Archive for May, 2012

Acting your way through anxiety

Friday, 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

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