Archive for December, 2008

Signing off for Christmas

Friday, 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