Allowing Anxiety

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday so thought I would share it here to…..Sorry if it does not appear correctly when I copy and paste it, it’s just easier then writing it all over again.

I was talking to a friend who suffers with anxiety and depression the other day and he said to me ‘When you first said to do nothing I wondered what the hell you were talking about, I wanted instructions how to get better, a technique, some A-Z plan on how to do it, but I totally get it now’.

 
It took me back to my years of suffering when I spent a fortune on so called cures and the latest method that would free me. It was only when I had hit a total brick wall with it all and realised that at best searching this way just carried on giving me hope and sometimes some temporary relief, but it certainly never went anywhere to solving the problem. It was at this time I asked myself what all this searching was about. Then it hit me that it was all about trying not to feel something. I then thought, ‘What if the answer is to feel this stuff that I have spent years avoiding, suppressing and fighting, what would happen if I stopped trying to constantly feel different than I do?’

 
This day was the day I started to see things from another point of view, that this was never about trying to feel any different than I did. That my suffering was my mind and body trying to take me back to balance by releasing all this stored up anxious/negative energy within me, it wanted to be free of me as much as I wanted to be free of it. But I would not allow this release to happen, I always had some method to try and stop this release, put the brakes on feeling the way I did, stay away from places that triggered this stuff within me. Everything I did was always about trying not to feel it. Even visiting counsellors was never about educating myself, it was all about wanting them to tell me how to get rid of it, no wonder I got nowhere for so many years.

 

Anxiety really is just excess energy trapped within the body, the next time you feel it, rather than be lost in it, just step back and observe it and you will see this for yourself. When this energy comes up to be released it does feel very uncomfortable and the reason people try to avoid or suppress, but this just keeps it trapped within and all that happens then is it will constantly keep coming up until you finally, like me, realise that there is no way to stop this release by will power or some technique.

 
I came to the conclusion that this was never about finding or executing some technique, it was about throwing every technique out and being fully open to what arose. As painful and uncomfortable as it was to feel this stuff, it was the only way to be free of it. It is like a tap full of dirty water and the clean water is underneath, the only way to get to the clean water is to turn the tap on and allow the dirty water to flow through for a while, there is no short cut to recovery.

 
Most people have the attitude of ‘I want this stuff gone, but I don’t want to feel it’ sorry, but this is what will keep you searching for the rest of your life, mostly likely spending a fortune on false promises. The truth is there is no short cut to being free of anxiety, trust me if there was someone would be very rich and we would all know about it, it would not be some hidden secret on the internet. You can either spend a few months allowing this stuff to come up or a life time searching for temporary relief.

 
This is not a way of feeling better, this is a way of releasing stuff and when you do so you may feel more anxious than before, you may feel more tired and confused as this energy being released can cause a lot of inner chaos initially. You just have to have faith that this is a good thing and no harm will come of this. Many people who initially feel worse can think they are doing something wrong and then go back to suppression techniques, but it just follows physics, the more open you are, the more you will feel.
Through this process of allowing you may also have moments of real bliss and freedom as a chunk of energy is released. This does not mean the release is over, it means that you have released a good chunk of energy or your body is giving you a break so you can recuperate, it does not mean this is the end of the release. The release will happen in stages with many ups and downs until you are free of this energy. When you are free of this energy then it is impossible to feel anxious for no reason again, you will just feel anxious when you should do, as there is no more excess energy to be triggered.

 
So the next time you feel anxious, see it for what it is, just old trapped energy wanting to be released. Don’t try and sort anything out, don’t try and put the brakes on anything, don’t identify with this energy, it is of no importance, just be fully allowing of it and allow it to be released. Feeling uncomfortable is not a bad thing, in fact it’s a good thing, as it’s the only way to release old stuff and recover. You can’t feel peace without initially going through some suffering, that is how balance works. Trying to skip this stage is exactly what keeps you in the cycle of suffering.

Paul

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34 Responses to “Allowing Anxiety”

  1. Nick Says:

    Hope everyone is Ok, I’ve been anxiety free for 6 years I was on citalopram too, but I recently hit a setback then I had 3 weeks of normality then set back from saturday- but I’m coping and just letting the uncoftable and mind chatter sit. It’s the constant thoughts that is the hardest it’s a strange affair for sure. I just remember the other week I felt normal and the thoughts disappeared and I just laughed at any previous bad memory or thoughts that came and they where not frequent at all. I am going to tell people this tho , I personally think this is the best advice to get on here and Paul should even try and get people to help get the information out. My story is identical to Paul’s and I won’t mention the guy who claims to have the answer to anxiety but he provides a program and charges 150 pound but you get councililing support . It’s more or less a set of rules that is like the information here. I don’t doubt he’s genuinely out there to help but people get desperate and spend all kinds.
    Paul obviously is genuine and the best Info should be free and I hope Paul can make some money which he doesn’t push because people have took people’s money and recovery should be for everyone!

  2. Simon Says:

    I too would like to personally thank Paul for his help and advise over the years. I too had bad anxiety and depression 2009 to 2011 (Ish)…. it went away without me much noticing it to be honest that’s why I was 2011(ish). I remember Paul sending me a copy of his book after I had downloaded the PDF. It’s been in and out of the cupboard more times this last 6 months. I’ve had some real struggles on and off but truly believe in his method. But yes it takes time and you latch on to so many things on the journey to recovery. I remember having no sleep 6 months ago, now I get a good 6 to 7 hours a night, I remember waking every day with a banging head thinking it would never go away, my jaw was so tense I didn’t think I would smile again…. but as the months have passed, so have some of the sypmtoms, yes other symptoms come and go, but this truly shows you that the less you pay attension to it, the less it bothers you over time.

    I told myself 6 months ago when the anxiety re-appeared that I would not let it beat me, that I could do this and it would only be a few months at the most and I would be fixed!!! …… mmmmmmmm, big mistake, I put a time on it, I pushed myself so hard not to feel this way, I read and read Pauls books, listened to Claire Weeks audios on repeat and when I look now, all I was doing was TRYING TO FIX THIS FEELING…. a feeling that does not need fixing, I just needs to be left alone and to carry on the best you can. Yes I try to act as though nothing is wrong sometimes and people don’t notice that inside I am being eaten away…. but I know that the less attension I give it, the better I will start to feel. Ups & Downs, Highs and Lows, Good Times Bad times…. but patients is the way

    Simon

  3. Anon Says:

    I too would like to thank Paul. I had EXTREME anxiety due to benzodiazepines withdrawal. This site was what got me through. His method is now confirmed by research. Look up meta cognitive therapy (met). It differs from cbt in that you take your attention away from thoughts and symptoms instead of examining them. 80% recovery rate from anxiety and depression. Much better success than cbt and the method is basically what paul teaches. It begs for our attention and we absolutely have to ignore it. It takes a long time but it works.

  4. Matt Says:

    Great post, Paul! Feeling everything is key. The only way to recovery is through it, not around it.

  5. alz Says:

    RICH .. hope ur well. U posted something for me when i was having self harm thoughts…. can you repost it ?? I can’t seem to find it .

    Thanks!

  6. alz Says:

    i agree with Paul’s post 100 percent but (and theres always a but with anxiety sufferers :P) how do you function in the here and now when your mind is completely overwhelmed with all sorts of thougths. I mean theres a stream of anxious irrational thoughts running along with the rational thoughts which allow you to function normally so to speak. SO when there is such a turmoil i guess the depersonalization begins and then it leads to a floaty , dreamlike state. You think you’re functioning but not really and then the cycle begins again.. im starting to get it but it can get realy frustrating and disturbing… just go on with faith i guess

  7. Sarah h Says:

    Hi everyone. I am so up and up and down with the anxiety. I’ve gone through all different stages with it. I still wander if it’s more than just anxiety like personality disorder ect. Having thoughts like do other people really think like I do. Now whenever I’m going out for drinks on a night out it just completely takes over and ruins it. I never let it bear me where I won’t go though. Shopping is a nightmare I have paranoid thoughts that staff will think I’m shop lifting. Can anyone else relate to me? I feel as though I’m just stuck and never feeling 100% ok. I allow myself to feel whatever the anxiety makes me feel. I go to event and parties but there is still always that thought of I wonder what it’s like to just enjoy yourself and be normal :(

  8. Matt Says:

    If your mind races and wanders, is full of anxiety or irrational thoughts, then so be it. It is what it is! Anxiety needs to be released. As Paul says in his post, you may feel worse at times, but this is just anxiety at play. Let anxiety do whatever it wants. Believe you me, I know how hard it is to think rationally or calmly when you’re trying to cope with anxious thoughts and feelings, but acceptance is the way through this. If your mind analyzes, let it analyze – what I’m saying is: don’t conciously.try.to analyze, but if your.mind analyzes (which it often does out of habit) on its own avcord, then so be it. The way to recovery really is to just accept everything anxiety throws at you and do nothing more. If you feel like you can’t accept, then accept even this. Finally, be patient with time. In time things will get easier and easier.

  9. Matt Says:

    One more thing, and I know I found it hard to deal with.this at first, but.if you feel uncomfortable in social situations or that people think.you’re acting weird or aren’t confident etc…, then accept this and don’t let this stop you.going out. The best thing you can.do if you have anxiety is to get on with.your day as normally as possible, as if you were anxiety free. Go jogging, walking, watch a movie etc… There is a silver lining to anxiety I believe ~ you’ll be a more confident person than you ever were.

  10. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    I’ve not posted in a while so just thought I’d give an update.

    I was doing very well until March when I hit a very nasty setback. I had some pretty unbearable days in that month but I just carried on despite how I felt. Towards the end of the month I decided to put my focus into finding a car for myself. This was a great help and things got easier for me towards the end of March. I even had a week or so where I felt completely fine and back to myself, work was easier, socialising was easier, happier, upbeat etc. I remember sitting at my therapy appointment bored because I wasnt anxious at all.
    A week ago I had a flare up of IBS, stomach pains, feeling sick etc. That passed but unfortunately I’m back to feeling awful with anxiety again. I feel rotten, lost interest in everything and the days are hard to get through again. I know from conversing with folk on the last post that it’s a storm and it will pass but man I’m feeling it and I’m at a very low ebb at the moment.

  11. Melissa Says:

    Hey everyone,

    Hope you’re all doing okay. I’ve been having a rough go at things. Struggling with the ‘mind pops’. I’ve had random words and sentences pop into my mind. When things are quiet mostly. Once I get busy or focused on other things they no longer happen. I am so scared. I’ve heard that this could be a trait of schizophrenia or psychosis. I feel like I can’t focus on things because I’m so tuned in to my thoughts and the potential of being psychotic.

    Please help. Do others have this too?

  12. Alz Says:

    Melissa.
    Relax. It cant be psychosis if u understand it so well. Also stop listening to people or surfing the net. Being scared proves that you’re well aware that you are fearing psychosis or schizophrenia whcih means y cant have it. Also, just a couple of months ago, you were givign me really sound advice which no psychotic or schizophrenic person could prob give.

    Pls chill out. Ur fine :)

  13. Aj Says:

    Thanks a ton Paul, this blog and both of your books helped me come out of dark pit. I shared what I read with 3 of my colleagues suffering from severe anxiety and it helped them too. It’s a nice feeling to help someone, when you have applied and improved yourself. This method does work.

  14. Simon Says:

    I have just written how I am feeling right now and page crashed whilst trying to save it….. I really can’t write it all out again about my thoughts, feelings but I am in such a low place at the moment, crying beyond control and I am a 48 year old man….. why can’t I get a grip onmyself.

  15. Simon Says:

    I am constantly dropping on this blog to see how others are doing and wondering why no one has posted for days….. to me this means everyone is doing the right thing and getting on with their lives…. so it’s just me that is struggling with my feelings. I have had reasonable moments in the last 7 months but truly I amm struggling with all the negativity in my thoughts…. constant bombardment of negativity all day….. I don’t know what I need from you all, but I just need to tell someone how I am feeling other than my wife..

  16. Aj Says:

    Simon
    I too am 47 years old man and just last week I had crying spree, but, I just cried and let it go. Last evening I was feeling stressed out and low but that too is part of life. I am learning still, but what Paul says is spot on. As I said I cried a lot last week, however I attended my work, I went out cycling and did other stuff. On one particular day a colleague said that look stressed and low, I replied I am right now, no hiding! If people are not posting doesn’t mean all are “cured”. I too am visiting the blog after a long long time. One thing I can say is I am much better than I was last year same time

  17. Simon Says:

    Thank you AJ,
    Knowing I am not alone is reassuring and I am also doing things I should be, working, bit of fitness and DIY. I just struggle with the feeling of emptiness and like I can’t breath..,, it’s a struggle but thanks for responding – it does help

  18. Mark R Says:

    Simon,

    I’m 36 and last month cried on my dad, I felt pathetic at the time but its completely natural. It’s not about getting a grip, it’s about coping with very difficult feelings and crying is an expression of that.
    Just because people aren’t posting it doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling. I’m struggling at the moment as noted in my post above. Like you I have had some good times but these last 2 months have been very rocky, but I know its temporary. Easter was very tough for me and couldn’t have come at a worse time. Whilst everyone else was enjoying their break I was struggling to get through the day. I still did stuff although not even one ounce of me wanted to. I find it very difficult to face these feelings after I’ve had a ‘good spell’ too.

    Sounds like you’re on the right path, just let it express itself as it needs to. You certainly arent alone mate.

    Mark.

  19. Simon Says:

    Mark,

    This sounds so selfish of me but It’s good to know that I am not alone. I too found easter very difficult very much like Christmas. When I am working and have a routine I don’t feel so bad and I do look forward to a couple of hours infront of the TV before I go to bed. The majority of the day I am constantly analysing how I am feeling, when I don’t have too much to focus on I get realy lost in my head with so so much negativity. I have everything I want in life, I look at myself as a lucky bloke, there are people with real life problems that seem to be able to handle life, this is what frustrates me.

    The pressure to feel good for myself and my family is what hurts the most. I want to be around for them all but feel like I am on the verge!!! I can cry at the most trivial things out of shear frustration I think.

    Again I am sorry if I sound selfish, but if does feel reassuring that someone else is feeling the same things as I do. I am not really going mad!! am I ??

    Thank you
    SImon

  20. Bryan Says:

    Hey Simon,

    48 here as well. Been at this stress disorder thing for about 7 years.
    I’m much better these days but still have storms roll through somewhat regularly. And I’ve had a cry a few times over the years when the suffering peaked. It’s a normal human response. But as I’ve learned to accept the storms, let them be and try to stay external… they’ve come less often and my overall baseline is much better.

    So hang in there and listen to the advice from the guys above. This takes time and real dedication to a new mindset. You’ll get there.

  21. Mark R Says:

    Simon

    It’s so easy to look at others and think they are fortunate but the truth is you never really know. The amount of people who struggle with anxiety is absolutely staggering. I’d go as far as to say if you’ve not had a brush with anx/dep youre in the minority….I don’t give much credence to the 1 in 4 statistic.

    I think its helpful to step back and be objective too when you’re feeling crap. I’m guessing that you have good days/weeks/months and then not so good? When you feel down its so so easy to just assume it’s all been bad since this thing started, but it’s a mind trick, it’s just not true. Maybe that someone can remind you of this if you can’t see it yourself.

    Like I said I’ve been struggling with this bump lately and like you look forward to a few hours in the evening when I feel I can unwind. What has helped me is around 40 minutes of yoga in front of the tv after I’m back in from work. Takes me out of that ‘focus on myself’ mindset.

    It’s a storm/setback. Trust me and Bryan on this one as we’ve got the t shirt on them!!

    Mark.

  22. simon Says:

    Mark, Bryan & AJ

    Thank you all for being so honest with your struggles too, like I said it’s a little reassuring that I am not alone.

    Mark – like you said I have had good days (not yet weeks and months) where I’ve felt relatively ok apart for some small blips, and I do believe my mind plays tricks with me more when I am down. Frustrating thing is I have always had plenty of energy and enthusiasm towards life but at the moment the “Pushing” myself to do the most day to day stuff just drains me and I think that’s why most evenings I feel a little more relaxed.

    I did go a week without reading stuff, visiting this blog and I was quite proud that I wasn’t feeling to bad and tearful. However the last couple of weeks just don’t feel right, and then the spiral downwards seems to kick in and I feel the need to get back on here, write in my journal and although I need to take on Pauls advise about just letting it be, this I feel is where every blip knocks me back. Trying not to feel better is so not natural.

    But… I suppose this is my habit and hopefully one that I will get fed up of at some point.

    I wish you all better times ahead

    Si

  23. Nolan Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Just remember that the periods where the intensity of the anxiety is higher is perfectly normal.
    I would have a nice stretch of peaceful days where the thoughts and symptoms just weren’t there… but then that setback comes. It’s like the flipping of a switch: it effects everything. It effects how you view things. View them when you’re feeling more at ease and your mind has one conclusion… but view them when you’re in the storm and it’s an entire different conclusion your mind start drawing.

    Setbacks make you even doubt the truth of those good moments you had; all gains lossed (so it feels…. and so your mind seems convinced). But treat that storm the same by just letting it pass.

    I wouldn’t put too much concern on your tendency to want to feel better. Everyone wants that. But it’s how you react to that.
    If you find yourself slipping and going into the “I have to fight this mode”…. that’s okay. We all found ourselves there. But just don’t linger. My suggestion would be: remember the things that once made your life yours. Even if all of your passion for those things is dried up still fill your life with those things again. You’re going to feel like crap still, but the point is to show yourself that you can still live your life regardless of the storm that’s raging. And in time the storm will pass.

  24. simon Says:

    Thanks Nolan,

    Got a lump in my throat just reading this because on one hand I totally understand it but on the other hand I so think this is me forever.

    It is so true that when you get that peacful moment, which for me is probably an hour just watching tv before bed (this is actually annoying a bit too because I usually drop to sleep and then miss what I wanted to watch) I feel I can be normal and achieve the things I want. The mornings start horrendous for me, 4am wake up but don’t get up because I cant think of anything I want to do so I lay there for a few hours (weekday before work) and maybe 4 hours (weekends while the family are still all asleep) during this time I feel so alone. This isn;t a great start to my day and if I have a relitivly quite day it only gets worse. If I have something planned to do I usually find I am ok with it BUT I am always thinking about the evening and hoping for the relaxing time. (Gosh it’s weird)

    Can I ask you all, do you have like micro moments when you feel you can do something only to be followed straight after with a “can’t be bothered feeling”. This is where I battle against myself the most because I know I have to do the things I need to do?

    Sorry for the questions and thank you all so much for your support

    Si

  25. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Simon,

    For months I would wake up early in the morning too, and I’d look at my husband and daughter peacefully sleeping and I’d feel sorry for myself. I’d look forward to the evenings when I could feel relieved that I’d made it through another day. Finally I had to change my attitude and accept that this is just how things were for awhile. So I was waking up early and feeling horrible? Oh well. I was going to make the most of my day anyway. Then over time I stopped waking up so early. I started feeling more peace throughout the day. I stopped having to force myself to do every little thing, and actually started enjoying things again. This just happened naturally as I was just living life. This is not to say it was easy. I had plenty of moments of frustration and exhaustion. I did plenty of complaining. But I kept moving forward. The way I tried to look at it was this: time was passing no matter what I was doing, so I’d rather use my time being productive than just sitting around focusing on how I was feeling.

  26. Simon Says:

    I truly have to say that this blog and Paul’s advice is a life saver and I do not say that lightly. I am sure people who I have spoken to in the past about my mental health are sick of me praising Paul and the advice on here, but until you actually have a problem no one understands. I am not one for speaking out about my problems but if people ask I don’t mind sharing my experience.

    Stephanie, again it’s just a relief to no it’s not just me who has these issues, the comments from you all is what makes this site so special and what helps so many people. They may only be words, sometimes encouragement, sometimes advise, but they are words from people who understand what we are going through and that in itself can be calming even if very slightly.

    I have the habbit of looking at what I used to do and wonder if I will ever be able to do these things again (with the enthusiasm and interest).

    I would like to share something with all of you. I am a Fire fighter (Crew Manager) and yep my day is filled with all the dread and anxious feelings even to the point of I scare myself inside thinking I can’t do this job anymore…. but this is where I know it’s all a mind game because when we get called out my whole attitude, enthusiasm and energy is given to what ever emergency we come across. I could be in tears one minute and the next minute called out and focused and this is because I am focused on something other than myself and I don’t have time for myself. It’s only after I reflect and the dread starts again.

    So it just goes to show that we are all capable of doing and being the person we used to be if only when it’s really needed.

    Thanks again to all of you for your time to write and I hope what you write is also helping others.

    I am at the moment in a calm place…. its evening and I chill better and am focused more. I wish you all a good weekend and hopefully the great weekends won’t be too far away.

    Si

  27. Jolene Says:

    I too suffered badly Simon. For years, with hardly any moments of peace, I was stuck in a cycle of severe stress. Labels that I received (depression, anxiety) made it ten times worse, as I started seeing myself as a sick person without any hope of recovery. I agree with the comment that the thing that hurt most is having to feel better for your family. I have a husband an two kids, and my responsibility towards them (I needed to be a happy wife and mom), made everything so much more more stressful. I couldn’t be given a break. I remember the early morning awakenings (day in and day out) so vividly. I remember feeling so alone, anxious and exhausted in those hours. I decided regular medicine couldn’t help me and I needed to find another way to come oit of this hellish cycle. I stumbled on Pauls book, and following this started reading a lot about Buddhism. Things started to make sense to me and slowly I started to get glimpes of peace, which increased over time. I still get anxiety flare ups, and in fact in those times the intensity may be as high as in my ‘bad years’, but I don’t let it bother me anymore, which makes all the difference. It’s still there, but the suffering is not.

  28. Anon Says:

    Simon, I don’t have anything much to add, but I just want to say that I admire you. From where I sit, I see that you are stronger than you realize, and I admire the work you do and thank you for doing it. My young kids ask if there are real superheroes, and I always tell them that firefighters are real superheroes. Have you tried talking with a counselor? There are some good ones online. Thank you for all that you do!

  29. Nolan Says:

    Hi Simon,

    You said, “I so think this is me forever”…
    My quick answer is: It’s not. It won’t be you forever.

    This is kind of embarrassing for me to do, but if you want to see how bad of a shape I was in back in 2013-2014 (posts starting around May of 2013…. when I first found this blog) find posts by a MikeStevens. That was one of the many handles I used back then. You’ll see a desperate, full of despair man posting the same types of questions many times a day….
    It’s crazy reading them now because I’m just not that guy anymore. I was certain I was broken for good. I was certain there was no hope for me. But still desperately seeking reassurance and hope.
    I would go for months upon months of no peace at all. Sometimes the storm would be alittle less, sometimes alittle more… but it was always there for me.

    I’ve told this story before in the past, but one day (in 2013) I was in my kitchen trying to keep busy and I was putting away the dishes. A glass broke and there were shards all over the place. Immediately and automatically my mind honed in on one of those shards and the first thought was “end it”. My son was not even half a year old at that point and my wife was at her wits end taking care of him pretty much by herself and wondering what happened to her husband. And there I sat only wanting to end it all.
    I was home by myself and I just collapsed on the floor, angrily crying.

    Now I can look back on those times and view them fondly. They changed me. They made me a better person. I never would have thought it at the time, but it’s what ultimately happened.

    I’m not trying to turn this into a competition of who had it worse… but when you say that you have maybe an hour an evening when the storm/torment loosens the grip on you… I went 8 or 9 months with the full intensity on, never abating. The storm, the torment, the doubt, the despair, the broken thoughts, the desire to end it all there for 8 or 9 months.
    My first break in the clouds came one evening when I was carrying my son out of my bedroom. It lasted for maybe 10 minutes. But that 10 minutes was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced. It washed over me and washed away the pain and the doubt, everything. I stood there dumbstruck but calm and peaceful. For those fleeting moments I could see beyond the storm. I could see that it would all pass, someday.
    Now, that moment did pass away and the doubt/despair came back.

    And when that torment comes back it erodes everything away with it. You’ll believe that that blip of hope you felt was just an illusion. That the true reality, the true nature of you now is despair and confusion. But that’s just the trick of anxiety/depression.
    It stains everything… it’s literally like a switch is flipped and now you view yourself and reality through this opaque lens. Arguing with it, fighting and struggling with it just plays back into it.
    The things that “just made sense” when your mind was calm and relaxed don’t make sense when the anxiety/depression are on high. All of the good/sound arguments as to why you’re really not broken fall flat when you’re in the storm. It’s like this horrid logic of despair that there’s no getting around. There’s no arguing your way out of. But that’s only because that’s not the way to redeeming your old self. You’re going to be convinced that you’re just broken and that there’s no peaceful harbor waiting for you.

    So, ride out the storm. Yes, it’s going to suck. The full brunt of it is going to be there. But live your life regardless. Not to chase it away, but just to make your life bigger than anxiety/depression again. To have other things to focus on and live for again. Peace will come back to you…. but you can’t chase peace down. You can only start to give peace alittle clearing in your life, alittle place where it might find a place to alight… even if momentarily.
    The storm will rage again but treat it the same way.

  30. Mark R Says:

    Seems very apt your post to Simon for me today Nolan.

    I was showering last night and had the thought “my life should be more than this”. I then felt very low and ending up sobbing on my living room floor for an hour. I’ve woken with no appetite, very anxious, depressed. I feel utterly dreadful and have no motivation to do anything.

    I am supposed to be going on a stag do for a meal and hotel stop over in a few hours but I just can’t face going with the long travel etc. Would be my ideal of hell being around drunk people feeling as low as I do.

    This storm has been almost 2 months now, barring a week where I felt absolutely fine. I agree Nolan it seems beyond thinkable that I ever felt or will feel any better even though it was only a couple of weeks ago.

  31. Mike Says:

    I’m reading some of your posts and all I can say is I’ve been there and know the terror this disorder can cause but as someone that’s been in and out of the cycle several times in life the only pattern I see is when I stop doing things I enjoy it simply gets worse. Thinking stress will go away but cutting things you enjoy out is a path to a relapse. I blamed my job, god, my family you name it but Imo humans weren’t meant to sit idle. We evolved from people that had to fight for their very lives daily so if you don’t do challenging things or keep the mind occupied the mind will create stress in it’s place. Anyways I wish all of you the best of luck.

  32. Stephanie Says:

    Mark,

    We’ve all been there. There’s no shame in it. But Nolan’s point is that your life CAN be more than this, even in the midst of anxiety/depression. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but that’s also why Nolan said you can’t try to argue or convince yourself, because you’re seeing through the lenses of anxiety/depression. That’s why it takes acceptance/faith to move forward regardless. Accept that you’re not broken; have faith that this is only temporary. And then go do something that proves it!

  33. Nolan Says:

    Hi Mark,

    It sounds like you’re pretty low right now. I know it’s hard to truly believe this, but I’ve been there and have faced the same insurmountable doubt that I would ever have peace again in my life.

    Just like with you, all of my hope for redemption had dried up and my life felt like it was laid to waste. I just wanted the clock on my life to speed up so that I could finally meet some end to this.

    Mark, I want you to carry all of that pain with you and still live your life. You feel exhausted, confused, lost, full of despair, angry, sad… so be it: live your life. I mean, all of those negative feelings… you’ll still be feeling them if you hide out in your house. One way you can still live your life even with the storm raging…. the other way you let it dictate to you what you’re going to do, letting it further impress you with its force.

    When we’re struggling we’re like a kid on the end of the diving board. Knowing that he should probably just give up the thinking and just get down to the acting… But we’re standing there running our mind in hundreds of different directions trying to think the right conclusion… trying to think the right thought that will make it just click for us. So that all of our fears and apprehensions will just evaporate in the presence of that one bright, burning thought. We eventually forgo action, come down off of the diving board, and think “I just need alittle more time to think this through… then I’ll get it. Not now, of course… but another time.” And we let our fears dictate our actions.

    Or, we can look down into the uncertainty of it all, let our fears bubble and agitate our mind, and maybe even with a smirk on our face say “F’ it”… and jump off of the board.

    It doesn’t pay to entertain too much thought at a time like this because you already know how, given the presence and intensity of anxiety/depression, it’s going to stain all of your thoughts and conclusions. Every thought avenue will lead to a dead end and every wall will loom higher.
    So, just act. Just live your life regardless. Because again, whether you hide out in the house or go out and risk it the storm will still be there. Then it’s just a matter of who’s telling you how to live your life? You or your fears.

  34. Lavender Says:

    Nolan, thanks for the postings – they are very encouraging and tell of the cold hard truth of anxiety. That there is simply no magic solution / switch to get out of it instantly. Indeed, to let the storm rage on and live life.

    To Mark, Mike, Simon : hang in there. It is a rough, crazy and horrendous ride. We all been thru it, and some of us still unwittingly landed on the ride again and again. That is me… However, eventually when we stop feeding the anxiety, the ride eventually stops and we are out of it. It will happen so gradually that one doesn’t realise it immediately. There will be such a sense of relief and peace. I crave for it in the midst of the anxiety storm and berate myself for falling again (and again) for the anxiety tricks. Over a long period, like a plant growing, we are slowly and surely going to get out of this period. You can’t see it happening but take baby steps daily.

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