marks too!

John

Here is the link to the film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLrO6gGtDD4&sns=em

I just wanted to thank both Seb and John for making the song and film and it did mean a lot to me that the site could inspire both projects.

Paul

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My partner suffers with panic issues

May 10th, 2011

We will talk about todays title further down, I just wanted to cover a few other things also.

Firstly I thought last month was a very good one for help and advice, thanks to Will/Scarlet and others that have contributed. I always set out to just build a community where people could just come and talk and find some support and advice. I know how important this is as I used to see a lady once a week through the NHS.  Her knowledge on anxiety was o.k, but it was a chance for me to talk without judgement, to bounce ideas of each other, to offload, just to talk with someone who understood. This was always a great help to me and I would walk out with a new sense of freedom and confidence and it was something I wanted for others to be able to do, as people know anxiety can be a very lonely place.

Also if anyone asks me anything on the blog and I don’t reply, then please don’t take offence. It is nothing personal, I just have days when I have plenty of time and am able to answer and other times when I have no time at all. I tend to read about 60% of posts and may miss many. Also rather than directing a question at someone I think you have a far better chance of a response if you just ask it generally as then anyone can pick it up.

To finish, I recently added some extra pages to the main site as people will know. But I am always open to new ides for pages that may help the majority. If anyone has any ideas for new pages/ideas, then please feel free to mention them.

On another subject I recently saw an advert in the local paper for a dog walker 3 times a week and put my name forward. The money just covers my petrol, but I have to say it is the best thing I ever did. I usually go for around a couple of hours around dinnertime and have some great views and moorland to walk over. Her favourite trick is running in and out of streams and then shaking herself down and soaking me through. I just read about someone who mentioned they adopted a dog and found it very helpful. I am not telling everyone to go out and buy a dog by any means, just that the exercise, the fresh air and the other focus to the day can really help, whatever you choose to do. Remember your focus tomorrow should not to be rid yourself of anxiety, it should be to get the shopping done, to visit that friend, to take the dog out, to get that job done. I work from home, but I always try and fill my day with living and a positive focus.

Anyway on to this weeks subject:

My partner of many years was with me through most of my dark days and was very supportive and non judgemental. Two weeks ago she seemed very quiet for a while and a bit distant. She then confided in me that she felt panicky at work and this had gone on for a few weeks, but she did not want to say anything and went to her doctor without telling me. She had this strange notion that if she burdened me with the way she was feeling, it may bring my old feelings back.

The history to this happening was that she is in a high pressure job as a truancy officer at school and recently staff have been cut and more and more pressure was put on her. I actually told her last year how important it was to let any pressure go over her head and to just explain that you can only do what you can do and if they want more work out of you, then they would have to employ someone else. She did not take heed of this advice and let it all get on top of her until the stress over flowed and she felt episodes of panic.

Thankfully she eventually told me how she was feeling and the first thing I did was sit her down and explain why she felt this way, what was happening and more than anything that these feelings were harmless and were just an overflow of stress. Just a simple explanation helped calm her down.

We then went out that day for a drive and a meal and she kept gasping for air, holding on to her seat and darting her eyes around. I stopped the car and said to her, ‘You are trying to push these feelings away and stop them coming, take your hand off the seat and allow the feelings to come, it is just the excess stress you have built up releasing itself, I know it feels over whelming, but allow it to come and it will pass’  This is what she did and then a minute later a big smile came across her face and she said ‘It has passed now’. I explained to her that in allowing it to come, then it had no fuel to feed on and it spent itself. When you tried to stop it coming and hold on to yourself, you looked at it with total fear and fear on fear is the fuel it needs.

The next step was to tell her to take some time out from work for a little while, just to have a mental and physical break. This was not running away from the situation, she just needed a time out. Also to come out on walks and bike rides with me and not sit at home feeling sorry for herself, it was relaxation with action, not just staying in bed or watching T.V all day.

She then had to go back into work to hand her note in and have a quick word with her boss. Before she went she felt full of dread and panicky, I explained it was just an association to the place were she first felt this way and the school was not the problem, it was the stress she had been under and this could have happened anywhere. The best thing to do then would be to tell her bosses what had caused her to feel this way and that on return this pressure must be taken out of the situation.

She is now near the end of her break from work and feeling far better. She has had some episodes of feeling panicky, one being when she was asked out last week with all her friends. I told her that this was brought on because she had to mix with people for the first time and she was worried that she may feel overwhelmed and make a fool of herself. She agreed this was the reason and however she felt she was going, she did go and felt on the whole fine.

There was no earth shattering advice, I just kept it simple and it stopped her falling into any cycle. I even explained that she should expect to feel panicky when she went back to the work for the first time through memory and that this episode would pass if she allowed it all to come without resistance and trust in what I had told her, that it was totally harmless and just excess adrenalin over flowing.

The quicker you can give people an explanation the better, as it takes so much fear out of the equation and stops them falling into cycles. I know I would have been saved years of suffering if I had been given the right advice and guidence. I would have still been through a breakdown, but would have never spent 10 years getting worse.

Just to finish on this story; My partner said she understood far more of what I went through and although she trusted in what I told her, that actual doing was sometimes much harder. I told her that our body is there to protect us and when we feel any feelings of panic it sends a message to our brain to fight or escape, when we need not do any, just let it spend itself. It is like a bungee jumper who knows he is safe and the rope will stop him falling, yet his mind is telling him there is danger and not to jump. Going towards feelings of panic and allowing yourself to feel it, without running for the nearest exit is the same, it goes against all instincts. You just have to trust that you will be fine.

I took a choice one day to never run away from how I was feeling again. The first few times were the hardest as I was so used to avoiding, the temptation to run away from myself was strong. But I thought to myself ‘What’s the worst that can happen here, I understand it is just adrenalin and that it cannot harm me?’ The only way to find out if I do cope is to go straight through it. There were a few tests, going on a ride at a theme park where they strapped me in and there was no escape, the usual feelings surfaced, but I just sat on them and then within a short period of time felt a sense of calm. Adrenalin came as my body was used to seeing danger in these situations, it gave me the choice to run or stay, it was saying

‘There seems danger here Paul’,

My response by staying and not escaping is;

‘No there is not, thanks anyway’

And then it reacts by saying

‘O.k I am not needed, off I go and enjoy yourself’.

This is where the sense of calm arrives, adrenalin can not be produced indefininetly, fact. So it always has to calm down, it always does, it will though calm far quicker when given the right siganls

I used to enter a quiz and if you won it you had to read it the week after. This was my ultimate nightmare and I always passed it on to others, until one week I said I would do it. The fear rose, but I went straight towards it and just read the quiz, within a few minutes the fear had subsided and i had a massive smile on my face. After that I knew I could and would cope and nothing did happen as long as I did not add fear on fear and just allowed it to come. Things just got easier and easier, but I had to put myself out there and trust in what I had learnt.

I am not trying to simplify things here, people who have suffered with panic issues for many years have far more memory of suffering, avoidence habits etc, but the core principles are the same.

My partner has been lucky and was given an explanation very quickly and was able to learn so much in such a short period of time and now states that she does not wake up now watching herself and hoping that the feelings don’t come, feeling totally at their mercy, like she did a few weeks ago. She knows if she allows them to come without objection, they will always die down. Just a simple explanation has been able to help her change her attitude towards these feelings and stop a cycle in it’s tracks.

Today’s post was a mixture of different things and a story at the end to show that we live in a far more stressful world with more pressures in life and that anxiety and panic can hit anyone. Hopefully in years to come with the growth of the internet, people will be able to find real help far sooner and not have to go through years of needless suffering.

Here’s hoping :-)

Also I have recently joined twitter, if anyone wants to follow me it’s anxietynomoreuk. I will keep people up to date with any new info, new posts and other bits and bobs.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

Anxiety success stories

March 1st, 2011

As promised here are some success stories gathered over the last year or so, I get many of these sent to me through emails or people post them on the blog and I think they are a great way to inspire others.

I recently added a few to the book and here are a small collection of them. I was going to try and paste them in here, but the blog does not take kindly to pasting and it messes all the fonts and layout.

I have also added an ex members story Tarmo who suffered with depersonalisation and came through. He offered to write a piece for the chapter on depersonalisation in my book which was very well written and may help others.

Also I have added a new page on the site Entitled advice for family/partners. This is just a section to help partners help and understand better what their loved one is going through.

Click the links below to go to the relative pages

Success stories

Anxiety success stories

Advice for family and friends

Support from family and friends with anxiety

Tarmos story of recovery from Depersonalisation

How I overcame depersonalisation

Hope that helps some people

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

Changing your attitude towards anxiety

January 6th, 2011

Firstly sorry for the late post, as stated it was computer problems. I still don’t have access to my files where I placed the success stories, so here is a seperate post until I get my files back.

Just before I start I have recently joined twitter if any wants to follow me at anxietynomoreuk . I will post on there when there any new posts, interesting comments, changes to the new site and any other news of interest.

One other thing, I keep getting emails from people off the blog asking if I can do a post on this subject or that subject. I can’t do requests, as I can’t just help one person, it has to be for the benefit of everyone, so please don’t be offended.

O.k to todays post. After looking through and reading a lot of posts I decided to talk about people’s attitude to anxiety. If anyone ever asks me what was the eureka moment, what really helped? I always say it was a shift in my attitude to how I felt. This mainly comes through a better understanding of the subject, as it is far easier to be less impressed by certain symptoms of anxiety when you understand it far better. This is why you see people on here move forward over time. They start to understand far more and there symptoms impress them less, yes they may still dislike them, but they are able to see them in a different light. When someone writes a positive post it is obvious that there has been a big shift in attitude to how they view how they feel.

So let’s try and help change this shift in attitude. One thing to make very clear is resist the need to work everything out, please don’t waste time and energy doing this, it is time to interact with the world around you and not yourself and how you are feeling, this just makes you feel more inward. Read the posts and replies on the blog, add a little info elsewhere and then just get on with making the tea, seeing friends and being you. That is what I did not do in my early years. I would read some info and then go away and go over and over it, trying to figure this out, that out, testing myself, question this or that. It truly was a vicious cycle and I had no hope of being part of the world around me, when my whole world was me.

What I ended up doing was educating myself and then I would  just go away and live my life exactly how I would if I did not feel this way. I had being totally induldged in me and how I felt, my mind was totally shattered, it could take no more, it needed a break, the best way to do this was to DROP the subject and just go and live my life whilst taking how I felt with me.

That is why people go to work and then have a home life. If they dealt in cars all day and then thought about cars all night when they got home, went over and over which car to sell tomorrow, spent all there weekends thinking about cars,  then the subject would become them, they have let nothing else in, this is why it is vital to take some breaks. You can’t take breaks if you go into every situation questioning why you feel this way, why it went like it did, what may help etc.

The best advice and one line I think I can ever give to put this point forward is ‘Live like you don’t have it’ that truly was me in the end, I went around like the person I was before and took how I felt with me without question and I eventually became that person, I was no longer a victim. I have said many times if you act like a victim of anxiety, then you become one, a slave to it. I don’t claim this to be easy, it can really test your willpower at times, but it is so helpful in the long term.

I would go to a quiz each week with friends and I mostly felt horrible and detached, I truly just wanted to go home, but I did’nt. I never tried to come across as normal or act my way through the night, I was just me and if that meant being a little quiet then so be it. I was not running home feeling sorry for myself, anxiety was not winning, I was. These trips to the quiz went on for many months and each time I went I would feel a little more comfortable and a little more normal, until I was sitting chatting away and enjoying myself. I would also walk up town twice a week and feel overwhelmed, the crowds, the unreality of it all etc, but I would just go and do my shopping. Sometimes I had to look at the price of an item 3 times before it sunk in, but I never questioned why I felt this way, I just got on the best I could. Again these trips became easier and easier, a shift back to me was certainly happening.

This is the reason so many people stay in the cycle because every instinct says ‘go home, it’s easier there’ or ‘try and fix this, this is not right’. I think everyone who has recovered or really moved forward will all say they had to go against their instinct many times.. That is because we are built to make a decision when anxious, anxious feelings mean flee or find the danger. Well there is no danger and there is no need to flee, it’s a false signal that we should simply move on from.

I always say people are too impressed by how they are feeling at the present time, that’s when all the ‘What am I doing wrong’?, ‘Why do I feel this way’? , ‘What can I do to help it’? , ‘I hate this feeling, why me’? starts. How you feel now has no bearing on how you may feel in a few months time, none at all.

So 4 key points to finish:

1.  Begin to learn to be less impressed by the way you feel, even if you don’t understand why you feel a certain way, it doesnt matter, just place it all under the umbrella of anxiety.

2. Live your life like you don’t have it. Don’t scurry home or cancel appointments, run away from a friend to get away from a conversation etc, just go everywhere at will, anxious or not, it can’t and never will do you any harm.

3. Don’t go over and over how you feel or feel the need to work it all out, disect it. By all means educate yourself by reading the book or the blog and then just go and get on with your day. Never be afraid to drop the subject for a while, I have advised people on here that they are becoming too indulged in the subject and to have a week off and just add some living in.

4. Don’t see anxiety or the sensations that come with it as the enemy, embrace them, they are only feelings/sensations that can do you no harm.

I hope someone finds something in the above

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

Merry Christmas and a happy new year

December 22nd, 2010

Feel free to keep posting on the previous post, but I would like this one to be dedicated to wishing everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year. There will be many people on here who have come so far in 2010 and made huge strides, so let’s make 2011 the same and make it the best year yet.

I am now signing off until the new year as I have a busy family schedule and like to give myself a couple of weeks off at this time of year. But I promise to keep posting next year. The posts will be fewer and far between as I don’t want to talk for the sake of talking and it does get harder to find new material, but there is always something to say to help and it let’s others help and support each other in the replies below each post. Also the new post will come in the new year, I am still waiting for my P.C to be repaired and access my folders where the information is held, as soon as i get it back I will post it up.

So here’s wishing everyone a happy christmas and a happy new year!

And to finish this place was never set up to be a question and answer place and I never want it to turn into a forum type site, but the support people have given to others is priceless. Anxiety can be a lonely place and just knowing there is someone there to listen is so important. So thanks to all those that have contributed and made this place what it is.

See you in 2011

Best wishes

Paul

How long does it take to recover from anxiety?

October 21st, 2010

Today’s title has no definite answer and is almost like saying how long is a piece of string.

We are all different, but so similar in our suffering, the main difference can be how long we have suffered, as the person who has suffered many years may have built up more habits of avoidence, safety behaviours that they find harder to break then someone who has suffered a few months. Also the person who has suffered longer may have more memory of suffering and they may have fallen into a life where they have forgotten what it was like to feel normal, where the person who has suffered a few months, still has these feelings of normality close to them.

As people know I suffered for ten years, so I had certainly built up a lot of habits and memory of suffering was pretty strong, I had just got used to not feeling normal and it actually began to feel normal in my world, I had known nothing else for so long.

But deep down I knew the real me was underneath all this, I mean I had lived for 25 years without anxiety and D.P and 10 years with it, so I had more deep down memory of normailty, I just had to reverse the procedure. This takes me on to reversing habits, I certainly had developed many avoidence and safety behaviours and I had to go against my instincts and change these habits, not run away when I felt overwhelmed, not shy away from meeting new people, not putting off going places and let anxiety rule what I did and did not do. It was hard and I did just want to hide away at times, but I knew this new attitude had to become me and in time it did, the habit of avoidence started to reverse and it became second nature to not let anxiety stop me living my life, it still felt unreal, odd and overwhelming at times, but that was fine as I did not expect instant salvation. Again don’t wait to feel better to live your life and go places, live your life with anxiety present and all that goes with it, this is when you will begin to feel a shift. Again you are living a normal life and not hiding and shying away from how you feel, the more normal life you pack in the more normal you will begin to feel. Nothing is gained through safety behaviours or avoidence as you are saying ‘I don’t want to feel that way’ I will avoid, this attitude will always make a feeling the enemy, something to run away from, your body and mind will always go along with the message you send it.

You will find that you feel so far away from recovery one day and so near the next, again this is down to memory of past suffering. The smallest thing may have you feeling anxious or down again, the problem is when we feel anxious again it can hit us harder than before, mainly as we had felt some freedom, we thought this damn thing had gone forever, we may try and fight and scramble to how we felt the day before, if not then we must find out why we felt great yesterday and damn awful now, there must be a reason, what have I done wrong? Well nothing at all, you must go through this up and down process, no one can expect to suffer for so long and not have bad days, it is your mind and body going through a process of recovery. At one time you may have felt no good days, so just feeling moments of normality should tell you that you are on your way, a change is happening, but don’t expect that change to be plain sailing, trust me it is an up and down affair, the doubts will resurface, the willpower may weaken, you may feel as bad as ever at times, but be o.k with this, remember your body and mind is just going through a process of reversal.

In time you will have more good days than bad, memory of past suffering is not as raw and memory of feeling normal starts to surface, new habits begin to surface, going here and there and not avoiding becomes second nature, you no longer have to try. Not worrying daily about how you feel becomes second nature, not analysing how you feel becomes your new habit, living your life alongside anxiety becomes easier, at first you may have had to drag yourself there as the old you wanted you to hide away, not now, it’s become your new habit to live alongside how you feel and not let anxiety make decisions for you.

I need to get the point across that symptoms need not to viewed as a problem anymore, something to avoid, pull away from, the enemy, with this attitude they will always be something to get rid off, to pull away from, they will have you thinking ‘How do I get rid of this or that?’ It is the same with someone who struggles with anxious thoughts, these maybe scary, question our existence, etc, the thought is not important, they are anxiety based and rely on your hate and belief that they are real of them to stay in the cycle. ‘I must not think that’ , ‘Oh I think it therefore it must be real’ , ‘Am I going crazy?’ you may pull away from a thought, try and forget it only to find it sticks, this is because you are anxious about that thought, paying it all the respect it needs, this may end in ‘Oh how do I stop thinking this way?’ The far easier way is to no longer see them as a problem, let them shout loud, but understand they are not real and just anxiety based, I had many anxious thoughts in my years of suffering, these really threw me in the early days until I understood they were anxiety based and not important, I have no anxious thoughts at all now, because I am anxiety free, without anxiety they cannot exist FACT. I had a great insight into this after I used to go for a long run, I would come back having burnt off all my excess adrenalin and would feel great with a clear mind and in this short time I could view reality, I had no anxious thoughts at this time, proving what I already knew that all anxious thoughts were just anxiety based and they were not real or important in the slightest.

The whole point like any symptom is to stop seeing them as a problem, you will always have anxious thoughts, whilst your are anxious about them. You will always struggle with talking with others if you keep avoiding eye contact or make excuses to run away, you will always struggle with going places if you give in to how you feel and make excuses not to go. You need to stop seeing how you feel or think as a problem, see it as normal in the circumstances, which it is for now. If you view your thinking with this new attitude, then the next anxiety thought will not hold such importance, it will just be something you move on from, knowing it is just anxiety based and not important in the slightest, you wont need reassuarance about your sanity, you will understand they are not real and wont feel the need to not think this way. The shift in attitude is not to care what you think or how you feel at any given time, I don’t mean you have to like it, but begin to be o.k with it, take the stress and anxiety out of how you think and feel. I spent years stressing and getting anxious about how I felt, it was only normal when I had no idea what was wrong, but it is the single most important reason that made me sink deeper into the condition, it is only when I began to do the opposite that changes came about.

It really is a process you cannot rush and the answer to the Question ‘How long does it take to recover from anxiety?’ There is no time limit, it can depend on how long we have suffered, how we deal with bad days, our new attitude to how we feel, how much we are willing to go towards how we feel, not letting anxiety rule what we do and do not do. Putting a time limit on recovery just leads to you watching your progress, time limits lead to dissapointment, time limits lead to impatience. Recovery time depends on a few factors and the only thing that is important is to give your body and mind as much time and space as it needs to recover. The less pressure you put on recovery the better, don’t see it as important, that is when recovery will just creep up on you. I never even thought about it, I was just happy to feel better/progress and that attitude was very important.

Full recovery for me was not one day feeling great and never having a bad day. It was a process, I just started to have more good than bad days, my mind became clearer and clearer, my anxiety was at a very low level. I could still have an awful week, but these periods meant nothing to me, I just went with them and they soon passed. It got to the point where I had the very odd bad day and even then it was just a mere irritation, my mind would have the odd day where thoughts were laboured, but nothing like before, it was just the final process now, just bits of old memory hanging about, nothing at all to be impressed with. These bad days became so rare and eventually nothing, there was no celebration as it was so gradual. But I do remember wanting to pack in as much living as possible, I joined friends on every trip out, joined new clubs, finding new hobbys, loving the fact I could just go anywhere without feeling yucky, being able to hold conversations without wanting to run away, to feel enjoyment instead of just going through the motions, it was like being let out of a prison, but it was me that found the key. I am still like that today and have a full social life and one thing about recovery is it feels great to be apart of life again, my attitude to what was important shifted and I woke up with a smile each day, little things no longer bothered me, it truly was like being reborn.

That is open to everyone, nothing I read or was told in my early days had me believing I would ever recover, but I knew there must be a way and I was not going to give up until I found the answers. On this blog we only see a very small minority of people’s progress and the people who have been around a while will know how many came here in such a hole and have now gone on to fully recover after years of getting nowhere. I also get weekly emails from people who don’t come on the blog,  to say they are now back at work and things are getting so much easier, these are not monthly emails, I receive them on a regular basis. One thing that connects all these people though is they had the belief and patience to recover. In my next post I will post a collection of these success stories.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Follow me on Twitter

I feel my attention is always on me with anxiety

August 16th, 2010

Again sorry for the late post, I have been away and had 101 things to sort out when I got back.

I was going to do a post on D.P, but have decided to cover another subject that comes up regular on here and something I struggled with in the latter part of my recovery. Which is I could not seem to shake the attention of myself, as though my mind would not stop reverting back to me and how I felt.

Most here know that this comes through months and in a lot of cases years of being bothered about how we feel, looking in, monitoring our symptoms and spending hours trying to do something about them. I was a master at this for many years, always looking and searching in my mind for that magic cure or sentence that would stop the hell. In my day there was no internet to look through or find information, I found the medical world a waste of time and was just shoved from pillar to post and given more useless pills.

I was in such a lonely place, a place where I lived 2 lives. One was trying to figure out this hell, just existing through the day like an empty walking shell with little interest in the outside world and my surroundings and the other person was the one that had to act through the day, trying to appear normal, smile in the right places, try and hold some sort of conversation, when all I wanted to do was run away. It truly was a living hell and one I was falling deeper and deeper into. The more I thought and worried about me, the more isolated I felt, so I thought and worried about me even more, it was a terrible cycle. I even recall walking to work one day where I felt so self aware and so out of touch with my surroundings that I had to count cars on the way, just something to try and connect with the world arround me, I was so wore down with it all.

Many people go through this feeling of detachment for a few months and then are able to find the right help and come through this stage pretty easy as habits have not really been ingrained as of yet. Just like the person who has lost someone close and appears in a world of their own for a few weeks, eventually time heals and they can connect quite easy with the outside world and their surroundings. But the reason is the same, they are consumed with grief and their own feelings, they have little time for the outside world and what is going on around them, hence while they seem lost and distant. Someone may even lose their job and be like this for 2/3 days, they are just so concerned with a subject they can take nothing else in. That certainly relates to most people who suffer with anxiety and our main reason is that we don’t understand and become more and more concerned with how we are feeling and how to get better.

For many like myself though this habit can seem to be ingrained and hard to shake off. Well I went through this for years and was able to love the outside world again, feel part of it, no longer care about how I felt. Of course one of the stages was an understanding of why I felt the way I did, if I understood it there was no need to waste my time going over it, so it did improve and certainly stopped the cycle, but this self awareness still hung around to a degree.

In the past we have covered the usual points of finding hobbies and keeping busy, not sitting around with too much time on our hands feeling sorry for ourselves. Allowing ourselves to feel odd and strange without caring or being alarmed by it. This are 2 very important points that have been covered before, but I wanted to add a few more points and ideas as looking through posts people do tend to struggle with this self awareness.

Firstly a lot of people may think, ‘Right that’s me done with the subject, I am not looking it up anymore or reading about it, no from tomorrow I am never thinking about it or concerning myself with it again’ What they end up doing is running away from how they feel, trying to push the subject away and ignore it, this ends up a battle in itself, as they have thought and spoke about it so often they can’t just turn it off like a tap. Building your knowledge up with anxiety is fine and there is no need to avoid the subject, I am involved in it and probably will be all my life and it certainly does not have me feeling lost and self aware again. The reason being is that I don’t spend too much time on it, I have a healthy social life that keeps me very busy and the subject is just a part of my life, not my life like it used to be, there are plenty of other things that take my attention though the week and my life is healthy and my mind is stimulated. So don’t think you have to ‘not’ think about the subject, it’s fine to come here when you need a boost or you feel you need something answering. the problem can occur though when sites/forums, or whatever it maybe becomes your day/week. Switching the computer on and spending your day trying to find more answers, looking, reading, going from one site to another trying to find something to make you feel better, something you have missed, when the real tonic for that day would be to have your breakfast and go about your day however you felt, for once don’t be concerned about how you feel or how to make it better, just live your life. You can never hope to be part of the outside world again if you don’t involve yourself in it.

One point I really want to add to the above is to finally trust yourself to go it alone and not rely on this place as a crutch, to drop all the safety behaviours you have. I don’t think you ever stop learning about anxiety, but there comes a point when you understand enough to say ‘I am not using the blog as a comfort blanket anymore’, I will still read up now and again as it helps me at my lowest points and sometimes I do feel stuck at times, but I need to trust in myself more and move forward. And when I say trust in yourself I mean don’t feel the need to repeat sayings to yourself through the day, trying to remember what so and so said to help in this situation, reminding yourself how to get through this, what to say.

I also did this, it was like a military situation when I went anywhere, I would feel anxious and repeat mantras of ‘It’s o.k it is just adrenalin’ ‘Accept it Paul’ , next the oddness would descend and I would be trying to scramble back to what I had learnt about this ‘Erm o.k this is just my tired mind, me focusing on myself for so long, it will pass’ Then it would be hang on I have accepted it and it is not passing, ‘erm what else can I say? I must cope with this’,  I would then try another saying, then it would be ‘Have I done anything wrong, this is not getting any easier or better?’

Can you see what I was doing? I was back on me all day long and trying to find ways to cope, no wonder I felt odd and anxious. I realised in time I just had to go it alone, I could not rely on sayings or safety behaviours to get me through the day, I had to fully trust in my mind and body, the greatest healers in the world, they did not need me to keep interfering, I just needed my ‘whatever’ attitude and nothing else.

After the realisation that if I just let go of all these sayings and safety behaviours I could cope fine, it was a massive step forward for me, don’t get me wrong, some days were still hellish and I could feel hyper aware, but I would just go straight through it, live that day with the oddness and strangeness with little concern and not run away from it or try and make it better, but to just go straight through.

This was the final stage in me losing my awareness of me and it was that true feeling of believing I now had the tools to move forward without a crutch or the need to remind myself of what to do, trust me you never lose what you have learnt, it is all stored up there fine. It is like learning to drive, you don’t have to remind yourself anymore of moving the gears, pressing the clutch, you don’t have to take a new lesson each week, you have learnt enough and it became automatic in time. And this is how it eventually comes with getting through your day. So don’t be afraid to put down your tools and safety behaviours, drop your sayings and just go it alone, trust me you will be fine.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Anxiety tips and tricks

June 23rd, 2010

Again sorry for the late post……..

Today I thought I would do something a little bit different and make it where others can partcipate and share there own tips on what has really helped them. I would say educating myself was by far the most important thing that helped me, understanding why I felt the way I did, helped take all the fear and worry out of it and opened up the door for me to begin my recovery. I no longer spent each day worrying and trying to fix how I felt, this in turn helped my mind and body have the breaks it needed to heal. But there were a few things along the way that helped me and without going into loads of detail on each one here are just a few.

Exercise and keeping busy – I have mentioned it before but I took up exercise and it really helped. It burnt of all the excess adrenalin for a while and when I came back from a workout I felt great. The adrenalin would eventually build back up as my body created it faster than a normal body, due to years of over worrying. But it made me realise that all that was wrong with me was not mental in anyway, the exhausted body and feelings of detachment was just adrenalin on tired nerves and a tired mind.

Getting out of bed when I woke – I used to feel a little spaced out when I woke and would start to go monitor how I felt, sort of go through the day in my head, feel that ‘Oh here we go again’ start to the day. I found just waking and getting out of bed and being active in other simple things made a difference. Just going down and making breakfast, living my life how I should do and not sitting around moping and feeling sorry for myself.

Moving towards my feelings of anticipation - An anxious mind will have us believing all sorts of things that never actually happen. I would be one minute avoiding a situation in case I felt bad and the next I was not going to let anxiety to win and say I was going. I learnt that when I felt this way, it was far better to just go without thinking about it, just move right into the middle of whatever was having me question it. This attitude probably saved me from a life of avoidance. When I just went I can honestly say sometimes I still felt apprehensive and other times nothing and I have never felt so happy and proud of myself afterwards. Each time just unmasked a little more of the truth behind how I felt and my confidence just grew and grew, I could do anything and go anywhere, it was just my anxious mind that was trying to trick me into believing otherwise. You begin to no longer question or worry about places and situations as you have been there many times before, there is no ‘unknown’ left. This is not to say I run around doing this and that, I just continued to build it up slowly.

Never being impressed by how I felt at any particular time - Too many people use the word setback when really they are just going through the usual up and down stage that anxiety brings. Just as someone with depression can have good and bad days, so can someone from suffering with anxiety, it’s all part and parcel of it. A lot will come on here and say ‘I have cracked it, I have not felt anxious for a few days now, I am free’. I always worry about these posts as when they do have the next anxious moment they will let it throw them into total despair and feel sorry for themselves, wonder and question why, try to scramble their way back to how they felt the week before. Don’t get me wrong it took me a long time to build an attitude of being positive however I felt. Reacting to how you feel day by day or week by week just has you monitoring and fighting how you feel. Good or bad try and smile and get on, the good days will be back as night is day, but don’t try to force them.

Accepting all the oddness as part of me – I suffered pretty badly with D.P and feelings of detachment. One of the hardest things I learnt to do was accept these feelings as part of me, but in time I did. At one time I was trapped in this hell because I spent every waking minute monitoring how I felt, trying everything to fix it, make it better, I became more and more locked in my own mind. I then began to live with it, accept the strangeness as part of me, be it in a conversation or just walking down the road, I no longer let it impress me so much. I almost thought of it as being drunk, I accepted the feelings of drunkenness without a second thought because I understood them. Once I began to understand these feelings of detachment, it became easier to learn to accept them, even though it was tough at times. But again this is what saved me, I began to monitor myself less and less, the world around me began to again take my attention and little by little I felt more and more normal. Seeing someone who was grieving is the same thing, when you get that vacant stare out of them, like they are not really there. This is because they have not been able to think of anything else but the person they have lost, they have had no time for the outside world and have become trapped in themselves and can’t seem to properly connect, but in time they begin to come to terms with it and they take more and more interest in other things and the world around them and normality returns, that is exactly what I had to learn to do.

There are a few more that I will share with you later, but these were my own top 5.

Please feel free to share anything that has helped you, it would be good to list a few from others.

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Fighting our anxiety does us no good

April 22nd, 2010

Firstly I am back from the Isle of Wight, certain promises on accommadation and hours were not kept and it was not what I expected, so I thought it best to return and thanks to Candie for holding fort while I have been away. So as I have not posted in a while I decided to jump straight in.

One thing I think a lot of people are guilty of is trying to change or suppress how they feel. This I feel needs expanding on as in many cases it can come almost automatically. To find out if you fall into this category ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you spend any of your day trying to change how you feel?

2. Do you ever avoid something that may bring these feelings on?

3. Is your whole day consumed with getting better?

4. Do you only see a life without anxiety as something you must achieve?

5. Do you have a mental battle with yourself during the week, going round in circles trying to figure it all out?

If the answer is yes to any of the above then you are still trying to change or supress how you feel. Let’s start with each question and expand on it.

1. Do you spend your day trying to change how you feel?

This is a very common habit to get into, one I certainly fell for. We have tired and worn nerves that make our skin feel tingly, tense and we can become irritable. We also have a tired worn out mind that makes thinking slow and we feel odd and spaced out. None of these you can change by fighting against them, just allow and give them space. I was once walking into town and doing the usual, trying to control and suppress how I felt, I must control this, keep it under wraps, make it better.

I then went into a shop to pay for something and realised I had lost my wallet that had quite a sum of money in it. I was frantic trying to find it, I checked all my pockets, traced my last steps and went back to work devastated. I realised for the half hour when I was looking for this money that it became more important than how I felt and that I felt quite normal for this period, like my attention had switched from me and I was no longer concerned with how I felt, but more with the money I had lost.

That episode taught me that I needed to learn to switch from me and stop trying to control or suppress how I felt, it was not important and was only leading me to feel more detached than ever. I needed outward things to take up my attention and not waste so much time on me

Question 2: Do you ever avoid things that bring these feelings on?

Another classic and we can become masters at this. I always felt it was better to not feel these symptoms and would avoid situations that would bring them on. I used to make excuse after excuse to fit in with not feeling this way. Of course in time I realised this could not bring me home, it was o.k to feel anxious, this is where my progress will come from. So I no longer hid away. In the past I felt detached and anxious in social situations so avoided them, well no more, if I felt odd/anxious then so be it. 

I would avoid going into crowded places in case I felt overwhelmed. This changed and I went towards them with a ‘so what’ attitude. I would feel a little overwhelmed as expected and feel the need to escape, but I never did, I would not be bluffed into running away from a feeling. My life that was becoming narrower and narrower was now beginning to broaden and I realised more was less, the more anxiety I felt, the less it came in the future, to lose my fear I had to feel it and see it through and really see it for what it was, unmask the bogey man that was holding me back. Everytime I felt anxious or overwhlemed it had a peak and would always die down, if I had not gone towards and through these feelings I would have never found this out. This realisation broadened my life and I began to build up my confidence to do more and more.

Question 3: Is your whole day consumed with getting better?

Another trap I fell into, I would almost watch my progress daily, getting excited at the good days, thinking ‘that’s it I am fine’, then getting really down about the bad. I would always be tuning in to how I felt, it was a daily ritual. Again I lost this habit by moving away from the subject. I stopped reading up on the subject, stopped trying to find the next elusive eureka moment. I realised I needed to get back to living again and I almost dropped the subject and trusted that the knowledge I had built up was enough, that I would never lose what I had learnt and I no longer had to spend my day trying to find new answers. This really did help me. 

I have said it before but I hate forums for this very reason. I have seen people post 15 times a day for years on end, their anxiety consumes them, they think of nothing else. They can never really hope to move away and start living again, the subject almost becomes them and they think and talk of little else. This is why it is important to take time outs, to build up hobbies and interests. The subject is in my life, but at a normal manageable level and the reason I cannot answer personal emails on my main site. I truly would be answering people 24 hours a day, it would become impossible and again the subject would become my day/week, I would never get a break. Through the blog I can help people at a level I am comfortable with and have a life outside of the subject.

Question 4: Do you see a life without anxiety as something you must achieve?

This is a very important point. People who chase the dream of being anxiety free can tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves to do so and their days can be full of ups and downs and disappointments. Again they can begin to over search for that magic cure or sentence, always believing they have missed something. My real progress came when I stopped trying to get better, I came to the conclusion that it was o.k to feel this way. My attitude towards how I felt changed and that is very important. Don’t see anxiety as the big green monster trying to consume you. Learn to be o.k with how you feel, don’t see it as something you must be rid of before you can be happy again, don’t give it that respect and learn to live alongside it.

Question 5: Do you have a mental battle with yourself each week going around in circles trying to figure it all out?

Well I was certainly guilty of this one. My mind became so tired and led to feelings of detachment, feeling spaced out and not with it. I always thought I had to fix it. My battle was twofold, one trying to make myself feel better and the other trying to find the long term solution. Looking back I can’t believe I ever thought I could do this, as all I was doing was tiring my fragile mind further. In time it almost became automatic, like I could not think of anything else, the subject really had become me and rather than being able to try and think of a solution, I just thought about it, my mind no longer had the resilience to try and figure how to help myself.

I ended up with a deeply fatigued mind and to reverse this process I  just had to step back and allow it to over think, to process obsessive thoughts and thinking, without being alarmed by it, I just really had to go with it until it found it’s resilience and clear thinking again. I certainly was not going to try and fix it, as this had brought this over fatigued mind on in the first place.

In time my thinking did become clear and flexible once again and I did not make the same mistake again and did not go down the ‘think my way better route’ I felt how I felt and that was it, trying to think my way better and figure it all out were just going to tire my mind further and this was something I would not do. I would not try to ‘not’ think about the subject, through habit I would and sometimes I needed to remind myself of something, but the 24 hour battle with myself was over.

Hopefully there is a strong message in there and it helps people in some way

Paul

For more help and information on anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Running away from anxiety symptoms and feelings

March 22nd, 2010

Hi all, Well todays post will be a little shorter than normal, but will cover an important point.

A lot of people complain, especially when waking that they feel very self aware, that they seem to be wired in to how they feel. They don’t know if to try and push these feelings away and ignore them or go over them and try to control them in some way, using sayings or actions.

I also used to get confused in the early days and would almost try and talk myself out of how I felt when waking , as though I had to piece the jigsaw together. I would start with a few sayings like ‘It’s o.k to feel this way’ , ‘It’s just a habit, your mind is tired’ or think ‘o.k get up, get busy, ignore how you feel’  and so I would run around all day trying to force forgetfulness, but these 2 approaches never worked, surely I was doing the right things here. But as usual if it did not help, then I surely was not. 

So I would continue to be very self aware, feel unreal, nauseas on waking and throughout my day, why? Then it hit me, I was ruminating over how I felt, trying to make it better, mentally tiring myself further, I was cluttering my already cluttered mind up. Also by running away, I was tensing myself against how I felt, I must not think about these feelings, get busy, this was mentally and physically tiring in itself.

What I had to do is say ‘So what if  you wake conscious of the lump in my throat, the self awareness, the feelings of unreality, it is o.k to be conscious of it’ I did not have to run around trying to push it into the background or try and talk it better, going through different sayings to ease it, to sort it out before getting on with my day. This was only tiring me out further and saying it was important NOT to feel this way. It was not important NOT to feel this way, in fact it was fine. I was allowed to feel self aware, I was allowed to feel nauseas on waking, feel odd and unreal. Everything I did before said it was not, my old attitude was, ‘I have to change this, I have to wake clearly, I must surppress these feelings, ignore them. This was all wrong, no wonder I was feeling more tired and cluttered than ever, once again it was all about allowing. This new attitude helped me so much and was a major factor in moving me forward and made the day a lot easier.

I have done the post on when people wake as this used to be my problem at times. I used to almost expect to wake feeling self aware, nauseas, unreal. I spent so much time trying to fix it, until I realised it was fine to wake feeling this way, expect it if you wish, but be fine with it, lock stock and barrel.

I did this short post as it has come up a few times recently. So for those who it is relevant I hope this helps. 

Just to let people know I wont be around as much in a months time as I am doing some voluntry work away from home in the summer. I will leave some posts that Candie will place up each month, so the blog will not be affected.

The main site will be run by my mother until I get back, although I will have some internet access in case of any problems. So nothing will be affected, it just means I wont be able to reply on here for a while. If you need anything Candie will be running things until I get back, which should be around 2/3 months. I will do one last post before I go though sometime next month.

Paul

For more help and information on anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Will I ever recover from anxiety?

February 5th, 2010

Sorry the post is a day late, but better late than never :)

Secondly the blog has been very busy this month, an amazing amount of posts. One reason maybe is because I added a few posts and reply’s into the book and made reference to the blog. So to all the new people, welcome and I hope it is helping. Todays post comes as I have seen the words ‘I don’t believe I will ever be better’ or ‘Can I really be recovered, I can never believe that’ phrases like that pop up often on here.

Many people have different symptoms and in this post I am just going to stick with the psychological symptoms, as that is what seems to bother people the most, like the oddness, the strange thoughts, the attention on oneself, the unreality, etc…A tired mind has been spoke about by me before, but let’s just clear this up in more detail for the last time.

All these symptoms above come from a tired mind, a mind that has been exhausted with worry, with deep thinking, with concern. These symptoms will not exist without a tired mind, FACT. I felt all these symptoms for years, I no longer feel them because my mind is no longer tired, that is the only difference, nothing else. Why are people coming back here and saying they are feeling better, that the symptoms have eased? Because their mind is still tired, but not as much, they have through understanding finally given it some breaks.

I saw a post last week saying ‘I still think this is more, I worry I am going to get carted off somewhere, I worry I am going crazy, I worry that….’ this person has not a hope in hell of reversing the process with this mind set, how much of a daily onslaught has this mind to go through? That is the exact onslaught mine went through and I know where it took me, I went over and over my condition, I worried the hell out of my day, thought so deeply I could hardly register what was going on around me, nothing would ever change in this state, in fact I got worse, which makes so much sense to me now, but then I just thought there was no way out. The only reason I got worse for years is because I did everything wrong, the only reason I am the person I am today is because I began to do things right.

To come through this stage we have to understand and believe that this is a tired mind and give it the breaks it needs.

The way I got through was to finally realise that this was the reason why I felt odd and distant, my mind raced, I had odd obsessive thoughts. This understanding had stopped me worrying daily and spending so much time trying to fix it, at last the mind had a small break. I then had to live alongside the way I felt, yuck it’s not great, but I had no choice, I stopped fighting the strangeness, I accepted my irrational thoughts as normal, I had to, my mind would only repair itself with a break, while it was tired and fatiqued it may continue to play a few tricks and that was fine, it was not reality.

I actually remember going swimming each week and all through the swim, questioning why I felt odd, worrying about my condition, why does everything seem so distant, ‘why does that clock on the wall look so odd’? ‘Why do the children laughing seem so strange?’ questioning, questioning and then starting again on the bus home ‘Why could everyone else enjoy themselves and I can’t? ‘I have to figure this out’. The week I had my new attitude and understanding I said to myself, ‘No more questioning, I will take all the oddness and strangeness with me this time, it’s just my tired mind, it really does not matter how I feel. The swim was still odd and strange, but not as bad, I for once had not pounded my already tired mind. The silly thoughts no longer filled me with dread or fear as I understood them, so they could ramble away, I never had them before the tired mind, so they were not important.

It made sense now, I had hit on something here. I actually felt elated and could not wait to keep going this way. I was put to the test many times, up and down, weeks of freedom, then bham worse than ever, but the same attitude ‘Paul, take it with you, live alongside it until it passes’. I went everywhere like this, I would visit a stately home with my partner and feel odd and not with it, look at something and have to read the description twice, but I no longer questioned why, it was just my tired mind, in time I would be able to take everything in. In fact once I accepted it as part of me, it was also nowhere near as bad or scarey.

I had finally been able to live with how I felt, I had accepted this was me for the time being, as horrid as it was at times. But improvements began to spur me on. I began to feel more and more involved in the world around me, I began to think less and less of ‘me’, I took up new hobbies and began to fill my week up with other things instead of sitting around doing nothing, but worrying about the state I was in. The tired mind made so much sense, it was not built to take all this stress and strain, all this worry and deep thinking, no wonder it began to take it’s revenge, it wanted a break, a much needed break and it would once again become flexible. So to all those who wonder if they can get better, without the tired mind, these symptoms can’t exist. I and others who have recovered are not special or chosen, everyone can make it, it just takes and understanding and patience. So when you feel like this symptoms of a tired mind there is nothing to fix, just allowing yourself to feel this way gives the mind the break it needs, it’s just like stopping walking when your legs are tired.

Just to add something to the post above for everyone as to not get confused. The thoughts through a tired mind tend to be those that stick, the obsessive ones, which is the symptoms of a tired mind. The scary thoughts tend to come with the anxious state, as I have said anxiety needing a release and manifesting itself into scary thoughts, again of no importance. Scary thoughts that tend to stick are a combination of anxiety (excess adrenalin) finding a release and the tired mind, again of no importance, pay them no mind, just move on with you day no matter how much they seem to bite. I tended to have few scary thoughts, more just obsessive, where I coould just not seem to switch it off, going over something trivial and not seeming to shake it off, I soon learnt to let it ramble and not get involved.

In the next post I will cover the physical symptoms, but I hope this helps for now. Also a quick note to finish, everyone who was around last year will know I and another member here did a 10k charity run at the start of April for anxietycare. Well this year I am starting some voluntry work at my local hospice and will be doing it for them this year. As I did last year I will post some pics up after the event, for now though I need to get back into shape, the bad snow has put me way behind.

Paul

For more help visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Anxiety and the medical profession

December 17th, 2009

Hi Everyone, Well I did promise a post before christmas and on that theme I just want to wish everyone a good christmas. It is never my favourite time of year, I am just an old bah humbug I guess :) But seriously, a big MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone and a happy new year. I truly hope 2010 will be a new start for so many, one that brings so much more hope and hapiness.

I won’t go on too much this month and wanted to just post a couple of things. One was what Emmanule posted earlier in a thread.

Between Paul David and Jim, my two “mentors,” they suffered for 10 and 12 years respectively. I don’t know how long Paul’s road to recovery was, but Jim’s was 2 years. After 10 solid years of anxiety so bad he even hallucinated!

In answer to the above I would go with a couple of years myself. So many people believe that I saw the light and within a few days I was fine. It was never like that, I did though decide that me fighting to get better was a waste of time, it had never worked and only sent me deeper into the condition. I now know I was looking for an answer that was never there. I always felt that one day I would find something, be it a tablet or a sentence that would make it all go away.

A friend of mine who I run with has just had an operation on his knee and cannot run for a few months, the doctor has told him it will take a few months to heal and he will feel pain for quite a long time. He accepts this and just gets on with his day with the pain there. Imagine if he spent weeks looking for answer to make the pain go away tomorrow, every day searching in his mind, googling, looking for a doctor that can make it better instantly, fighting to control the pain, thinking and obsessing about it. He is trying the impossible and will have to just accept that only time will heal it, he has accepted that it will be part of him for a while and will give it as much time as it needs.

That’s exactly the point I got to, I finally admitted defeat and that anxiety would be a part of me for a while and that I would give my mind and body as much time as it needed to get better. The above has been said many times before, but I just wanted to reinforce the message as it seems some people still refuse to allow themselves to feel the way they do. I used to wake up and monitor how I felt and then spend all my day trying to do something about it. I finally accepted that when I woke I would feel tired and anxious, that my mind would probably race, that I would feel odd and detached for most of the day, I would not ignore it or pretend to like it, but for once I was not going to try and do anything about it, I still felt awful all day, but for the first time I had given my body and mind a much needed rest, if it would have been able to speak it would have said ‘Thank you so much for that Paul, I have been crying out for that break for so long, did you ever think I could heal myself when you worried and stressed so much, I mean you are wanting me recover from stress induced symptoms and then stressing about them, I mean come on I maybe the best healing system in the world, but even I am not that good! Your mind would also like to say thank you for the break, it was so, so very tired and this is why you found thinking so hard, why your mind raced, you felt a little detached, it was being worked beyond breaking point, it just needed a day off.

I always say to people the day we admit to ourself and accept that this may be part of us for a while, is the day we will begin to move forward. People who refuse to believe this or don’t want to are the ones that stay stuck in the cycle of trying to rid themselves of something that needs to be left alone, they are in such a rush to get better and so many posts start with ‘How do I get rid of this feeling or that symptom?’, They spend all week trying and getting nowhere, because they should be doing the exact opposite and leaving it alone, stop picking at the scab and the scab will heal.

Emmanual finished with this statement below: Again this has all been said many times and I want to now begin to move forward towards other things, but I wanted to post about it for the last time in a different way, so I can really push home the message.

The common thread to those who recover is simply this: STOP CARING ABOUT THE SYMPTOMS. Recovery HAS to occur when we give our body rest. Now most of us follow the following pattern:

The point for me in recovery was this:

When I reached a “good enough” stage (a stage I could have lived at for the rest of my life, even if not 100%) I truly stopped caring about any and all symptoms. Even when they changed drastically (which was the scary part). And things really cooked from there.

God Bless

I would also agree with the above and I never woke up recovered, it just crept up on me. I got to a stage where I no longer really cared, how I began to feel was far more bearable and it just became automatic to just get on with my day and pay very little respect to how I felt, this was the final stage of me being the person I am today. I can honestly say I never went for recovery, progress was enough for me, I never put any pressure on myself to feel 100% better, I was just so happy I had come so far. Many people never believe that they will feel better, they are so impressed by how they feel at this given time.

Many have said ‘I just feel I will never feel like me again’ , My reply is always ‘Yes and I bet you could never imagine feeling like this before anxiety came along’. You only have to read about the people on here who have come so far, I remember loads of names who come back to post positive story’s and they have 2 things in common, 1. They all felt like they were in a hole they would never recover from 2. The real progression took patience, nothing came overnight. One thing that really helped me was a far better understanding of why I felt like I did and this is basically why I believe the blog helps so much, it gives people that understanding. It was far easier for me to dismiss how I felt once I understood why. This leads me to the next part of this post and the initial title.

Someone who landed on my site said this, which I think is so very true.

I went from one doctor to another, getting nowhere, they just pushed pills on me, I was a wreck, I did not want pills, I thought my brain was rotting away, that I was going crazy, why could they not at least give me some sort of explanation? All I ever wanted to hear was ‘ Listen mate, you are going through something very difficult, but it’s a natural process that the brain goes through due to stress/anxiety/trauma and although it’s very unpleasant it is totally normal in the circumstances, so try not to be over impressed by it, your body is just a little over worked at the minute’ How simple, but yet effective that would have been! All I ever wanted was a small explanation and some reassurance, if I had, I would not have spent some much wasted time stressing and worrying over how I felt….

I am on the fence when it comes to doctors on the subject, they receive all the flak, as they are the first people we see when we feel this way and if the doctor does not understand, then it must be serious. Firstly they deal with so many illnesses we can’t expect them to be experts on anxiety, it truly is a subject in itself. But they should be able to send you somewhere that can help, even if it is just somewhere that can give the explanation above. How hard would this be? The one thing that surpises me the most is that my own doctor says it is by far the biggest complaint he has to deal with, so why not just put a little more time learning about how to help or pushing for a resource that can? I don’t want to be to critical here, but it would save so many people so much suffering, just a few words of comfort would help so much and put many people’s mind at rest. I am not saying that people never find help away from the internet, but it does seem like looking for a neddle in a haystack at times. I never had the internet to help me, but at least it now gives people a chance to help themselves and has become most sufferers lifeline, hopefully in time this will change and the help and information will be within reach for everyone!

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Why does anxiety stop me doing things?

October 22nd, 2009

Hi everyone, Firstly welcome to all the new people who have posted recently, it’s great to see it busy and people helping and supporting others. Again me and Candie try and keep it as spam free as possible and moderate it so it is a nice, helpful place to come.

I am also thinking of changing the look of the blog, it is a bit dated. If I can do this without losing all the old post then I will, if not then I will keep it the same as there is a lot of helpful infoformation that I would not like to lose.

To todays post:

The title above came about because of an email I received a couple of weeks ago that I would like to share.

To me it is a very simple, but strong message.

Subject = Thanks for a new perspective.

After trying everything to try and “cure” my anxiety, I now realize that I need to just allow it to try and stop me living. It never will! Thanks so much for sharing your personal struggle. It helps to know that there is a light to look forward to.

Just that small sentance sums up so much of what I try and get across. Rather than try and force his way everywhere and fight to cure himself, he has decided to see if anxiety can really stop him doing things, he has taken away the need to ‘cure’ himself before he thinks he can live again, no longer spending pointleess hours each day trying to ‘fix’ how he was feeling. A lot of people think recovery lies in these feelings not being around, but recovery lies in them no longer mattering and the only way to get to this stage is to go through them.

Many people will come on here and say ‘Oh I thought I was o.k, but I feel awful today, what am I doing wrong?

‘I thought I had come through this, but I have had a dreadful week’

‘I feel so lost and anxious today and don’t know why, I felt great last week’

Can we now say that these feelings do ‘really matter’ to these people? The answer is ‘Yes’ and this is the attitude we need to change. I can tell you I went through all this, great one week, bad the next, good weeks, bad weeks, but I never complained. It was awful at times and frustrating and got me down, but I had total faith that this was the process that I needed to go through. Many people refuse to accept this and keep looking for outside things to make it better, that one magic sentence that will make it all go away. I can tell you I completely stopped looking for anything to ‘make it go away’ I realised that this was not where the answer would come from.

I write this blog to help people along, to give them that extra bit of advice, that much needed boost, but I certainly don’t want this to be a crutch for people for the rest of their life. I want people to eventually trust themselves that they now have everything they need to move forward on their own and to begin living again. At first life is shakey, odd, full of ups and downs, but be prepared for this and as the email says, let anxiety try and stop you living, ‘It won’t’. Things may not always go as you would like, but that’s fine also, it’s all part of integrating back into normal living.

At one time I falsely thought that I could think my way better, that I needed to hide away until I had finally ‘sorted this this thing out’ What I really needed to do was just live alongside it and stop letting it have such an affect on me, to change my attitude and live alongside it without letting it control my life for me. Instead of letting it stop me living, live and try and let it stop me, just as the person in the email put it.

Just to finish many people ask me how long it took me to recover, how I knew..etc. There was no one day where I woke up and everything was great. I just got better and better, layer by layer. I had built up such an insulation by just living my life that I stopped getting such a strong reaction to everyday normal things. I stopped worrying about the way I was feeling enough for my nerves to right themselves. I had stopped the deep thinking, trying to make it all go away enough for my mind to become flexible, to be able to think clearly once more. I had basically reversed all the the habits that had took me into such a hole, but it took time and a few tears along the way. It was not all plain sailing. I had to go ‘through’ it all. To stay when I felt like escaping, to not be impressed when I felt odd and not with it, to carry on with my day when I just felt like hiding away, to stay in a conversation when I felt no part of it. Too basically go against all my instincts and understand and accept anxiety was going to be a part of me for a while and to stop making it my daily aim to get better.

I hope that helps some people

For more help and advice with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Help with anxiety in social situations

August 19th, 2009

Hi everyone, Todays post is about something I went through and overcame. This was to a degree social anxiety, an anxiety that I felt when I would speak to people. I would get an almost instant reaction of anxiety on meeting people, I would avoid eye contact, the world would seem unreal and because my mind would go blank, I would stutter or ramble my way through and look for a way to escape. No matter how hard I tried, this part of my anxiety would stick around, I never seemed to move forward. As I was never happy with this I refuse to be stuck in this cycle.

The best way to overcome any symptom starts with an understanding, there is nothing worse that being bewildered about how you feel, buried under symtoms not knowing why you feel this way and with no idea on how to move forward.

So back to me and why I felt this way.

Going back to when I first felt racked with anxiety. I truly found it hard to even speak and shook so much I avoided talking to people, I had it down to an art form of how to avoid talking and if I had to, to plan the conversation and escape as quickly as possible. This went on for years and even after educating myself on the subject and progressing so much, this part of my anxiety never improved. I understood that I had built up a habit, an automatic response where my mind would say ‘Person here, oh no, I will feel awful’ so my body would flood me with adrenalin and trust me this is why your mind goes blank and you feel unreal, its just a shot of excess adrenalin. I would then go through the ritual of trying to control or escape. I would then go home feeling this was me forever, bewildered and fed up that no matter how hard I tried, I would never progress, nothing was working.

What did I do?

Well as I said above, I first had to understand that this was now an automatic reaction , this I could not control. So the next time I would not wait and worry that I may feel like this when talking to someone, I knew I would, I could not just switch this off or control it, so it was now fine, no slumping of the shoulders, scrambling to escape, trying to control it. What I needed to do is learn how to stay in the conversation while feeling odd and unreal. And before I go on, this instant feeling of feeling odd and unreal, your mind going blank is just a flood of adrenalin, nothing more and is not harmful in anyway and always passes. So the next time I went out, I expected to feel a rush of adrenalin, my mind may go blank and I may feel unreal, but now it was fine. This time I would not obsereve myself, I would stay in the conversation with these feelings, I had to retrain my mind not to see this as a problem and while I kept running away and avoiding, it always would be.

To be honest the very understanding that it was an automatic reaction and my feelings were just due to a rush of adrenalin, made me fear the way I felt far less, it no longer seemed important and the feelings were not as strong. And as they were no longer getting so much respect from me, the feelings calmed far quicker. Again I had hit on something here, it was my perception of how I felt that brought on such a reaction, the need to run away and control.

I would not even say I practiced anything, I just went into conversation with a new understanding and attitude. I would still sometimes feel odd and lost for words, but this time I would not run away, I would stay in the situation and within seconds these moments of strangeness would pass and I would just feel a sligh disconnection, something I saw as just slight adrenalin that was of little importance. I carried on in this vein and my minds new automatic response was not ‘Oh no its someone I may have to talk to, I will feel awful’ it was ‘Hey so what, I can now cope, I understand these feeling’ and the rush of adrenalin would be no where near as strong, I was finally breaking the cycle.

There was a few times where the old fight or flight would come in, the need to get away, but I smiled and it and stayed put. I went on to be totally free of this part of my anxiety by a better understanding, no gimmicks or rituals. This was how I overcame most of my anxiety to be the person I am today, by a better understanding. I did not want to rely on coping behaviours, that was never going to be me. I was never going to settle for this being me forever and you don’t have to either, don’t be bluffed by a feeling, thinking it to be far worse than it is. I once thought I would never be able to talk freely again, I saw the oddness as a sign that I would never escape, that I had, had this condition for so long that this was going to be forever, nothing could have been furthur from the truth.

I hope the above helps people.

Paul

For more information and help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Living with anxiety

July 8th, 2009

Well I hope everyone is o.k. I was reading through many posts this morning, as its a while since I checked in. Firstly welcome to anyone who is new, it’s always great to see people join the great community we have here. On reading through I did see a common problem and decided to shelve this months post until next month, as I thought this would be more helpful at this time.

I try and write this blog through my own journey and my own pitfalls and sort of do it like a story book of the hurdles I faced and overcame. One point that is very important and I have tried to get through before and that Scarlet has touched on, is the need to live your life with anxiety. Again and again I see people trying to rid themselves of it, going around reminding themselves of little phrases, watching their progress, wondering why the anxiety is still around, they think ‘I must be doing something wrong’, they become bewildered and end up going round in circles, sometimes on the verge of tears as they seem to be the only one that is stuck with this condition.

Firstly I want to pull up some great advice by Victor in the last thread. Many times I read someones comment on here and think ‘Yes they have fully got the message’ and Victors below is one of them.

Brian,You said “I spend every day just thinking about ways to look at this website and acceptance, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong.”

I find myself doing this at times too, even within the past week. Read Scarlet’s reply to me from July 4th, it has helped me a lot.

What I want to tell you is that thinking about it, trying to figure it all out will not help. You have to just BE. I know it is very difficult, trust me. I am the master of creating habits and have always been a worrier, even before I began “suffering”. I have found that trying to focus on the present is the best thing to do, Paul said in his book something along the lines of “If I was going to cook, then I would focus on cooking, not think about anxiety” I have applied this and what scarlet says the past week and it has helped tremendously. Out of habit anxiety will cross your mind, but you have to just let it go and do not fear it. It takes time to break the habit.

Paul said something, I am not sure if it was in the book or a blog, but he said that he did not even know recovery was possible. I think a lot of us get so caught up in recovering, we forget to just live which is how you recover. You say you go out with your friends, that is great! I do too. But I have wasted several activities with my friends thinking about anxiety the whole time, while not even getting one anxious thought!! What a waste of thinking that was! Hope that helps, and if I could help more please just ask.

Victor is totally correct. Don’t go around questioning anxiety all the time, it is like having a broken leg and questioing it all day, trying to find ways to rid yourself of the pain, question why it hurts and going into a situation and just thinking about your leg and not being interested in the world around you. Well we don’t do this because we understand we have a broken leg and that we will feel pain, there is no reason to walk around trying to figure it all out or try and rid ourselves of this pain.

Well its the same attitude with anxiety. Many people wonder why Mr X has finally got it and is improving and I am stuck, well its all about his attitude. You will not recover while you walk around all day trying to rid yourself of how you feel, you are just focusing and worrying about ‘you’ again. I used to go out every Friday and usually feel a lot of anxiety symptoms. I would almost watch for them coming and then spend all night mentally trying to ‘right’ myself. I would say ‘It’s o.k to feel this way’ , ‘Try and act normal’ , ‘My mind is just tired’ this would go on all night and I would just about get through. One day the penny dropped, all I was doing was dreading the night and waiting for the anxiety to descend. I was focsuing on me as soon as I got into the bar and then having a mental battle with myself using coping behaviours. Nothing ever improved, so I decided the next time I would just go out, no second guessing how it would go, no coping behaviours and mental dialouge. Well the difference was amazing, yes of course anxiety crossed my mind many times, it was bound to out of habit, but I kept going from the conversation to me, instead of just me all night, It was like my mind was for once trying to integrate back into the world, I for once had given myself a chance to be part of what was going on around me. It did not go perfect, but so much better and if I kept practicing it would then start to become me and that’s exactly what happened. People put too much importance on things going perfect, if they have any anxiety at all then they think they have failed. I never looked at it like that, I never expected or demanded anything. If things went great then fine, if I had a tough night then that was fine also.

There is no need to label a bad day as a setback. Accept that everyday is not going to go great, the more you allow this attitude to be you, the more you allow yourself to not focus on you and how you are feeling. In my early days I would wake and check in how I was feeling, my shoulders would drop as I felt bad. I would step out of bed and question how I was feeling all the way to work. I would then start with loads of phrases to try and control it or make it go away. This would not work so I would go home and feel sorry for myself, maybe go out drinking to escape and go through the whole process again, feeling more and more detached from the world around me. Well of course I would feel this way, it makes perfect sense now. But what if I woke and just accepted the day for what it was, that would surely go better. No questioning, no worrying, no internal dialogue, what if I just lived along side how I felt, maybe that would work. Well it sure did, but it was a process, I still had up and down days, but I allowed this, I did not have a bad day and start questioning everything all over again, I just allowed it to be, I was more interested in just living now and not ‘me’. Being so interested in me had got me nowhere over the years, it was time to change.

I also need breaks from the subject as the site has grown so big I spend a lot of time involved in the subject and also need time outs. I don’t want the subject to be the only focus in my life, as it’s not healthy. I do as much as I feel comfortable with doing and have many other interests. So don’t let it become your life, have some time outs, find other hobbys. The blog should be a learning tool where you can gather information that will help you understand far more and erase a lot of fears. Many people have come here in the past and recovered and they moved on, they wanted to live again and did not feel the need to come here anymore, they wanted to put it behind them and move on.

Below is Brians statement

“I spend every day just thinking about ways to look at this website and acceptance, trying to figure out what I am doing wrong.”

What he means is I have spent all day trying to rid myself of anxiety and its still there, well its the very focusing and trying to rid himself that has caused the problem. I don’t mean rush around and trying not to think of anxiety, you will from time to time through habit, but that’s fine, don’t see it as a problem. My focus would shift to me many times into my recovery, I would have some truly testing days with my symptoms, but I stopped caring, it was all part of the process. It’s the bad days that has others questioning it all again, running back to the blog to see what they have missed, becoming bewildered, wondering and worrying why this damn thing has not left them.

I do hope that message has helped.

For more help and information on anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Anxiety and Safety Behaviours

May 27th, 2009

Hello everyone, here is this months post. I thought long and hard about what to write and again used what I have read on here and what I feel holds people back from stepping from improvement to the next level.

Many people get stuck at a certain level, where they feel they have come so far, but can’t quite break through to where they want to be. This happened to me, I felt able to do things a lot easier and my anxiety and come down to a manageable level, but I seemed unable to move any further forward. Being me I was never happy with this, I wanted to move towards feeling totally free, to move to another level.

What I did understand is that I was trying to manage my anxiety and was using a lot of safety behaviours to do so. A list of these would include, avoiding certain social situations ‘I may feel bad, overwhelmed’ I won’t go there’. ‘What if so and so is there and I have to speak with them’. I would play pool with friends and afterwards we would all sit around drinking and I would sit there feeling a bit odd/anxious and hardly involving myself in the conversations, more nodding and smiling when I thought I should. I may walk around town and if I saw someone I knew, it would be ‘Oh, no I will feel uncomfortable, odd if he sees me and wants to talk, I will turn my head’. In fact avoiding eye contact and conversation was probably the main one for me.

I once went to a theme park and wondered if I would feel o.k going on a ride, something I had done a 1000 times before, but I feel vulnerable and overwhelmed now, what when the bar comes down I may feel trapped, overwhelmed, maybe I should play it safe and stay here’. A lot of places I was going to or invited to, involved conversations like this and I used safety behaviours almost on a daily basis, play it safe Paul, stick to what you know, if you don’t have to talk you wont feel bad, if you avoid that social situation, you wont feel uncomfortable or be in a situation you don’t want to be.

Well of course to move forward I would not do so while I thought and acted like this, I had to drop these behaviours and learn new ones. So let’s take the first one.

What I did understand is that I was trying to manage my anxiety and was using a lot of safety behaviours to do so. A list of these would include avoiding certain social situations ‘I may feel bad, overwhelmed’ I wont go there. ‘What if so and so is there and I have to speak with them’.

I decided that I wanted to feel uncomfortable, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I knew to feel normal I may have to feel uncomfortable and from now on if I saw someone I would no longer run away. I will go against my instinct and actually approach them. The very action of not pulling away and instead moving towards, tells your body and mind, it’s o.k, there is nothing to be bothered about and I found it went far better than I thought it would. What happened is before as soon as I had no choice but to talk, I automatically went into ‘Oh no, lets get this over with’ what chance did I have with this attitude? I also noticed instead of listening to what the person was saying, I would be straight ‘on me’ I was only bothered about how I was doing, hoping they would scurry off soon, keep smiling, acting your way through, they may go soon, was my attitude. So I did the opposite and actively went towards conversations, not pulling away or avoiding eye contact, how I felt no longer mattered was the key. I am not saying it went great every time, but it got so much easier and I had finally broken a behaviour, one that had built up through instinct.

O.k on to the next

I once went to a theme park and wondered if I would feel o.k on a ride, something I had done a 1000 times before, but I feel vulnerable and overwhelmed now, what when the bar comes down I may feel trapped, overwhelmed, maybe I should play it safe and stay here’. There were other occasions when I may have said this also.

Again I decided this was a road I was not going down. I knew felt a bit on edge and vulnerable because I feel anxiety in normal everyday life, its not harmful and never will be and I am not getting into avoidance behaviour and creating false problems. Lets be honest here, it is always a fear about feeling overwhelmed and never a situation, we could do all these things easily before. So I had to strip away the fact that it was a situation and deal with me.

I did nothing earth shattering, I just went towards what I had been avoiding before, I understood that fear may rise, but what I found out is that it always cut out, it always had a peak, as if to say ‘Paul would you like to run or stay (fight or flight). I found this point was always the key point and I wanted to ride my fears out, it was only adrenalin, so come if you wish, I no longer care. When adrenalin comes, you may feel butterflies, a little shaking, your heart may beat a little, its just your body’s way of asking if you would like to fight or flight, then it would be ‘well you have stayed, so I will now cut off and let you get on’. Your body can only produce so much adrenalin at one time, that is a medical fact, its not harmful and will always calm.

I am not saying its easy to go against your instinct to run, but I trusted in how my body worked and responded. Many a time I would feel overwhelmed, but still go towards it and mostly say ‘Is that it?’ as nothing would really happen, fear would rise a little and then drop to nothing. The feeling of achievement was wonderful and it gave me so much confidence for the next time, things just became so much easier, until it came to the point where I felt no apprehension and I had my life back, I no longer relied on safety behaviours to get through my day.

These were just my main safety behaviours, I had other smaller ones that I would pick on and say ‘Paul your using that as a safety behaviour, do this no longer’. Others may have their own safety behaviours and not really realise they do until they read this, some maybe obvious, others not so. I am not saying go out tomorrow and banish them all, just work towards doing so, one at once or small steps is fine, just acknowledge and try to change these behaviours that hold you back in the long run.

I will try and come back and advise further on this and apologise for not being around as much recently. I just always seem to have something to keep me busy. The main site is having a massive overhaul and a big tidy up and this is taking up all my time at the moment.

I hope there is something in there that helps many people.

For more help and advice on anxiety, visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

It feels like my attention is always on me

April 27th, 2009

Hi Everyone, I know I have been a bit quiter than usual recently in replying to posts as I am just on with other things at the moment, but trust me the blog is as important to me as when I first set it up. Just seeing over 500 replys to the last post tells me how important the place is for people and how fast it is growing. Also as people learn more about the subject they are able to advise and there have been some great reply’s and advice recently by a lot of people. That is always how I want the blog to be, I want plenty of people offering advice and support and then it can almost run itself and also be a positive place for people to come. Again it is well moderated to keep people from spamming or spoiling it and a lot of credit goes to Candie who looks after that side with me and has had to work a bit harder due to me being busy recently.

Well on to todays post, this post came through me reading a lot of posts and also it is quite a common question I get asked. It has been covered before in different ways, but I want to use my own case history to get the point across as I don’t want to move on to another subject until I feel people have grasped the message.

I will start by saying a lot of my symptoms calmed, but one thing that still bothered me was that my attention seemed to be on me 24/7. If I was in a conversation I may find it hard to chat easily as all my attention was on me and I seemed to have to place words in a sentence and not talk freely. I would go out and feel lost in my own little world and not with the surroundings around me. I would just want to go through the day without ‘anxiety’ being my subject for the day, I just felt clogged up with it all.

Firstly as people may know we have been so concerened about how we have felt for so long, then of course our attention is going to be on us, we care so much how we feel, we tune it, we worry about how we feel, try to fix it, it becomes a habit to think about ‘us’.

What I tried to do was forget about it all, push it to one side. Well as I realised this was all wrong, habit would have me thinking about me again, nothing was surer and as soon as it did I would feel defeated, thinking that if I could not just forget about it, nothing could help and my attention would always be on me. I would always feel clogged up and not have the freedom just to talk freely and feel mentally free. I would then mentally fight for another way out, what if I do this or that and of course this made me feel worse as I was back to ‘me’ again.

What I wanted to do was ‘forget about me’, not worry, not become obsessed by how I was feeling, not to try and fix it. That was the answer, but I had my attention on me, so how could I? The answer was staring me in the face ‘If the attention wanted to be on me then I had to let it’ This is where I had been going wrong, I had fought this feeling, this normal habit that was bound to be there in the circumstances. So from then on when I felt the attention on me and detached from my surroundings or clogged up, I allowed it to be, there was no fighting, fixing or worrying. It was o.k and I should expect it, I had been thinking about me for so long it was never going to be any other way.

What happened when I tried the new approach was that my attention was on me most of the day, but would lift from time to time, I would then not try and grasp at these free moments, I expected them to be fleeting, I was changing a habit here. These fleeting moments became longer and longer and once I had allowed my attention to be on me, it did not feel so bad after all. I may do well for weeks and then I was back on me for a couple of days, I had to remember this was fine and not think the damn feelings were back. The advice above cured me of this particular habit, but it took a while to do so. Once I had ‘dropped’ it as a problem, it no longer became a problem.

This is why it pains me to hear someone say I felt so great last week and now I don’t, what have I done wrong? what can I do? They are trying to scramble back to how they felt the previous week instead of allowing themselves to go through the process. As Kashwan said in an earlier post;

Even when I feel the worst I keep foscused on whaever I am doing, try and get into the habit of not paying the anxiety symptoms any respect, the habit grows as time will show you.

This is someone who struggled a few months ago, but now gives great advice, the penny has dropped with him and although he still has bad days he expects them, there not a real problem, he understands that memory and habit may drag him back from time to time, but he does not despair, worry or fight, he just carrys on with what he is doing, he refuses to be dragged back into self pity and trying to fix how he feels, he sees it as part of the process.

Anyway I hope that helps people, I usually hang around when I first put the post up and make sure everyone has understood what I am trying to get across. For everyone that can relate to it I hope it has been helpful.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Pictures from the 10K run for charity

April 6th, 2009

Hi Everyone, Well as most will know I did a charity run at the weekend for anxiety care and with the help of everyone on here raised around £700, which is great and with Mike also doing the run and raising around £300, the total is about £1,000, which will help the charity so much. So to anyone who sponsored me A BIG THANK YOU! Also the general manager of Anxietcare sent this message:

Hi Paul,

I would like to wish you the very best for the run on Sunday and thank you so much for doing this. The money raised through your, and Mikes, efforts will greatly help us to continue providing our much needed services. All of our services are run by volunteers who give so much to our organisation and the people who are helped by us. This money will help to ensure that we continue to be available to support people who experience anxiety, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder. A very big thank you to all of those who have generously sponsored Paul and Mike, particularly in these ‘credit crunch’ times. Also please feel free to look at our website

With warm regards,

Regina Byrne General Manager Anxiety Care

Just a few words on the day. I was suppose to meet up with Mike, but he sent me his mobile number on Saturday night and as I was out did not pick it up. Although we did finish within 9 seconds of each other, so I am sure we met without even knowing it. The day itself was very enjoyable and the weather could not have been better. I set off at a steady pace and picked it up a little around 5 k and went past a few that had obviously set off too fast, I had it drummed into me not to do this. I really felt the last 2k, but no way was I stopping as I had my own aim not to stop once, I really wanted to run it all. I did not tire in a breathing sense, but really felt my legs get heavy and my ankles started to ache a little and the finishing line came at the right time.

Anyway here are a few pics from the day of me my partner and a couple of friends, one who was running with me. I will add more of me after the run when I get them from my friends camera and hopefully Mike is able to email me some also, so do check back when I am able to put more up.

View here: www.anxietynomore.co.uk/members_pics.html

Thanks again everyone, to raise the money was a real team effort. I can’t wait to do another and would really encourage anyone to take up the challange, I could not run 50 yards 12 months ago, but its all been worth it.

Paul

I feel like I am trapped in my own mind

March 18th, 2009

O.k as promised here is todays post and something I wanted to cover as it is something I felt for a long while even into my recovery and sometimes beyond.

Feeling trapped in your own mind is an unpleasant feeling and one many people with anxiety suffer with. I could give a list of why this is but in my opinion the main cause is the pondless thinking about ‘us’. If you think about the average person walking down the street, they will be thinking about the meal on Saturday, then the meeting at work later in the day, meeting friends for lunch, everything is outward, where as anxiety sufferes think mainly of themselves and how they are feeling, everything is inward, which causes many of the feelings of being trapped in your own mind.

I spent years thinking about me, worrying and trying to figure a way out of the way I felt, but this had the opposite effect and I began to feel more and more trapped and isolated. Of course I would feel trapped in my own mind, it makes sense to me now as I never let anything else in, the deep thinking about the way I felt and how to escape had sent me down a path where ‘anxiety’ had become me, I was so used to worrying and thinking that this became a habit, like a needle stuck in a record.

So what I needed to do was change this process and let other things into my day, live in the present and stop worrying about me, the past and the future, it was time to escape from my own mind, to unlock some doors and begin to live again. So I had to begin teach myself to live in the present. If I had to cook, then I would cook, I would not cook and worry about me anymore. If I went to the shop to buy some groceries then that is what I would do, I would not spend the whole walk thinking about how to escape from my anxiety. Of course the habit to think about me was there, I felt as though my mind was on me most of the day, but that was fine, that was a habit, this would thaw in time as long as I continued to practice this way.

Anyone who knows me will know I am not a big fan of forums, I really dislike them because again I think people become reliant on them, logging in everyday to talk and read about anxiety, day in day out and to be fair I see the same names there years later. I am anxiety free now but I am involved so much in the subject I do need to take a break from time to time, I need to have other things in my life and I make a conscious effort to play sport, to socialise, to go out riding my bike and other things. My week has many a focus and feels fresh and not bogged down with one subject.

So anxiety or not just try and add other things into your week, try not to worry so much, anxiety has a habit of making us think the worst and on finding an outlet things get magnified. Trust me once you take the anxiety away then you find it hard to worry, the need is just not there. This taught me a lot once I began to really make strides into my recovery. Before I would be in worry mode and think everything needed to be sorted out, worry about what people thought, worry about meeting someone, worry about how I was feeling, the whole cycle. But into my recovery I would have some really good weeks, almost anxiety free and the need to worry would not be there, I would smile at some of things that had me worrying the month before. The trick then was to realise that my anxiety magnified things and the next time anxiety reared its head I would just let everything go, it was not going to have me worrying, going over things trying to make things right, my anxiety was no longer going to send me down the road of worry, making me feel awful, the worrys were false anyway, caused by my anxiety needing an outlet. In time I actually became a master in letting things go, the more you practice the easier things get.

Feeling free of my own mind was a gradual process, it came in layers, the worry slowed, my mind became clearer and I felt alive again, free of myself. Below is a list of things that helped me overcome this feeling and what caused me to feel this way in the first place.

What caused it:

The deep thinking about my condition

Worrying about everything and anything

Not adding other things into my day, having no other focus but me

Things that helped me:

Getting out and socialising more, finding new hobbies, in my case it was redescovering my love for sport. In the early days I had to drag the old worrying me there, but I went for a swim, went cycling and just stopped sitting at home brooding about my situation. I trusted that in time my mind would regain its flexability, would welcome plenty of other things to focus on, become more flexible and in time it did. I would wake up and think about it being a nice day and about my bike ride, I would stop off for a drink and a sandwich, before I would wake up and think ‘Anxiety and how am I going to get rid of it’ to feel more real I had live more real was my motto.

Just living for that day. The first time I went running I was thinking how great I would feel, how my anxiety would improve and almost watching how I felt when I got back and being disapointed if I did not. Again I was doing things wrong, I was running to fix my anxiety and again doing two things at once, running and thinking about me, instead of just being in the present and running. So the next time I went I thought I don’t care how I feel when I get back, if I feel great then brilliant, if not then o.k, that is not why I am running anymore and the run was far better. I would lose myself in what was around me, the fields, the birds, the run itself and I enjoyed the run so much better. Before if I was doing a task and the curtain of dread and anxiety fell, I would go on autopilot with the task I was doing and concentrate on me again and why I felt so bad and try and fix it, but I knew in time this was wrong and the next time the cloud of anxiety fell, I let it and just carried on with the task in hand there was nothing to fix. And again in time I stopped worrying about me so much and I became more involved in what was around me, I was bothering less and less about me. This took time but the rewards were great.

You will find many people who have recovered from anxiety no longer come on this blog, there are many like this as they now just want to go out and live again, they don’t feel the need to drown themselves in the subject. I tell a lot of people who visit here that the blog is a great place to educate yourself and not feel so alone, but take some time out from it, go out and do things, have another focus and maybe just come back for a read from time to time.

Anyway I hope people got something out of the above. Just to let everyone know I will be doing the 10k run for the charity Anxietycare two weeks on Sunday with Mike from this blog. I am just about up to full fitness and am really looking forward to it. Just to say thank you to everyone who has sponsored me, you all know who you are. I can’t tell you how thankful I am and I promise to post all the pics of the day up on here afterwards.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Moving forward with anxiety

February 9th, 2009

Hi Everyone, Well just a couple of things before I start. If anyone has been waiting for my book for a while now I am so sorry for the delay. I was let down by the printers on delivery and then the snow came last week and I was unable to get to the post office. All books have now gone, so again if anyone has been waiting I apologise.

Secondly I am going to stick to a post at the start of each month. I never want to just write for the sake of writing, I always want something to say that I think will help. Also I don’t think bombarding people with information helps anyway, its good to have some time outs.

O.k on to todays post.

A lady got in touch with me last week who I knew from a couple of years ago. She sent me a lovely email saying how well she was doing and now realised what really held her back in the old days, and this was that she realised she wanted to get better before she lived her life and not go out and live it while she had anxiety.

The point is she was right.

The whole point of this post today is to stop seeing anxiety as the enemy, don’t wait or demand to feel well before doing something you want to do. There was someone who posted on here recently called Trey who said he had just about recovered and in his own words.

I finally “got it” and realized what everyone has been saying and I let everything go. I did what ever a normal person would do who didnt have anxiety I travelled, hung out with friends ,anything no matter how bad I felt. I do feel normal again after years of anxiety and dp.

What he has done is go towards his feelings of dread and not let them stop him living his life, not only that but he kept faith that this would work in the long run. Too many think ‘Well I have been there today and I still feel bad, I just need to get rid of these damn feelings, that’s the only way I can get on with my life again’. The trouble is, this is why so many stay in a cycle, anxiety will always be the enemy if you spend your time trying to get rid of it, as it always has your fear and respect to feed on. Let me show you how the anxiety loop works in many cases.

Feel awful – spend all day trying to rid yourself of these symptoms- feel awful – worry about how long this will go on – feel awful – avoidence – feel awful – feel a failure – feel awful -get frustrated – feel awful – fight – feel awful – again start to google – stay bewildered.

The way to break this loop is to not see anxiety as the enemy and truly allow yourself to feel this way.

So then it goes

Feel awful – nothing, there is no avoidence as you are going everywhere at will – pride that you did not let anxiety rule your life – there is no going round in circles trying to rid yourself of the way you feel as you have allowed yourself to feel anything – there is no worry as you no longer care how you feel – the anxiety loop is begining to break here. You have done nothing to keep your anxiety going, you may still feel symptoms and that’s fine, but there has been a lack of worry and fear added to the mix. If it there was an anxiety shop and someone came in and said ‘I have anxiety mate, not sure why but it has been there a few years now, how come?’

I would say

‘Do you worry about it?’

‘Well yes I do, I want it to go away’

‘Do you go towards or try to avoid these feelings? ‘

Well I mainly avoid them as I don’t want to feel them’

Do you try and figure a way out of this or just get on with your day?’

Well I try and figure a way out, its tiring and I do go around in circles, but I have to get rid of these feelings don’t I?’

Have you ever thought about allowing yourself to feel like this, good or bad, this will stop the worry cycle, the tuning in, the fighting to ‘rid’ yourself, in fact it will break up this loop you are stuck in’

‘Actually no I have never thought of doing that’

‘Well you should as this is why its been around for a few years, you have been stuck in a loop of trying to not feel this way’.

This is the day a light went on for me, I have tried so hard to get rid of the way I feel and worry about it and the only result is to feel worse, why don’t I just give up and allow myself to feel this way. I need to do what someone would do, who did not suffer anxiety. The average guy in the street is not going around worrying all day, if he did he would feel awful and drained, no wonder I feel the way I do and seem to be getting worse not better, my body is just not having the chance to recover.

Never have the attitude of ‘I am not going out, I feel awful, what I need to do is get rid of these feelings then I will have my life back’ The only way to have that life back is to totally ‘embrace’ how you feel and feel every symptom at will.

I felt awful for weeks into my own recovery, but I had for once broken the loop. Don’t get me wrong I had some testing days. I remember going out to a quiz each week and sitting there feeling dreadful and just wanting to go home. I would feel apprehensive at times and nearly go home, but I never did. I knew this was anxiety testing me. The total KEY point for me that night, was the point where I wanted to go home. That was the point when I just bought another drink and strayed, anxiety had lost my respect, I had said ‘Do what you want, I no longer care, I am in charge from now on’. In time I actually loved it trying to test me, It was ‘Yes we have been here before and I always win, I am staying, so do whatever you want’. Before this, at the first point of feeling uncomfortable I would go home, feel sorry for myself, try and mentally find a way out of this hell, when ironically I had just left the very place that would have helped me move forward. Instead I had given my feelings loads of respect, run away from how I felt and anxiety had won again.

I knew to get through I had to not care if I felt anxiety or not and this is the point I got to, by not avoiding and running away I had unmasked it as just a feeling, my body no longer had apprehension about going anywhere, my nerves had settled as I had not bombarded them with worry and self pity. My mind had began to clear without the daily onslaught it used to get. My confidence had come back, I had proved I could do anything and that I was in charge and not my anxiety. I was begining to take charge again and the old me was returning, by living like the avearge man in the street, I was begining to become the average man in the street, I was getting my life back.

I hope that helps people to understand a little more and I do try to add my own real life situations, as I think people can relate in this way more than just writing down information.

Also thanks for everyone who has sponsored me on the post below, I am up to over £200 now and its all down to the generous people who have sponsored me. I have also decided to not drink until after the event in April as I do need to lose a stone or more before the race and be totally primed by the time it comes around.

Paul

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

My up and coming run for the charity Anxietycare

January 26th, 2009

runnerHi everyone, As most people who follow this blog know I have been training for the last few months to do a 10k run for the charity ‘Anxietycare’.

Anxietycare is a London based charity that survives soley on donations and volunteers. After my own recovery I try and help as many people as I can, in any way I am able to and I know how grateful the charity is that I am doing this as they truly need all the help they can to survive. Here is the link showing them promoting my run (on the left hand side) and also you can learn more about the charity and what they do http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/home.asp

The run I am doing is in April and is a 10k run through the streets of Wakefield and I am beeen kindly joined by Mike who posts on this blog. Mike I look forward to that pint afterwards, legs permitting.

I hope to raise as much off line as on-line and would be very grateful to anyone who is able to sponsor me. The charity page I have set up is 100% secure and a site I have used in the past to sponsor people. All charity’s have to be registered before you can raise money for them. The money raised is not touched by me and sent straight to the charity on completion of the race.

The page also allows you to leave your name and a message, if you look in the bottom right corner my partner and a mystery donater has already done so. This not only helps me to keep track of who has sponsored me, but I also want to thank everyone personally as I know how tight money is at the moment.

If anyone would like to sponsor me then just go to personalised charity page and click on the ‘Donate now’ button and after the event all the money will go direct to the charity along with anything I am able to raise off line. Any amount is appreciated and there is no pressure to do so at all, the last thing I would want anyone to do is to spend money they have not got.

I will keep up everyone up to date with my progress through the blog and post some pictures before and after the event. Can I also just thank the mystery person who recently sponsored me ‘Sydney Carlton’. Sydney, I am not sure if you follow the blog, but if you do thank you very much, that was very generous of you.

Just a quick update: A lot of people have emailed saying that the donation button will not work from outside of the U.K or that they don’t have a crd but would like to donate. I have not set up a donate button on this page http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/charity_run.html it is set to U.S dollars but will convert to any currency and you can put in your own amount. Again this is just to help the people who were having trouble as there is no pressure to donate.

To finish I know Scarlet pointed people to some old post on depersonalisation and as it has come up a lot recently I thought I would let everyone know there has been 3 posts on this subject before, just go to the right hand side of the blog at the top and you will see ‘Depersonalisation’ in the categories section, just click on this link and it will bring them all up.

#Please feel free to keep posting on the post below. I have loads of ideas for posts to come, but if anyone would like me to cover something then let me know. I will then pick the one I think will help the majority.

Paul

Your anxiety questions answered

January 12th, 2009

Hi everyone as promised I said I would do a question and answer section. hopefully it will help everyone and not just those who asked the intial question. Excuse the text in the post where there are no spaces where there should be, it happened when I copied and pasted it in and I have had little success fixing it.

1. In regards to your next post ideas, here’s something I would have wanted to know about you during recovery: When you say, “whatever” to a thought or feeling, do you feel confident when you say it each time or is it a matter of just saying it even if you feel like you’re treading water to stay afloat at that moment?

This was one question I wanted to answer as I got stuck the same way and I did actually do a post on this a while back on this. I think certain people get hung up with accepting how they are, this should be a whatever attitude and NOT a need to keep reminding yourself to accept how you feel, as you once again start battling with yourself and again it becomes a ‘Do’. I think someone mentioned they had to keep reminding themselves to accept how they were. There is no need to do this and as some people may know it loses its force in time. Accepting is all about not doing ‘Not fighting, not worrying, not filling yourself with self pity. Giving your body a break, its never a ‘Do’, so please don’t feel the need to walk around telling yourself daily you must accept this. I put it more as laying all your tools down and accepting this is you for the time being, its more of an ‘attitude’ that just becomes second nature. Its not about putting pressure on yourself to make a word make you feel better and then getting frustrated that it has not, you are putting your faith in a word, again its just an attitude born through practice of not caring. There is a world of difference between feeling awful and just carrying on with your day, than saying ‘whatever’ and then getting frustrated that you still feel awful, do you see the difference. Its like having flu, we know we can do nothing about it, so we just get on with our day even though we feel awful, we don’t battle to feel right, worry and obsess about it, because we understand it, it’s the same with anxiety.

2. Did you keep getting tripped up with fighting? Was it really gradual that you starting getting better at accepting or did you “give up fighting” fairly quickly and then have to keep working at recovery from there? This was something I got stuck in because I knew no better than to fight in my early days, I fought this condition to the point where it consumed me, I thought of nothing else but getting better, which in turn made me worse. I gradually got better and stopping fighting, which was not only my instinct, but my habit and at times it was not easy, but like every habit it does change. Habits are just as they say ‘habit’ and any habit will become your new one. And as I learnt about anxiety I knew that it was a waste of time fighting anymore, this was just having the opposite effect. A lot of conclusions I came to were that if something was making me feel worse, then why not try the opposite, fighting how I felt daily made me feel worse, so what if I tried the opposite and just let ‘come what may’ and it worked. I felt just a little bit better that first day, it was like a weight taken off my shoulders, today I did not for once have to ‘try’ to get better. Just that slight improvement made me understand this was the way to go. If you find yourself fighting, then forgive yourself and move on. Recovery is never plain sailing. but there is no need to make it complicated. I don’t want people to go around thinking ‘Am I doing things right’ as there really is nothing to do, its just about living along side how you feel, if you truly do this then you are not fighting. Lets say I woke up tomorrow racked with anxiety again, I would feel awful there is no doubt, but I would not let it concern me too much. I would just get up and drag myself through the day; there is nothing I could do to make it go away so I would not try to. I would just get on the best I could, you see there would be no fighting of the condition and I have not done anything spectacular there at all.

3. I have been doing great, but I stumble when confronted with the reality that people do suffer from bouts of major depression and with these thoughts come rushes of fear and then I get caught up in a swirl of anxiety and low mood. How would you move toward these feelings appropriately in order to face them head on?

Again this was asked in a different way before. This is the cycle of anxiety, an initial thought ‘maybe I will suffer with depression’ this thought on a sensitised body will set off the anxiety, which is just adrenalin on sensitised nerves, this brings feelings of fear and you may feel down that you feel awful again. Firstly understanding that this is the cycle can help, just understanding why you get such an exaggerated response to a thought can be a comfort. If I understand your question, then the initial thought of developing depression is the answer, to desensitise to a thought you need to allow yourself to let the depression come if it wants, give in to the initial thought and say ‘If I become depressed, then so be it’. This thought then won’t have the same effect, as you have allowed yourself to feel this way, there is no recoil from the thought, which is why you feel the reaction to it. Never recoil from any thought.

Someone asked ‘Did you ever worry the anxiety may come back?’. Can you imagine if I had this thought daily, the worry, the stress, the watching. I understood enough about anxiety to not have these fears anyway ,but if that intial thought would have come, I would have just paid it no mind, if my anxiety wants to come back, then let it, there is nothing I can do anyway, would have been my attitude. Again anxiety is a condition, not an illness. As I said your attitude should be ‘If it wants to come back, let it’ just give in to the thought / fear. You have allowed it to come back if it wishes, but do you see with this statement the fear and worry has now gone, the thought has nothing to feed on. You can ask any ex-sufferer and they will all tell you they could never suffer again. People who recover understand what got them their in the first place and what got them home, they are far less vulnerable than someone who has never suffered before.

4. Hey Paul, new post sounds like its going to be really interesting. Something I was meaning to ask you was if you ever worried about if your anxiety was other illnesses instead. I have more or less got past this myself(after a lot of worrying) but I know there is a lot of people that still find it hard to move past these what ifs and thought it would be good for them to know about your experiences with these thoughts.

Yes I did, I thought I had something else. To be honest it was years before I even realised I had anxiety. No doctor ever mentioned that word. I just thought I was going crazy. I actually thought, I have no idea why I feel this way, but it will go, I don’t know when, but everything goes in the end. Well it did not and that was the time that I expected to be carted off somewhere, I was getting worse not better. When the D.P hit that was the worst time, I thought I was going crazy and would end up somewhere, with so little information it was a very scary time and the anxious body does not take a lot to scare it. When I did finally get some answers or at least have a name for my condition I did put my faith in that this is what I had and nothing else. Although I felt crazy, awful, anxious, spaced out I could always do my job, I could figure things out as before, so it was like ‘I am under there somewhere’. Also don’t forget the anxious body does make us think the worst, but it’s still up to us what we believe to be true. And I knew deep down that it was anxiety and that I had developed D.P, the only thing I wanted to do now was understand these conditions and once I read up on both, they described me exactly, I trusted that this was what I had and I just wanted to learn more about each one, so I could one day set myself free. 5. “What does it feel like to be fully recovered” and “How do you know”?

This question I have been asked more times than any other. The feeling of full recovery is really special, but something I truly never aimed for. I just wanted to feel better and I think that helped me. I was not desperate to recover; just feeling better was great, it kept opening new doors. But feeling better was up and down, it would go like this……feeling better, then having bad days, feeling great, feeling awful, feeling really good, feeling awful. It was up and down until the good days were really good and the bad days were not too bad. I may have had a really bad couple of days or so, but I had been there many times before, so I did not let them bother me. I had so much faith that I would soon be back to feeling great again. Full recovery was strange as I thought I had just about recovered before. But I do remember the day when I could just chat freely without reverting back to me, without feeling as though I had to place each word in a sentence. I said to my mother ‘I just know this is it, full recovery’ she asked how and I said well you know when people say they think they maybe in love, but they are not sure, but others say if your in love ‘You just know’ that was what it was like. Before I thought I had recovered as I had so many good days, but now I knew, it went to another level, total freedom. I never thought about anxiety unless I worked with it anymore and then it was just like any other subject, it no longer bothered me. My mind was so clear and my nerves had healed, they were no longer sensitised and did not feel rushes of fear for very little reason. I was not racked with feelings of anxiousness and not constantly irritable. My mind was no longer tired through fear and worry, the deep thinking about my condition, no longer tired it further, it had regained its flexibility and felt so clear. It was like the whole subject was behind me. One thing though was it felt odd to feel free again, just like being let out of prison and it took a while to readjust to feeling normal, anxiety had been part of my life for so long it was only natural.

6. Paul – did you ever in a set-back start to tire of this whole process? If that makes any sense. I just feel fed up and weary at the moment with all of this anxiety business and I have moments when I feel like I am sliding quickly back to the very beginning three years ago.

Setbacks are the hardest things to make people believe in as they are always so impressed by how they feel at any certain time. I remember a couple of weeks back, 2 people saying on the blog ‘It’s back, I don’t know what I have done wrong, why do I feel like this again’. This came even though I tell people time and time again it will be up and down. Mine recovery was very up and down and I sometimes nearly gave in and thought, I need the quick fix, I can’t be bothered with this up and down affair anymore, but thankfully I held firm. What people need to do is go through setbacks enough times to understand it is part of the process and although not nice, a setback only has the power you give it. If you start questioning everything again and worrying that this dreadful thing is back, feel sorry for yourself, then you have given the setback all the fuel it needs to continue. Just have faith that they always pass, you don’t have to like how you feel, but just remember tomorrow could be the best day yet. One thing I promise you is that even on your hardest days, your progress is there in the background. I always seemed to come out of a setback far better than I went into one, you never lose what you have learnt and the progress you have made is never lost. 7. Paul – I Was doing so well these days and out of the blue I got this setback. When I do brain retraining, I feel the term I use to accept don’t have any weight, they feel meaningless when I say them to myself. For example, when I say to myself,” It’s only a bad habit”. Then automatically my mind will start questioning, what’s a habit, are you sure it’s a bad habit.” I don’t know what to do. I have tried with new sayings, the same happens. It’s so confusing, please advise.

Again you don’t have to have sayings, as you can put too much faith in them to make you feel better and as you say they can lose their effect. When you say ‘Its only a bad habit’ and then the other questions come, this again is adrenalin needing an outlet. You need to let the extra thoughts come if they wish, but let them burn themselves out. As you say, you let them frustrate you, as you became active in them, if you had not, they would not have bothered you. But more than anything I would drop the sayings, ‘just let come what may’. If your mind questions a question, then let it, but don’t get involved or let it frustrate you. Also don’t search around for a phrase to make you feel better, ‘That did not work, what about this saying’ ‘That did not work, Ill try this’ You see you are back in fight mode, you are not accepting, you are searching for something to make you feel better and having a mental battle with yourself to do so.

8. You mention a lot about not going in search of that magic tablet or secret cure etc and just letting recovery come to you. You also however recommend a few things such as exercise, avoiding alcohol, massage etc to help with recovery. How do you draw the line between the two and when do these things stop being just aids in our recovery and represent us searching for a quick fix ? I’ve thought a few times about trying meditation or something to help me relax, but then wonder if it might be a step to far and means that I am not accepting the way I feel.

This is a very good question and as I told people before I initially took up running because it helped with my anxiety. But the mistake I made was my whole run was taken up with ‘I will feel great when I get back’ ‘This will really help my anxiety’ my whole run was built around ‘ridding myself of anxiety’ which was the wrong attitude, if I came home not feeling great I would question why and try and run further, I needed to feel great, but as I say I had fallen into the trap of doing something to ‘rid’ myself of anxiety. So although I knew it helped me I just started to run for me, if it helped with anxiety then so be it, if it did not then that was fine, it was not going to be the reason I ran. So it does not matter what you do as long as you do it for your natural well being and don’t put yourself under pressure to feel good afterwards. Looking after myself really helped me and gave a new focus, but the day it helped me, is the day I did it for me.

I hope that helps people.For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Signing off for Christmas

December 19th, 2008

I wanted to just wish everyone a happy Christmas and sign off for this year. The site and blog has grown so much in the last year, which proves how popular anxiety can be. I had someone write to me last week who suffered, he said ‘Paul I am a very fit scaffolder and feel weak for having anxiety, I kept it to myself for fear of ridicule with the people I work with. Once I read your book I began to improve and thought, why should I feel ashamed to let people know how I feel’ I told a workmate in confidence and could not believe it when he said that he suffered to a certain degree to’. This just shows how widespread the problem and the reason so many people come to the internet for answers and help. Hopefully in time the size of the problem will hit the medical world and there will be more qualified people to help, this would save so much suffering.

Secondly I still see people who want to be better today and not tomorrow, understandable, but all this desperation to be better can be a hindrance. Recovery is better coming to you, than you going searching for it. Understanding why you have a symptom is fine, it takes so much fear and worry out of the mix. But asking ‘How do I get rid of this feeling’ turns into searching for it. There is not a feeling or symptom that you should try to banish, go towards it, work along side it yes, but not spend your time trying to rid yourself of it, a lot of anxiety is just a tired mind and body working together, the last thing it wants is for you to fight against it. Someone once said, ‘I get it now, I never for one minute allowed myself to have anxiety’.

Again live along side anxiety and all the tricks it plays and recovery will come to you, you cannot force feeling good. It is far better to say ‘I felt anxious today, but its fine’ Than to say ‘I have spent all day trying to rid myself of anxiety’ which is what a lot of people do. With patience comes a belief that you will recover, when the seeds of doubt come, that’s when the fighting and self pity starts again. I always seem to take one step back and two forward in my own suffering, but even in my deepest days of setback believed one day I would be fine. One way to explain it is, say you were at the bottom of a mountain and looked at the summit and thought ‘Its just too far, I will never get there, there must be a quicker way’, or ‘Its a long way, but that’s fine I will just take it in stages and reach the summit in my own time’ The second was my attitude to my own recovery, it felt far away at times, but I knew I would get there, however long it took was not an issue. The first attitude I have heard from so many, they don’t want it to take time, they want it now, they go for shortcuts that never work, they want someone to come with the magic sentance to make it all go away, thinking, if someone just answers this then I will be fine, only to find it is never as simple as that.

In all my posts and reply’s I try and keep the blog a very positive place to be and also an honest place to be, I never pretend recovery is a smooth road or will come to you overnight, I will leave that to all the scam sites on the internet. People who think they are different and recovery comes to others and not them, it is not the case, its when that persons attitude changes enough to be able to live along side anxiety and not treat it as a monster trying to engulf them that the real change begins.

A lot of anxiety is habit, avoidence was mine, I knew the only way to change this was to go towards the feelings and places I was avoiding. I knew I would feel odd or dreadful at first, but this was the only way and I was right, aviodence only narrowed my life furthur, sent me deeper into the condition and I refused to let that happen. In time the places and feelings that I avoided so much were my saviour, this is when I began to de-sensitise, in time the places and feelings that filled me with apprehension became so much easier. What this did for me more than anything was give me an inner confidence that I could do anything and to not be bluffed by anxiety, a strange feeling. As Scarlet said in a reply to someone ‘It is like retraining your brain’ and she is right, if you train it to avoid, then you train it to see places and feelings as something to avoid, hence your life may get narrower. If you feel the fear and do it anyway, in time you train it to see life and places as normal. This is why I discussed in the last post as living your life with anxiety there and not letting it rule what you do and don’t do, to just live your life and try to be more interested in what is happening around you than how you feel.

To finish Candie sent me a pic of her and her partner David and the scan of their child of just 13 weeks. She would also welcome some names in case its a boy, so any suggestions would be good below. To view the pic just click here

I hope there is something above that maybe helps or people can relate to.

‘Have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year’

Paul

Taking a break from anxiety

November 26th, 2008

O.k I hope everyone enjoyed a bit of off topic in the last post, we did seem to go back on topic from time to time, but we shared some stories and some laughs and got to know more about each other. This was not just an off topic subject, it was also designed to give people a break and leads me to my next topic.

I know Scarlet has mentioned to others the need to take a break and I have mentioned it a lot in the past and in my book, but never have I put a post up about it, so I thought if I went into more detail it would make a good post and hopefully help people.

It is very important to take some time out from the subject of anxiety. Its great to finally find information that can help and very helpful to read it, but sometimes people can immerse themselves in the subject, google symptom after symptom, spend hours looking for the answers that will make it all go away. People who have been here a while know that last year I set up a forum and within a few weeks closed it down, not only did I take on too much, but I thought it was not helping people on here in the long run. I have never liked forums as they can become addictive and people spend far too time on them, telling people about their problems, helping others with theirs, reading about other peoples symptoms, day in day out and miss on out the vital time outs that we need. It is the same if someone is depressed and went on a forum hearing peoples storys of depression each day, it tends to just drags you down even furthur.

The mistake so many make is that they chase recovery and don’t let it come to them. In this I mean they will spend hours everyday looking up all their symptoms, spend hours looking for and chasing that elusive cure that will make a symptom go away instantly. I can’t tell you how much time I wasted trying to ‘rid’ myself of anxiety and not just live with anxiety there. I never considered just living and letting my body regain its balance, I fought with myself daily, I had to get rid of these feelings, why do I feel like this? , why am I not getting better? , will this ever go away? , what if I do this, will this help? , I never had a break from the subject, I made the mistake of trying to fight and think my way better, this was just like hitting a broken leg with a hammer, it would never recover.

It is also very important to put all symptoms under the umbrella of anxiety and don’t try to seperate and work on each one individually. Nothing saddens me more than people asking about advice here on a certain symptom and then asking about another the day after, then another symptom the week after. I just know they are going to go round in circles finding something else to worry about, something else to google. You don’t need to seperate each symptom, just see anxiety as one. Worrying about each symptom indivdually will create 20 different things to worry about, putting it all under the umbrella of anxiety, you can never have more than one.

There has been a lot of good advice recently about just living your life from people on here who have come through. I went from a person who did nothing but consume himself with how he felt, hide away from everything, spend my days feeling sorry for myself, to one who just said ‘Enoughs, enough’ the only way to feel normal again is to live as normal life as possible. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I would go for a swim, instead of worrying about how I felt I would get my bike out, instad of spending hours trying to figure a way out of this hell, I would take a walk, instead of hiding away I began to socialise again. Things were odd at first as I was changing a habit I had got into, but by living my life and not living it trying to rid myself of anxiety each day, I felt the old me returning, I began to feel more normal. My day had something else in it but immersing myself in how I felt, it had a break, something else to concentrate on.

I remember going for a swim when I was probably at my worst, full of anxiety and D.P. I wanted to just shut the world away and not go out, but I went. I arrived in the changing rooms and felt weird, but I got changed and into the pool. I was somewhere else half the time, my mind reverting back to me, but it was o.k, things would not change overnight. I finished my swim and got changed and again felt odd and a little anxious, but that was fine. When I arrived home I was happy that I did what I did and felt just a little better, nothing major but a little better. I went every week after that, not demanding or expecting anything and within a few weeks I felt almost normal at times, doing normal things was beinging to feel normal, when at first it was the other way around. I remember when I first felt I had recovered, I had an odd feeling of strangeness and that’s because feeling normal felt strange, like a prisoner first let out of jail, my body needed time to adjust to feeling normal. This is what I mean when I say it comes in layers. A lot of people don’t want to go through anxiety, they think yes, yes, this is all well and good, but I would rather have the quick route and find the answer to make it all go away today, so off they go on their merry way, googling again, going on numerous forums asking questions on how to get rid of this damn thing, they just end up going around in circles, chasing their own tail and getting nowhere.

Going back to forums, some are good, but there are many that are poorly moderated and people who are looking for help end up trying to help others and you end up with plenty of conflicting advice that helps nobody. Also as I say I think they can become addictive and people can end up spending too much time there and not just living their life.

A blog I feel is more helpful as one person is posting advice and then people answer questions and discuss things afterwards on that certain topic. There is no option too google away on here, your not having loads of conflicting advice and not being bombarded with information daily. I want people to come here and read what is relative to them and take away any advice, live their life and use the information given. I to have breaks where I don’t come on for a few days, I have just learnt the need to add plenty of things into my day and do some living, its not an anxiety thing, its just I spend so much time working on the computer, I need some healthy time out.

So to sum up, live your life however you feel, don’t let anxiety make decisions for you, go out and do things, doing so may seem weird at first, that’s o.k as we are changing a habit. But living a normal life is where normal feelings will come back, emotions, your bodys reactions. Do everything you would normally do if you did not have anxiety or D.P, this is the key. Its o.k to have anxiety, its o.k to have D.P, this needs to be your attitude and the opposite of spending your day trying to rid yourself of it.

I hope this helps and people can relate to it.

For more help and information on anxiety visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information on my book ‘At last a life’ Visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Off Topic Chat

November 3rd, 2008

Hi Everyone. Well there has been a lot of replys to the last post and many newcomers to the blog, so a welcome from me and I hope you find the blog helpful. Also thank you to Scarlet and Candie for some excellent posts. Its great to come back and see good advice that I totally agree with on my return from holiday and I am sure your posts have helped a lot of people. That also goes to anyone else who posts on here supporting and helping others, its greatly appreciated.

If people would like to carry on posting on the topic below then feel free, I just wanted to take a break from advice and have an off topic post. Having a break from the subject can also help. So here are a few things I would like to add.

Firstly my holiday was a disaster. It rained for 3 days solid and boy does it rain abroad. I went down with a cold for 3 days and the resort was far too quiet. I think from now on I will stick to the U.K : ) No it really was disappointing and I just wanted to get back to be honest. One funny incident was me being pulled on stage to do flamenco dancing and it was filmed. I am going to try and put it on youtube for anyone who wishes to see how not to dance : )

Secondly I did mention to a few people about raising money for an anxiety charity. They have always been good to me and I wanted to give something back. The site is www.anxietycare.org.uk They struggle for finance and need all the help they can get. So I have been in training for the last few weeks so as to do a 10k run just after christmas. I have yet to decide which run but it will be in the Yorkshire area. If anyone would like to get fit and maybe do the race, then just get in touch and I will give you more details. I will also post nearer the time when I do it and post some pics after the event.

Lastly I was sent this video of a lion that was brought up in London by two friends. The lion got too big and was taken out to the wild and set free. The two men who looked after him went to track him down and were warned the lion would not remember them, how wrong they were, you have to see the reunion, but get the kleenex ready. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/yt-B0G_ZuBGD-0/christian_the_lion_full_video_great_quality/

Please feel free to join in some off topic chat or comment on the above, maybe tell us a bit more about you and what you do, post a clip of something, anything at all.

Paul

Anxiety, avoidence and de-sensitising

October 13th, 2008

Hi Everyone, This will be my last post for a while as I go on holiday next week, so hopefully people will get something from this latest post, which is different than recent posts, where I have tried to get people to change their attitude to anxiety or any other symptoms, as its not about having no symptoms, its fine as long as you don’t let these feelings control your life and spend so much wasted energy trying to rid yourself of them.

This leads to todays post, which the idea comes from a program I was watching, I actually do not like the program ‘Jeremy Kyle’ and it was on in the background until it caught my attention.

The program started with a women who had been burgled and met the guy face to face. Two years down the line she never went out and was constantly in fear and suffered with anxiety/panic etc. It was having a terrible impact on her life and she wanted help. Then some guy who was there to help her, did actually for once talk a lot of sense and said something that I could relate to. He said ‘I went through something very similar, but I refused to let it rule my life’ He said he understood the concept that, if he did not get straight back out there, then it would cause far more problems and he went towards what he feared and did not hide. I think he said he was mugged or something similar and he actually wanted to get straight back out there, understanding that it was better to do this than let the problem grow. The main thing is, he did it straight away and did not build up more avoidence behavour habits that could cause more problems.

I wont claim to know anything else on this part of the program, as I say it was on the background, but I just caught him saying this. But I thought, here goes his advice to this lady will be the usual twaddle, but he surprised me and said the only way to move forward can come from you and you have to go towards what you fear to get your life back, he never said it was easy, but suggested staying at home and all the habits of needing someone with her constantly and not going out were counter productive and she needed to do the exact opposite to move on from this. I am not blaming this lady by any means, but what she did wrong was to never her allow herself to feel any fear to get through it, for her it was about not feeling any fear or as little as possible. She would ring her boyfriend 20 times a day and when he got back he was never allowed to go out, she would not go out in case she saw this guy again and the problem just grew and grew. What she needed to do was feel these feelings and go through them, even if at first it was not ring her boyfriend so much, little steps, but she had to feel some uncomfort, only then would she feel more comfortble, she could never expect to live life with someone constantly by her side. But again I am not blaming this lady, she was just going with her instincts.

I always went towards any uncomfortable situations and refuse to get into avoidence behaviour, even in my days of little knowledge I knew that this was the worst thing I could do and trust me this is what de-sensitises you. I know we want the easy way out, but I thought if I don’t do everything at will and allow myself to feel some fear, then my life would just get narrower and narrower. A realisation once came when I had a job interview and as I got near I thought ‘I can’t do this, I felt very anxious’ I then had a realisation. ‘I would feel like this pre-anxiety days’ but I would not let it bother me, also my nerves are sensitised so I may feel it a little stronger than most, but its the same feeling, its only my attitude to it that has changed, so I just got on and went in and soon felt a lot calmer once I was in chatting. Again I nearly let a common feeling of excess adrenalin (which is all it was) bluff me into avoidence.

From that day I always went everywhere at will, however I felt and it was the reason things got so much easier. But I had to go through these times and not trust my bodys instinct to avoid, there was logically nothing to fear, so why should I? I may have felt uncomfortable again, but these feelings did not bother me in the slightest, I had an in built confidence, I had been through them so many times and nothing ever happened, so there was no reason to care how I felt anymore. I just tried to lead as normal life as possible even though I was wracked with anxiety or felt great. To get normality back I had to live as normal as possible and not let any feeling control what I did and did not do.

I refused to let how I felt narrow my life even furthur.

I know we are all different and some people may need to take small steps at first, but the power is in us all. Don’t be bluffed into avoidence by what is nothing more than excess adrenlalin in a sensitised body. Once you deal with yourself and not a place, nowhere can hold any fears, the feeling is always the same.

I hope that people can relate to something there.

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information on my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Why does my anxiety seem to get worse?

September 29th, 2008

Hello everyone, the title is just something that has cropped up a lot recently and I wanted to cover. Before I do a few words. Firstly I am going away for a week in a month, just a holiday and Candie will be moderating the blog for me while I am away and maybe helping beyond that. All comments are moderated, as I don’t want mixed messages coming through or people promoting their useless affiliate products on here, which they keep trying. I also want people to be helpful and supportive, which is very easy to moderate as we have a very nice bunch of people on here. Candie also takes the time out to answer a lot of people and is very helpful and someone I trust a lot, so thanks for helping me Candie.

Secondly I am starting some voulantry work next month. Its on hospital radio and two evenings a week. I think most or each hospital do it. You get to chat with patients, ask what they want played and learn all about how to work in the studio and eventually get your own slot. It is something I am very interested in and can’t wait to get started.

O.k todays post came from a post on the blog, which went something like ‘How do I get rid of this thing’ The ‘thing’ being anxiety. I must admit when I first suffered I did know know what the hell was up with me and just thought it would pass like a cold. Well obviously it did not and then I started to worry and obsess about it, especially when everywhere I turned nobody was giving me any answers. So a lot of people do believe they have been unlucky and question why did anxiety come to them.

Well anxiety does not chose certain people, it is not something that you just get like a cold. Anxiety is the result of your body being over worked, be it through long hours, stress at worrk, a problem or collection of them that you worry about. You over work your body and it breaks down, your nerves have been battered so much. that they go ‘bad’ if you like. Anything you buy, be it a blender, a vacuum and yes even a car. If you work that beyond its capabilitys it will break down or begin to clunk and run bad. Your body is the same, so anxiety is not a ‘it’, it is not something your body wants to go through, it is telling you it can’t work with the pressure you are putting it under. That is why it is so important to take your symptoms with a pinch of salt, not to get stressed or worry about them, as again you are working your body far too hard, a body that is crying out to be left alone. The easiest way to not worry or get stressed about how you feel is to understand more about why you feeli like you do and this is the reason I try to explain a lot in my book and on here.

Some people say they feel instantly better when they have read the book or a post on here. I say yes because you understand why now, it does not scare you as much, so you worry less and don’t get as stressed by the way you feel. The more of an understanding I received, ‘most of it I had to work out by myself, pre internet days’ the better I felt and the less respect I gave to my symptoms. I had the same symptoms for a while and that point is important, as a lot of people hope they will feel better overnight. But they did not hold the same fear anymore and obviously changing the daily habit of worry and obsessing how I felt helped me to recover, it gave space for me to progress. How could I ever get better while I still worried daily and stressed everyday about how I felt, ‘trying to fight and think my way better’, it was impossible, but something most people do without the right information, scrambling around daily for answers, worrying and stressing about how they feel, watching months go by without any progress, wondering if this hell will ever leave them. That person was me also and would still be me to this day if I had not educated myself enough.

I hope there is something there for everyone

For more help and advice visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information on my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

What keeps us in the cycle of anxiety?

September 10th, 2008

Firstly just a few words from me. I am working on my book at the moment as things are in the pipeline to help it reach out to more people (more if this delvops later) so I want it to be as good as it can be and I always keep a document named ‘Book updates’ and one of the most helpful places to have new ideas is by what people ask or write on this blog. If something comes up time and time again then it needs covering. I also had an idea of a new chapter that would be from people who post here/email me on how much progress they have made or their full recovery. I always say the more people that have stories of their own recovery, that others can relate to the better. In my own search all those years ago I had a massive interest in reading about anyone that had come through and I think this new chapter will really benefit people. It will not only be that they have come through or improved dramatically, but what really helped them to do this.

Anyway I am halfway through doing this and this is the reason I have not being around to post much recently. So thanks to all those who have replied to others as I have noticed one or two new posters recently so welcome. Most people like to just read and stay in the background without posting and that’s fine. But to all those that do post and help and support others ‘A big thank you’ as it helps keep the blog going with me only having limited time to put into it and through the emails I receive I know how much this blog helps others and without the people who do post and support it would not be what it is.

O.k on to todays post

The title above is nothing new, but I wanted to add a conversation I had with someone recently as it may relate to a lot of people and help them understand better as to why they do stay in the cycle, which always helps to reverse it. Many regular posters and readers may have come to this conclusion with things I have said in the past, but we get so many new visitors each day that I really wanted to add it.

O.k I was talking with someone the other day about his anxiety and how it came about. He said at the time that he was put under a lot of pressure at work and one or two things in his home life were also a factor, although he could not really remember what. He said I have cut my hours down, the other problems no longer exist, so why do I still feel like this?

I said that just like me when I first suffered; that you now have a new problem and this is the problem that is keeping your anxiety going. To which he replied ‘What new problem’?

I replied ‘Anxiety’ These feelings have become your new problem and this is the reason you stay in the cycle. I further explained that he may have worried about his job, the problems at home initially, with which he agreed. Right o.k you put your body under too much stress and worry and it sort of broke down and you ended up with anxiety. Now what you are doing is worrying and stressing about how you feel and this is the reason the anxiety stays around, it has a new worry to feed on.

I did exactly the same, in fact my initial problem did not matter, this anxiety was far bigger than what brought it on. I worried daily about it, fought it, tried everything to make the damn thing go away. How could I ever recover putting this much stress and worry on myself. I could not.

He said ‘I really understand what your saying here and I realise that I am doing all of the above and why I am getting nowhere’

So I told him you cannot hope to banish these feelings, so why not live with them the best you can. If you decide to do this then you will not add anymore fuel to the fire. You will begin to break a cycle. Anxiety is like a fire that you throw petrol on. It wont stop until you take away its fuel. It may burn for a while, but it will began to dampen if you stop feeding it. I did the opposite for 10 years and it got me nowhere, I understand fully now why I got worse and not better. If my body would speak it would have said ‘Paul just leave me alone and I will heal myself’.

O.k that’s me for today, I hope people can relate to that conversation and it helps in some way.

For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information on my book ‘At last a life’ visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Don’t try to please people around you

August 25th, 2008

I thought long and hard about my next post, as I think I have covered a lot recently about having a ‘whatever’ attitude to how you feel and so many people have this concept, and reading through so many have improved a lot. I have like a diary of my own suffering and how I got through each stage, so I have plenty more to say and do take on board what people post and do think ‘I remeber that stage’ or ‘I remember when I struggled with that’ and try to cover such comments or posts the best I can.

Todays topic certain people will relate to and it was certainly something I went through that held me back. When I first suffered with anxiety, I really had no clue what was wrong with me and in time my confidence really plummeted. Well we all know what people with little confidence have a habit of doing and that is ‘People pleasing’ not only that, but we try and cover up how we are feeling, still trying to be the jolly person with loads of confidence when inside we feel lost and bewildered.

I remember going to work and just trying to please everyone. My confidence was so low, I felt that everyone was better than me, I had suffered from depression and wanted to make myself feel good and wrongly thought that trying to please people would do this. I stopped having opinions and just agreed with everyone, which is the quickest way for your confidence to plummet even furthur. I used to get frustrated as to where the old me had gone and try and cover up how I was feeling, acting through the whole day, ‘I must not let people see how I am’ , ‘I must come across as normal and happy’ The stress of this had me breakdown in tears one day. I could no longer keep this act up. I was sick of trying to make people like me, which in turn had the opposite effect I am sure, as people lose respect for someone who has no opinions and just agrees with what everyone is saying, it certainly made me lose even more confidence in myself.

So one day I thought ‘No more’ I am not acting my way through the day, if people notice I am not myself, if I come across as odd then so be it, I am not acting that everything is o.k anymore. So many people email me and say this hurts them more than anything. Losing who they are. I say ‘Don’t chase your own tail trying to scramble your way back to who you were or act that everything is o.k, this will only put yourself under more stress’.

I also said to myself, ‘However I feel I am no longer trying to please people. However I feel I am going to have an opinion, this anxiety is just a surface feeling, I am still me underneath and that confidence will come back in time, but not if I lose who I am underneath and I have never gone around trying to please people in the past and anxiety will not lead me down that path’.

So from that day if I came across as odd then so be it, I had stopped acting that everything is o.k, if people spoke about me not being the person I used to be, quiet, more withdrawn, not as chirpy, then water off a ducks back, the real me will rise again in time. Also from that day on, the people pleasing stopped, I no longer ‘Tried to make people like me to help me feel better, this was having the opposite effect, it just made me feel worse anyway’. From that day on the stress of trying to be something I wasnt and not have to act anymore was lifted from me. I felt more at ease and in time when I was free of anxiety, I was more confident than ever. The real me had risen again like I knew it would, it was always there, but it came back stronger than ever.

So if you can realte to any of the above I would like you to do the same. I hated trying to please others, I knew that acting my way through the day made me feel worse and like everything else. I always recognised this and tried to change it. These changes made so much difference to me in the short and long term. Never forget however you feel, that person is still there, just waiting to rise back up, more confident than ever.

Just to finish, so many people who recover say how much more confident they feel, also how they view life differently, they lose their lust for material things and just enjoy living again. They no longer take the simple things for granted and love just waking up in a morning and doing the simple things, that person was also me.

I hope todays post helps in some way and that everyone had a great bank holiday.

Paul

Member’s pics starting with Jo’s wedding

August 11th, 2008

Hi everyone!

Firstly thank you Jo for sending the pics to me to post. I have re-sized them all and put a border round them, so I hope you like them. They are really lovely and great to see something positive. I hope you and Michael have many years of happiness and I wish you all the best for the future.

Also I commend you for letting me post the pics, a lot of people like to stay in the background, due to people’s ignorance on the subject, so I applaud you for that. As I said if anyone else would like some pics posted on this page then feel free to send them to me. I am training for a half marathon which I am a long way off doing yet, but as soon as I do, I will post the pics.

So for anyone who would like to see Jo’s wedding pics, here they are www.anxietynomore.co.uk/members_pics.html

Paul

Don’t get patience and acceptence mixed up with anxiety

August 1st, 2008

I decided to write this post today after reading through a lot of posts recently. Firstly I want to say something again that was stated in an earlier post, some may have missed it so here it is, in a post. I think certain people get hung up with accepting how they are, this should be a whatever attitude and NOT a need to keep reminding yourself to accept how you feel as you once again start battling with yourself and again becomes a ‘Do’. I think someone mentioned it in the last post to the effect where they had to keep reminding themself to accept how they were. There is no need to do this and as some people may know it loses its force in time. Accpeting is all about not doing ‘Not fighting, not worrying, not filling yourself with self pity. Giving your body a break, its never a ‘Do’, so please don’t feel the need to walk around telling yourself daily you must accept this. I put it more as laying all your tools down and accepting this is you for the time being and not resisting or spending every day trying to get better. I really hope that makes sense.

Secondly through some posts I have seen people worry about the future with statements like ‘Will I be better soon? . ‘I worry about going to….?’ ‘What if there is more wrong with me?’ etc…etc…Firstly please try just for a week or so deal with today, don’t worry about the past and don’t worry about the future. Just deal with today, how much extra stress and worry do people put on themselves doing this. If you just live in today then it takes so much of this away. Especially in people who suffer with anxiety as people worry far more and put such a dark cloud on the tomorrow/next week. Minor issues become far bigger than they really are and we get into a cycle of anxiety/worrying, more worry, more anxiety, anxiety and more worrying, at some point this cycle has to change. So just live for today and then take what comes tommorrow.

I once explained to someone who was in the same situation as another person, that the only reason she felt dreadful is that she worried about the situation and the other person realised there was no point. I learnt early on how destructive worrying was and yes it had become a habit for me, but again it was one I was able to change.

Paul

My journey with Anxiety and Depersonalisation

July 22nd, 2008

Well here is the post I promised. I do read almost every post on here as I have to moderate the blog by myself. But I do take on board what people are saying and then adjust my next post accordingly. I can’t post every week, otherwise it would dilute the quality and I would mostly end up repeating myself. The best way to know what to post, is by what people are saying as a collective bunch. I know some ask for specific posts, but I have to do it for everyone and I felt todays post would help the majority.

Todays post is more on my recovery and the journey towards my goal of living anxiety free. Firstly maybe I should not say goal, it was more a dream as at the height of my suffering as I saw no way out, I truly did not. I thought this was me forever, nothing was working, in fact I was getting worse. The first stage for me was not a visit to the doctor, he was only concerned with giving me pills. My first rung on the ladder was to find out why I felt like I did, a pill would never do this, I wanted answers. Eventually through research and reading and eventually finding someone who understood the subject, I found a lot of these answers. Just to have an explanation and to realise that I was not alone, was enough for me to change a cycle. A cycle of self pity, complete bewilderment and constant worry and fear of what was wrong with me. This is the very reason I was so bad, so lost and felt so terrible. My mind and body was about as tired and emotionally spent as it could be and all I did was worry, fight and pound it with questions daily, no wonder I was getting worse, but what choice did I have, when I had no answers? I felt I had to work it out for myself, to fight it and hope it went away. I look back at the hole I was in and get angry that I did not find the answers sooner, that no one could tell me anything. This would have saved so much suffering. I lost my job and many friends, more than that I lost who I was.

So the first stage was understanding, once I had the knowledge I could slow down on the worry, not be so bewildered, realise that I needed to step back and give my mind and body a rest and not fight through each day. Yes I still felt awful, my body was so sensitised and tired, but for once I felt some relief and hope. Understanding is always the first step, this is why in my book I don’t just say do this or do that, I explain why you feel like you do, what keeps you in this cycle. Many people email me after reading the pages on my site or reading the book and burst into tears with relief that they have finally been given some answers and also a realisation that they are not alone. They have finally been given an explanation to why they feel like they do, they have the first stage to recovery.

So I now had plenty of knowledge to what was wrong with me. I then believed I could get better, I never lost this belief once I had some answers. The next stage for me was working out what was right for me and what was not, a lot through trial and error and once one thing made sense then other things would also. I realised very early on that I had fallen into a lot of bad habits. Avoidence being one of them and that hiding away was not the way forward and that I would no longer be bluffed by how I was feeling. I knew that normal living would eventually bring back normal feelings. I remember the first thing I did was join a thai class. I must have put off going 10 times in the week before I went. The thought of going into a room of strangers, feeling dreadful, anxious, panicky, strange, all the symptoms I felt at the time. But I could either hide away or take the first step to a new start. So I went and yes I felt awful at times, but something happened, I got into the class and for a minute or two forgot about how I felt and just got on. I finished the class and went home elated. I had floated past all the negative suggestions not to go. This is what happens, in a healthy body anxiety means fight or flight, it is telling you that you are in danger, take your choice. It could be a snarling dog that you meet and the option to avoid is a good one. This is where all the feelings of avoidence come from. Well going to a thai class there is nothing to fear, no need to run, apart from your instinct brought on by anxiety, that is not needed in that situation. This was why I knew I had to ignore the instinct to avoid, I had to just go and take what comes, what was the worst thing that could happen anyway? So I then began to go everywhere at will. I went socialising with friends, feeling awful and strange. I remember going swimming and feeling as though I was not there, thinking, that’s fine the more I do it the more normal I will feel. Once you do things time and time again then feelings dampen, your body does not react to certain situations anymore, once you go through certain situations many times you build up a strength, an insulation if you like, places just don’t hold any fear anymore.

So this was my second stage of recovery. Begining to live my life again, without anxiety ruling what I did and the decisions I made. This was very important to me and in time I felt so much more comfortable wherever I went. I always dealt with me and not the situation I was in, if I felt awful then so be it, if I felt great even better. I sometimes felt overwhelmed in the early stages and wanted to run or go home and take the easy route out, but I never did and this is where the real victorys came. I did it, I felt really awful, overwhelmed and I stayed, I know now I can handle anything now, it was just a feeling, this is what these times brought to me.

To sum up I would have bad weeks, good weeks, great days out, days when I felt awful, but I did everything at will and never let anxiety rule what I did and did not do, this made so much difference to my life. I am not saying it is easy at times, but I knew how important it was. To feel more normal I had to pack as much normal living in as possible.

The next stage for me was to then to do positive things in my life. I was at this point where a lot are on the blog with how I felt. I felt o.k, but had bad days and still did not feel great. I was though no longer fighting or worrying, questioning everything, tiring my body out. I was just left with a tired and sensitised body, so yes I would still feel crap sometimes, but I felt 1000% better than I once had. I had gone from having no good days to plenty. From feeling so odd I questioned if I lived on this planet, to feeling more normal than I had felt in ages. Depersonalisation has been covered on here many times, but I had stopped concerning and worring daily about how I felt, which in turn dampen these feelings of strangeness and I once again felt part of the world again and not just 24/7 anxiety. I had also began to get out an socialise, I went back to work and was again able to live my life. I may not have felt great all the time, but at least I could go wherever I wanted, I had reversed the avoidence cycle. You can see now that this has been a journey and that takes me onto this stage of doing more positive things.

I then joined a friend running each night, just a 50 minute run. When I first went I felt awful, so tired and spent, but no pain no gain, I wanted to get fit and bring something to be proud of into my life, again another focus but me. I cannot express how much better I felt when I came back from these runs. I felt great, excercise is by far the best way of burning off excess adrenalin and not only that it really helped me think straight, I could think so clearly when I got back that I had another realisation, it was anxiety and excess adrenalin that made my thoughts race and come out odd. As I have explained before it is the excess adrenalin needing an escape and this manifests itself sometimes in odd, racing thoughts.

I was now so into this that I took up cycling. I used to go with a group of friends and cycle all over my local county, sometimes for miles. I now had something else in my day, instead of thinking about how I felt, I was planning my next bike ride or run. I was aiming to do a half marathon also and had so much going on that my whole life and focus was changing. I hardly cared about the few twinges of anxiety, the very slight feeling of strangeness, they became just a feeling in the background that really did not bother me. The exercise and looking after myself brought them to such a level that I hardly bothered or noticed, my days had another meaning to them now.

I did eventually give up the running and cycling and have recently just got back into it. But I was just about recovered then, recovery was never my goal, it just came to me. I think people reach out too much for it and end feeling dissapointed. I first ran because I thought, hey I will feel great when I get back and I would almost tune in to see how I felt, feeling dissapointed if I did not. I then realised I was again trying to do something about my anxiety, putting pressure on myself to feel a certain way. So I changed my attitude and ran for me, to get fit and if it helped me feel better then great. This attitude helped me so much as I ran and forgot myself, not running and then thinking about how much it would help me, again reverting back to trying to recover from anxiety, I had to let that come to me and stop focusing everything I did on this goal. I hope that makes sense and I would say that realisation was my final stage to recovery and the person I am now. You don’t have to go running and I understand it is impossible for certain people, but it was as much a new focus, as the excercise that helped me so much. So doing anything new, even if it is painting at home. My own attention was on myself for a while, but this was just habit and would fade in time, when I first went running and cycling this was the case, but it was fine I did not let it bother me just carried on with what I was doing and in time my new focus was my new hobbys I had brought into my day. This has been asked many times ‘How do I stop thinking of me and how I feel’ the answer is you don’t, brooding at home does not help and the reason I say find a new hobby and focus to your day. But thinking about yourself has just become a habit that’s all. Don’t try not to think about yourself, if the attention is on you let it be, but don’t get frustrated with it. I had it for a while but in time it dampened when I gave it no respect. As I say I had other things to bother with and not myself, to be honest I got bored with the subject in the end. I had really developed a ‘whatever’ attitude, it had become in built in me, I no longer cared.

To finish I will say some people will relate to all of the above, some to parts of it, we are all different and I had a few stages to go through as I suffered so long and fell so deep. It is a lot easier to recover the shorter time you have suffered, memory and habits are not so raw and people may not be as sensitised. I have had many people email and after reading the book they are back to normal within a few weeks, but in almost all cases they have suffered a very short time, they unlike me were given answers very early on. If you have suffered longer, then it may take longer, but just go for progress, don’t put loads of pressure on yourself to recover, this holds so many people back. You also have a lot more information than I ever had, you have the support from others, that I so craved, but never received. As you see I went through a lot of bad times, to become the person I am now, did things I did not feel like doing at times. I used to lie in bed wanting and wishing it all away, but I knew deep down this would not happen, certain things were up to me.

I hope there is something above for everyone. It is not a full account by any means, just a brief account highlighting the most important stages of my recovery and how I came through them. I am not saying everyone will go through the stages I did, but I felt I needed to go through the stages, so people don’t feel they are missing something and that it was easy for me, it was a very up and down affair, but so worth it to be the person I now am. My life is so different now and everyday is a gift and that gift is there for everyone who keeps the faith. Anxiety and the symptoms that go with it are just feelings, never see it as anything else, it will only hold you back if you let it.

Paul

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

B.B.C want people for T.V Programme on Food Phobias and Anxiety

July 8th, 2008

I don’t know if people remember but last year Channel 4 asked me to help them find people for a T.V show about teenagers with anxiety. Well the B.B.C have asked me to help them find people who maybe interested in appearing on T.V dealing with food phobias and anxiety and also aksed me to appear. I have no interest as I have said in the past and like to stay in the background. But I did say I would post on here in case anyone would like to appear or think it may help. Instead of going through the ins and outs I will just post one of the later emails that was sent to me. When copying and pasting the message below, the font or layout may change so apologies for that.

Hi Paul

Thanks very much for your message.

I’d be very grateful if you could have a think of any psychologists or
psychotherapists who might be suitable to appear on TV. Perhaps there
are speakers who’ve stood out at mental health conferences, or authors
you’re aware of who might translate well to TV. The most important thing
is that they have the personality to engage TV viewers, they don’t need
to be clinical psychologists.

Also, if you do know of any sufferers, who haven’t had any treatment
yet, we’d very much like to speak to them.They need to be in the early
stages of finding help – as the TV series introduces new psychological
insights and therapies to them.

The show specifically helps people with a restrictive and unbalanced
diet, who obsess about certain foods they must eat, or are fearful
of certain foods they must avoid. Here is the BBC link showing previous
case studies: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0090y2h

The experts offer techniques to reduce anxiety levels and introduce
exposure/ desensitising exercises over a 1 month period. This aims to
help individuals get on their way to helping themselves – improving
both their emotional wellbeing and physical health. In turn, viewers at
home, who may be suffering in silence, realise that they are not alone,
and that there are steps that can be taken to break the vicious cycle.

As we’ve seen by the previous successes in the first two series of the
show, individuals benefit from intensive, one to one, life-changing
support from a nutritionist and a psychologist. Past participants have
since contacted us saying how grateful they are for the help, and as a
result, are continuing to cope well. Participants also find taking part
in a TV programme a great deal of fun and a once in a lifetime,
memorable opportunity!

Obviously the title ‘Freaky Eaters’ is worded in a way just to ‘grab’
viewers’ initial attention. Content in the last two series was received
well in nutritional and psychological circles, due to the experts
successfully helping people. In the next series we are also looking to
give even more time to psychological analysis and scientific /
nutritional information and we are very open to ideas.

It is a great opportunity for experts to lift their professional
profile by appearing on an educational BBC series.

Please feel free to contact me on ***************** I’ve also attached a
flyer we are distributing in our search for participants with food
issues.

Best wishes
Em

If that would interest anyone then just email Emma at em.marshall@betty.co.uk

Just a few words from myself. I am just finishing a new site completely seperate to this subject and the reason I have not been around much. I have also just bought a bike and took up running again and am as fit as I have been for a while and really feeling the benefits. I know I have said it before but exercise as well as the new hobby it brings is very beneficial to anyone with anxiety. It burns off a lot of excess adrenalin, clears the cobwebs and with the fresh air and new focus to your day I can’t promote it enough. Sometimes its the last thing we feel like doing when we feel lousy, but it is well worth it for the rewards it brings.

I will post something new next week, glad to see everyone communicating and helping each other.

Take care

Paul

Anxiety and Panic Recovery From a Member

June 23rd, 2008

Hi Everyone, Well I have just got back from a weekend away. I went to Chester and visited the zoo in the rain. Well I think I saw about 3 animals, there was just nothing there at all. They must have been hiding away or on strike but it was a very dissapointing day. i then went into Chester city centre looking to but some cords to go out in and not one shop stocked them, it was just jeans, jeans, jeans. Why do shops think all men want to wear is jeans! Well that’s what I have been up to recently. I am also nursing a bit of a hangover today, not like me to drink too much, but I do have those days and always understand the day after why I try to keep them to a minimum.

Well todays post is a comment that someone put up to an earlier post. I liked her comment and the way she put things and asked if I could maybe use it as a post with a few words of my own so that everyone got to read it, she was very happy to do this, so here it is.

I have just read Beths post from 7th May and have to say I totally agree with her. I started suffering from anxiety and panic attacks only about 3 months ago and reading up on the subject and this website have helped me more or less totally overcome them….

Because as Beth quite righlty said, all that we are doing is tuning into our over active imagination – which has probably always been there and popped various thoughts into our mind – but in the past we’ve always ignored them. It’s as if once you have suffered from anxiety you listen to every negative thought and then question why its there and why it won’t go away – when if we just ignore it, it actually does goes away.

I think what i’m trying to say to give some help and support to people (I want you all to know that whilst I have only suffered for what may seem a short period of time – it was the most fightening time of my life) is to try not to over analyse everything, question every thought, or worry what’s wrong with you. There is actually nothing wrong with any of us – we’re all human and naturally experience thoughts, feelings, moods…..just accept them and try not to question then as being weird – its normal.

Sometimes we spend too long thinking about these intagible feelings, instead of focusing on the external positive things in our life that will help us to ignore the ‘random’ negative emotions which will naturally pop up from time to time.

Maybe that’s why I managed to overcome my fears and feel back to normal?

I hope I haven’t come across as patronising or belittling anything anyone feels or us going through – believe me, I understand. It’s just reading some posts started to make me feel like I was helpling myself go back to the place I was in and I wanted to offer something positive which helped me and my battle.

Imogen xx

Well I thought Imogen put that very well there. I know there has been the odd post on people doing really well recently and others may think ‘When is it my turn?’ The only point I would like to make on that is that the less time you have suffered, the easier it is to come through. I had 10 years of suffering behind me and did not expect things to turn around overnight and it took a while for me to get to the point I am now. So no matter how long you feel you have suffered, just think how far you have come. This is the only thing you need to know you are on the right track. But don’t get impatient and as Imogen says start to question everything. Lets all the negatives go and focus on the positives. I always looked at it like this ‘Look how far I have come’ instead of ‘I want to be 100% better’ , ‘I now have good days instead of feeling bad all the time’ again instead of ‘Why do I still feel awful sometimes’.

Focus on the positives and take comfort in the fact that people are posting that have now recovered or come so far. Don’t look at is as a ‘Why not me’ Never let impatience be your jailer, I never even thought of recovery or demanded it, I was just happy that things were changing for the better.

Paul

Recovery from Depersonalisation / Derealisation

June 5th, 2008

Well this post was changed from another subject to this as it seems to be a hot topic at the moment and I am going to be very honest about depersonalisation here and try and help people who are still bewildered by it. I will hold nothing back and tell my whole story and the truth behind it.

Firstly lets just refresh ourselves with Depersonalisation and why we have it.

Let’s start by saying that D.P is not just an anxiety symptom. I have read a hell of a lot on the subject and people who have been to war can suffer. People who have lost a love one can suffer temporary from it. People who had something happen to them early in their life, that really hurt or shocked them can suffer bouts of D.P. Many people who don’t suffer from anxiety have D.P, although I would say anxiety would be the main reason. So let’s go back to person who went to war and saw things that shocked him and he would rather forget. D.P is his bodies way of shutting down these memories and feelings, to block them out and protect him. Of course these are isolated cases, but they do happen and I have read of a few cases. The second where someone may have lost a loved one, have you ever seen that blank look, as though they are not really listening, they are somewhere else. Again a few people who have lost loved ones can have temporary D.P. It is again the bodies way of protecting them from all the hurt and worry and just like anxiety sufferers they may begin to think very deeply. Once the hurt and pain weakens, they tend to become their old selves again and the D.P leaves them. The D.P is not needed to protect them from all the hurt and pain anymore. The last one where someone may have had something happen to them earlier in their life. Again they may get bouts of D.P to surppress these memories, to shut out the hurt.

Now let’s move on to anxiety and why people suffer with D.P, and why it is only natural that you will. I had anxiety for about two years before I had any symptoms of D.P. I showed no symptoms at all, until how I felt bothered me more and more. I was been moved from one doctor to another and nothing was working. This was about the time I thought I will have to figure it out for myself. So I worried daily about how I felt, spent 12 hours a day trying to figure a way out of this mess, spent my whole day feeling sorry for myself, on the verge of tears at every waking moment. Day after day this went on, until one day I went home and as I was stroking my dog I felt as though I was not really there, my vision seemed blurred and I had no idea what was happening. What happened that day is my body said enough is enough, I cannot take this worry and deep thinking anymore and to protect me, and you, I have to shut your emotions down. And it did, I could feel no emotions, no happiness, no joy, the whole world went grey and lifeless and I seemed to become a walking shell. Of course it makes sense to me now that my body was protecting me. But what happened then is I began to worry about this new symptom, tried to figure not only the anxiety but this new sensation of feeling lost and empty. What was happening to me? I was more bewildered than ever. I spent my time now getting worse, I really had entered the cycle that would pull me in deeper. If I had known or been taught about D.P before I suffered then I would have known the reason why it was happening and would not have wasted years trying to figure it out or worrying about it daily, sinking deeper and deeper into the condition.

You see that is why people with anxiety develop D.P, it is all the worrying and deep thinking about the initial anxiety that brings on the D.P. There is no more explaining needed to be done and this is the reason why. You are not unique and it just shows how popular this subject is and how many people who suffer with anxiety go on to develop D.P. It is the number one thing talked about on here and I receive more emails about it than any other symptom.

So how did I come through my own D.P?

Well before I give a list of things that saw me through, I want to say to everyone and be honest……

It did take a while, there are no quick fixes.

D.P left me when it realised that it was no longer needed. When would this be? When I stopped the deep thinking (trying to figure it all out) When I stopped the daily worrying and feeling sorry for myself. While I was in this cycle, nothing was going to change, it makes total sense that while I did worry and obsess, then my body would carry on protecting me, more worry, more need to protect. Only when this was reversed would it ease. Now a lot of habits had built up and yes worrying and obsessing had become a habit, but I allowed this habit to be there, but I added no more worry and stopped trying to figure it all out daily, what would be would be. The attention was on me for a while and D.P was still very strong, but I decided and I mean from the pit of my stomach to live with this for the time being and question it NO MORE, pay it NO MIND. Not do this for a week and think ‘Oh it has not gone I must try and fix it’ or start questioning it all over again ‘Oh should I do something about it, its still there, what if its something else’ or feel sorry for myself ‘Oh I hate this, why won’t it go away’ All this stopped and I TRULY accepted this feeling and understood that it was my bodies way of protecting me and I had no control over it, so it was better just to get on with my life. This is what a lot of people do, they accept it for a week or so and then become frustrated with it again or begin to question it all over again, they have never really accepted this feeling, more just put up with it. I never even thought about recovery, I just gave up and stopped worrying or fighting, questioning the feeling anymore and recovery came to me. I always say that, don’t go searching for recovery, your body will bring it to you, if you step out of the way and let it.

Here is a list of other things that really help me and I would always advise with D.P

Exercise

This is a great way of clearing the cobwebs, burning off excess adrenalin, giving you another focus to your day, if you go running outdoors, having a dose of nature. I found this very beneficial.

Keeping away from forums and studying the subject daily.

I run this blog as I think it is great for support and the odd bit of advice. I don’t like forums, as people on there tend to wallow in the subject, drown themselves in it, trying to find that miracle answer. They end up mostly feeling worse and the subject just becomes their day. I took breaks from the subject all the time and stopped doing the google search daily. I knew to begin to feel like my old self I had to pack in as much normal living as possible. Doing normal things makes you feel part of the outside world again. I always tried to live as normal life as possible and never let how I feel stop me. Not always easy, but I am so glad I did as normality seemed to overwrite my years of suffering in time.

Stop obsessing and worrying, trust in yourself.

Pay this feeling no mind and this means truly just get on with your day however you feel. You are not going crazy and this feeling will go when your body feels it is no longer needed. No matter how long you have suffered with this feeling, it will pass and does no long term harm at all. Trust in what I say and trust in your own bodies natural healing system. I keep saying it, but I was worse than most who come on here. My D.P was so bad I could not hold a conversation and I came through. I don’t have one symptom now, my mind can feel a little tired at times, but I have no symptoms of D.P at all and trust me EVERYONE’S body is the same and reacts the same. I can only give advice, I cannot make people follow it and that’s the sad thing. People do believe they have something else and go down the worry cycle again, people do believe there must be a quick fix somewhere and begin to go on their merry search again. Someone once emailed me and said ‘I have read your book but my D.P is still there’ I mean did they read the same book that told them it would take time? No, again they wanted the quick answer, the miracle cure that does not exist.

I hope the above helps people and really do and try and take it on board.

For more information and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information on my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Anxiety and setbacks explained / Why do we have them?

May 19th, 2008

O.k here is todays post as promised. Firstly I want to express how much setbacks are all part of recovery. Again there will never be a post saying ‘How to make sure you don’t have a setback’ You almost certainly will, the post is to tell you how to deal with them.

Setbacks for me were the hardest things to work out

‘I thought I had cracked it, why do I feel so bad again?’

‘Oh I hate this feeling, I thought it had gone forever’

‘Last week was so good and now I am back to square one, this will be me forever’

These were just a few of the statements that I came out with when I first started to recover. What did these statements do? Well they filled me with self pity, filled me with thoughts of ‘maybe I am doing something wrong, this is not working’, I began to fight again, to try and figure out why this had happened, worried about ever getting better. I did everything wrong basically.

I eventually changed this way of thinking and said’ I have been through so much, do I really expect to be better overnight?’ No of course I am going to have a few setbacks. I felt bloody awful for months on end, with no good days, this up and down affair tells me things are improving, I am finally getting somewhere’. And that’s the hardest part, feeling great and then when we feel bad again, it seems even worse, as we enjoyed some good days and now its back.

Setbacks come because suffering is still raw, we have suffered and been through so much, our bodies do take time to regain their balance, a stressful event or memory can trigger a setback. Sometimes we may just feel bad for no reason. Well we feel happy some days and sad on others, but don’t feel the need to work out why. And this brings me to the whole point, there is no need to go too deep into why they come, as it does not matter, that is not important, its how you deal with them that is.

And trust me the more you go through setbacks, the easier it becomes as you begin to realise they always pass and become an expert in letting them, they don’t feel as important when they come in the future. They just become a little nusiance and that’s fine. Don’t ever try and scramble your way back to how you were last week, just accept it as part of recovery, another chance to not care, to let it do its worse. Here is something Clare mentioned last week.

My only concern is that I never want to go back to the way I was a few months ago and I’m trying to make some changes in my life to solve that, like more exercise, eating better, relaxing more and talking about things rather than bottle them up. But unfortunately life deals you some knocks every so often and I’d like to think I could handle these knocks and not crumble with anxiety like I have done in the past. Thanks to your book Paul I have more confidence to get through the bad times but I’d like to know if there were any changes you made to help you keep a positive outlook in life and not let stress get on top of you.

The changes Clare are very good, I can’t express how much making changes to my lifestyle made a difference. But do them for yourself, don’t do them with the attitude of keeping anxiety at bay, as then if you do have a setback you will begin to question everything again and also don’t live your life trying to keep anxiety at bay. Remember it is always’It does not matter how I feel, if I feel anxiety then so be it’ Do you see the difference. I actually welcomed a setback, I stopped caring how I felt so it was not an issue. I did all the ‘Must do everything to stop it coming’ This is why people go around searching for medical cures, therapists, internet searches, forums…All to stop it coming or to get rid of it. And this is the reason most of the time they get nowhere, as the opposite is true, allow it to be there, welcome it, don’t care if it is or not and this goes for setbacks. It is hard and very tempting to fight or try and push it away ‘Do something about it’ but it gets you nowhere.

My attitude and what I teach others is welcome the good days and don’t get too down about the bad. Don’t try and scramble back to how you were. Don’t waste an ounce of energy on why you feel bad again, it passes, it always does. But setbacks can pass a lot quicker depending on your attitude towards them and then come with less force in the future. I once helped a lady who used to get very frustrated about having bad days out of the blue. With some advice she emailed me and said her new attitude on a bad days was ‘Well my anxiety is high today, but so what’ she knew she could not control it, so she might as well get on with her day and not care even though the feelings were not too good. She still disliked the feelings, but she had stopped getting so frustrated, stopped the self pity, the need to figure out why and her setback did not seem as bad.

I hope the above helps, I am not asking you to like a setback, just try and change your attitude towards them, they do come less frequent and with less power in time, just remember that they are part of recovery, they always pass, so don’t let them get you down or pay them too much respect. Tomorrow could be the best day yet.

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Off topic post, just a few bits and bobs!

May 5th, 2008

Firstly I have to say its good to get back to the blog. The forum did not work out for various reasons and the best thing to do was close it before it grew too big. Just seeing people’s post and comments below and the feedback I have had I think I did the right thing.

O.k I hope everyone had a good bank holiday. I went out today to a pub next to Manchester airport. It backs on to the runway and you can see all the planes take off and come in. They have a few things going on, bouncy castles for kids, a mini park, food and music. Its also where I met my partner for the first time a few years back so call me a bit of a romantic : ) Then stopped we off for something to eat and I went up a belt size with steak pie, chips and my big weakness……Cider!

Talking of food and beer I recently decided to look after myself better. I have done a month now and feel so, so much better. I got into a rut of drinking and eating far too much, eating all the wrong things, sleeping too much, not excercising..etc…etc…I have now got my running shoes back on and cut my drinking down to once a week and then just a few pints. I also invested in a fruity machine…Wow these are brillaint to start the morning off, just fill it with fruit and then some orange juice or similar and then withing two minutes they are done. I have one every morning and with the cutting down of beer, bad foods and more exercise I feel 100% more healthy. I just thought I will lose a bit and gain so much by making some changes. Lets just see if my will power holds out : )

Just one more thing on looking after myself. I have a full body massage or an indian head massage once a week or at least as much as I can afford. This is my de-stress time. I know they can be expensive, but if anyone can afford one from time to time I would recommend one. I feel great for the rest of the day and can’t wait for my next. All this was alien to me before, but I guess after abusing my body, which brought led to me first suffering with anxiety, I now try and look after it and don’t take my health and well being for granted like I once did.

Well that’s me, I think its good to just go off topic from time to time. Also I like to post quality and not quantity, so I do wait until I have something to say, sometimes its what people comment on or something that keeps coming up.

Hope everyone is well

Paul

How do I feel normal again with anxiety?

May 1st, 2008

Well its been a while since my last post and sorry to everyone who follows my blog, I have been super busy and things will now be back to normal. I try and title the posts for people who may place these statements in the search engines, this way you reach more people. There is no point putting the word advice as nobody will find it. So this is today’s title and something I have not covered before.

This post covers something that I went through and wanted to share with others as I feel it is very important. When I was going through recovery a couple of stressful things happened, day to day problems, that put me under a lot of stress and as my anxiety was always close to home, Bham it sent me into a setback. I can remember two very bad setbacks, as though I was walking a tightrope with my mind and also I was very anxious again, it was not a nice feeling. Now the first time this happened, I sort of hid away, did not dare put one foot in front of the other for fear of making myself worse, I thought about not going places. Also I tried to think and fight my way better, which is never a good idea. Well I felt like I was being swallowed up, this was not working, so I changed tactics and lived my life as I normally do. I stopped tip toeing around, watching how I felt, basically being worried about it and how I could climb back up. I just got on with my day as normal, made breakfast, went for a bike ride, come back and made something to eat. Got up the next day and went to town and then went out at night. In all this I felt awful, I truly did not want to do anything, but sit and feel sorry for myself. But within a couple of days I felt like me again. The second time I had this kind of setback I did the same again and although again I just wanted to hide away, I did not, I was wiser now, and again a couple of days and I was back to my old self. My stress levels had gone down and I was back to just having anxiety in the background.

Now this taught me a very important lesson, it was to help me all the way through my recovery. This lesson was not to be bluffed by how I felt at anytime, no matter what, I was not going to be bluffed by the way I felt and just carry on with my day. More than anything it taught me that to find normal feelings you have to live normally and have normality in your day. Don’t hide away worrying, don’t worry that your mind races or what it says, I only ever had odd thoughts that stuck when I had high anxiety, so I knew that’s all that caused them and so never let them bother me. They were something that would calm when my anxiety levels went down and they always did. It taught me that the best way to come through a setback was just to be, the more normal living I crammed in, the more my body caught up. In fact that was my saying ‘The more normal things I do and have in my day, the quicker my body catches up’ . It taught me a lesson even when I felt average, just to live my life and not be bluffed by how I felt. Don’t be bluffed into thinking you are back to square one, you are not. It the height of a setback feeling good felt so far away, unreachable sometimes, but as soon as I felt better and my anxiety levels dropped I could not see myself in a setback. This is the point, don’t be too impressed by how you feel at any given time, these times always pass. The more you go through these times the stronger you become and the more belief you build.

Some people say they like to keep working or take a break and like to go back, as it gives them this sense of normal living and helps and I agree it can, if you feel able to work, even if its just part time. Anything normal in your day helps. I used to go swimming and felt the oddest person on the planet, but kept going each day and in time I felt more and more normal, I was not going to sit at home feeling sorry for myself, trying to figure things out all day, I wanted normality in my day. Even now I spend a lot of time on-line as I have to through what I do, but I have to have time outs, to refresh myself and do other things, it brings a lot of normal living into my week and keeps my mind active and refreshed.

Hope that makes a lot of sense and helps people.

Paul

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Don’t fight to be right!

April 19th, 2008

Firstly I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I have been very busy with other things, including building the forum which is just about ready and I will launch it in a while. I am also trying to get a new site of the ground and build a couple of others, one for a family member and one for a friend. Well things have calmed down a bit, so I will be a round a little more than I have been and here is my latest post. I do try and think of something that will help with what people have been talking about on here and what they struggle with. So here is todays title ‘Don’t fight to be right’

The title sums a lot of people up who suffer with anxiety, even people who don’t know they are doing it. The two things people do when symptoms increase or come out of no where is

1. They fight their symtoms, they may have a mental juggle and try to do something about how they feel, they begin a little battle to make themselves feel right or

2. They run away, this could be when they are in company they begin to babble on or lose eye contact and try and get away from the conversation. Or without company they may try and occupy themselves, sort of take a sideways glance to how they feel, they don’t stand their ground, they begin to run away from how they feel.

I used to wake up feeling awful, loads of symptoms and feel very lost and odd. Straight away I fought to be right. I went over things, tried to make things better. Said things like ‘I must relax’, ‘I must accept these feelings’, ‘I must go with it’. Now yes I should just accept it and Tarmo covered this earlier in the blog. If we go around making these statements all day then it becomes fighting again, I was saying these statements to create instant relief, it should be an attitude. Again I used to say these statements all day until I realised I was fighting again.

Here is what Tarmo said and my response to it in an earlier post.

When “trying to accept” becomes “accept”, even for a very short period, is when everything really starts to come together. It shouldn’t take any effort (because then it becomes trying) but it sure does take a lot of patience! Keep your heads up everyone, it’s all within reach!

Yes Tarmo is right and this is something I am going to add in my book, if you spend all day trying to accept, you end up again trying to do something about it.

It should just be an attitude and trust me it does come in time. You don’t have to go around saying ‘I must accept this thing’ ‘just go with it’, if that phrase helps more, don’t put up any resistance.

O.k if that is confusing let me explain something. When you are at the point of either running away or trying to do something about the way you feel, question it etc….This is a very crucial point as this is the time that if you don’t try and do something about it or run away it will pass, it always does, it will pass of its own accord. I found this out, the point when I was just about to go in to ‘trying to control it’ or run away from the feelings was critical. Let me give you an example. I go back to when I had the battle when waking. One moring I felt more odd and lost then ever, I had never felt symptoms so bad. This time I thought I am not going to fight, do what you want, I stood my ground and did not fight or question it, did not run away from it, it sort of washed over me and then within an hour or so I felt great. The same night I went out with friends and later into the night Wham, I felt odd and awful again, I was again just about to go into the ritual of doing soemthing about it, fight, question, and I thought no ‘Whatever it will pass’ and just got on with what I was doing, yes I felt bad for a while but it did pass and I was begining to learn something here, this part when I felt at my worst was crucial, I needed to stand my ground and not run away from it or fight it. The next day I was at a bar in a pub when I saw someone I knew, the symptoms rose, I felt uncomfortable and this is the point where I always acted and tried to get away as quick as possible, yes I would try and run away from how I felt. Well right at the crucial point, the height of my whole instincts telling me to flee, I did’nt, I thought no more running away. I felt uncomfortable, but the more I stood my ground the better I felt and I got through the conversation and actually started to enjoy it. Can you see the crucial point I am talking about?

This is a post from someone who was doing really well recently and then fell back.

Ok all I’m really struggling at the moment. I really don’t know what happened. I’ve read Paul’s book and couldn’t believe how much sense it made. I kept the book close around in case I would need some help or guidance. I also visit this site to get help and support. This blog is great.

I started feeling a lot better and started having periods (maybe a few minutes and slow I would fade back into the full dp state) where my dp faded and I almost 100%. It felt so great. I guess I started getting busy at work and stopped visiting the website and reading, I guess I thought I knew it all and my anxiety was fading away. But then all of a sudden I started feeling really bad and falling into bad habits. I felt good at work for a few days when I felt good and could talk and goof around with coworkers everything kind of opened up and I started to see the world again and felt like I could connect and have “more like me” comments. Now I’m scared to talk again because I don’t feel like me or I guess the don’t know who I am feeling is causing me to question everything I say. The panicy feelings are back and my heart just runs and I feel so confused on where I went wrong. I want to move forward, but I’m so confused. Also, does anyone constantly look back and analyze how they felt at this time last year or so on? I’m just so hard on myself in my mind and don’t know what to do.

What he has done is have loads of good times and then as will happen, had a setback and has then started to fight to be right, he has questioned everything again. ‘Why was I better and now feel like this’ the crucial points where he felt bad has had him fear everything again, fight, question, he has not been willing to pass through them again. When you have had a period of feeling good it is even harder, we question it even more, we fight to be right even more, we become bewildered. We basically lose the tools that made us feel better in the first place. I keep repeating myself because I really want to get this through to people.

If you care how you feel at any given time then you will begin to fight and quesion it all over again.

IT IS NEVER ABOUT IF YOU FEEL BAD OR NOT, THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT, ITS ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS IT’.

If you have faith and don’t fight or run away it will pass, trust me it will. You will have bad days and times again, just again trust that it will pass, don’t fall into the trap of fighting or running away from how you feel.

All I did and what I others need to do is break the chain of anxiety. Feel awful, fight and question, feel good and get on with their day, feel bad, fight or run away again….etc..etc..Its like acting in a movie, it will get you so far, but you will not break the chain. I had loads of bad times that I had to not fight, question or run away from before things became easier. But each time gave me more confidence and it began to be automatic, it was my new habit, I did not have to walk around telling myself to do this or that, it just became natural not to fight or question, espcially at the crucial points when I felt at my worst. I had now built up the trust that it would always pass and that it was FINE to feel odd or lost, it did not matter, yes it was not nice, but it always passed and I needed to keep going through these times to reach my goals. When we try to constantly do something about how we fell or question, we are trying to do something about something that is totally normal in the circumstances, this is what I figured. I have anxiety, I have been through so much, I should feel odd at times, anxious, a little lost, why I am I constantly trying to fight this? Let it be and trust in my own body to bring me through.

Hope that helps people in some way.

For more help and advice please visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

What do people think of a forum and a letter from the NHS

April 5th, 2008

Well firstly the blog is out growing itself and with people commenting a lot I would like to put a suggestion forward. What would people think for a forum for us all? Someone said tonight we are a pretty tight bunch and I agree, not only that and I am repeating myself here but we have some wonderful, positive and helpful people comment on here. I do moderate the blog and I delete so many comments from people I think are trying to misuse it, people who offer the latest miracle cure, people who try to spam the blog, it filters a lot of crap out and keeps it clean.

I did actually put a forum up over a year ago and it was a nightmare, it was spammed, it was mis-used and to be honest was more hassle than it was worth. But I now have the tools to make it invitation only so it stays spam free. Not only that but it keeps it manageable and I want it to be a positive place, not only where we discuss things and support each other, but also where we can have a laugh and talk about other things, just a place for everyone to come to on a bad day for support, to share a good day, just as the blog has so far. What I don’t want is a forum with loads of conflicting advice, the latest medication, the latest miracle cures, the whole things about forums I don’t like. I would just like the people on here to have a place to hang out and chat. The blog is o.k to a point but I feel a forum run right would be really good. What I want though is opinions on this, if people would like it, then I will build one, if people are happy as it is then I won’t. So please give me your opinions.

O.k to finish here is an email I recieved today from a senior figure in the NHS who doctors refer to with anxiety.

Hi Paul,

I work as a support worker for the NHS, working in a Crisis mental health team in the community. We very often get referrals from GP’s and other services of people suffering from a personal crisis which we support in the community; quite a lot suffer from anxiety!
I am willing to purchase your book but if you have any other information that would be helpful in helping me treat my clients or advice would it would be very welcome.
My regards
Mark

Again someone being refered to someone from the NHS, the last port of call and they then have to ask me how to help them, you could not make it up, boy I hope one day they take this condition serious and actually put people in place that are qualified to help.

Well thats me for now, keep positive.

Paul

Why is my anxiety getting worse and not better?

March 31st, 2008

Well today’s post is again a question that people ask on forums and one question I asked myself over the years. The reason people with little or no information get worse is that they know nothing else but to fight this damn thing, they feel it is their only way out, when someone does fight the illness re-invents itself. But it is a lack of information from the people they first seek help from that causes people to go down this path of bewilderment, worrying and fighting how they feel.

For colds we know to just lie up in bed and it will take care of itself. For a broken leg we need a pot and realise we have to wait a few weeks before it gets back to normal, the list really is endless and we know the procedure and don’t concern ourself’s too much and trust in our bodys own healing powers to bring us through. Well with anxiety I did not receive any answers, most people don’t, so we are more scared and bewildered than ever and more than that we have no idea how to make our self better, so we go down a road of constantly trying to rid ourselfs of it, this then has the opposite effect and we begin to feel worse, so we fight and worry even more, yes that was me and many others.

This would be the conversation with someone who understands their condition and someone who does not. I would say to the person who had little insight to the way they felt.

“So what have you done today”?

“Well I woke up and felt sorry for myself as the damn thing was still there. I spent my day worrying about how I was feeling, I got frustrated and spent my whole day trying to do something about it”

“How do you feel”?

“Emotionally and physically drained and more confused than ever, I just seem to be getting worse”

The second person who understood their condition would go something like this

“What have you done today”

“Anxiety wise, nothing at all, I just got on with my day and gave my mind and body a rest, I also understand why I feel like I do and it does not hold the same fear, I just see it more as a felling, so don’t feel the need to do anything about it”

I was the first person and then in time turned into the second person. There is nothing special about anyone who recovers, its just understanding. I can’t get across how bad I was to anyone who thinks they were worse than me. I feel I had a very good understanding of the condition and knowledge really is power. People are understanding more and more and improving. I have more to say but I don’t want to bombard anyone with too much information. We are reversing something that did not come overnight and my recovery took time, a lot of ups and downs, it was not all plain sailing. So don’t think you are unique or that others will come through and for some reason you wont. I have heard this so many times from people as they never see themselves feeling normal again, I always say “Yes and you probably never thought you would feel like this”.

All I want people to do is understand more and not demand anything of themselves, you can’t force normal feeling, you have to let it come to you, which it will in time. If I had one thing that really brought me home, it was the lack of demanding anything or trying to rush my recovery, I just went with it however I felt at any particular time, took all setbacks on the chin and just became happy with the progress I had made, I never tried to scramble back to the person I used to be, this is a mistake some people make they think they have to feel perfect, even demand it of themselves, this again leads to them fighting their condition.

Hopefully there is something their for everyone. Also please do feel free to keep the positive post below going, I feel it really helps hearing good news and bringing a lot of positives to the table.

Paul

For more help and information visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

A positive post and thread for everyone

March 21st, 2008

Well a blog is suppose to be about what’s happening, the latest news, bits and bobs. So again I am going away from advice and would like to start a positive thread for everyone to contribute to. I always like to stay positive and hopefully that comes across in my post and comments. I want people to come here and not only learn things, but also to feel better and be filled with belief and maybe even go away with a smile. Anxiety and all it brings can be testing at times, so everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for going through what they have. I know I am proud that I went through it and came out the other side, always believing I would, a belief that is coming across in many people now, it is so nice to see a post from someone who is feeling better and seeing progress.

Somebody said to me last week “how do I get rid of this thing”, I said straight away, ‘Its not a thing, its just a feeling’ a feeling that will pass in time. I always try to get people to change their attitude to how they feel, it is so important, something you hate less and understand more, loses a lot of its power.

So anyway back to the thread. Well I would like people to post something positive about their life, maybe a song that cheers them up, a new job, how they have improved, some good news they have received, a pet that makes them smile, something they are looking forward to, anything at all. So if I can start, here is a song that I used to listen to when I had a bad day, it really cheered me up, it had a big impression on me and I still play it often, its called life. Here is the link

Take care and keep the faith : )

Paul

Recovery from anxiety can take time

March 16th, 2008

Todays post is two emails that I received last week from two people who are doing so much better, the latter one says he is 100% back to normal. You will see from both emails that they were in a real hole and I do remember how hopeless both felt at the time. The reason for me posting these emails is to show that going for progression and not demanding instant success, then you can make giant strides. A lot of people when they feel at their worst feel this may be them forever or that other people recover and they wont. Although I am posting these two, I do get many, many emails like this through a year and in all cases it took a little time. Just reading a lot of posts on here people have improved a hell of a lot. Everything I say and do on my site and in my book is all about changing your attitude to the way you feel, not treating like a monster ready to engulf you, not letting it rule what you do and don’t do. So you don’t go around worrying and obsessing about every little thought or feeling. Also to change habits you may have fallen into and as we have been doing the exact opposite for so long it can take time, I hope these emails give people so much more hope and belief and show how many people do come through.

Also sorry for the small font, this is created by having to paste the emails into the blog, hopefully they are still easily readable.

Hi Paul

I was just surfing the net and thought I’d swing by your website! Don’t know if you remember me but I’m the actress who was writing to you about a year ago? Things look like they are going well with the site and book, great stuff. I have been reading over a few of our e mails last year-what a difference a year makes!!!

Gradually got to the bottom of the bottom in May last year-found out boyfriend had been cheating on me- not that surprising given the state I was in and the little time I was giving him! It was awful and I had nowhere to live and some other personal complications which meant I had to get an emotional operation. Basically everything was rubbish!


But thinking about and obsessing over my break up meant I wasn’t thinking about DP as much, so surprise, surprise it seemed to get better event though my life seemed crap. Then I got a new play which took my mind off it more and being with new people was great because they didn’t know about my d.p so I had to ignore it more! I had a great summer- sometimes I felt a little odd. but I was getting much better at dealing with it.
Basically I’m so MUCH better!! I would almost say cured but there is still that black d.p cloud threatening to come back and showing its head the odd morning I’m hung-over and that! It’s almost like if I could erase the memory of having it from my head I would be ok because I wouldn’t remember to feel it if you know what I mean?!
But I just wanted to say thanks for being a true life saver when I was stuck in a period of blackness I thought I’d never get through! Your doing a great thing, so keep it up and good luck with everything. I’m hoping to forget my d.p nightmare completely one day and feel truly relaxed and happy and I can feel very positive that that will happen soon! But for now I’m just glad I can have periods of hours and sometimes days of not worrying about anything! And I have stopped feeling guilty about messing my life up by taking drugs, which is also what I needed to do-although I wont be taking them again!!

Thanks Paul

Rebecca Scott

Hi Paul,

I am not sure if you remember me, but I was a client of yours
this summer. Here it is, almost April, and I am 100% back to normal!
I do not feel anxiety constantly everyday all the time, and I feel like
a million bucks. I am not tired as I once was, I can go out and have
fun and enjoy myself and life. It is really odd, it really IS all of
your attitudes towards it. If you don’t treat it as a monster, it won’t
treat you like a victim! It will just go away after a while. And yes,
I still think about how I used to feel from time to time, in hopes that
I will never feel that way again. But now I have the tools not to
worry, but just to have a good, healthy, and exciting life. Thank you
for everything you have done for me. Without your book and e-mails, I
still might be struggling, trying to figure it all out. I am in my
senior year of college, and only three months away from graduation. I
found out last week that I got a full time job as a business development
representative from a company here in Pittsburgh! My girlfriend and I
have been together almost a year and a half, and I promised an eventual
engagement to her this past Christmas.

Thank you so much for all of your help.

Brent Castillo For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

 

 

 

 

 

Will my anxiety ever go away?

March 11th, 2008

This title I have used is because it is one of the questions that people search more for on google than anything else. The trouble is that people will try anything to make it all go away and this in many cases is the problem. Their desperation to be better in many cases makes them worse. I know this is what happened to me. I don’t think a day went by where I did not worry about how I felt, a day never went by without me trying to figure a way out of this hell, a day never went by where I did not try to do something about it. I searched through the yellow pages for something to make it all go away, I tried acupuncture, hypnosis and many other useless treatments that just parted me with my money. My whole week was set around making it all go away, everyday was a battle.

My day would go something like this…..I would wake and feel awful, very anxious and almost like like a walking shell. I also felt odd and strange, not with it, but I had to earn a living so off I went to work in auto pilot. I would get to work and try and hide from everyone how I was feeling, put on an act and hope to hold it all together. I would then be in my own little world for a few hours trying to figure out how to make it all go away. I would worry and obsess daily about how I felt. Then I would go home after an awful day of worry and self pity. Then I would search for the miracle cure to make it all go away, maybe a trip to the library to read my 30th book on the subject, I had to get rid of this thing. At this point I had been given little explanation if any as to what was wrong with me, so I had to try and figure it all out myself. This went on for many years and I was getting worse…Why?

Well a lot of people develop anxiety through a build up of stress. Well I felt worse because I spent all my day worrying and stressing about how I felt, the last thing my body needed, it wanted a break. My mind was so, so tired from all the deep thinking, trying to figure it all out. Did I give it a break? Did I hell, I constanatly tried to figure a way out, again worried and obsessed about it, so my mind tired further and I felt more lost than ever. I felt so dis-connected from the world because I had not allowed myself to connect with it, the subject of anxiety and how to find a way out had consumed me, is it any wonder I was getting worse?

Sometimes even after advising people they can carry on in this pattern. Never quite sure that its not something else and they need to keep searching, worrying and trying to do something about it. In my book I said it is like having a broken leg and hitting it each day, it will never repair, it needs to be left alone and given a little time. They day I gave up the daily battle with myself, the day things got easier. I was not cured by any means, this took more time. To integrate back into the world you need to begin to live in it again, no matter how you feel. Don’t waste time trying to rid yourself of how you feel, this is how anxiety re-invents itself. You are trying to change something that is normal in the circumstances.

I wont claim things are easy, they were not for me at first, the real rewards come later. But this is another mistake people make, they become impatient or let one bad day throw them back into despair. So off they go on their roundabout of searching for something to make it all go away again. There is nothing wrong with educating yourself on the subject if the information is useful. I instantly knew when I read something if it was good information, it made sense, it felt right. All the miracle cures and therapists I had seen before did not, I knew deep down the answer must be out there.

I hope there is something there for people to relate to.

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Paul

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

How I first suffered with anxiety and other things.

March 3rd, 2008

Hi, Well todays post is a double post from a question and a point somebody made through the blog. Firstly I did first suffer through soft drugs that took over my life a bit. I know a lot of other people also first experienced anxiety and depersonalisation this way. Here is the original question.

Paul if you could share a little of your drug experiences, personal as they are, then I think it would help a lot of readers of this site.

I am not going to go into the effects of drugs and I have no right to preach to anyone, but here is how I fell into the trap of anxiety and everything thing else it brought with it.

I basically got into the dance culture of the late 80′s and got into soft drugs, speed and ecstasy. I felt my personality was changing over time and began to feel not with it, a bit dreamy and very little energy. I suppose if you treat your body like that it will get its revenge. I ignored all the signs and carried on until I first felt panic. I had never felt like this before and it really scared me, I knew then I had to stop taking drugs at this time and get myself back together so I stopped. I began to build my health back up but I still suffered from bouts of panic and worried daily about them, I had no anxiety at all at this point. But the constant worry of these bouts of panic and the way I felt made me anxious, as usual it was all the worry of how I was feeling. I then worried about the anxiety and went to see my doctor, who put me on seroxat and propranol. Well to be honest I felt worse, I was also trying to hold down a full time job. So I fought and worried daily about how I was feeling, all this extra worry and stress made me feel worse and then one day I felt unreal, this is when the depersonalisation came on, so I worried and fought even harder. I can see so clearly now how each stage started and why I fell deeper into my condition.

Here is something else I would like to expand on from a comment above.

A final note, Paul suffered for all that time, yet he continues to immerse himself in an environment of people with anxiety issues, I must admit reading some of these posts is great and encouraging, but sometimes it just reminds me of how I feel. If paul suffered for that long, and can come on here and discuss all of this with us, when at one point the word ‘anxiety’ used to send him into a panic, then I honestly know if we stick to the methods, we can all get better.

I agree that we can begin to remind ourselves of how we feel and it does not help at times. This is one of the reasons I don’t have a forum, I am not really a fan of them. They are full of people’s problems and loads of conflicting advice. Someone suffering finds it hard to deal with their own problems without being subjected to many more on a daily basis. There was no way I could have helped others when I still suffered myself.

I moderate this blog as I don’t want it to go down that road. In the main these are posts of support and achievements, something people can read and be encouraged by, also we all tend to stick to the same beliefs which to me is very important, you don’t want to read 10 different bits of advice and think, I wonder if that will work for me, or Sandra said this helped her, I will try that and the search goes on and on and they are more confused than ever.

I always felt able to read about the subject if I could relate to it and I was learning new things, reading something that you can really relate to and that makes sense tends to make you feel better, mainly because you lose a lot of fear about how you are feeling. Reading horror stories of how people are getting worse or how they can’t go out can have the opposite effect, especially when suffering with anxiety as our emotions and reactions are a lot higher.

I help people now and have no problems at all with doing this. As I no longer suffer and have no fear of symptoms then it is very easy for me to help and talk about the subject, otherwise I would have to put myself first and not do so. It is a pleasure to help others when and where I can and we have some wonderful people on here, some who really impress me with the way they have picked up a lot of what I try and get across.

Anyway that’s me for today, I hope you all had a good weekend and that everyone is well.

Paul

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Anxiety and obsessive scary thoughts

February 24th, 2008

O.k todays post is something someone wanted me to post on. I do have this page on my main site that explains certain things but I will try and explain more here. The original question was……Paul, could you please do a post regarding obsessive thought cycles. Mine are fear of dying, fear of hurting someone physically or sexually, all the usual, fear of self harm/suicide, ITS CRIPPLING MATE and my last symptom to go. I know you yourself have suffered these and your bit in your book is amazing, but without being nosy could you elaborate a little more on what you suffered. Thanks mate! It is the memory of having these thoughts and the fear of them and trying not to think them that is keeping me thinking them!

Firstly anxiety is excess adrenalin, add this to bad nerves and this is why we feel anxious. Now anxiety/adrenalin needs a release, do you ever feel fidgety, like you cannot stand still? Well adrenalin also finds its release in obsessive, odd, scary thoughts, that’s all it is anxiety finding a release. The trouble is the way we lived our lives before anxiety, we think if we think it it must be true or we might follow it through, in fact sometimes its not just the thought, it is WHY we are having them that bothers people. So this is the thing we need to address, understand why they are there and they become less scary and don’t mean as much. Don’t go around questioning why you feel this way or wonder if you may carry a thought through, you won’t, again its just anxiety playing its tricks. I used to have all sorts of odd, obsessive thoughts and I just gave them their space and let them be. NEVER as stated above try not to think them, this means you are running away from them and this means you are giving them loads of respect. As silly and as odd, scary as they are just let them have thier space, who cares they are only thoughts. If you do pay them loads of respect, investigate them, worry or obsees then this tires the mind furthur and it loses some of its resilience and thought seem to stick or race. Also a bit of habit can come into the mix. We may have thought this way for a long while that it seems to have become a habit. But like all habits they can be reversed and they way to reverse them is not to be scared of them, what better way than allow them as much space and freedom to be there. I used to smile at how silly they were at times, anxiety play your tricks if you must I no longer care.

The way to rid yourself of them is to allow them to be there, not to rid yourself of them, worry why you have them. They wont go overnight, in my case they came less often and with less force. I had a great insight into this when I used to go for a long 1 hour run. I came back and all the exercise had burnt off all the excess adrenalin, I had no odd, racing thoughts for a few hours after. Yes they retuned with my anxiety, but I knew that it was just caused by excess adrenalin that needed a release. Otherwise it would have made no difference if I went for a run or not. I was not going crazy or anything, it was anxiety playing its tricks again. I no longer bothered or cared what thoughts came, it did not matter, let my excess adrenalin make me think this way at times, its fine, was my attitude. Again it takes a little time, so don’t think as soon as you give the thoughts time and space they will disappear, have the attitude of ‘It does not matter if they are there or not’ that is always your goal.

I hope there is something there for people to relate to.

Paul

For more information and help, visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

A random post about me!

February 18th, 2008

I thought I would take a break from posting bits of advice and just post some random things. Please do feel free to post something below, it would be nice to know a little more about the people who post here. Well firstly I will just post a few boring bits about myself. I am 37 and live with my partner in Yorkshire, she like my mother was brilliant through my suffering and gave me nothing but support.

I used to work in engineering building turbo chargers, I did this for 11 years, before that I worked for a major sports company. The engineering job was very mundane and boring, the money was good but with my anxiety problems and the need for a change I left. I then went working for a friend of mine who had a carpet business. I did this for a while before I got into web design. I still build sites to this day for people. It is something I enjoy to a degree until you find someone who wants the site changing every two minutes, but its good fun and I am still learning to this day. I also have a few other sites myself, some active, some not as active. Each site takes a lot of work to promote so you tend to slack at times with one or two.

A few hobbies of mine. I love Rugby league and travel up and down the country every week watching games. I also bowl outdoor 3 times a week in the summer and also once a week indoor. I also play squash and football to try and stay fit, I really should eat better, that is always mine downfall at times, I try but the smell of fish and chips always wins : ) I love my ipod and like a wide range of music including R.E.M, Crowded House, Keane, Dance and soul.

I like spending time with friends and have also met some lovely people on-line. I have always thought of placing a forum on the site but they take so much time to moderate and keep up with that I have decided against it and stick with the blog instead. Although I get very busy I never want to be a faceless person behind a site, but the forum would be a step to far I am afraid.

Well that’s a little more about me. Please feel free to add something about yourself below, it would be great to know a little more about others, maybe I am just nosey : )

Thanks for listening

Paul

Don’t see anxiety as the enemy

February 8th, 2008

A similar post to this was on the earlier blog that was lost. A member here asked if I could post it again as he found a lot of comfort in it. So here it is.

People often ask me how I suffered for 10 years and then found my way out of anxiety. Well the main reason is because I now know I did everything wrong. I spent years basically trying to fight and think my way better. Not one day went by without me trying to rid myself of how I felt. And that was the problem, I was trying to rid myself of something that was normal in the circumstances. I suffered anxiety firstly because I had panic episodes through drug withdrawal. I had no idea what was wrong with me and worried daily about these feelings, this added anxiety to the episodes of panic, Wow, now I really had something to worry about. What were these new feelings? The shaking hands, the lack of emotion, the irratibitly, the blurred vision, the racing thoughts. After no answers were given to me by the medical world I worried I was going crazy, I searched my mind daily for answers, I got angry, filled my day with self pity. I worried daily as to what was wrong with me. All this worry led to depersonalisation, my mind protected me from all this worry and shut my emotions down, I felt like a walking shell. I forgot how to smile, to feel emotions, struggled to hold a conversation. So I worried and fought even more. Can you see why we get worse and not better without the right help and advice?

All my body and mind wanted was a break to regain its balance. But I worried daily and added loads more stress to the mix. I thought deeply each day and this tired my mind even furthur and made me feel even more detached from my surroundings. This was something I had to change and I did. As soon as I realised what was wrong with me and why, I lost a lot of fear and bewilderment.

The mistake people make is they are always trying to rid themselves of how they feel, instead of just getting on with their day no matter how they feel. I always say don’t put yourself under any pressure to feel a certain way, If your having a good day then fine, if your having a bad day then fine, just go with it, don’t fall into the trap of trying to constantly do something about it. It is NEVER a case of ridding yourself of how you feel. It is all about changing your attitude towards it and knowledge and understand does change your attitude, it is a lot easier not to worry or be bewildered over something you understand. As one person once said to me ‘ I understand now if you treat anxiety like a monstor and it will treat you like a victim!’ That is a very good way of putting it.

Some people email me asking about medication or if hypnotherpy is good, what do I think about this method or that method. What they are really saying is I want this to go away today, again they want the impossible overnight fix. My own recovery took time, it was like defrosting, normal feelings and emotions came back bit by bit, there was no overnight success. I receive emails from people who are doing so much better, many fully recovered, and in all cases they get in touch a while after first buying the book or landing on the site. This is because they have trusted in what I have said, not rushed things and given their body as much time and space as it needed.

So don’t fall into the trap of seeing anxiety as a big monstor, something you must rid yourself at all costs, this turns into fighting, worrying, self-pity, it gives it all the fuel it needs to continue. You don’t have to go around saying ‘This is just anxiety’, ‘I must accept this’ etc.. Just have a ‘whatever’ attitude’ towards how you feel and move on with your day.

Hope that helps

For more information and help visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Peoples stories wanted on their struggle or recovery from depersonalisation

February 3rd, 2008

Hi Everyone, O.K I have now given myself 6 months to get my new book on depersonalisation ready and out there. I have wanted to start this for ages but have just not had the time. I suffered very badly with this condition and I am now fully recovered. I want to tell my story and also what brought my own recovery, my ideas, beliefs and loads of other things that will hopefully help people. This subject is very popular, if I do a post or a page on my site on the subject then it gets hit upon far more than anything else.

I also notice how little information there is on this subject, it is almost ignored apart from the odd forum. Far more people suffer from this condition that people realise so I may even consider setting up another site, totally dedicated to the subject. Anyway I am looking for people’s stories to add to the book. I will only add your first name to protect your privacy. It does not matter if you are in recovery or not. I am interested in just adding your story, when this started, what you think may have caused it, where you are at the minute with it. I will then edit it and send you it back for you to go through and make sure you are happy with it. Of course then I will send you a free copy of the book when it is ready.

Anyway totally your choice, if anyone is interested then please let me know below or contact me through my site www.anxietynomore.co.uk and we can take it from there.

Regards Paul

Anxiety and the support we are suppose to receive

February 1st, 2008

Well I was not going to post until Monday, but I received an email today that really brought home the lack of support there is out there for sufferers of anxiety. The email was from a mental health worker assigned to help people with anxiety and panic issues, this is her actual job. The letter stated she had looked at my site and found a great deal of insight and would like to know if I could tell her more and advise on how she could split things up to make it work for a 6 week course in helping patients, this is the time each one is allotted.

I found this incredible, someone who is paid and supposedly trained in helping people with anxiety, has no real clue and has had to surf the web and then ask me. No wonder people get worse and not better when they seek help. I will of course reply to her as I would not like to see these people get told a load of mumbo jumbo that will just not help.

I understand that anxiety and recovery from it really is a subject in itself, but training and paying people to give advice on something they know so little about makes me so angry. Its like taking your car to the vets for a service, its just not going to help and you are seeing the wrong person. The real trouble comes though when the person puts so much trust in this person, they receive little help and advice and then falsely believe they will never get better, who can help them now!

Well I will sign off with that thought.

Have a great weekend

Paul

What medication do I take for anxiety?

January 27th, 2008

This is a question I get asked a lot. Anyone who knows me and my views will know I am not a fan of them. Not just because I believe recovery comes from within, but also the wrong medication is given to sufferers. I know of around 30 different medications handed out for anxiety. This is because people can get wrongly diagnosed and also because the patient comes back and tells them it is not helping, so they shift them on to something else. No other condition has so many different medications to treat it, maybe the answer lies away from tablets then!

I was given seroxat to treat my anxiety, which is mainly an anti depressant. Did it make me feel better? No, I wanted answers to what was wrong with me, that would have helped far better. I got a lot of side effects and decided to come off them. I was also handed out beta blockers, these were suppose to slow my heart rate down. Again I never mentioned my heart raced, it rarely did, I suffered with chronic anxiety and this did nothing to help. Again I decided to come off them and find my own answers, I just felt until I had some answers to the way I felt, medication was never going to be the answer.

I had someone last week say they went to the doctors and explained their symptoms, the reply was to just stare at them and hand out some tablets. This is exactly what I went through. The doctor just looked confused, if he did not know then it must be serious. Going back to the lady who went to see the doctor, back she went and stated the tablets were not helping at all. His answer was to double the dosage, again they did not help and she felt more bewildered than ever, falsely believing that she was the only one in the world to feel like this. She got in touch with me after reading my book and said it helped far more then any medication. An explanation to how we are feeling always does, it takes so much fear and worry out of the equation, the very thing that keeps anxiety and panic alive.

The only time I would see a place for medication for anxiety would be that the sufferer finds something that takes the edge of the way they feel and are given the correct advice along side it. Medication without an explanation is just a crutch. I never wanted a crutch or something that could bring other problems, I wanted to come through naturally.

I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be. Some people do find a little relief with medication, but far more I come across don’t. That is always a personal choice. My advice though is always to educate yourself, knowledge is always power with anxiety. It is the very thing that got me home and not some tablet.

The main reason for this post is that it pains me to read emails asking what medication they should try, some have been on medication for many years and have not found any peace, swapping and changing every year. I tell them the answer does not lie on an outside cure, but a cure from within. I have yet to meet anyone who had recovered solely through medication and I don’t believe I ever will.

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Why do doctors not seem to understand anxiety?

January 20th, 2008

This is something I asked myself in my early days. My own doctor was going to tell me what was wrong and make me better. Well I reeled of my symptoms and he just stared at me. Well how did that make me feel? I really thought I must be the only person in the world to feel like this as the very person who should know, has no idea. Well he gave me some anti depressants and some other tablets, both useless. In fact all I wanted was an explanation as to what was wrong with me. The word anxiety was not even mentioned. It took many more visits before he referred me somewhere else. By this time I was in a real state, I worried daily, I fought my symptoms, I got so frustrated, I was getting worse not better.

Eventually I was sent to someone who told me what the problem was. But if only someone could have told me far sooner I could have maybe researched the problem, certainly saved me of months of thinking I was going crazy.

Looking back I believe the medical world failed me, failed me on something that is far more common than any other complaint people see their doctor for. This was confirmed by my own doctor. He stated it was by far the biggest complaint people come to him with. But I also now understand that anxiety is a subject in itself and doctors are just not trained or equipped enough to deal with it. But I do believe that there should be someone that he could send you to that does, or at least a leaflet explaining certain things. One reason that I feel it is largely ignored is that we all have to feel that we must keep it to ourselves, we suffer mainly in silence. People can be sympathetic to you having flu, but anxiety, that does not exist, its a work dodgers illness. Hopefully in the future we can bring far more awareness to the problem, so people do not have to suffer in silence and can get the help they need far quicker.

Just to finish I received an email last month asking for my help, he was under so much pressure at work, he told me his symptoms and asked if I thought this was anxiety. Who was he?…..Yes a practicing Doctor!

For more help and advice please visit my main site

www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

How did I recover from anxiety?

January 15th, 2008

I thought I would just post more of my own story about how I recovered. A lot of people who have read my book will know my story, others will not. This short post has a message and is not about self promotion on my own recovery, as I am sure you will acknowledge as you read on.

How did I recover? My own recovery came through knowledge. I have spoken to many people who have recovered over the years, some who have become close friends and they all pretty much recovered in the same way. This is why I have stuck with my own beliefs throughout. The reason I don’t put adverts on my site and the reason I turn down all offers from others to place, in my opinion useless products from people trying to make money out of other people’s suffering.

Knowledge brought me so much. Without knowledge I spent all my time worrying about how I felt. Why did I worry all day? Because I had no idea what was wrong with me, I was a serial worrier for many years. All this worry sensitised my nerves further and kept me in the cycle of anxiety and panic . I also spent all my days tuning into how I felt, thinking deeply, trying to figure a way out of my hell. Why? Because with no help from the medical profession apart from pills, I felt I had to try and think my own way better, what choice did I have? All this did was tire my mind further, making me feel more lost and detached than ever. My whole day was filled with fear, Why? Because again I had no idea what was wrong with me and certainly thought I would never find out, I believed this was me forever. I always believed I had to fight and think my way better, the daily strain on my already anxious body was immense, is it any wonder I got worse and not better.

I have been involved in the subject for many years since my recovery, going on to help sufferers in my spare time. The one thing that stood out more than anything was that people still had a total lack of good information on the subject. To this day people seem to be passed medication and sent on their way. People would sometimes burst into tears in front of me because for once they had been given an explanation to why they felt like they did. This was the very reason I set my own site up and went on to write my book. I did not want people to spend 10 years like I did getting worse through lack of information. I don’t get bitter, but I could have been help far sooner than I was. In fact it was left to me to get all the answers I craved for all those years.

So don’t be fooled by claims to cure you within a week. Recovery comes through knowledge and progress, nothing can be achieved overnight. I could have anxiety and all its symptoms tomorrow and know that it would pass in time as I would not give it the fuel to continue. My own recovery did not come when I no longer had any symptoms, it came when they were no longer important. They sub sided a hell of a lot yes, but they no longer felt important. And this came through a lack of fear of how I was feeling.

I know in the deep part of suffering there can seem no way out, but there is. I was as bad as anyone, worse than most people I help and don’t get me wrong, my recovery was a very up and down affair. I had a lot of bad days, but it was my reaction to those bad days that was the key. I knew my symptoms would not leave me overnight, but I needed for once to step out of my own way and let my mind and body recover in its own time. I never set targets, demanded anything and this is one of the reasons I did recover. I never put any pressure on myself.

Regards Paul

Anxiety, Food and Excercise does it matter?

January 4th, 2008

This is a question I get asked a lot, does looking after yourself help. The simple answer is yes. Is it the only answer? No, but it sure does help to take care of yourself. A lot of people ask ‘How can I feel anxious when I am sat still, sometimes I feel worse’ the answer is that your body is full of excess adrenalin and your nerves are over active. If the adrenalin has no where to go it cause the feelings you feel, tense, agitated, hard to concentrate etc…The best way to burn of this excess adrenalin is to exercise. I used to go for a swim and a run 3/4 times a week and it made a lot of difference to how I felt overall. It also taught me a lot about how I felt, yes my body produced too much adrenalin and the feelings did return.But I could think far more clearer and felt so much calmer after a run that I knew, that all I did suffer from was excess adrenalin, anxiety and nothing more. Sometimes when I struggled to think clearly or had silly thoughts running around, I questioned certain things, ‘Was this more?’ , ‘Am I going a little crazy’ No I was not, after I had burnt off the excess adenalin I could see that if I could get my body back in balance I would feel like this all the time. If I was going crazy a run would not have cleared my head, if there was something else wrong, a run would not make these symptoms go away. It had to be just anxiety (excess adrenalin) that made me feel this way.

Food and anxiety.

Again this is not the full answer to anxiety, but a change in diet can help. I found cutting down on alcohol helped a lot, also just eating better. I was not perfect, as I don’t believe there is any need to become obsessed about eating right, don’t make it another issue, just make a few changes and you may see a difference. Just make a few changes for yourself, don’t expect or demand it will solve all your problems, but it may make you feel a lot better in yourself.

For more information visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Leaving comments on the blog to help others and myself

January 2nd, 2008

Hi, I wanted to set this blog up to help others and to show my face and not be some faceless person behind a website. Firstly you are fine to leave a comment, all comments are subject to moderation and may not appear for a day or two. The reason for the comments will be to just say a few words and let others know how you feel, also to be there for others and build a little support. Last but not least you can ask me a question. As my main site grew I truly became swamped daily with people wanting help and it became impossible for me to answer people, as one email can lead to many others. I really don’t want the blog to go the same way where I cannot cope with questions. So all I ask is that you let others post and don’t spam the blog with questions. Also if a question has been asked before then I will have to leave it from the site. Also if you feel you have come through something that someone else is asking, please feel free to answer them, again if I think the reply is helpful I will moderate it as such.

I usually pop in a couple of times a week to moderate comments. Please don’t be offended if you have a question and it does not appear on the site. If I have loads waiting then I will have to chose which ones I feel will help not just the original poster, but also others.

So please do help me to keep this facility alive by not spamming the site so as others get a chance to ask something. Also please read through other answers to make sure the question has not been asked before. Try and use the blog as a place to support each other and let off some steam, even share your stories or spread some good news on your own recovery.

Paul

Anxiety, how do I stop it?

December 30th, 2007

This question I get asked very often. ‘Paul how do I stop my anxiety’ Well again this is unfortuntely why they stay in the cycle. They spend all their time trying to rid themselves of how they feel. I wrote in my book that this is like having a broken leg and hitting it each day with a hammer. Well it is never going to heal. This is the same with anxiety.

If you read my story on my main site you will see that I suffered for 10 years, was I unlucky? Did I take longer to recover than others? No its because I spent all my days trying to rid myself of how I felt. I also spent everyday fighting, trying to control my symptoms. All day worrying about them, going around and around in my mind each day trying to find the answers out of this hell, only to hit one brick wall after another.

The truth is recovery is all about ‘Not doing’ anything about it. I feel one of the major flaws of people who write books, therapists etc is that they tell you to ‘Take breathing exercises’ , ‘To imagine your on a beach’ ‘To count to 10′ . This in my opinion is all wrong. I don’t want to go around thinking I have to do this or that. I recovered because I let my body get on with feeling awful, uncomfortable. I finally stopped worrying each day, going around in circles and getting nowhere. I stopped fighting how I felt. This was so important to my own recovery. To do this I had to have an understanding of why I felt like did, again this is why knowledge is so important.

So the message is to step out of your own way and give up the daily battle with yourself, surrender yourself to how you feel and you may find a peace you never knew existed.

For more help and information visit my main site

www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

What are these feelings of unreality I feel / depersonalisation?

December 17th, 2007

This was a very popular post on my last blog before I lost the info. So I have decided to write about this condition once more. Depersonalisation does not just occur with anxiety sufferers but as that is what my subject matter is I am just going to talk about it affects and why it occurs with anxiety.

Firstly depersonalisation is the feeling of detachment from oneself. People say they cannot connect with the world around them, like it is grey and hazy. They may feel as though they are acting their way through the day, like a robot with no or little emotions. I suffered very badly with this symptom also, in fact before I understood it, it scared the hell out of me and is one thing in my book I cover as much as any other symptom.

Again it is the not understanding, the bewilderment of how and why we feel like we do. We worry about it, question it. Well unfortunatley this is what can make us fall deeper into the condition. I spend weeks, months worrying that I was going crazy, thinking deeply day in day out. It makes total sense to me why I got worse and not better over the years. Again it was a lack of understanding.

Depersonalisation is in fact your body’s way of protecting you. It protects you from all the worry and the stress, it sorts of shuts down your emotions and feelings to protect you from yourself. The trouble is we then begin to worry about this new symptom and the feelings continue. I always say that while you worry and obsess about this feeling of detachment you will continue to suffer. You need to pay it no respect, to allow yourself to feel like this and not fight or try and force normal feelings. Don’t worry or obsess that you feel odd, let it be part of your day and you may begin to feel some peace.

With the right help and information I was able to lead myself back to normal living. For more help and advice on this subject visit this page on my main site.

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/depersonalisation_and_derealisation.html

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

Anxiety tips, myths and other things

December 11th, 2007

To start this new blog off I am going to start with a few things, just a few ramblings, call it anxiety freestyle. I will just ramble on and cover a few things. Before I do, this as you know is my first post. I want to try and fill the blog with information now and again, quality not quantity, but more than that create a community. The last blog had a few people follow it and post comments. I don’t have the time to answer personal emails on my site as I get swamped daily, but I do try and answer people through my blog where it is far more managable. I am not always the quickest due to my workload, but I do get around to it eventually. So don’t be a one time visitor, do try and pop back.

O.k firstly I had a request to cover eye floaters. This is where people seem to have grey dots floating around through their vision. Very common with anxiety, it is all to do with the muscles in your eyes, anxiety can create havoc with muscles and excess adrenalin and this can cause the floaters. I had them also, I just accepted them and paid them no respect, as usual, I did not obsess or stress about it and in time they when my anxiety calmed so did this symptom.

Next I want to cover something that I hear now and again from people who visit their doctor and are told ‘You may always have anxiety, you will just have to cope with it’. This I find incredible and it just shows their ignorance to the subject. More to the point I believe that as most have little clue how to treat it and so little success that they come to their own conclusion. Everyone can come through anxiety, I did and I know many, many others who have, people I have helped. I was about as bad as anyone could be, in fact I would say only 10% of people I come across suffered as badly as I did, I never saw a way out but I did. This was through educating myself and not following the path of medication and doctors advice. This is not to have a go at doctors, I know one or two do have some knowledge. The reason we seem to get so little help is because anxiety really is a subject in itself and doctors really can’t be expected to be fully educated on the subject.

I also want to tell everyone the importance of not rushing recovery. I had an email this morning from a woman who read my book and commented on how helpful it was. But the rest of her email suggested to me that she wanted to be cured by the end of it, to feel no symptoms at all. This I keep repeating is impossible. Your body needs a break to regain its balance, there is not a pill or sentence in the world that can make it all go away overnight. The real email of thanks are the ones I receive a while after someone has read the book, the people who have gone for progress and have taken the message on board and been more patient. These are the people who have made true progress. I was taught all those years ago, to not try and banish anxiety, rid myself of it, but to live along side it, to stop worrying and obsessing about it. This is why I cover everything in the book, I want people to fully understand why they feel like they do. To first lose your fear of something you need to understand. Again for someone to stop worrying and obsessing about how they feel, which keeps us in the cycle. They have to understand what is happening and forget any other myths about it being more than just anxiety.

Well just a few things there for you. I will try and post again soon. I hope you all have a good christmas and little stress.

Paul

For more help and information visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit

www.anxietynomore.co.uk/the_book.html

New Coffee Lounge – Off Topic Only

December 6th, 2007

 

Well as promised here is the off topic lounge

I wanted to create this so people could chat about every day things and have a break from the subject of anxiety, I always feel it is very important to have a break. It will also give people the chance to get to know others and share things about themselves.

There is only one rule and that there is no anxiety talk/advice etc, all other posts should be used for this.

Rather than keep searching here for this part of the blog just place it in your favourites.

Kettle is on so settle in