Archive for February, 2009

Moving forward with anxiety

Monday, 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