Archive for April, 2009

It feels like my attention is always on me

Monday, 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.


For more help with anxiety visit

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

Pictures from the 10K run for charity

Monday, 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:

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.