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.
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!
For more help with anxiety visit www.anxietynomore.co.uk
For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit