How to be free of fear

Firstly sorry for the lack of posts recently I have been busy with other things. Also I have just moderated over 100 posts so sorry if you posted and did not see it. You can now post freely without moderation.

Anyway on to todays post entitled

You can’t feel what you don’t have inside you

I put 3 tweets out last week and they received a fair bit of interest and some discussion, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on them in more detail. By the way if you want to follow me on twitter its @anxietynomoreuk

The topic really is fear or you could call it an energy surge as that really is all it is, does this energy surge feel uncomfortable and scary? Yes….Is it harmful in any way? No

How I over came fear really was by truly understanding it. Firstly if you believe we were created and I think no one can deny that we were. We have a heart that pumps blood around, a stomach that digest’s food, teeth for chewing, a voice box for talking, feet so we can stand up correctly, arms to hold things, ears to hear, well I could go on and on here. It’s pretty obvious we are a damn perfect creation with all our needs met. One of those needs is the fight or flight response, it is vital for our survival and was put in there for a reason. Otherwise if someone jumped out at us with the intention of attacking us, we would just stand there and be in far more trouble than if we fought or fled. The reason the feeling is scary is because it has to be, it’s giving you the option to fight or escape, it also needs to surge energy through you so that it speeds up your heat rate and pumps adrenalin into your system and all the rest of the amazing changes it creates, so you are presented extra strength or extra speed when you need it.

So where am I going with all this? You kind of know most of the above anyway. Well the big realisation I had when I felt fear was that it was a normal bodily reaction, it was never meant to be harmful in anyway, our creator would never be that cruel. Yes it was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t harmful to me in anyway. I realised the energy had to run out, it had to have it’s limits. I started to really get to know fear around this time and it’s limits and realised that it wasn’t fear that was the problem, it was my fear of fear. That was what created a cycle, I did not have to lose this feeling of fear, I had to lose my fear of it and allow the feeling to manifest itself and release itself. It was actually the fear of fear that kept me from avoiding life, it was what the fear of feeling it that kept all the feelings trapped inside me. I always thought I had to some how no longer feel it, find a method for it to go away and then I could be free, but I could never be free unless I released this energy and that could only ever come by allowing myself to feel it. I also realised the reason my fear came when it was not appropriate was the amount I was carrying around inside me. My body kept trying to release it, but I would not let it. I either avoided or ran away from any triggers or tried to suppress the feeling, be it by fighting, running away or distraction of some kind. I would do anything but allow myself to feel it and with that came no freedom from it.

I then realised that I could never over come fear by avoiding life, it wasn’t going to come through reading books or planning my life around it. By doing so my life was getting narrower and narrower, I wasn’t living, but trying to arrange the world so I didn’t feel this fear and that was the big problem, the thing I always missed, if I wasn’t allowing myself to feel it then where would all this fearful energy go? Nowhere, it would stay trapped inside of me.

So I then realised that life was not the cause of my fear at all, if so everyone would be scared of the same thing. I realised deeply that the outside only triggered what was inside of me !! Life was actually my teacher here, it was triggering what needed to be felt and released, yet I blamed it for the cause of my fear. I blamed the outside for my fear so hence I avoided the outside. I could not believe I had not seen this before. Avoiding life was about the dumbest thing I could do, blaming life was the stupidest conclusion I could have come to. Life was actually trying to free what was inside of me. I saw that my feelings weren’t against me, they just wanted to be free of me as much as I wanted to be free of them. The only way was to actually feel them, not aviod them, how could I ever be free of something I refused to feel?

I also really started to understand fear as my minds protection system, because I had avoided certain places my mind had truly thought there was real danger there. Well it wasn’t it’s fault it came to this conclusion, as I had taught it this, it was only doing it’s job, what a wonderful creation, always trying to keep me safe. So the next step was realising that I needed to teach it that I was fine and again that meant no longer avoiding whilst understanding that the reaction would kick in for a while yet until it learnt that I was fine. Also as I allowed myself to feel this reaction, this fear energy would be released, I would become more free of it. So then any reaction in the future would be minimal and normal, it would go back to its normal setting and not flood me like it was currently doing.

Was this easy? I would say it was challenging at times, but a challenge I kind of liked deep down. The feeling of fear is uncomfortable, there is no getting away from that and we don’t like feeling uncomfortable and hence we take the easy way out and then tend to arrange our life around not feeling it. I just decided I truly wanted my life back and some uncomfortable feelings were no longer going to stop me. It was also exciting knowing I could do anything no matter how I felt inside, that I could act independently from my minds fears and the energy surge and that it was no longer controlling me and what I did. I truly knew what process I had to go through to be free and that life was giving me all these wonderful opportuinties to release all this stored up fear energy that I had refused to feel for so many years. The bottom line is there is no easy instant way out, each process I had to go through to be free, took action and courage and some understanding of the process I was going through.

This is why so many people get stuck, as they want to be free without having to go through feeling uncomfortable, but you can never be free of anything you refuse to feel. I look back and every counsellor I went to see, every book I read, every pill I took, every technique I tried and it was all built around trying to make a feeling go away and that is why I got nowhere for so many years, until I realised that is not how it works. It’s why people go from one thing to another getting nowhere, maybe the next thing or the next thing, the next book, the next counsellor, the next retreat, maybe the next one will tell me how to get rid of these feelings. In my case I had tried everything and realised that the answer was not going to come by trying to get rid of something. That to be free of something I had to go through the process of feeling it. I believe the blind alley I went down for so many years was a good thing, as it taught me to stop searching, that the answer lay within me and not the outside, that no one or no technique could fix me or get rid of anything.

Anyway so back to fear and where am I now?

I’m fine thank you and I live my life fully and have no fear reaction unless it’s truly needed and don’t mind the feeling at all anyway, I have grown to know and understand it and would not care if it’s there or not.

To finish, I am not saying this is easy, I am not saying you don’t need courage and that things will change over night. My understanding really helped me, but it still took courage at times and I did not try and conquer too much too soon. I just always tried to stay relaxed inside no matter what inner chaos was going on. I knew deep down I was perfectly safe and fine and that it was all part of the healing process. At times that took some trust as old reactions to leave or avoid would kick in, but not once did anything bad happen. There was always a peak and then nothing, peace would always return no matter how I initially felt. The more I went through this process, the more trust I had in it and what I was doing and in time things calmed to normal intensity. The reactions I used to get in certain situations just weren’t there anymore. I was free to go anywhere and do anything, the truth is I always was, but now I could do it without any inner disturbance. This is because all that fear energy I had suppressed and built up for many years was allowed to be felt and released, so there is no longer anything in there to trigger and the reaction will only come when I truly need it.

Just remember, life is not the problem here, life just triggers whats already inside you, you can’t feel what isn’t inside. You only avoid life when you think that the outside is the cause of your fears, only when you blame the outside do you avoid life.

Paul

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378 Responses to “How to be free of fear”

  1. Belgian Says:

    Paul, Nolan,

    Thank you again for your post.

    I have been in and out of anxiety cycles for years now.

    These last three years it took on many forms.

    My last hurdle is particular annoying.

    The one I can’t seem to get rid of is anxiety related to thoughts about my relationship.

    It is kind of funny as on several occasions I was able to get a release of energy by truly accepting all the thoughts and feelings of uncertainty towards my wife.

    After that, my doubts, although still present in thought, did not mean as much.

    But still, energy has been building up again and it comes back to haunt me (or I would have to say, I allow it to haunt me ? ) .

    The idea that somehow we are not meant to be together…

    I find it almost impossible to let that go. It feels like as if there is a barrier between my chest and my heart as I can’t convince myself to feel deeply in love with her.

    The most bizarre thing is that when I fear that she does not love me or wants to leave me, I get the complete opposite.

    Sheer panic and feelings of despair when I think I would lose the ‘angel’ that I have found.

    This makes it so hard to understand. So difficult to assess what is “the truth”.

    Putting this on paper, I do see what my problem is.

    It is not my relationship.

    It is not my life.

    It is my struggling with my inner self.

    If I were to advise myself, I would say to go into the fire of the doubt. To accept it all. To float through it and to let time pass.

    I know this is the way.

    But what if my anxiety is telling me I should get out of my relationship and I am not doing it?

    Anyone who can relate to this?

    Belgian

  2. Andy J Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Great blog and had this been three years ago, would have been something I would have been able to read and think it was me down to the ground.

    Unfortunately since then, my thoughts have manifested from being worried about worry to having specific intrusive thoughts and worrying about what that says about me. Worrying that it somehow now says I am an evil person and that it has ‘awakened’ a part of me. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous but that’s how I view myself now.

    I have some specific triggers, seeing particular people, being around certain objects, all which are things that I need to either see or use on a daily basis and so I am exposed to them. However, each day feels just like the one before it. The relief of not being around those things is great to start with, but as each day becomes the next, the enjoyment truly goes out of life. I’ll admit it, i’m lost. I don’t know where I go from here or how I get out of this. I’m continuing living, working, running, doing normal things, but inside I feel hollow. Totally shot.

    I know I need to trust the process, but I’m struggling.

    Thanks again for taking time to post, you’re a wonderful man.

    Andy

  3. Paul David Says:

    Belgian it seems you are identifying with these thoughts or trying to oppose or argue with them, which again is a form of identification. A lack of love does not come from random thoughts, which is all they are. You can choose to allow these thoughts into your space of awareness by observing them with curiosity, like energy passing through of no relevance. Don’t try and get rid of them, just be allowing of them, never fight your mind, you will never win.

    True loss of love comes through a feeling, not random thoughts. I have been in and out of love and the truth always came through a feeling, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, I didn’t want to spend time with them anymore, I felt no love anymore around them. The thoughts you have are nothing but random thoughts and have no bearing on the love for your partner, if you had truly fallen out of love, trust me you would know, you would feel it deeply. It is clear by reading your post that you truly do love her, thats why these thoughts are causing so much resistance in you, as they are not the truth of the situation, they are in opposition to the truth.

    My complete advice would be to allow these thoughts into your awareness fully without identifying with them, which means no longer showering your belief on to them, don’t ignore or try to oppose them in anyway and the thoughts will run out of momentum. Its your fear and belief in them that is giving them the fuel they need to keep repeating themselves.

    Paul

  4. Paul David Says:

    Andy J

    The same advice applies to you also, it is your identification with these thoughts that cause the suffering. As you say they seem ridiculous, because they are and the true you knows this, yet you are falsely identifying with some random noise within your mind, you are not seeing them as just some random noise of no relevance, which most thoughts are. Why do we have them? Well when the mind is anxious/fearful it spouts out the energy that it feels, so when we feel fear or anxious, then the thoughts match the flavour how how we fee, the same energy is released in thoughts. The bottom line is they mean nothing and if you pull your identification from them without trying to suppress them in anyway, they will fall away. Nothing can survive without your belief, nothing you allow fully has the energy to continue. But when you see it as random noise in the mind, it truly has no effect on you anyway. Trust me I have been through this process, so this is not some concept I have made up.

    To finish, do not ever avoid any triggers, they are a great way of releasing this stored up energy that is producing these random thoughts and as you know avoidance just completely restricts your life and causes more suffering.

  5. Beth Says:

    My “biggie” is when I get out of my comfort zone and my mind is screaming at me “…turn around, get home fast, don’t keep going, there’s danger there etc…” I must say it’s VERY challenging not to listen to this and high-tail it home. It’s very loud, very insistent and really scary.

  6. Daryl Says:

    Belgian,
    I have the exact same problem. I had a full breakdown due to a totally different trigger last November and the anxiety has morphed into huge doubts about my relationship. My wife has supported me throughout this nightmare but this relationship anxiety is also something I can’t shake.
    It’s driving me crazy because I have a 6 year old too and yet I just have absolutely zero feelings at the moment towards even my own family, like I am completely numb.
    It’s not as if when they are away I feel any better or that I want to live alone or with anyone else, it’s not as if I feel they are holding me back, I am pretty much free to do whatever I want, so why would this suddenly arise????
    It is the single scariest thing I have ever thought, that I could abandon them and walk away. It truly shakes me to my core but in some ways I feel by doing that I would cure my anxiety……..when I have moments of clarity I know that my anxiety runs much deeper than that, it’s just that I have sort of attached my numbness, my lack of drive and my self hatred on to something else which I then can’t escape from.
    I just wish I could make this stop…….before my November episode, this was never the cause of my anxiety but the longer the hollow feeling inside goes on the more I am being convinced that I need to walk away to be free of these feelings.
    So totally scary and frightening.
    If you come up with any answers, please let me know and good luck! I know Nolan has posted on this topic before but while reading those initially helped I haven’t been able to shrug this obsession (I believe it is called ROCD although I believe Paul would put it all under the one anxiety umbrella) I hope I will be able to before I say or do something I regret.
    Daryl

  7. Si Says:

    About 3 weeks ago I noticed a shift in my mood, I wanted to do things, my interest had returned, I was looking forward to my son’s wedding / holiday abroad (of which I previously felt frightened about).

    I stopped reading up on anxiety, I stopped visiting this site, I went on holiday a few weeks ago and did I think about anxiety/depression (not one bit) the only thought I had was should I post on here and tell everyone that I feel like my old self again and I was so excited.

    Well the wedding and holiday was fantastic (apart from the weight I put on). However towards the later few days I noticed that I started to feel a little low in the morning, nothing too concerning and it didn’t affect my day at all.

    I returned to the UK on Friday morning and stared getting a little anxious, started to feel the symptoms I had lost for 3 weeks return!!!

    I prayed to god for some relief for my son’s wedding and it appears I was granted it (I am not a religious person I should mention) However the symptoms I was having are starting to creep in, the dreaded analysing myself and feeling sorry for myself has come back, I am constantly thinking about how I feel, yet 3 weeks ago when the symptoms subsided I was not in the least bit locked in my mind.

    I am hoping this is what is known as a setback and I am hoping that it doesn’t hang around for log as I really enjoyed the break, the freedom to do things without the anxiety, the wanting to do things!!

    I suppose in a way I know this will pass, but any advice on what people think I must not do would help and I truly wanted to avoid getting coming back on here in my negative state. I am close to tears (again) something that had vanished 3 weeks ago.

    This truly is a mad mad thing!

    Thanks

    Si

  8. Daryl Says:

    Si,
    Sounds positive though……..you had a great 3 weeks and it would logically follow that you have the tools and enough info already to make that happen again .
    One of my biggest issues (outside of my relationship anxiety) is that I often research things online and fail to accept that everything is anxiety and so I better suck it up, live alongside it and carry on. It seems like you did accept that for 3 weeks but may be you have started self analysing and have given an opportunity for your anxiety to sneak up on you.
    Surely the answer is to get back to what you were doing ie not questioning, accepting the good days and the bad and not searching for answers online if you have a dip because as you already know, that makes anxiety your focus rather than the great things in life like weddings and holidays.
    Now………..if I could just practise what I preach I would be just as close to full recovery as you obviously are :)

  9. Belgian Says:

    Paul, Daryl,

    Thank you Paul for your comment on this! I feel reassured, but I know reassurance doesn’t help me on the long run.

    I will have to face my fear(s) head on. Not with clenched teeth, but with a welcoming attitude. Feel what there is to feel. Think whatever comes to mind. And let go. Time and time again.

    Daryl,

    I believe love is an especially difficult topic for anxious people. There is nothing more scary than opening up to others and just be with them as the incomplete, imperfect, vulnerable people we are.

    There is also nothing more uncertain than love. You can’t ‘touch’ love. You can’t ‘own’ love. You can’t “buy” love. Love is or love is not. It is as strong as steel and yet as light as air. And it only truly shows itself at rare occasions.

    In that way, love is more than a feeling. It is a commitment, an ever during work in progress. A continuous search for and with someone else. An everlasting work without true completion. Love is always on the move and it acquires dedication, empathy and compassion to build on it.

    So Daryl, my advice is to stop looking for ‘feelings’ of love. I can understand you do. I do it too. But I hope you also see the pointlessness of this all. Stop checking for it. But instead, see love as a “do”. Every time you kiss, hug, listen, support your wife, your child. You “love” and every time you get the same back, there is love for you. It is the focus on our anxious feelings and our thoughts, which deludes us.

    My wife was my rock through this experience. And it seems yours is too. When anxiety subsides you will feel love for your wife like you used to do again. Perhaps even more. It is easy to say that you are there for someone else in their darkest time, it is something completely different to actually do it. She and you did. You lucky devil 😉

    So, go with your thoughts of leaving your wife and child. Don’t go against them. Allow them in your heart and mind. Let them the room they deserve. They will take their rightful place if you let them.

    Don’t think for a second you are a slave to them if you let them be. They are just thoughts. They can’t control you. They are only electricity produced by your brain. They are not more real than that. The only engine that keeps them going is your dislike of them. They are born in fear not in love or the lack of it.

    This seems simple. However, as Claire Weekes said, it is not easy. I know. But, we will get there! I am sure of this!

  10. Paul Says:

    Belgian,
    Thank you so much for the post……you know what’s funny…….when I read “Go with the thoughts of leaving your wife and child” I got a huge rush of fear and panic!!
    I read it in the literal sense and you know what, I think my instinctive reaction showed it up a lot to being what it is………..an obsessive irrational thought. When I read that sentence, I didn’t think “YES!!” someone giving me the green light to leave, I felt fear, real fear that you were calling my bluff! and it just goes to show that I am not facing those fears at present when if I did truly feel them and let them go which I did when I read that sentence I would be half way to where I want to be.
    It goes to show that in reality I don’t want to leave, this isn’t what I want to do, it is just a stupid irrational thought.
    I am grateful for your post I really am, and yes, I think we have both been very lucky to find partners who support and help us through this as we are at the moment.
    I liken where I am to the DP section of Paul’s book in that I am hollowed out and I need to just live with it. Claire Weekes also says that feelings will return but it takes time (like you said)
    What I will say is that I have had REAL angry thoughts towards my wife (before I was ill) and often thought to myself “Stupid woman, I am going to walk out!” the difference in those days was, I never took those thoughts seriously, they never stuck because they had no REAL meaning. These thoughts also don’t have real meaning its just the importance I myself have put on them that allows them to fester. I think that is because i have never given myself enough time to heal after my initial trigger…….as Paul says, If I had a broken leg, I would be jumping up and down on it but my mind is exhausted but i keep thinking and thinking which is clearly what has caused my obsessive thoughts to morph into other things.
    Got to break that cycle Belgian and I know you will and hope I can too :).

  11. James Smith Says:

    Hi Paul, how can we not fear anxiety and treat it as harmless energy if we know it causes increased heart rate, high blood pressure etc? If you have had chronic anxiety for some time, is it not a real worry that it’s doing/has done damage?

    I completely believe your message and method, I know it’s the way forward. But when I get anxious, I think of all the time iv been anxious and worry what it’s done/is doing to me.

    I view the sensations that I need to view as uncomfortable but harmless as damaging. I know if I allowed the energy it would release, but it’s a catch 22 because if I can’t change my view on anxiety, I won’t be able to allow it and If I know long term anxiety can harm us, how do I do that.

    It doesn’t help when family members tell me I’m just like my grandad who had a heart attack aged 62. He did live a healthy life afterwards until 90 years however.

    Thanks

  12. daryl Says:

    Sorry Belgian,
    I posted that under a user name I had when the site wasn’t uploading properly.

    The above was posted by Daryl

  13. daryl Says:

    Belgian, Repeating the post below sorry for the mix up!
    Thank you so much for the post……you know what’s funny…….when I read “Go with the thoughts of leaving your wife and child” I got a huge rush of fear and panic!!
    I read it in the literal sense and you know what, I think my instinctive reaction showed it up a lot to being what it is………..an obsessive irrational thought. When I read that sentence, I didn’t think “YES!!” someone giving me the green light to leave, I felt fear, real fear that you were calling my bluff! and it just goes to show that I am not facing those fears at present when if I did truly feel them and let them go which I did when I read that sentence I would be half way to where I want to be.
    It goes to show that in reality I don’t want to leave, this isn’t what I want to do, it is just a stupid irrational thought.
    I am grateful for your post I really am, and yes, I think we have both been very lucky to find partners who support and help us through this as we are at the moment.
    I liken where I am to the DP section of Paul’s book in that I am hollowed out and I need to just live with it. Claire Weekes also says that feelings will return but it takes time (like you said)
    What I will say is that I have had REAL angry thoughts towards my wife (before I was ill) and often thought to myself “Stupid woman, I am going to walk out!” the difference in those days was, I never took those thoughts seriously, they never stuck because they had no REAL meaning. These thoughts also don’t have real meaning its just the importance I myself have put on them that allows them to fester. I think that is because i have never given myself enough time to heal after my initial trigger…….as Paul says, If I had a broken leg, I would be jumping up and down on it but my mind is exhausted but i keep thinking and thinking which is clearly what has caused my obsessive thoughts to morph into other things.
    Got to break that cycle Belgian and I know you will and hope I can too :).

  14. Beth Says:

    Paul-You say (rightly so) not to avoid triggers because it’s a perfect chance to release this pent-up energy. But when a person is so terrified how do we allow this to happen when every nerve in my body is screaming at me to run?

  15. Lorne Says:

    Beth,

    Just go. I am not sure what you are so terrified of specifically but I can tell you that if you face it, you will prove anxiety that there is nothing to be afraid of.

    I think its also important to point out that all the crazy thoughts you can get from anxiety are also your flight or fight and are in place for the same reason. All of the stuff that anxiety is trying to tell you to avoid is really it just trying to protect you. When you can look at thought for how ridiculous it is, and as its just your brain trying to protect you, the fear lessens. I is nothing more then a fallacy and the only way to prove it wrong is to face it head on and prove it wrong. I really struggled with the thoughts when I had my time and it wasn’t until I connected the dots that they were also just bent up energy i could move towards them.

  16. Si Says:

    Not sure what to do?

    I posted yesterday to say how I had been feeling the last few weeks (felt 100%) and how I have taken a dip.

    However the dip is massive in comparison to how I was feeling 4 to 5 weeks ago. I am getting a lot of the symptoms I was getting about a year ago when I started with anxiety and depression, the only other thing that has changed is about 6 to 7 weeks ago I decided the meds (Sertraline) didn’t appear to be making a difference so I am gradualy weening myself of from 50 to 25mg.

    I honestly thought that through coming off the meds this is why I saw a massive improvement over the last 3 weeks, but now I don’t know.

    I am getting anxious about silly thoughts, my sleep last night was horrendous, I am feeling so tearful and spent a good hour yesterday crying, everything feels strange, I am anxious 24/7, struggling to conversate, don’t want to do ANYTHING and can’t even watch TV again!! Yet last week I was watching movies on my phone, listening to music, laughing, joking, feeling very optimistic – all the normal stuff with NO ANXIETY.

    So back to my question – what do I do? / What is causing this to come back?

    I had a taste of 100% freedom – but it’s all come crashing down – I am gutted and feel I can’t go through all this again!!

    Any help or words of encouragement would be great – please

    Si

  17. Andy J Says:

    Thanks for your reply Paul.

    One thing though which has shaken me a bit is you wrote on your Facebook page that this isn’t for OCD. Now I tend to think my symptoms indicate obsessive thoughts which are probably OCD.

    I’ve always just tried to follow the acceptance approach as advised on here and by all contributors, but now I’m worried that this may not have been for me all along. My interpretation was all thoughts are thoughts, there’s no classifying as OCD thoughts etc. I was just wondering if you could explain a little bit more as to what you meant?

    Thanks,
    Andy

  18. Rosa Says:

    Paul,

    I am so anxious about my husbands MS. It has been getting worse and it limits our life. I am debating with myself if I should leave him or not, because I hope once I have left him my anxiety will go down. But I don’t know if I really want to do this. I am so confused and really bad.

  19. Rosa Says:

    I suffer from really bad depersonalisation again and I can’t think of anything else. One minute I think that should stay and learn how to live with an illnesss. The other minute I think that I am only 40 and that I am not ready for this. I assume that he will be really bad in a few years and need me to care for him. I don’t know how to handle this.

  20. Mikael Says:

    Paul, thank you so much work the effort you are making in helping people overcome anxiety. You mention elsewhere that the initial trigger is usually some kind of stress and then we step into the fear cycle which then keeps the anxiety alive or makes it worse.

    I am a bit at a loss though because in my case I didn’t have a specific trigger. I just felt more and more stressed with life. I had a great period when I was taking antidepressants following a divorce but when I came off them this feeling of stress came back. I have a son that I am responsible for every second week now and I have a job which is a management position with responsibility for teams around the world. Now I feel totally overwhelmed by constantly having to make all the decisions and take all the initatives at home and work and not having any structure at work to cling to. My anxious brain keeps telling me I should get a job where it is clear what I have to do every day such as driving a bus. But I could sort of manage on antidepressants. I don’t have panic attacks or issues going out, just a near constant feeling of dread and depression which gets worse at the thought of responsibility or uncertainty such as finding a new job and not knowing whether that will be worse or better.

    Could it be that I’m stuck in a cycle of stress because I’m not cut out for my job or is it so that I just need accept that I feel scared when making decisions and taking initiatives without knowing the outcome?

  21. Daryl Says:

    Rosa,
    Looks like a few of us are in a similar boat Re. our relationships!! My thoughts are that I am blaming others for what is inside me……….would leaving help me? Nope, I would lose all the stability I have and be stuck with my thoughts anyway which would no doubt morph into something else.

    I can see you have a specific issue because of your husband’s illness which sounds really hard to cope with but just like Paul talks about the Fight or Flight above it seems that is what you are grappling with.

    I can only talk for myself and I know that before being clubbed around the head very hard by anxiety (my trigger was NOT my relationship) I always had passing fantasy thoughts of leaving, running away, giving into carnal urges forever, mentally bemoaning how my younger days had gone and I was stuck in this mundane life………..the difference then was that I allowed myself to think those thoughts because I wasn’t anxious, I wasn’t scared of them, I could look at them rationally and chuckle or just let them through anyway as there was no way I was going to act on them, on the whole I was happy, my life was good and we had everything we could ever want.

    My difference now is that I have not let enough time pass between my initial trigger breakdown and the present day.

    I have got caught in my thoughts, I have allowed these same thoughts to stick and sprinkled them with fear but what I have to do is accept that while I am trying to get my mind back to what it was before my initial anxiety attack these thoughts will be magnified.

    What I need to do is accept them, allow them and see them as the same thoughts as always even though they seem much more powerful than before…………….they aren’t more powerful, it is only the way my weakened mind is perceiving them that is making them more powerful. If I can do that I can keep having them and they will be like before…….and like other thoughts I have…….stupid, irrational and fleeting.

    So, I am going to take the advice of Belgian…………I am not going to look for love, I am going to “do” love……in other words and as Nolan has posted before…….I have responsibilities to my family………..I must carry out those responsibilities regardless of how I feel………….I am going to hug my daughter and give her a kiss even though these thoughts are in my mind, and I will do the same with my wife………..I will “DO” love and then I will see what happens.

    May be that is what you should do too?……………see what happens………it might be positive and will running really be an escape from your anxiety or will that still be there regardless? I did see a therapist who said to me don’t make any major decisions while you are struggling with anxiety as it clouds everything………….just a thought.

  22. Shay Says:

    Hello Paul,

    Thank you for website/blog and books. About four years ago I started experiencing anxiety, depersonalization was something I had never felt before and I stumbled upon your site by googling the symptoms I was experiencing. It was so nice to find a name to the unreality I was feeling. I ordered your book immediately, it felt so nice to finally figure out what was going on with me.

    I have had some really good times but I don’t think I have ever truly let myself fully recover, but I have come pretty close. I’m a natural worrier so that’s been the hardest habit to accept.

    Recently I have been having a very hard time dealing with new symptoms. I feel different then I have felt the previous 4 years and its hard. I developed panic disorder and find it harder to go places and be around people. Also when I am home I still never feel at ease. Even at home I feel panic, hard time breathing, dizziness, depersonalization, nausea, I think I always have a fever/headache, feelings that I need to go check myself into the hospital to get help and a feeling of being off (like I’m not comfortable in my skin/weird.) I also have thoughts like “I can’t live feeling like this anymore”, “maybe there is something medically wrong with me since these intense feeling came out of nowhere”, “what if I lose control,” “I feel so weird,” “what if I end up hurting myself (though I know I never would want to,)” “I don’t feel comfortable anywhere, not even at home,” “I feel far worse than I have ever felt before, I feel hopeless and far from normal, like something is seriously wrong with me,” and “I feel like a stranger in my own body.”

    These intense new feelings and new thoughts have made it really hard to get through the days. It seems the littlest thing can set me off and that I run almost the entire full day on high anxiety where it feels like I am about to have a panic attack but it never fully comes, its just extreme high anxiety/panic. I have maybe a good 10 minutes here or there through out some days but its mostly caught up in my anxiety.

    I have been trying to accept all of this but I am having the hardest time. I am at a lost. Its hard to be awake and deal with the intense feelings and feelings of weirdness. Its also hard when your confidence and independence have been stripped away and your world gets smaller. I hope I get on the right track soon because I seem to have lost myself.

    Thank You,
    Shay

  23. Char Says:

    I am on holiday away from home for 2 weeks and my anxiety has come with me. I have anxiety wherever and whenever – flying etc doesn’t bother me I can have anxiety when n a plane or at home. But at the moment it is so intense and acute all day long. I’m not able to sleep or eat and I’m not focussing on the kids like I want to . I was up until 4 am with panic bubbling and then managed to get some comfort lying with my son and husband who were sleeping.

    When the eye of the storm as Claire weeks calls it seems to last forever and is not connected to specific fears how do you manage , I’m mediating and trying to focus but it’s not working and I am feeling scared and anxious.

  24. Alz Says:

    Paul!
    I hope you reply. I understand that it is my thoughts but sometimes as crazy as they may be its like my mind wont believe they are just thoughts and so when i have to face the real situation , there is so much fear and tensing up. I mean if its not one thing , its another. How should i calm myself down when its facing that fear iv been building up for days on end?
    The more frustrating part is that i do meditate but then there are days when the meditation goes down the drain and i am in a trance because i am living in my world of thoughts.

  25. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    Sounds like we both at a similar phase ? Can u sleep Alz? Last night was time I couldn’t sleep and it really has thrown me today .

  26. Alz Says:

    Char i am on meds so can sleep.. but again like Paul said, know that its anxiety. It can do you no harm. Take a bit of sedative? or are u against meds?

  27. Char Says:

    Hi Alz , Thanks ! Yes I will thanks and thanks for replying !

  28. Louise Says:

    Hi jus how many setbacks can you have when recovering and do intrusive thoughts eventually leave or it is the link between fear and thought that is rationalised.

  29. Mo Says:

    Thanks for the post.

    Do you think getting off stimulant medication that I take everyday will help me recover from tired nerves?I’m starting to believe it is causing some suffering as I have faced a lot of hurdles and fears though I keep feeling anxious no matter what. One of the side effects of amphetamine is anxiety in some people. However I started to suffer from anxiety in 2011 and started these stimulant meds 2014.
    I take the meds for Attention Deficit Disorder and binge eating disorder but I think I may have to limit it only to work days so my body can have full recovery from tired nerves. I haven’t tried this yet as the med is habit forming and it takes mental effort it seems like to just have the confidence to do it.

  30. Nolan Says:

    Regarding sleeplessness, insomnia, and sleep anxiety:

    that was my biggest fear. The fear from which all other fears/despairs/brokenness and other manifestations of anxiety branched from.

    A week could go by and I would get a total of 3-4 broken hours for the entire week. Some nights no sleep at all. That happened for weeks upon weeks. I’d have a day out of intense exhaustion where I would crash out and sleep for about 6 hours. But those were rare.

    For sleep I was on Xanax, Ambien, then Ambien CR, Lunesta, Trazadone, Clonopin… and numerous other OTCs (not to mention all of the wonky diet tricks). None of these worked with any consistency.

    I remember the doctor telling me “you might want to plan to go into work later the next day. With as little as you’ve been sleeping, taking Ambien will probably put you under for 9+ hours”.

    I took it that night and got 1 and 1/2 hour of sleep. My fear skyrocketed when I looked at the alarm clock to see that it was still not even 1am.

    The last thing my Pdoc gave me was a scrip for Rozerom (sp). I never got it filled. I took myself off of everything (this isn’t to mention the antidepressants and other anti-anxiety meds I was also on).
    Thankfully very shortly after that a good friend got me on to Paul David’s book.

    For sleep I adopted a new attitude: well, actually an old attitude. The attitude I used to have. Prior to anxiety I never thought about sleep. I could go to bed at 1am and wake up at 6am for work and not care in the least. I could eat pizza, watch a scary movie, drink a soda…. all before going to bed and it never hindered myself one way nor the other.

    Paul (and others) helped me to stop putting so much importance on sleep. And I can soundly say all of those people supposedly in the know who preach “you need to get 8 hours every night or you’ll be done for” are simply wrong. I went 3 years with sleep disrupted to some extent (greater or lesser degrees)…. and using Paul’s approach of not putting any extra importance on the matter I was able to eventually have peace of mind and body again.

    So, for anyone struggling with sleep problems just know that you’re not broken.

  31. Nolan Says:

    Hi Louise,

    You can have as many setbacks as your mind/body allows.
    They’re terrible. They seemingly erase all of the hope and confidence that you slowly started to gather. It feels as if it brings you back to square 1. But treat it the same way.
    To a large extent they are running on their own cycle. If you find yourself in one, try not to beat yourself up, thinking you’ve done something wrong. Give it as much time and space as it wants (I know how excruciating and terrifying they can be) and eventually that storm will pass to.

    I think it’s been said before by others (and it has been my experience) that after every setback, once you’ve committed to an approach like Paul’s, when you finally come out of that setback, it’s like you’ve regained another little piece of your former self.

  32. Nolan Says:

    Hi Belgian,

    I know what you’re talking about. I struggled with that for years (prior to and independent from my bout of anxiety that centered on sleep, instrusive thoughts, depression)….

    I would have an intense feeling of wanting to be away from my wife (girlfriend at the time). She was (is) and amazing person, but I kept having this insidious thought that “she’s not right for you”. But, when I would think it through I’d realize that “there are very few people in the world like her… I am blessed to have her in my life”.

    But, something was lacking. It was that affective side of love. The side that just makes it seem “right” when those emotions are flowing in the ‘proper’ direction.
    But then I’d think, “wow, that’s a huge burden to place on her. That she’s supposed to be responsible for that. Responsible to ensure that my affective response is always revved up and positive”.
    Along with that the thought would come up, “I love my parents, but it’s not like I always swoon with love for them… it’s primarily a love of obligation and duty”.
    It would be weird to hear someone saying “I love my parents, but I don’t really feel that love… it doesn’t perk me up and flow naturally”.
    Our parents are very close to us, but we don’t hold them to that standard… the standard of assuming that our love for them is only valid if buttressed by the affective side of love. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have selfless duties and obligations to them… and, in performing those selfless duties and obligations (when we don’t feel like doing it) that has to be the hallmark of true love.

    Because, what’s the worth of the love we have for someone (especially a spouse) when it’s only worthwhile to us when our feelings for them are making it easy for us? Thinking that that early puppy-love we felt for them is supposed to be the constant theme of our relationship. We don’t hold any other relationship in our lives to that standard… why would we hold our spouse to that? So, love has to be primarily an act of the will. That’s not to say you’ll never have boosts from the affective side of it… I’m sure at times you will. But, if you make the focus on your relationship with her a selfless giving of yourself to her (independent of your emotive whims that are either present or absent) then you’ll begin to fortify a truer meaning of love. One that is not moored to wishy-washy things like our emotions.

  33. Andy J Says:

    Very good posts Nolan.

    I think for me it’s being able to just be amongst the storm and say ‘ok, this isn’t exactly how I planned things, but you know what I just have to get on with my day’. What’s the alternative? What we’ve all been doing for days/weeks/months/years? As Paul has said on many occasions there is no secret method, there is no secret pull or way of feeling better. Each recovery from anxiety is unique.

    I still fall in to the trap of thinking ‘that doesn’t sound like what I’m going through’ but then I know that this isn’t a one fits all condition. I suffer from terrible obsessive thoughts but know that these are no more than anxiety. I really panicked reading Paul’s response to a Facebook post about OCD but then I know that OCD is just another portrayal of anxiety. I know I need to treat it the same. I know when the thoughts are there that I just need to acknowledge they are there but give them no more importance. They are all from a tired mind and from being sensitised for so long.

    All the best every one.

  34. Si Says:

    Hi Nolan

    You have responded to my blogs before and I really appreciate your feedback.

    When I was feeling normal the past 3 weeks until returning to the UK after a holiday I find myself in what I would say “Back to square 1”.

    The anxiety symptoms that had slowly lessened over the last year have all come back in an instance. Sleep issues, waking feeling very anxious
    fear of virtually everything, no drive, everything is a massive effort, feeling sick & not with it, can’t speak to people, crying, obviously blogging
    and reading Pauls book and listending to Claire Weekes audio just searching to answers I guess!!

    Can I assume that this is just a set back (worse I have had). It really is like back to square one. Last 2 weeks whilst away I have done everthing
    I wanted to do, listened to music, sat by the pool, watched movies, left the internet alone, left the books and audio at home and actually felt
    like I don’t need them anymore, actually did not even think about how I was feeling (it was great!!!)

    NOW I am flicking through the books, listening to Claire Weekes and totaly absorbed in myself again – WHY and WHAT can I do ??

    thanks

    Simon

  35. Andy J Says:

    Hi Si,

    I’m not Nolan, but I’d like to try and give you some advice.

    To get to that stage of enjoying all of those things, what did you do? My guess is either a) you cant remember, b) you dont know or c) nothing. This is the paradox of anxiety. The more you try and do something about your symptoms, the more you actually enhance your anxiety. By trying to not have anxiety, you are actually drawing attention to it.

    Coming back from a holiday is normally a tough time for me personally. I get quite bad ‘holiday blues’ and I know I did before I had any kind of issues with anxiety. The trouble is when you have these issues having gone through the stuff we have, its hard not to link the two and some how just get on with it. Think about other people who dont have anxiety and suffer from holiday blues. Do they go round thinking that something is the matter with them? Do they sit wondering why they dont feel right? Of course not, they just put it down to having had a great time away and being back to normal. Do the holiday blues last for those people? Maybes for a week or two, but normal life then takes over and they then start looking forward to other things and look back on the holiday as a great memory.

    Paul’s message really is to do nothing. All the different ways of describing:

    ‘Dont add fuel to the fire’
    ‘Dont pick at the scab’
    ‘Dont try and mend a broken leg’
    ‘Dont try and stop it raining’.

    Essentially they are all the same thing. Just allow yourself to heal.

    If you added fuel to the fire, it would get worse not better.
    If you picked the scab, it would take longer to heal not quicker.

    If you tried to stop it raining or make your broken leg heal quicker by thinking it wouldnt happen would it? It’d just make you focus on it more. The mind is the same, it needs to do its thing naturally.

    I know you’re having a hard time and its probably because you’ve seen the clouds part for a while, the sun has come through. Those clouds will clear again Si, you just got to let them do their thing.

    All the best mate.

  36. Char Says:

    Hi Si

    I am in the same boat as you except the other way around. I was fine 3 weeks ago but my anxiety returned a week ago and I am now on holiday and am back in the full throws of anxiety. Sleep is disturbed I am waking up with anxiety . I can’t eat well or u til the evening and then only a small amount. Absolutely the worst for me are the constant thoughts and the fear – which is ironic given the title of the blog above.

    Not sure if this helps si but maybe knowing we are both going through it ?

  37. Si Says:

    Andy J

    Thanks for the reply, yes you are right when you ask what I did – I actually can’t remember, all I remember is I was scared months ago of going away but then as the week approached I started to get a little excited at the thought and although still a little down prior to travelling, once at the airport “I WAS ME!!” I consider myself very lucky to have felt that way for the holiday as it was also my sons Wedding and there was 30 of us – it was a great time. I suppose the holiday blues is over exagerated for me.

    My other worry is that it’s exactly a year to this week since this episode first started and I am feeling like I did back then, and feeling like I have now made no improvement.

    I obviously have started the bad habits again of fighting this because like you said I have seen the sun and the clouds parted for a while.

    Gosh this is a proper rollercoaster and I hope one day I can get off.

    Char – I can’t add anything to what anyone has said other than that yes we are not alone and the support on here is fantastic.

    Thanks all
    Si

  38. Beth Says:

    Hi all-I’m really doing the fighting/resistance thing worse than I ever have right now. If someone could take a look at my above posts and offer any guidance you may have? I don’t come on here very often because I don’t want to use it as a crutch…just feel like crying for a year. Thanks in advance, I appreciate it.

  39. Alz Says:

    So yesterday my mother apparently told my sister ‘ I’m scared of talking to alz .. don’t know how she’ll respond or whather frame of mind will be’ . I cried after that because it made me feel like I’m irreparable and others now talk about ‘ my state of mind’behind my back . I then texted my mother saying yes I do get more hurt now and yes my state of mind is not ok – I hv depression , anxiety and I did go through severe trauma . If it scares y to talk to me then so be it . Can’t explain but obv in this setback phase it’s sort of the worst thing one wants to hear . I was asking my husband , will I ever be normal last night after listening to what my mom had said . It kind of put me in that such a bizarre state of mind – I am mad , or am going mad .
    This is anxiety and it’s harmless . It will go away . I just wonder when .

  40. Andy J Says:

    Hi Beth,

    When you are in that situation it is a perfect opportunity to show yourself that you are not in danger. (I’m assuming your situations are normal every day stuff, not wingwalking or going in to a tigers cage!).

    What do you fear? Do you fear the actual thing? Or do you fear how you are going to feel when you get there (fearing the fear). Its tough. As Paul has said, the more avoidance in life, the more times you are going to have to repeat exposing yourself to the worry.

    Take scary movies, I hate them. The first time it will make me jumpy. If I watch it again, im probably going to be scared. If I watch it a third time, less so as I know where all the scary bits are. By the time I watch it for a fourth and fifth time, I’m either a) not scared or b) bored. I dont keep questioning why I’m scared the first couple of times, I just know I’m in an anxiety provoking scenario. The more respect you give to the scary thoughts, the bigger they grow.

    Another example would be of a kid thinking about a monster under the bed. Every night in the dark they hide in their sheets and simply wont look under. Each night that passes, that monster becomes bigger, uglier and scarier. If that child had only looked under their bed the first night they would have saw there was nothing to be scared of. It was all in their imagination, there was nothing to fear.

    When you avoid things, they grow in size each time. That’s not to say you cant habituate to the thoughts after a while.

    Give it a try. Be nice to yourself. It you’re scared, then appreciate its a sensitized mind and nothing else. There is nothing to be scared of. Its just the fear of fear.

    You’ve got this Beth.

  41. Beth Says:

    Thanks Andy.

  42. Rosa Says:

    Thanks Daryl!

  43. Kostas Says:

    Hello Simon,
    I think you mentioned that recently you reduced your dose of sertaline.
    Probably you reduced it very quickly, and you have the usual withdrawal symptoms, which sometimes are very severe.
    Best to talk to your doctor for advice.
    Lots of people slipped back because of it.
    Best of luck from Athens.

  44. Jamie Says:

    Hi all.

    I have not been on for a while but have been feeling generally a bit better. Usual day to say stuff has been a bit easier and I have been on a few dates lately which phased me a lot less than they used to.

    However, over the last month or so, I have been learning and doing a new type of work at work and I am struggling with it, mainly due to my anxiety. I had a little bit of training and now I am virtually doing it on my own. I don’t really like asking questions as others have their own work to do but over the last day or so I am really finding it stressful and worrying about my productivity.

    I have tried to focus on my breathing, not get involved in the worrying thoughts and slow things down but sometimes I sit there and I just cannot think straight which stresses me even more. I find it very hard to take things in when people are explaining things when the next person would get it right away and just get on with it. Today I just felt like bursting into tears at my desk (it sounds daft right?) and just saying to my manager I just can’t do this work and want to go back to what I was doing before.

    Virtually no one in the office knows I have a an anxiety disorder so I just put a front on and pretend everything is fine when underneath it is far from it. Can anyone relate to this ?

  45. Jeb Says:

    Hi

    Have a few questions that I wonder if someone could advise on.

    Can see how this method would help a short to medium term sufferer but would it help someone who has tackled this problem for some time?

    My problem is more around the mental than physical symptoms, it’s hard to take my mind off the anxiety/depression for too long. At the moment I’m cycling a good day and bad day but fear this getting worse.

    I struggle with the concept that this is anxiety not depression and fear depression as it feels to have no natural recovery.

    Thoughts include: –
    What if I don’t get better,
    What if this is depression not anxiety,
    The method is for physical symptoms not mental,
    This method won’t work for me as I’ve had it too long or am depressed,
    I then get into internal dialog which my thoughts invariably win. Should I be fighting, ignoring, distracting. Accepting is tough as it just come back again shortly after.

    Another quite common thing for me is having a thought that might excite / interest me but it quickly gets shut down with negativity / down feeling. I then go into the paragraph above.

    I’m not a naturally depressed person but fear this will take me there. As the good cycles used to be longer early on in this. Actually 2011-2016 I was free, I actually felt anxiety but it didn’t bother me.

  46. Char Says:

    Jamie

    Hi. Some of it is just the way people learn – when someone explains something. We to me that’s not a good way for me to learn – I have to go away and think about it and read and maybe write it down. Is this something you could do so that you become more familiar with the task ?

    C

  47. Andy J Says:

    Hi Jeb,

    Why does it matter if it is one or the other?

    A wonderful turn of phrase I’ve heard on here is that anxiety and depression are ‘two different sides of the same coin’. You don’t treat them any differently, they are both just a way of telling you that you have a tired mind and it needs to heal itself.

    Nolan and Paul both suffered from depression and have both come out the otherside, by doing exactly what they preach. Living your life and being kind to yourself. Acknowledging that you are having a hard time but allowing yourself to heal naturally. Fighting to get better or trying this method or that often hamper rather than hinder your efforts to get better.

    You’ve been fine before as you say, you’ll be fine again.

  48. Char Says:

    Andy j

    What have you done differently as you sound completely different – so much better than a week or so ago ?

    I felt better last night but back again this morning into the anxiety despair crying phase – aaarhh it so tricky

  49. Andy J Says:

    Hi Char,

    I still feel terrible in all honesty.

    But I just know that everything I have tried has failed. I’ve tried avoidance, I’ve tried making myself feel better, I’ve tried posting on here seeking reassurance, I’ve tried reading other blogs, I’ve tried seeing numerous therapists.

    Where has it got me to? The same if not worse than I started. I’ve clearly been missing something fundamental. I’ve been treating anxiety as something which is unnatural or to be avoided. All along its been there to protect me. Its been doing exactly what its designed to. In my sensitized state I’ve felt worse and worse, because I’ve viewed it as an enemy. Its never been the enemy, its just been me, my own thoughts. Rather than battling with myself (Paul uses a good analogy of being in full battle armour and fighting with yourself), just let it win. When those thoughts come along, just know that they are a sensitized mind that keep bringing them to your attention because of habit.

    Think of it as a piece of grass with a path around it. Rather than people walking around, they cut across the grass leaving tracks. Think of those tracks as your anxious thoughts and how your mind is wired up. The more you think them and worry about them, the more you take that route across the grass. If you allow the thoughts to be there, you dont need to go down the route across the grass to figure them all out. The more you leave them alone and take the other route, the quicker the grass grows back and the traces of your old way of thinking are removed. It wont happen today or tomorrow, but given time, the grass (and your mind) will be restored to how they were.

    The method is simple, but it isnt always easy to follow when you are in the midst of a rough patch or are thinking the same way because of habit. Just allow the thoughts to be there, remember that they are a result of a tired mind and get on with your day.

  50. Char Says:

    Hi andy

    Sounds like you got it cracked andy , that’s a great post. You ahead of me as I still desperately clutching at trying to get me anxiety free . When you get some respite in the evening I’m thinking oh great it has gone but then I wake up and the whole thing starts again.

    C

  51. simon Says:

    Char,

    It is such a merry-go-round and roller coaster!

    I too was in the pattern of feeling good in the evening and then not too great first thing. It’s only when you feel utterly horrib all the time (like I am currently feeling) do you appreciate what you had before. How much am I looing forward to just getting back to that stage – silly as it sound!

    Perhaps the setback do teach us something, not to take for granted to progress albeit slow we are all making.

    Best of luck to everyone

    Si

  52. Char Says:

    Hi si

    Yes and I’m on holiday when you supposed to be all chilled and relaxed and I’m the opposite! Can t sunbathe or read my book and constantly stressing that I will be damanging my kids cause I’ve explained to my eldest (9) that I’ve got anxiety – I e always hidden it before – but it’s too hard to hide it when you with kids 247.

    My mind is on constant chatter with negative thoughts and the overriding worry is what if I am stuck like this and i must be worse than anyone else as it so constant.

    It’s not situational anxiety at all – we went sightseeing the other day and were on top of an extremely high bridge – it doesn’t bother me at all. My anxiety is in my head and I carry that with me everywhere .
    Can anyone relate to how I am feeling?

  53. Nolan Says:

    “Nolan and Paul both suffered from depression and have both come out the otherside, by doing exactly what they preach. Living your life and being kind to yourself. Acknowledging that you are having a hard time but allowing yourself to heal naturally. Fighting to get better or trying this method or that often hamper rather than hinder your efforts to get better.”

    Great post, Andy.

    Yes: I had both and had both to a very intense degree.
    Andy’s advice is spot on.

  54. Louise Says:

    Hi my main problem is intrusive thoughts and iv had lots of different types of thoughts but the main one that always comes up is suicidal thoughts, does anyone or has anyone had these type of intrusive thoughts. I maddening as it might jus be the word poping into my head or images or jus a feeling which I thn concern myself and start worryin about it which thn starts the thoughts any advice please. Im beginning to worry its not anxiety.

  55. Nolan Says:

    Hi Louise,

    Most of us have had those.
    They are maddening and debasing. But the response is simply the same: let them be there and be less impressed by them.

    “how do I act less impressed by them?” you could ask; and to that the response is: by not adding extra attention to them. Sure, there’s going to be some automatic recognition of them on your part. Similar to when someone sneaks up behind you and screams “HEY!”.
    Not spending too much time trying to make sense of why they came, when they’ll leave, and how problematic they are.

    Don’t try to force them out of your mind. Don’t feel the need to pretend like you’re not noticing them (you’d only be fooling yourself anyway). Let them be there, and let them run out of steam.

  56. Char Says:

    Nolan

    Please can you help me to move forward as I am stuck- my mind is on constant chatter mode . Last night for a few hours I felt fine and relaxed and happy and went out for a meal with my family and we had such a good laugh.

    This morning I woke and within seconds the anxiety was there. Allday since I have been so anxious and my head hasn’t shut up with intrusives and mind chatter. It has been constant – well that is how it feels. It is this constantness that is making me feel I’m worse than anyone else . If it not mind chatter then it’s self awareness – like watching myself

    Any advice ?
    Thanks

    C

  57. Louise Says:

    Thanks Nolan, I do have periods were they go but it always comes bk and I start to wprry what if it happens what if my mind is tellin me something crazy I know.

  58. Alz Says:

    You know CHar I’m on the same page . Pls just let it be… just let it be . It won’t stop . I mean it’ll almost take over everything .. there are days such as today where every thought is fearful and negative but , I HAVE to believe this is anxiety. I know im in a sort of trance because the mind chatters completely taken over and if u read my post above the revelation that someone like my mother is commenting on my mental health , makes it even worse but there’s no other option .
    Option 1: it’s anxiety , it’ll pass . It’s like any other emotion except it can taint my way of thinking and will pass slower than any other emotion.
    Option 2: it’s not anxiety . I’m losing my mind .. heading towards insanity or have become insane —> this thought is anxiety again!
    So I’m habitually anxious and the steam will eventually come out – it has for other people . Let the mind chatter , let yourself be in a trance and let yourself experience anxiety because as annoying as it is .. it’s not going but rather taking over all aspects of my life .. so let it be . let’s see what horrible tricks these thoughts will play tom !

  59. Elle Says:

    Hi all

    First of all I’d like to thank Paul for this site and all the people who have kindly contributed to helping others. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for three years now, with help from Paul and this site I have been doing really well lately! What I am having issues with at the moment is really low spells, these come and go during the day last usually for a few hours at a time then fade away again! Is this a normal part of recovery?

    Elle

  60. Cailín Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I have only posted once before & that was after a dark period of anxiety & many nights of very poor sleep!
    I have recently found myself in the throws of anxiety again, after a big change including a move (out of the city, home to the country side!) & a change in jobs…
    I have found the change in jobs very difficult because I left a job I loved where I had made some very good friends. My new job is different. The people aren’t friendly & there’s one girl who’s giving me a very tough time. Although I love the work I do, this girl is making life hard & hence, the anxiety has kicked in again….
    I have felt very sad & on the edge of tears regularly over the last two weeks & I am having thoughts of “What if I’m developing depression?”
    “What is wrong with me?” “Why do I feel this way?” “What if I never feel good again?” “What if tomorrow isn’t a better day?” “What if people begin to notice I’m not myself?” And the list goes on….
    I sat down yesterday to journal how I’ve been feeling & this is what I wrote; I’m sharing because maybe another sufferer, who has been or is in the same boat, may empathise or share their experience!
    I really do hope this is only anxiety because I’m only 28 & I have so many positive things in my life to be grateful for that the fear of developing depression is really upsetting me & I’m dwelling on it!

  61. Char Says:

    Thanks Alz and if it helps my mum also talks about my mental health and is quite rubbish at any kind of support – her support is to say just breathe…!!

  62. Melissa Says:

    Char and Alz,

    It’s really hard when our family does not quite understand how it feels to deal with anxiety. My family is the same. They either tell me to just not worry or they worry about me so much it scares me and makes me think there is something wrong with me.

    The mind chatter is crazy for me right now as well. I know that it is because I have been paying too much attention to it. But sometimes I feel like my brain is having its own conversation…filled with random words or just a lot of worrying. Does your mind chatter sound like that too?

  63. Char Says:

    Hi Melissa

    Yes my mind chatter is exactly like that – it just hasn’t shut up all day today. It can be about anything but it is always linked to anxiety . It makes me so tense that I can’t get out of the cycle and end up with this chronic feeling of anxiety.

    Hope u r ok tonite

    C

  64. Anonscot Says:

    Hey , anyone else feel life is so much better when you are busy doing things ? Like when I’m with my friends , playing sport etc , I feel much more content but when I’m on my own not immersed in anyway , the anxiety and depressive feelings are so much worse. I do still have anxiety when I’m busy but it’s more just slight social anxiety, not the the type of disturbing thoughts, what if anxiety that I get when I’m not doing anything.

    So really my question is , how do I react to this situation , should I try and keep busy all day or just allow myself to feel bored and allow the anxiety etc

  65. Nolan Says:

    Doreen, are you still out there?
    Haven’t seen her posts for awhile.

    There’s a straightforwardness to Doreen’s postings that were always very helpful to me…. even if I did not notice it immediately. It was the advice I needed to hear (and more importantly – follow) when I was pleading for a more detailed response to all of my numerous anxiety issues.

  66. Nolan Says:

    Hi Char,

    Mind chatter (intrusive thoughts) and constant self-awareness are very common.

    What can a person do? You want to shut it off like it’s a water valve, but it’s not a problem that’s fixed that way.

    I’ll use an example from my experience with respects to the constant self-awareness (but I think it also dovetails nicely with intrusive thoughts):

    When I would close my eyes to go to bed at night it was like a switch was being flipped in my mind that made all of my thoughts automatically and immediately center around sleeping. “Are you sleeping yet?” “When will sleep come?” “Uh oh, I’m aware I’m not sleeping and now I’m consciously seeking sleep out… but that’s not how you sleep!” “If my mind is automatically making me consciously seek sleep out then it will forever elude me! Because if I even if I start to slip into sleep my mind will pull me out because it will want to show me that I’ve finally found sleep.”…. and this nightmare of a thought cycle would spin and spin.
    Many of those thoughts were simply automatic/reflexive. I couldn’t really stop my mind from going there.

    That’s a characteristic of anxiety; it’s like something else is ultimately controlling your thoughts as well as your feelings towards those thoughts.

    Trying to distract myself from them was useless… trying to angrily engage with them was useless.. trying to ignore them was useless.
    But letting them be there and letting them grab my attention as forcefully as they wished but now responding with an “oh well… I don’t care anymore. So this is me forever: so be it”; “whatever sleep I get is what I get and that’s the end of my concern with it.”

    I’d lie back and close my eyes and wherever those thoughts wanted to pull me I just let them have at it. Many times I could feel that intensely negative and visceral sensation grip my mind and body but with that too I just let it and responded with a “whatever” to the intensity of it. In time and without fail, whether intrusive thoughts or intense self awareness, they would just run out of steam and slowly my fear of those would start to diminish.

  67. Alz Says:

    Mind chatter .. see the thing is you spot it . Anythign that creates this sudden surge of fear is not reality .
    Melissa and CHar we’ve done this before and we can do it now . In fact you both were the ones who gave me so much reassurance !!! Come on girls !
    Iv been reading Tara Brach and watching her YouTube videos . One thing that she said which really made sense is whenever there’s a thought tell urself it’s true but NOT real . All this mind chatter is true but not real . Reality is in the here and now . Not in these thoughts . U must have that faith . The thoughts are so real- images , memories , a mental film . BUT it’s NOT REAL .

  68. Alz Says:

    Nolan,
    The ‘Whatevr ‘ attitude comes after so much fear and practice . It also comes with this blind faith that now since I can’t stop it .. I’ll just let it be and leave it with god …

  69. Char Says:

    Nolan

    Thanks so much for your reply. I just can’t make that move to acceptance . I really get Andy j point about the tracks on the grass but I just can’t shift my mind set to one of so what. I’m currently very high on the anxiety scale at this moment and I am seeking out reassurance and focusing on anxiety – and I can just about accept that this is feeding the anxiety . But because I feel so panicky and dizzy and not eaten and my stomach churning etc etc it feels impossible to do anything else .

    It feels impossible to think ok this is fine I can cope with this if this is me forever then fine. I just want it to go away and for me to feel normal again as this is scary and I feel is ruining my life.

    Why don’t I get it – why aren’t I where you and andy j have managed to get to.

    This is not my first experience of anxiety – it has been on and off for a number of years – it’s either full on or fully off for me.

    Thanks all

  70. Jamie Says:

    Char Says:
    August 4th, 2017 at 10:45 am
    Jamie

    Hi. Some of it is just the way people learn – when someone explains something. We to me that’s not a good way for me to learn – I have to go away and think about it and read and maybe write it down. Is this something you could do so that you become more familiar with the task ?

    C

    Thanks for replaying Char.

    I totally agree – going away and reading something for myself is my preferred way of learning too. The problem is when the anxiety starts ramping up then I get more and more panicky and I just cannot think and feel like just getting in my car and driving home to get away from it all.

    The anxiety makes learning something 10 times harder than someone without anxiety I feel. I can’t just not learn new things because of this though. Imagine how I would get on starting a new job at a new place of work ? This is also why sometimes I feel like I am trapped at my current place of work as the idea of changing jobs makes me worry so much.

    If I was learning something at home in the quiet with no time constraints, it would not be so bad but it is being in a busy, loud office surrounded with lots of people and knowing that I need to get stuff done by a certain time that makes it worse.

  71. Daryl Says:

    Jeb,

    The thing you say about having a thought which may excite or should excite and then shutting it down with a “what’s the point” negative thought is me to a tee! That and the relationship anxiety too!

    It’s a relief to read Andy J and Nolan’s posts thought that this can still be tackled in the same way. Who cares if it’s depression or anxiety I trust that these people know that the theory works no matter the feelings. I have to accept that blogging and searching for answers to every symptom when I have a bad day is holding me back more than anything.

    I am going to try and take a break from the internet again and just try to immerse myself in life……..not anxiety which is what I am doing…..yet again.

    Good luck all! I just have to trust my feelings of excitement, anticipation, happiness and love will come back if I just stop looking for them.

    See you all in 7 days time. I’m going to have to suck it up face it, accept it for what it is and enjoy days out with anxiety as my best buddy!

  72. Belgian Says:

    All,

    just a check-in on how I feel now and what I have (yet again 😉 ) learned.

    These last few days things have normalized.

    I am no longer preoccupied by my anxious thoughts regarding my relationship. In fact, I see how useless all of this brooding is. Thinking about leaving my wife now makes me laugh instead of anxious.

    I have followed up on Paul’s advice, which is in fact the same advice I give to everyone. I have accepted to the best of my ability everything that presented itself and I still continue to do that.

    Next to that, I have had a good talk with my wife. I explained her once more what I felt and thought. It felt outright stupid to tell her that I had thoughts about leaving her while at the same time there are thoughts about growing old together.

    At first she was sad. Not because of my thoughts, but because the way they make me feel. We also acknowledged that we need more time with each other because there truly was some distance between us these last couple of months. After a while, we moved on to other topics and started to laugh. I felt reassured and lovey dovey. In the past I would have desperately clang on to this feeling only to feel panic the moment the feelings were ebbing away. Now, I let it go as I know this can’t be a state which you are in forever.

    It is true. I have a tendency to always think the worst. This is also exemplified by the above. A little bit of ‘distance’ and I was already having a divorce :-) . My first reaction to any impulse seems to be a stressful one. As stress kicks in my emotional reactions are stronger. These strong emotional reactions sometimes result in anxiety. When it does, my anxiety translates this into catastrophic thinking. My catastrophic thinking then leads the way for more catastrophic thoughts which induce strong emotional reactions once more.

    There you have it. The anxiety cycle.

    Now, how is it that although I know and truly understand this, I still get (sometimes) tricked into it?

    Understanding it doesn’t make you accept. It is not enough to understand it if you don’t accept. You can understand that a thought is rubbish, but as long as you still have the strong emotional reaction to it, you will feel anxiety. I think this is why my initial attempts to recover were not successful. I understood that my thinking was not based on reality, but I did not learn to cope with my anxious feelings.

    Acceptance does that. Having an open, welcoming attitude towards your thoughts creates the room for them they deserve. It ensures that you will be able to experience them without being so impressed by them. Without being totally identified by them.

    In my example above this would have meant that I were able to identify distance without immediately thinking (and living) the worst possible outcome. I would have been able to discuss this more thoroughly with my wife far sooner and might have come to the same conclusion as now but without a month of anxious brooding.

    I know how simple this sounds, but I understand even more that this is not in the least bit easy. And yet, it IS possible and EVERYONE can do this. Also you, when you are now saying to yourself: “I can’t possibly do this”.

    You know why I know this? Because – and this is crucial – dealing with your anxiety the way you are now dealing with it is even more difficult and painful than if you’d accepted it.

    How many hours/days/months did I lose by dealing with these emotions the wrong way? I can not count them. I am sure you can relate to that. How much energy do you spend on all of this nonsense? Try to imagine if you’d spend all of this energy to things that really matter. Acceptance leads you there. I assure you of this.

    It may take you a day, a month, a year or a decade. It doesn’t matter. We are all fallible humans following and creating our own path of success and defeat. If you accept also this, you can deal with setbacks as well. If you have a setback, don’t wallow in it and believe you’ll never recover. Obviously, you have done before so you will do it again.

  73. Mark M Says:

    Hey guys,

    Has anyone else dealt with health related anxiety?

    I overcame these issues three years ago after reading At Last A Life.

    Now, I’m back. I feel mentally blocked, brain fog, and blurry vision. I can’t enjoy or feel a sunny day if that makes any sense. I’ve been cleared by doctors, all refused to give me a MRI, as they say they wan to try and deal with the real issue of anxiety. the physical symptoms are scary. I’m applying Paul’s advice, just be nice to hear someone who has dealt with similar issues.,

    Mark

  74. Lauren Says:

    Hello everyone,

    This is my first time posting.

    I downloaded Paul’s book (bought the app) several weeks ago while waiting impatiently for an anxiety medication to kick in (it did not work). For the first time, while reading it, I had my “aha” moment.

    It was the first time the fear cycle had ever made sense to me and I decided right then and there that I was all in.

    Attitude: A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.

    Its freeing to know that while I can’t control the feelings I can absolutely change my attitude toward them. I am doing that by actively changing my behavior/habits. It does feel fake for the most part (because this is still very new to my sensitized body). My old ways of thinking do pop up but it makes sense as it takes time to see the benefits of new habits.

    The last week my body has just been ramped up 24/7. It is comforting to know that ‘set backs’ are just another part of recovery. To be seen as learning opportunities and cannot destroy the progress we have made (we are literally creating new neuro pathways our brains).

    Im just happy to know I am not the first to go on this journey.

  75. Victoria Says:

    Recently I have been having a very hard time dealing with new symptoms. I feel different then I have felt the previous 4 years and its hard. I developed panic disorder and find it harder to go places and be around people. Also when I am home I still never feel at ease. Even at home I feel panic, hard time breathing, dizziness, depersonalization, nausea, I think I always have a fever/headache, feelings that I need to go check myself into the hospital to get help and a feeling of being off (like I’m not comfortable in my skin/weird.) I also have thoughts like “I can’t live feeling like this anymore”, “maybe there is something medically wrong with me since these intense feeling came out of nowhere”, “what if I lose control,” “I feel so weird,” “what if I end up hurting myself (though I know I never would want to,)” “I don’t feel comfortable anywhere, not even at home,” “I feel far worse than I have ever felt before, I feel hopeless and far from normal, like something is seriously wrong with me,” and “I feel like a stranger in my own body.”

    These intense new feelings and new thoughts have made it really hard to get through the days. It seems the littlest thing can set me off and that I run almost the entire full day on high anxiety where it feels like I am about to have a panic attack but it never fully comes, its just extreme high anxiety/panic. I have maybe a good 10 minutes here or there through out some days but its mostly caught up in my anxiety.

    I have been trying to accept all of this but I am having the hardest time. I am at a lost. Its hard to be awake and deal with the intense feelings and feelings of weirdness. Its also hard when your confidence and independence have been stripped away and your world gets smaller. I hope I get on the right track soon because I seem to have lost myself.Yeah

  76. Anon Says:

    Mark, yes! I am actually wondering if anyone has any insight on exactly how anxiety causes these real symptoms. I’ve had vertigo, pulsating in my ear, trembling, scary thoughts. The ear pulsing went on for months. It only went when I made a firm decision that it just st another weird anxiety symptom and decided to ignore it. But it was real and loud before that. How do our minds/bodies do this to us if we rationally know we are healthy?

  77. Char Says:

    Victoria

    I have posted almost identical posts just above. ! Same thoughts feelings and weird feelings here also !

    Also feel like it is constant !

    It’s all anxiety – all under the same umberella as anxiety

    Probably doesn’t help but I am in the same boat totally

  78. Anon Says:

    Victoria me too. I was exactly like this. Maybe we can all help one another by sharing our best coping strategy. Mine is daily walks outdoors and recalling all the times I thought the world was ending and it didn’t. I remind myself that the longer this keeps going and The world doesn’t end the more likely it is to be anxiety. Anyone else?

  79. Melissa Says:

    Hey warriors, I was wondering if any of you have images or memories that stick in your mind and pop up at random times. I’m talking about harmless images.

    Thanks!

  80. Debbie Says:

    Melissa i do.

  81. Debbie Says:

    Melissa i have them.

  82. Mark M Says:

    Does anyone else feel significant strain in their head? Feels like i’ve gone blank and my mind has lost it’s resilliance to stress. Little things bothering me more and more.

    The thing is, i completley overcame anxiety 3 years ago, and pretty sure i had the same symptons, it just feels tougher this time.

  83. Si Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Yep I can relate to what you are saying and also being a previous sufferer it does seem a little tougher than before. This though I think is because we had it before and recovered, we didn’t expect it to come back, and if like me you thought this isn’t going to be as hard 2nd time around, perhaps it thought different and so we struggle more and actually fight (even though we try not too).

    If you seem my post further up from last week you’ll see I had a good few weeks clear and actually thought I had finally got through this episode, again how naive I was. Anxiety came back very strong with the old symptoms previously felt last year, even to the extent that I have lost 8lbs in a week through lack of appetite (on the positive its only the 8lb I put on whilst away).

    I also find myself on this blog too much again, strange how when you feel good you don’t seem to need reassurance, but in ‘the storm’ you NEED IT!! (well we think we do).

    Sorry that I am only relating to you and not trying to help in your recovery, however the only person that can help you (us all) is ourselves and in a funny kind of way that should be re-assuring.

    Wishing you all better days

    Si

  84. Mark M Says:

    Hey Si,

    thanks for the response.

    You’re totally right. I feel that this time I’m almost sulking at having to go through this process again. It was incredibly difficult the first time, but the reward was beautiful. No anxiety issues for three years.

    It’s been more difficult this time, due to me not believing it’s anxiety (all the usual fears) and the resistance to just accept that anxiety is what’s causing these symptoms.

    I burnt out a few months ago, and I’m now going through the slow process of recovery. but other things have compounded it. I went to an optician who said my prescription has gone up +2.5 in a few months, which is not unheard of, but still alarming nonetheless. This test of course happened during the height of my anxiety/exhaustion. So I’m wondering how much of it is down to that. Docs have given me the all clear.

    Having conversations with people feels like my brain is tightening up and closing in, becomes hard to concentrate. All symptoms I had before. They took time and patience to overcome.

    Yeah Si, isn’t it weird how it feels harder to go through it all a second time? My thoughts are like this ‘ surely I’m not lucky enough a second time for this to be just anxiety am I, it HAS to be something else?’

    Once again, I spent a fortune on docs and blood tests etc. I really thought Paul’s advice had seeped into my bones, guess we have a bit more work to do. But we will do it, let’s keep accepting.

  85. Danny O Says:

    What a sickness it is the extent to which we over complicate all this with the possibility of running around like headless chickens for decades in some cases.

    Paul has really summed it up well in one sentence; ‘you cannot feel what you don’t have inside of you’.

    ‘Anxiety’ is just us being afraid. It is raw naked fear. It’s remarkable how we so easily misinterpret that and start to see anxiety as some sort of ‘thing’ that randomly overcomes us, that we have no control over and that we need to live in fear of.

    In fact it’s those sorts of thoughts, that make one fearful in the first place and create anxiety.

    Anxiety, by fact, is merely the bodies response to fearful thoughts.

    The only hard thing about anxiety is, although it is merely just fear, the illness lies in interpreting that as harmful and then developing a phobia of fear if you will, a certainty in its ability to do something to you.

    We dig our own grave.

    Not caring is the way forward. Not being alarmed by how we feel and I feel we reach that when we understand this is JUST fear (and nothing else) and it is supposed to feel scary, motivating and crappy but that does not mean anything is going to happen.

    I wish I would have left this note to myself a year ago, I was always so afraid thinking I ‘HAVE’ anxiety and I lived in fear of this ‘anxiety monster’ but no, no one has anxiety, we all DO anxiety.

    Anxiety is an action; ‘to be afraid’ (in our thoughts), not some illness like a bodily disease/virus/infection that inhabits us involuntarily.

    This is all coming from us and our bodies are reacting just the way we tell it.

    So why play the whole senseless game of dealing with what comes after fear? That is to say if you are feeling fear and are afraid, what is the point to try and do anything from that standpoint, its just fear on fear.

    It makes sense that the solution is ‘do nothing’ as Paul preaches. Because if you are afraid, (once again, all anxiety is is you scared of something) to struggle or start analysing, thinking, freaking out, plotting a way out whatever it may be… is just to add more fear/sustain the fear you are already experiencing.

    Yep we are afraid when we feel anxiety. Anxiety is the feeling of fear, that there is some impending danger. It’s 100% normal and natural to feel that way in the circumstances. To see that as ‘something wrong’ is why we won’t leave it alone and will forever freak out about it if we don’t get that. Hence why Paul had made the point to illustrate how perfect the human body is.

    We are activating fight or flight through fearful thinking (normally about our anxiety and what it can ‘do’ to us), our bodies respond perfectly to that giving us motivating feelings, we then use that as a sign that something is wrong or that this whole thing happened by itself… which such a belief leads us to the scary thinking that generated fight or flight in the first place.

    Anyway, enough ranting from me. This was for me to blow off some steam but to help others too if it may.

    Best wishes to all.

  86. Victoria Says:

    I’ve been doing deep relaxation meditation and that seems to help me with my other anxious symptoms. Does anyone else sometimes feel like they have shortness of breath/suffocating/ can’t get enough air sometimes all day long. Even when you don’t feel anxious? That has been the one symptom that really seems to bother me. That and dizziness. But when I get shortness of breath I start to feel physically unwell. Hoping I’m not the only one. When this happens I start to think it’s some other physical issue causing it.

  87. Matt Says:

    Louise and Victoria, I’ve had and do have the same symptoms, exactly. I don’t have much to offer, but wanted you to know that you’re not the only one.

    Nolan, really hope you can give me insight to this question. I know changing your attitude will calm your mind over the long run…but I’m wondering if you noticed full body fatigue that took time to clear up as well.. I’ve had years of over stress and under sleep, and was wondering if you or anyone needed time to let their body recover as well.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

  88. Paul David Says:

    I think reading comments people are still looking for reassurance and a technique to be rid of a symptom.

    If you ask Nolan and myself we would have had a range of the symptoms mentioned here. Every one is different, so there will be a mixture, but they all come under the same umbrella, the individual symptoms don’t matter, what matters is your attitude towards them.

    Did I have irrational, non stop thoughts? Yes, what did I do about them? I tried to reason with them, shut them off, fight them, I identified with each one of them and took each one seriously. What did this do? It just increased the noise in my mind and created more thinking and hence a loop was created. What did I eventually do? I let my mind chatter as much as it wanted about what it wanted, I completely gave up and left it to it, I no longer tried to shut it up, did’nt take what it spouted seriously, didn’t get involved with it all. What happened? Well it rambled for a few weeks/months, but now with no fuel to keep the loop going it started to run out of energy and began to become silent.

    What did I do? Nothing, not a thing, I just left it alone to be as noisy and as frantic as it wished with no desire to change it. That is what true allowing is and why it’s so powerful.

    I felt huge rushes of anxiety, tremendous shifts of energy in my body, I felt fearful pretty much fear all the time. What did I do? I hid away, worried constantly about how I was feeling, went to numerous therapist and read numerous books, tried numerous tablets, I had to find a way to get rid of this anxiety, I needed it to go away to live my life again. What happened? Nothing changed at all, I spent years in this state, worrying and searching for someone or something to go away.

    I then realised one day that I was doing this all wrong, I could never get rid of something I was unwilling to feeling, it was impossible, every book, tablet and therapist was about trying to get rid of anxiety, So I asked myself, ‘what if I just allowed myself to feel it, what would happen then?’ So this is exactly what I did, for months on end, whatever the symptom, I just allowed it to be there, I did not judge it, did not try to change it, I felt every bit of it, willingly and it was tough, the habit to try and change and manipulate my experience was strong. I also realised that avoiding things was another way of refusing to feel something, but the outside world was not the cause of my anxiety, in fact it could be the cure as it just triggered inside me what needed to be felt. I realised deeply that this was the only way out, I could almost observe the energy within me, my body had tried to release it many times, but I always shut it off through suppression or fighting it. What happened by doing so? All the symptoms emerged that people talk of above, the energy had nowhere to go, so manifested itself in numerous ways, it had no choice.

    Was this a testing time? Yes emptying out all the stuff that I had avoided feeling and suppressed for so long was highly challenging and brought many symptoms for months. I would have days of calm and then it would start again until it pretty much reached zero and it had all left me and all the off shoot symptoms went with it.

    I can talk and write books all day long, but if people don’t actually take the idea up that this is the way forward then there is nothing more I can do or say. I have written articles and then see people do the complete opposite, like they say, ‘yeah that’s all well and good, now can we have have a technique please, a bit more reassurance’. The trouble is the all techniques are a tool for suppressing what you are feeling in this moment. That’s why they don’t work.

    The truth is, you think you want liberation from your thoughts and feelings, when in truth, it’s them that want liberation from you and for that they need to be allowed to felt, it’s such a simple logic that people tend to miss it.

    Recovering the right way takes some real courage, it takes a lot of faith and you have to go through a real storm for a while before you start feeling peace, there is no way around that, people want that answer that makes it all go away. That is the answer people will be searching their whole life for, I did not gain an understanding and then it was all over, I had to go through a real detox of feeling like crap for a while, I am sure Nolan will tell you the same.

    The best analogy I came up with to help myself was to imagine me sloshing a bowl of water around and then figure out the best way for it to settle, well there was only one way, all other attempts would fail, the only way, was to do nothing, just put it down and it would settle all by itself.

    You can either spend a life time avoiding and suppressing feelings or a short period of time actually feeling them fully. There is only one that will set you free, stop trimming branches and actually pull the root out.

    Paul

  89. Jamie Says:

    Boy, did I need that post today/this week Paul. Thanks so much !

  90. Char Says:

    Paul

    I am one of The ones looking for answers as I am consumed with anxiety. However I don’t hide or stay in – I’m away from the UK on holiday and I work and have hobbies. But none of it is helping in anywaya as the anxiety and fear are in my head and whereever my heads goes so does my anxiety .

    I keep waiting to see if I am going to have a lightbulb moment where I “get” it and acceptance – but it doesn’t come and then I wind myself up even more wondering what I am doing wrong.

  91. Stephanie Says:

    Hi Char,

    You said “I don’t hide or stay in..but none of it is helping.” Read again what Paul said – he left his anxiety alone, “with no desire to change it.” I know what you’re doing, because I’ve done it many, many times. You’re going and doing things, but the whole time you’re checking to see if it’s working, if your anxiety is leaving. That’s not the point. Living your life isn’t another technique. Its about doing whatever you want while taking all of your crummy, horrible, scary feelings with you – and not expecting them to leave! They can stay as long as they want. Don’t evaluate your success (so to speak) by how intense the feelings are or how long they stick around. If I need to go to the store but the whole time I’m there I’m sweating, nervous, wanting to run away, that doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s saying “yes, I feel awful and weird, but I have things I need to buy, so oh well!” At the time it doesn’t seem to be the right thing, but you just have to have faith. You have to give your feelings the space they need to do whatever they want, and with no judgment or expectation on your part. Be patient with yourself. It takes practice, as old habits die hard. But you’ll get there!

  92. Char Says:

    Stephanie

    Thank you. Yep I doIng it all the time because of the fear I feel. I keep thinking that there is an endpoint and I can’t possibly just be like this – and what if I just lose it infront of my kids or something . I keep on doing but I can’t just leave the anxiety alone – it s like I’m trapped in the circle

    C

  93. Anon Says:

    It looks like accepting is the hard thing to get to. What do you all think are the actual obstacles to accepting? Maybe if we can name the obstacles to being willing to let go and accept we can start to address them.

  94. Melissa Says:

    Dear Anon,

    I think as humans we are hard-wired to detect fear and then to try to run away from the fear. The anxiety that we feel (whatever the cause) provides us with A LOT of fear. Instinctively we try to fix it, solve it and run away from it…because well….it’s NOT comfortable. All of those things are innate. This is where the difficulty comes in when it comes to acceptance. How can we accept something we are hard-wired to run away from?

    Also, I think we feel like if we accept it it means that we are okay with living like this forever. Funny enough…it’s the complete opposite.

    Does this make sense?
    Sometimes I ramble lol

  95. Anon Says:

    I think you are right Melissa. I would love to know Paul’s or Nolan’s insights about the hard-wired instinct to run from these fearful feelings.

  96. Bryan Says:

    Melissa,

    What you’re referring to is what Claire Weekes called first fear. (Primal, in-built fear.). In general, this is not what causes most people to develop stress disorders or to become stuck. It’s the additional reaction to the first fear… the fear of the fear and then building a foundation of worry upon it all.

    So a personal example…

    These days things are usually pretty good for me but I get the odd storm that rolls through and it can look any number of ways. Today was day 2 of a storm and I had some strong dizzy/boaty issues with nausea etc. Very hard to endure.

    It came on gradually then peaked. My brain reacted with the usual fear and what ifs. I always feel some disappointment at this reaction considering how much I know about all of this but the primitive brain does what it does, like you said.

    But after that I had a choice. A few years ago I would have fretted, worried, looked online or at resources and made it the forefront of my day… eagerly waiting for it to go. Today I certainly didn’t like it and fussed a bit initially, but then slid into a mode where I decided to try to give it space to do what it needed. It was still miserable but I wasn’t ramping it up further by my own thoughts and actions. This allowed it to express itself and gradually did improve as the day went on. Some days it may not have improved. Today it did. But I committed to doing my best not to grapple with it.

    -It still sucked
    -I still had automatic fear
    -I did my best not to fuel the primal fire by creating additional attention and resistance.

    Hopefully the distinction I’m trying to point out makes sense.

  97. Fin Says:

    Hey , need some advice. So I am currently suffering from some thick anxiety and DP/DR, in a typical day I will wake up in the morning feeling spaced out , anxious etc . Throughout the day I will start to feel better due to socialising , exercising , being immersed in things etc, to the point I feel quite content but then I’ll go to sleep , dream all night long and wake up feeling anxious and spaced out again.

    This makes it very hard to keep my momentum going , As so many people have said the way out of DP/DR is to pay it no attention and ignore it but how can I do that when every morning the feelings are so strong

  98. Char Says:

    Bryan

    Your post resonated with me except that I am unable yet to adopt your let it be attitude. I have exchanged posts with you last year and a few years ago under the name Charlotte.

    Bryan, I am finding the acceptance so hard – especially in the mornings when for me the syntpoms are intense – ie can’t eat. How do you allow these intense feelings – mine are so intense I literally cannot eat for example

    Glad to hear you are doing well

  99. Roxana Says:

    Hi everybody :)
    I’m not one of the ones who already recovered, but I’m one of the ones that know they’ll do it 😉
    It started after I got my lovely kids and I wanted to control everything… at that time, I use to think that I can control things by overworring… today, thanks this ugly monster, named anxiety, I got convinced that worring is the most useless and harmfull thing you can do!
    So… I was quite anxious regarding everything, day in and day out…
    Had health anxiety for about 1 and half year and can tell it that it was not nice at all ? How I overcame healthanxiety?! ‘Simple’ as hell :) when everything (here I mean all possible tests, MRI, etc) got consumed and my symptoms were still there, my anxious mind had to find something else (health anxiety became something boring for it), so the new stage was with psychological ones :) thoughts about harming my kids, huge fear about geting suicidal, existential thoughts, insomnia (that was horrible, just like Nolan descirebed it as well), DR, DP, restlessness, feelings of burning on my muscles etc
    This breakdown with the psychological symptoms hit me 5 months ago… the darkest perioud of my life!!!
    Despite all these horrible feelings, I’ve never avoided anything, I went on taking care of the kids, doing everything that I was supposed to do, but of course, inside me was the strongest storm of my life.
    My father died when I was in the middle of the storm (before even descovering Pauls book) and if anybody could imagine… I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about my battle with my thoughts, even at the funeral :(
    It wasn’t easy at all…
    but in may, God helped me to find Pauls book and then I just started to understand everything and seemed like everything made sense…
    Unfortunatly I wasn’t yet prepared to follow his approach, but I felt some improvments in my attitude… even nowadays, it seems a bit hard to accept that I’m on my way to recovery, because my mind is so used to question everything… the only difference is that now, I started to like all these questionings :) why?! Because I can really see the lie behind them :)
    What I wanted to tell you is that today I have ALL the symptoms that I had in the past, but it feels almost good :)
    It’s just like Paul said… I can physicaly feel them like a detox procedure :) I feel them at a higher level, but with another attitude…
    I feel that whole body fatique every morning and in the same time restlesness (almost like my feets would like to run all the time), but I know it’s just a release… one that needs to come out somehow…
    what I would like to advice all of you is to stop puting so many questions about this subject… I was the one on top with this (Nolan knows it), but today I realised that the only thing you need to know and faith in, in order to regain your ballance, is that you’re NOT BROKEN and that TIME will bring ‘you’ back!
    Thanks Nolan for all your answers and also for the ones that you didn’t wanted to answer me :) I know they wouldn’t even been usefull and Thanks Paul for all the ‘aha moments’!

  100. Roxana Says:

    Nolan, with ‘they wouldn’t even been usefull’ I ment that I was trying to hard to get answers instead of allowing it, not that your answers haven’t been usefull. The ones that you answered me, were like water in the desert :)

  101. Anon Says:

    Char, I had that for months. I would literally just read this blog during mealtime and that helped me relax just enough to eat a little. I would find posts from other people who had appetite problems and read them while forcing myself to eat. Paul is a Godsend.

  102. Bryan Says:

    Hi Char,

    This is a long process for some of us. Paul makes it sound easy because he has a great way of breaking it down into the basics. His advice is all spot on IMO. But the details can be sticky and application can take time.

    Yes, I’ve come a long way and life is good overall. But believe me when I say some storms that roll through still really challenge me to allow and accept. It can be very strong. This current storm is putting me to the test. But at my core I do know the way and will return to what I know thr best I can.

    I hear you though. There is a lot of talk about acceptance and not as much talk about HOW… and how difficult it can be. But stick with it. Think about creating space for it to be there like Nolan talks about.

    Btw… mornings have also been my most difficult issue for my entire experience with this and my days followed the same pattern Fin describes. So you can see that experiences are similar even with just the few of us here.

    Keep at it. You will get better and find yourself moving on with your days despite the noise – more and more over time.

  103. Char Says:

    Bryan

    Thanks u so much I needed that so much . I think it was you last year who recommended Jim folk anxiety centre and I found a great councillor there. Is tricky with the timezone as she is in Canada . R u in Canada ? I’m in the UK but at the moment trying to enjoy my last few days of holiday in Spain.

    Please keep in touch Bryan I do appreciate it and have been tearing my hair out as to why I am still struggling

    C

  104. Stephanie Says:

    I’m like Bryan in that I still deal with difficult periods. Even on a daily basis I can get those blips – but like he said, there’s always a choice. I can either add to that initial fear by telling myself my day is ruined and I can’t function, doing nothing except counting down the minutes until my husband comes home and I’m “safe”. Or, I can say “oh hey here’s these feelings again…oh well, I have things to do” and then go do them. And if the feelings stick around, that’s ok. It makes life more uncomfortable of course, but I can still do what I need/want to.

    For a long time, though, I would respond the first way. Then slowly I started to realize that time was passing me by and I was just wasting it focusing all of my energy on how I was feeling. I don’t mean that in a negative, woe-is-me way – more of I was tired of letting how I was feeling dictating what I did. It certainly wasn’t changing how I felt. In fact I felt worse because I knew I was limiting myself, and my family as a result.

    I’ve learned to view anxiety as a blessing in disguise. It keeps me humble. It makes me a more empathetic person. It reminds me to slow down and focus on what’s important. It makes me more appreciative of the calm moments in life.

    Also, I used to have really horrible mornings too. I’d wake up early, fearful of the day, and almost always nauseous. This went on for months. Eventually I just accepted that this is how my day would start. I’d force myself to eat, nauseous or not. It was really, really hard. Some days I would be in tears from discouragement and despair. But I just kept going. I had no other choice. I knew I couldn’t change how I was feeling. Then at some point, my mornings got better. I couldn’t even tell you when or how. And now when I have those yucky mornings now and then, I know what to do: nothing! just get on with my day.

    I think for most of us this experience isn’t defined by one big ah-ha! moment. It’s in the daily decisions we make, the self-discipline to live our life, crumminess and all. At the time, it never feels like it’s making a difference. It’s not as if the feelings/thoughts suddenly disappear and you feel amazing. It’s often so gradual that you don’t realize it until one day you notice you haven’t felt x or y symptom in awhile. Then of course it will all come crashing back. So you pick yourself up again and continue. And you do this as many times as needed.

  105. Char Says:

    Stephanie

    Thank you. I’ve just had about 3 panic attacks in front of my kids and feel absolutely miserable and defeated .

    However im picking myself up to go and sit with them while they have a meal

    C

  106. Char Says:

    Stephanie

    I have read and read your post and will keep it with me – thank you and to Bryan so much .

    I’ve been out for a meal – I had one chip and 3 forks or rice – so the good news is I will lose weight!

    Stephanie thanks

  107. Anon Says:

    Amen Stephanie! My experience has been almost identical to yours.

  108. K Says:

    I have a question. Paul says let anxiety leave your body, just see it through, etc. and when it is fully released (in chunks overtime), it is impossible to feel it again except when you are supposed to feel it. I guess that would only work if you also change your mindset to being less worried about life in general? Because there would always be stuff to worry about (money, kids, relationships)… Please help me understand this point.

  109. K Says:

    Dear Paul,
    I would love your opinion please. I can very much relate to the fear of fear and through that understanding my fear significantly decreased. I do feel more comfortable in social situations that would make me want to hide years ago. I still feel uncomfortable with and intimidated by some people but I try not to attach to those thoughts and try to be myself rather than please those people as my earlier instinct would have been. Anyway, what I am getting at is that presently my anxiety mostly shows up in physical symptoms (headaches, muscle aches all over my body, TMJ pain). I get those 4-5 times a week, sometimes lose sleep due to pain. I do believe anxiety is the cause because medical doctors do not find anything else that is significant. I also have a good amount of stress in my life (taking care of a baby with my husband, quitting my job due to stress and feeling guilty about it, helping out my parents). I wonder if you have any special advice on handling physical symptoms. My main strategy is try and disregard pain, but it can be overwhelming and I end up crying a lot and feeling very sorry for myself because nothing seems to help.
    Thank you,
    K

  110. Anon Says:

    Sorry, I meant Kay, not May

  111. Doreen Says:

    Hello Nolan
    Back from various holidays, family matters and life in general.
    There seem to be a lot of people talking sense on the blog that not sure my
    ‘two peneth’ as we say in Yorkshire would add anything further.
    Just to reiterate the point that seemed to help Nolan way back is that all the various symptoms and weird thoughts that various people describe are indeed just manifestations of that same old, same old ……
    Some of you seem relieved to get an answer to one question than come back with another when in fact it is the same answer whatever the symptoms… live with them and accept them as being a fellow traveller and gradually they will lessen in intensity.
    And believe me, none of what you are feeling is unique and nothing about you is different to any other anxiety sufferer. That’s not meant as a jibe but more as a comfort I hope.

  112. Jamie Says:

    I always thought you were from America Doreen but you’re from Yorkshire. Good to see you back.

  113. Clara Says:

    Hi everyone I have just had a baby and I wouuld really appreciate some tips on how to cope with mouth breathing or shalllow breathing I guess that’s what I’m doing im constantly aware of my shallow breathing and my throat is constantly dried out horrible burning sensantion the doctors have reassured me my throat is fine
    It all started when I had a virus in pregnancy right near the end of my pregnancy I lost my voice and for some reason my anxiety went through the roof worried I would loose it forever and I had started googling voice problems which made it worse! My virus ended up lasting 3 weeks as I guess I wasn’t sleeping through panic and worry I finally had my baby girl 10 weeks ago and I’m sill so aware of the panic around my throat is my voice going funny, I’m checking my breathing constantly and am aware when it’s shallow and dry as my throat then burns and gets so so dry my lips sting and need cream on etc the only time I feel better is when drinking or eating as then I’m able to feel like my throat isn’t dry anymore.
    Anyone else going through this? I’m aware that dry throws feeling and shallow breathing is a symptom of anxiety but my question is how to deal with it?
    Whenever I have to talk my throat feels strained and dry and I start to feel like I have to keep gasping or breathing in air.
    I’ve tried deep breathing excercises and tried to calm my breathing with you tube videos breathing in for 3 etc but in all honestly they make me feel worse
    Please can anyone help? Absolutely love this blog and Paul helped me once before after the birth of my previous baby but back then it was obsessive thoughts around my baby have never had this breathing thing & horrible dry throat before. Would really appreciate some advice xx

  114. Clara Says:

    Hi everyone I wrote a message earlier but can’t see it showing
    I would really like you Paul to please talk about mouth breathing and over breathing it’s my main symptom along with the symptoms that then come with it that are bothering me. Aware of my cold harsh breath the horrible feelings of leaves in my throat the dizzyiness it brings and the panic
    I’m always worried why my voice sounds weird like I’ve been sucking in cold air
    I guess is the best way to explain it.

    It all started when I came down with a virus 3 weeks before my baby was due I had a sore throat and lost my voice for some reason loosing my voice Sent me into utter panic not sure why but instead of resting to get better I googled voice loss symptoms and had two doctor visits for resaurance it was in fact a virus. My baby is now 10 weeks old and I’m not sleeping due to this constant horrible cold air feeling when I breath I’m aware constantly of my breathing and this cold burning feeling in my throat I’ve started to get panic attacks too which although bothersome I’m aware of what’s caused them and how to just let them be there I’ve suffered them in the past.
    Please could you talk about this or I would really appreciate some kind of reply.
    I guess I’m not really looking for a fix for it I just would like to know how’s the best way to handle it and all I can ever find is advice about slow breathing or holding your mouth and breathing through your nose etc but I end up gasping and hyperventalling more when I’ve tried this.
    Thanks xx

  115. Louise Says:

    Hi I written on here before but right now im really struggling my nan passed away Friday and before tht I went through a stressful situation at home I think it all has caught up on me n now I feel totally worn out like im right back at the beginning im havin intrusive thoughts of selfharm and anxiety symptoms when this happens and jus need some advice for someone who has gone through this before as I jus started to have calm episodes I didn even notice tht the anxiety wasn there.

  116. Andy J Says:

    Hi guys,

    I know I’ve been largely positive for the last few weeks, but deep down inside I’ve been really low.

    I know some people suffer largely with anxiety and panic disorder, but I think I have a huge amount of different issues which seem to be really disturbing my way of life. I no longer have safe places where I feel comfortable. Having read Chris’ ‘a letter to myself’ I know this is meant to be a good thing, but I’m really finding it difficult just accepting how bad I actually feel. I also seem to suffer a lot at work, where I have a large amount of time to think and so now I absolutely loathe going to work. I find it much easier being away from there.

    Nolan, I know you’ve had depression before mate, do you have any advise, specifically towards low mood? I know I have a life to live, but when you are really not enjoying the majority of everything in it, it is only natural to become disillusioned.

    I’ve really panicked today. Thought about taking time off. Thought about getting some new tablets or going back to see my therapist, but know I’ve been there and done that and its had no impact for the better.

    Sorry to every one reading for being so negative, but just needed a place to speak.

    Thanks,

    AJ

  117. Fleur Says:

    Hi :)

    Maybe you remember me, I was posting about relationship anxiety. I have had anxiety since january 2015. I had almost every symptom (fear of mental illness, ROCD, HOCD, panic, fear of depression, strong physical symptoms…).

    But now? I am convinced I have depression. I had this fear for a long time, almost since the beginning of anxiety. I am scared, what now? Anti-depressants?

    This fear started since I had a thought “What´s the point?” “What´s the purpose of life, everybody will die anyway….” Very uncomfortable thoughts! And I have these thoughts for 1,5 year now.

    I always had a hope, that if I have anxiety it is curable and it is not so serious, but now I feel like i dont have a hope with this depression thing.

    I dont know if i have more symptoms, because symptoms are similar to anxiety BUT these depressive thoughts are with me everywhere and I am not happy, and cant enjoy anything. For example I have been on vacation and I didnt enjoy it, maybe it was because of anxiety, maybe it was because of these thoughts. Are those thoughts intrusives or major symptom of depression. What should I do?

    Is depression treatable? Or is it for the rest of my life? Should i go to a doctor? They will prescribe me AD I am sure. And I want to be happy by natural way.

    Thank You

  118. Char Says:

    Hi AJ

    I think if I read your post right you are saying you may have more depressive symptoms than anxiety ? When we are anxious the chemicals involved make it harder to feel the usual joy and happiness , so I believe this is considered low mood due to anxiety .

    I also would not consider it panicking for you to think about a different councillor or tablets – neither of these are negative things – some people can recover without – some people use both – I have and have no problem whatsoever in admitting it.

    Some times they work sometimes they don’t, sometimes they might work a little bit , just enough for you to be able to use your anxiety tools/acceptance.

    I hear you with the work thing – my job is similar – I try to focus really hard on my projects and sometimes it works and others not. Then I will try things like listening to Claire weeks cds.

    Hope u ok. aJ –

    C

  119. Lucy Says:

    Hey Paul,

    I was wondering if you could speak at all to the fear of flying (or phobias in general) ie: allowing yourself to feel fear in a situation that you literally can’t escape from.

    I’ve come so so so far thanks to your writing with general anxiety but still not sure how to approach flying without taking sedatives etc. I would love to know if anyone has been able to unlearn a specific fear like this!

    Thanks so much,

    Lucy

  120. Fin Says:

    Hey , is it possible for me to recover without telling anyone. I’ve had bad anxiety and DP/DR for 2.5 years and only ever told my parents the first week I started to suffer. I thought it had gone away after a week but I think it just eased up alot. The first year I felt very normal most of the time , probably about %90-95. But since then I’ve just been getting worse and worse. If I told any of my family or friends that I have been feeling this way for so long they would be very upset or think I’ve gone crazy . Should I maybe try and see a therapist or something for the sole reason of letting somebody know . Thanks

  121. Nolan Says:

    Hi Andy,

    You asked:
    “Nolan, I know you’ve had depression before mate, do you have any advise, specifically towards low mood? I know I have a life to live, but when you are really not enjoying the majority of everything in it, it is only natural to become disillusioned.”

    Then become disillusioned and still move about your life; doing what needs to be done in it and not falling into the despair of trying to will/think your way out of it. No more than you can will/think an actual storm to pass more quickly.

    Depression stains everything. We exhaust ourselves and add to the despair when we fight (vainly) against it. So don’t fight against it. And don’t brood more on the fact that you’re in this dark forest of doubt and torment.

  122. Sandra Says:

    Hello I’m new here

  123. Lavender Says:

    To Stephanie, really love your last post. It is beautifully written and I was much encouraged by it. Yes, there is no other choice but to keep on going. And ever so gradually, it gets better. There is despair when anxiety recurs, but once again, restart and keep going.

    To Fin, go ahead and tell someone about the anxiety. could be family, friends or therapist. We all need support. I once tried to hide it too – but as I needed to take time for counselling, I informed my colleagues. You might be surprised that folks are understanding and it goes a long way.

    To Fleur : Both anxiety and depression are treatable. Don’t lose hope. Just go ahead and seek professional help.

    To all here who are struggling : hugs… let’s press on. Most of us are not new to anxiety. It is nasty. I try to call her my friend. Thots / feelings / physical sensations are all kinda jumbled up. Hang on for the ride when it gets rough. relish in peaceful respites when they come. May not be today, may not be tomorrow, but one day, we will definitely be out of this, and look back with a grateful smile for everything

  124. Sandra Says:

    Hello looking back in the past I have had anxiety I have underactive thyroid and adrenal problems dr thinks it’s related .
    Any way I have dark thoughts popping up in my mind all the time I have grown up children I worry about them one is at uni has passed his driving test got a car has to drive a long way this has sent me to worrying non stop thinking the worse when I want him to live life and be happy . I worry about money all the time and panic about everything it makes life tough I’m not depressed just my mind telling me bad things could happen and there is trouble ahead . I told someone I feel like curling up in a ball and shutting the world out. My husband tries to understand and say we will be alright. My brain says other things it’s good to see I’m not alone

  125. Andy J Says:

    Nolan,

    Thanks so much for replying.

    I know that this is what I have to do. The issue I seem to get is, once I adopt this attitude and see some success, I then strive to replicate it, i.e. ‘do the same thing again’. The paradox being I didn’t do anything to get those small glimpses of the sunshine.

    Also, when adopting the ‘do nothing’ approach, I think I needed to clarify with myself what that meant. If I were to do nothing, i.e. continuing what I had been doing, then nothing would change. I’d still be reading in to things. Still obsessing, still fixing. Doing nothing for me actually meant changing the way I was dealing with things, i.e. when the thoughts come, not fighting them, just understanding they were the result of a sensitized mind and through months/years of habit. I’ve also found telling myself that ‘what else is there to try’? is a help. I’ve done all the thinking, all the trying to work out and its got me nowhere. One of the things Paul has said is ‘this is a battle you cant win’. Ultimately there is no one to fight other than yourself.

    All the best every one.

  126. Sandra Says:

    The doctor put me on sertraline I found it made me so tired and as I am the main wage earner I can’t afford to be sleepy at work I only took them for 2 weeks and still felt anxious I stopped them should I try again

  127. Ves Says:

    Hi Fleur,

    Fleur: “I always had a hope, that if I have anxiety it is curable and it is not so serious, but now I feel like i dont have a hope with this depression thing.”

    It is the hope that was preventing you to recover. Hope is future, and future is illusion. With a hope, we are just postponing recovery, pushing it little bit further into the future. And when future becomes present, with a hope, we move again into the future. We are happy in the future, but miserable in the present. So, dropping the hope is the starting point of recovery.

    Fleur: “This fear started since I had a thought “What´s the point?” “What´s the purpose of life, everybody will die anyway….” Very uncomfortable thoughts! And I have these thoughts for 1,5 year now.”

    To ask yourself these questions is a sign of doubt bubbling up. You label that as uncomfortable thoughts. But doubt is not the enemy, doubt is a friend. Don’t be afraid of doubt. The doubt is just saying that you have not searched within, hence doubt is there.

    You have searched outward, with help of mind. But mind is very logical and life is very illogical. Mind moves linear, on the straight line but life moves from one extreme to other extreme. One day we were happy, now we are miserable. So that’s why mind and life never meet each other. To give you an example: You have used the word “purpose” to inquire about the life purpose. Language and words are creation of the mind and therefore very logical. So therefore, only machines have purpose. Tractor has a purpose; hair dryer has a purpose so the inquiry about life can not be done through the mind. You must drop the mind.

  128. Mark Says:

    Hi there!

    I would like to introduce myself. I am mark and iam 23. i have anxiety for 2 years now. I discovered pauls book 1 year ago and i promised a soon as i make huge strives i will write a post to show u guys its not that hard.
    I see most people stuck with the same problem.
    I was the same person like you. I tried to distract myself, suppress, and think my way out of it till one day… i was drivong home and suddenly something came in my mind…. i’ve tried EVERY option but nothing works … what about feeling everything 100% . I only feared feeling it all the day for months – but thats the solution . After 2 months of hard symptoms , hard DP, hard stimach burning 24/7 i got 2 h reals peace ! Holy shit i was overwhelmed by it . The next day- setback . I cried 2 hours striaght and it was ok. I moved on i accepted that i will feel all symptims again for months. Thats the way to go ! But now read very closely to absorb every word i say. U need to seperate your daily thoughts from the symtoms. The symptoms you are feeling are from your past worries. If u accept them they will diminish. I REALLY ACCEPTED that this will be with me for months and i dont question it and i feel all the peace burried by the symptoms, which once relaeased fully , your peace will be back on the surface. So go on and let everything arise what should arise. Nothing will happen. Sometimes i walk around without fear but hard DP and its ok !!! It fealls shit but its ok. So please … acceptance is key. All that questioning makes your thoughts strange and disturbing but simply accept it. I have very hard symptoms, i wake up at 5, i cant feel the love for my girlfriend but its ok. This ad energy needs to be felt and all your emotions and peace will come back for sure. But accept it that it could take months for it. And to be honest – a soon as i accepted EVERYTHING it doesnt rule me anymore.

  129. Fleur Says:

    Thank you very very much Ves for your explanation.
    I read a book “Power of Now”. And it´s similar what you said. That our mind is not us, and we should live in the present…etc.

    I love this blog, because nobody in my family has anxiety, my boyfriend is my support, but he doesn´t understand. I had my psychologist she was kind, she always said that I am alright, that I don´t have depression etc. It helped for 1 day, but then I understood that this therapy was only about reassurance.
    I was always a complicated introvert and I had fears as a child. But it was normal, you know, I was happy, it wasn´t a disorder! Then at my university I had so much stress, I was always studying or stressing out and living at dormitory didnt help. It wasnt for me. And then panic attack came, lot of physical symptoms.
    And since then I have problems with my emotions, with my thoughts, feelings. It´s enormous. Now I have a good life. I have a non-stress job, family, boyfriend, new flat. And these thoughts are still torturing me. And I KNOW that the cause was stress from school. “I should be happy now, but I am not.” Then I fear depression. Because it is a sign of depression right? But still maybe those are only intrusive thoughts. And maybe I shouldn´t wonder that I am unhappy. Almost everyone with anxiety is! Because it is 24/7, exhausting. I have a free time at work, so this week I was googling about depression. I panicked like this is the end. In my mind are only negative intrusive thoughts. Sometimes ROCD is worse, then fear of depression, then physical symptoms. But all symptoms are lingering. For example ROCD is weak now, my fear of depression is reigning. But I kind of know that it will switch. It is the worst, everytime I accept one, next thing will start. I thought that I had everything and still a new symptom start.

    I want to apologize that I talk about myself so much, I know that it´s not nice but it is helping, when sometimes I can write here about my problems, and you understand.
    I know that I should accept, but Paul said that he understood his symptoms and then his fear decreased. But I don´t understand my symptoms, I fear of my condition as at the start and that´s why I have a problem to accept! For example, how can I accept that this CAN be depression too, not only anxiety. But when a person has a depression they should take ADs. So how can I accept this fear. Shouldn´t I leave this anxiety forum and start to take ADs and go to doctors? My fear of depression is anxiety but WHAT IF i have depression? I accepted symptoms that I had 2 years ago (ringing ear, panic attack, nausea]. BUT new symptoms are everytime worse and worse and more unique for me.
    BTW I will try 5-HTP, I am ordering it right now.

    Thank you and I am so sorry for negativity. I will not write here more, because I know its reassurance, which I need right now.

  130. Mark Says:

    Fleur:
    I also had this fight with this thought (depr.) but then i met a person who is really struggling woth depr. And i saw that this suffering is very different.
    When u compare anxiety woth major depr. U see that they are two different parties.

  131. Mark Says:

    And i forgot something for Fleur :

    Anxiety goes round in circles : on thought passes -> the next weill come ! Thats how ur mind releases all the energy from them.

    And stop searching ! What do u want do find ? The reason i get that harsh is that u r stressing u further out.

    Accept ur feelings, symptoms, thoughts … they will gwt stronger but thats the sign u r right.

    When u

  132. Anon Says:

    Hi Fleur. I can relate to what you are saying. I have asked myself exactly the same things. The answer to all these questions is always the same: so what? And so be it. and don’t keep checking if you are feeling better or not. The symptoms will still be there for several weeks but that’s how it works. Always the same answer. So what or so be it. No other answers and go on about your day. It takes time for the symptoms and thoughts to stop. Like a broken leg. Trust the process. It is very uncomfortable and you are actually ok. Ease off the deep thinking for a while.

  133. Matt Says:

    How bad can fatigue get with anxiety? I feel very fatigued to the point where I’m worried something might be medically wrong. I’ve had blood work done before, and mostly everything comes back normal, and the doctor just writes it off. Not sure whether to pursue that more, or just accept. It would be easier to accept if I know others have had significant fatigue as well. Thankes!

  134. K Says:

    Hi Matt,
    I believe fatigue is just one of the symptoms. It makes sense because we walk around or lie around or sit around and probably sleep thinking and thinking and thinking – this is where all of our energy goes. No wonder that we are so tired. My tests are also all normal but I am having the worst few weeks. Some days I cry and feel sorry for myself. But today I decided that I will do what I need to do despite all the pains and aches and despite being upset over them.
    That said, I think it helps to have a balanced diet (more vegetables and less fatty foods), drink more water and exercise (whatever you enjoy).
    Kind wishes,
    K

  135. Matt Says:

    K,

    My problem and concern is because I have always exercised…but over the past few years, I just can’t do As much and get fatigued quicker. Paul said running helped him feel better, but I can’t say the same. Being concerned about a medical condition is preventing me from allowIn general anxiety. So was trying to figure out exactly what anxiety fatigue looks like. Thanks!

  136. K Says:

    Matt,

    I am not a big fitness buff (I enjoy light exercise and stretching), but I do know that light pain and tiredness caused by exercise is enjoyable or, at the very least, I do not mind it. So for instance, if I take a few laps in the swimming pool at my gym, I feel drowsy and tired but it’s “good” tired, I love it, I feel satisfied. The fatigue that I hate (and I believe that makes you uncomfortable) is the one caused by anxiety. It’s nagging, painful and annoying. You want it to go away. It’s fatigue of the mind drained from going around in circles. And it is that trapped energy that wants to leave your body.

    I think there might be things that can help you with your fitness fatigue (maybe eating protein after exercise or taking vitamins or maybe slowing it down a bit if you overdo it or giving your body a break every other day or changing your routine and see how it goes), but the key is to enjoy the type of fitness that you do, take care of your body (eat healthy and do right exercise at the right time), and TO NOT THINK HOW IT IS GOING TO HELP with your anxiety sensations.

    Let’s make a commitment – over the next couple of weeks, we will plow through our days despite any discomfort we might feel. In other words, over the next two weeks, we are refusing to spend any energy on wondering whether or not we have a hidden medical condition and what exactly causes the fatigue that we are feeling at the moment. I am feeling physical pain and losing sleep, but I will give myself a break and focus on the nice whether, my 11-month old, and my swimming. What will you do?

    Talk soon,

    K

  137. Jude Says:

    Fleur,

    Anxiety is the body’s way of perceiving danger, threat, etc. Anxiety is hard wired into us for our protection. So let’s say you are walking down a dark alley one night and suddenly you notice two figures down toward the end of the alley. You would naturally feel sudden anxiety and wonder if you are safe continuing down this path and the anxiety there in that situation may just save your life.

    Now with anxiety disorder, your body is firing off the same warning signs but now it is defending itself against anxiety. To feel anxious itself is a threat just like those shadowy figures in the alleyway.

    To diffuse this fear, one must feel it and only by feeling it will it fade. What if you are depressed? Okay, fine so you are depressed. Is that such a bad thing? With all of your endless struggling how could you not get a little depressed. Anxiety in this situation is making depression the shadowy figures in the alleyway. Anxiety is perceiving depression as a threat not as a totally acceptable human response to so much struggle. The mind wants to figure out what this threat is and completely annihilate it so you no longer feel the way you are feeling. But what would happen if you slowly came to peace with the feeling of anxiety itself, purely just the feeling of fear? No attachments, no puzzles, no judgement, just a feeling. I promise you that you are okay and that all your feelings are normal under the circumstances. I can say that to you and that may reassure you and for the moment and that is a good start, a tired mind deserves a break and if some form of reassurance gives your mind that initial rest then so be it. After that rest you get from the reassurance though the anxiety will start again and it is what you choose to do with it then that will pave the way of your future with it.

    Do you want to continue to look for an answer when no answer is the one that will set you free?
    The shadowy figures don’t exist, only feelings do. Are feelings such a bad thing?

    I know all this is sooooo hard, i deal with this myself but again i promise you that if you start to just allow yourself to be whatever it is you perceive yourself being with no resistance you will only ever end up being yourself and that is a very good thing.

  138. Fleur Says:

    Hi Anon.

    Thank you so much. I will not check if I am better or not anymore. I will change my approach. I know that we should DO NOTHING, but at first I must change my behaviour, my bad habits. Those are looking for reassurance at Google, constant checking my feelings and symptoms, deep thinking and analysing of my unhealthy thoughts.

    My symptoms are changing and repeating again every other day and I must see this loop for what it really is. Anxiety. I read your posts Anon, and I know that you have physical symptoms too. I have mental and physical at the same time. I thought that I overcame physical 2 years ago, after I read Paul´s book. And those symptoms never come back. But I have new symptoms /twitching, brain zap, pains, numbness, blurry vision…/. But it is ok. I see it for what it is. I trust the process now. I hope that you are doing well.

  139. Fleur Says:

    Jude, thank you for your positive comment, I appreciate it. I am better now, I stopped with googling yesterday and although my fear is still lingering a little, I am more calm now. If it´s depression, be it, I accept. You know, I had strong fear this week because of this depression thing, so now, when my fear decreased a little, I have strong physical symptoms. Like hard to breath, panic at night, blurry vision. I know that my body is exhausted.

    Exactly, our fears are like shadowy figures in the alleyway. I have a rest now, thank you for your reassurance. When my anxiety will worsen again I´ll accept.

    Thank you Anon and Jude.

  140. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just another quickie from me.

    I think the whole ‘do nothing’ can be sometimes a bit misleading. I think you do need to do stuff. You need to live your life, not just live your life by how you feel or what the thoughts are telling you.

    Ill give you an example. This week I’ve been really down in the dumps, afraid to go to work, a bit nervous being alone, just wanting to shut the door of my house and be ‘safe’.

    Lets look at that:

    1 – Of course I am down in the dumps, I have been trying to beat an undefeated opponent in anxiety. It is after all the fighter that can not be beaten. Rather than trying (in vain) to beat something, I should never enter the fight. I might not feel great straight away, but at least I wont be even worse, defeated, deflated etc.
    2 – If I didnt go to work, what else would I be doing? I’d be sitting at home wondering why I feel so bad, what else can I do, will I ever be well again. If I go to work, I’ll more than likely have the thoughts still there, but I might just get lost in my work and naturally be able to get on with my day.
    3 – If I shut the door to the world, what am I doing? Am I showing that this is just anxiety? Or am I making my world so small that nothing can get in, in the attempt to make myself feel better? Is this the way some one without anxiety would behave? Of course it isn’t.

    Now if I had taken that approach, I would still be doing nothing about my anxiety, but I wouldnt be filling my life with anything else.

    One of the things I’ve really noticed is my automatic response to thoughts. Sometimes I automatically respond to them, worry about them, get those physical symptoms of shock or the ‘here we go again thoughts’. But what can I do about them? NOTHING. I can’t stop something which is automatic. What I can influence is my reaction after them. I can tell myself that these are all automatic thoughts, they are just anxiety, they are a result of years of sensitization and I can continue with my day. Yes they’ll keep coming back but I’ll keep acknowledging that there is nothing I can currently do about them.
    The other approach would be to fight back, argue, try to figure them all out. And where would that get me? Nowhere, and probably a whole lot worse.

    I have up’s and down’s and know just aswell as any one on here that changing a habit is difficult. But thats all it is.

    Hope this helps some one.

    Andy

  141. Anon Says:

    Hi Fleur. Yes I have both mental and physical symptoms too. They are fading over time. This time last year I was totally immobilized with them and now I am doing everything again. You don’t actually notice the symptoms leaving you. You only notice when you go into a shop you haven’t visited in a year and after you finish your shopping with no problems you suddenly remember how the last time you were dizzy in this shop and panicked and could not breathe. That is when you understand that your nervous system has calmed down in the last 12 months. The nervous system activity is reduced like with a dimmer, not an on/off switch. It will reduce activity on its own if you just step back and give it a bit of a break. You will still be uncomfortable and feel bad for a while but Jude is correct about the process.

  142. Roxana Says:

    It’s a physical symptom that annoyes me so much… the noise inside my head…I have like an engine that is running inside my head all the time…I can ignore it during the day, but if I want to hear it, it’s always there… I’m not focusing on it since I have it for 1 and half year (have been to MRI and e erything was perfect)… I know it’s just anxiety, sensitiesed nerves, too stressful… but still I would love to know if someone had it and if Yes, if it went away…

  143. Ves Says:

    Hi Fleur,
    You are welcome.

    Fleur : “I know that I should accept, but Paul said that he understood his symptoms and then his fear decreased. But I don´t understand my symptoms, I fear of my condition as at the start and that´s why I have a problem to accept!”

    Your symptom is your strong fear. Object of the fear is not important. Paul is right. It is only your understanding that will dissolve the strong fear. One has to see the foolishness of it. It is not a question of resolving it. One has to see the ridiculousness of it, then it falls away like a leaf in the fall.

    It is not resolved by the mind but t was just dropped. Mind is very cunning. It will trick you that understanding come through the mind. When we say the word “understand” it implies that mind resolved it. But mind just took a credit for it. It was your emotional center – heart, that felt the fear and dropped it. Feeling the fear is the process so it takes some time. Patience is needed and during that process you will get to know yourself a lot more. So, it is not a waste, it is a growth.

    Fleur : “I read a book “Power of Now” and we should live in the present”

    Do you practice living in present?

    It must be practiced. Just reading will not do it. It is the same with acceptance. It has to be practiced. It is good to read books, comments on the blog to grasp the concept at the beginning. But once we “get it”, it has to be practiced.

    Acceptance must be practiced in totality otherwise it is bargaining. We say that we will accept someone else fears, someone else symptoms but not ours. Ours are too much. That is bargaining. That will not help. Our fears are specifically designed for us. Or we put a time frame how long we want to suffer. That is also bargaining. Acceptance has to be unconditional otherwise it is not acceptance.

    Keep smiling, and keep relaxing as much as you can. I have to go now.

  144. Clara Says:

    Hi everyone
    I’m really hoping someone can help me my symptoms
    Of anxiety seem to be odd and different to ones I’ve read on here
    I have this odd shallow breathing that comes on constantly guess it feels like I’m mouth breathing it overwhelms me at times along with blocked ear sensations and dry heavy eye feeling
    I have a new baby and I’m struggling to sleep, get on with my day as these symptoms overwhelm me
    Just wondering if anyone else has experienced these same symptoms?
    It is these symptoms that are frightening me the most :(
    I am otherwise happy and very much wanting to love my life

  145. Fleur Says:

    Anon and Ves :), thank you.

    No, I didn´t practice my living in present. Thanks for your advice, I will try to practice and not only read about it without effort.

    I had a fear and feeling of depression last week, you know, I wrote here about that. I was convinced that I had it. Thanks to you, I have a rest from that. Mentally I am better now, I have a more strength to start with accepting. I am left with strong physical discomfort. I am not afraid. I was with my family to celebrate cousin´s birthday and I had an urge to run home all the time I was there. I was so nervous, on the verge of panic for a whole weekend.

    My cycle is like this: When I don´t have a mental symptom, I have strong physical discomfort. It is like I can´t have a 1 normal day. Do you have something similar?

    I am so nervous inside, that it is almost impossible to sit or lie still. For example when I want to relax and watch a movie, I simply can´t. I love reading “game of thrones”. I tried to read but my nervousness is rising, that I must stop with reading. These activities are great for people to relax, but for me, my stress is rising. I don´t understand how a relax activity can cause me stress. Do you know these feelings?

    I think that exercise and meditation could help. Not like a crutch, but I actually like swimming and cardio. I don´t want to use these things like a technique but I think for a nervous system it is a good thing.

    And of course I try to change my approach and I try to accept more and more.

    Thank You.

  146. Will Says:

    Hi everyone,

    For the past week or two I’ve been experiencing an onslaught of anxious symptoms. It started as a lump in my throat for a couple of days, then as soon as it disappeared I’ve been lethargic, had stinging headaches mostly in my temples, felt sick now and again, palpitations, dizzy spells and more, not to mention the occasional fearful churning in my stomach. They all come and go at random but the tiredness in particular is getting hard to ignore.Can anyone else relate or is going through something similar? It just helps to hear from other people.

  147. Matt Says:

    I’m sure this has been covered somewhere else, but I couldn’t find it. Anyway, does anyone feel short of breath, even if their anxiety is lower? I assume it’s another anxiety symptom, but just wanted to know if it’s not a symptom. Thanks!

  148. Andy J Says:

    Hi Matt.

    Breathlessness can definitely be a symptom of anxiety.

    When I had full blown health anxiety I had every symptom going. Eye floaters, breathlessness, head pressure, headaches, chest pains etc etc. You name it I had it.

    Although I still have issues with thoughts and feelings, I can truly say I do not suffer any health issues anymore. It was at a point where I was on first name terms with the receptionist at my local doctors. I couldn’t watch any health programmes or read any articles.

    I honestly couldn’t care less about them now. If I get the odd twitch here or there then it just doesn’t bother me.

    No two people have the same symptoms. They are all unique to you. By all means if it persists visit your Doctors. I suffer from asthma so have regular check ups anyways, it’s entirely up to you.

    All the best.

  149. Mark M Says:

    Hey guys, has anyone experienced the brain fog symptoms? (Slow thinking, fatigued head, emotional numbness) Did it take you long to come out of it? It’s the last thing left for me and it’s been getting me down a lot. Just really need to know that others have experienced similar. Hope you are all recovering well.

  150. Steve b Says:

    Hi Mark. I call it my stress head. Like a big head band wrapped around my forehead very tight. I still get it. One of the last symptoms to go.

  151. Belgian Says:

    Hi All,

    I just have read “the power of now” by Tolle and this other book “the subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson.

    While the book of Tolle tends to be a little bit too esoteric for my taste, I really like the phrasing of Manson.

    Both books basically had the same message to me.

    They reminded me that a “good” life also involves pain, suffering, tears, doubts and agonizing uncertainty. And that this is perfectly fine.

    As long as I resent and thus keep fearing my anxiety, I will never fully recover. I have lost my fear of all the bodily sensations. I truly can’t be bothered by skipped heartbeats, shallow breathing or headaches. They are unpleasant but I don’t stress about them.

    What I still resent and fear are my anxious thoughts and the way they make me feel. This glowing feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am always so ready to believe them and identify with them.

    I see more clearly now that my anxiety keeps me from experiencing the truth. The truth that perfection doesn’t exist and that true meaning only can come through sacrifice. The truth that I never was, am not and won’t ever be in full control of the things that have happened or will happen in my life. I know all of this is true, but I still tend to avoid to accept these truths.

    Being conscious of this, for the first time I really am committed to investigate what I truly find important and what I find dysfunctional in my life. I feel empowered by this concept as this is something which I can control as oppose to the anxiety which I tend to feel.

    When I read my own comments on here and the comments of most of us, we are so fixated on these anxiety symptoms. Constantly looking to have them confirmed as a symptom, to be reassured they will leave us, to seek comfort in the recognition of suffering by others. I don’t want to judge this and it at times it helped me to get through the darkest moments.

    BUT at some point, this has to stop as it is wasting so much of our energy and time. Time and energy that actually could be used more constructively.

    I would never have come to this conclusion without anxiety. Without it, I would have lived my life totally in denial and cut off from my own feelings. Anxiety now offers me the opportunity to reconnect with myself. I am glad that I can do this in my 30’s and not have to wait until I am on my deathbed :-)

  152. Mark M Says:

    Nice one Steve. Everything just seems cloudy at the minute. I remember four years ago this being the last thing to go. Just need to keep myself from buying into thinking it is something else.

    Hope you’re recovering well man.

  153. Anon Says:

    Hi Fleur. Good for you for going to your family event alongside the anxiety. Everything you describe is typical anxiety symptoms. When you just allow the feelings of needing to get away, they will calm down over time. Keep going to your events and you are doing great

  154. Sandra Says:

    Hi sertraline calmed me down then a few days later I was back anxious and trembling and scared of everything again

  155. Alz Says:

    Hey everyone …
    So im continuing to do evrything and i guess my initial anxiety was about starting school . But i mean why the continuous thought that i have gone mad or am losing my mind? The mind chatter is constant especially when im reading or playing games like sudoku – there will be continuous thoughts that i cant read or cant play the game .. im also doing everything but on auto..
    need help

  156. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Another quick post from me.

    Things still aren’t great for me. I am living my life, getting on with the things that need to be done, but I just dont feel with it. I also dont have my ‘safe place’ any more. I used to find getting home would give me that little respite I needed, but even now my anxiety flares up, regardless of where I am. I guess all I want is for some one to tell me everything is going to be alright.

    I know its counter productive, but I’ve been analysing how I’ve got to this stage. It all started with a daft one night stand many years ago, and the assumption I had HIV. Am I really being punished for that one mistake I made? Since then my anxiety has gone from health anxiety, to generalised anxiety to the current cruel and callous obsessive thoughts. Baring in mind this has been ongoing since 2006, I am understandably at the end of my tether. In a kind of ‘whack a mole’, I deal with one issue and another arises. I have to continue living my life, but even doing normal things now is filled with anxiety and stains how I feel. ‘Will the thoughts come again today?’, ‘will I obsess when I get in’, ‘I cant go to that place, as I know Ill be full of anxiety’, ‘should I stay on tablets’, ‘am I accepting or fighting?’. Thats just a sample of what goes on in my head.

    I long to get better. But I can’t live the rest of my life like this. Each day is painful. I’ve forgotten what its like to be happy or even look forward to things. I get some small enjoyment at times but even then it doesnt take long for the feelings to resurface.

    I just dont know if following Paul’s advice is going to work for me. I have tried it as long as I can and I’m still in the same position if not worse.

    Sorry for the whinge, needed a vent.

    Andy

  157. Debbie Says:

    Andy my anxiety started the same with me health anxiety and i do have to leaky heart valves which cause irregular heart beats at times and it puts me inpanic i feel just like u do day in and out some days better than others i can become fearful of everything i feel iam just existing. Hang in there andy and hugs to all who feel this horrible way.

  158. Stephanie Says:

    Andy,

    I think the best place you can be in terms of anxiety is where you are: no safe places. Why? because then you’re forced to face your anxiety and feel it in its entirety – all the awful feelings, all the horrendous thoughts. This is what Paul tells us over and over, but what we don’t want to hear: we have to feel all of anxiety for as long as it wants to be there. The key, though, is that this isn’t another method to feel better. And I think that’s how you’re still viewing it. Believe me, I know how hard it is to put that expectation aside. But you have to. You have to come to a point where you say, “That’s it. I’m done letting anxiety dictate my life. Let it rage and scream at me, make me feel awful and weird. I’m still going to live my life. I have things to do, people counting on me. Even if I feel this way forever, I’m living my life.” But you have to get to this place on your own. You can read the best, most perfect advice, but until you have the faith and the courage to actually live it, the advice will just be words on a page. I believe you’ll get there. But it takes time, and action on your part. So what you feel awful? Go live your life. So what you have thoughts that torment you? Go live your life. So what you’ve had this for x number of years? Go live your life. Take that defeat you feel and turn it into motivation to take your life back, anxiety or no anxiety.

  159. Andy J Says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks (again) for your response.

    You’re right, I’m still allowing to try allow to feel better rather than to get on with my life. Perhaps I’m feeling so bad because I am actually allowing those feelings to be there for a change rather than chasing them away.

    Thanks again.

  160. Jude Says:

    Andy,

    You brave brave soul. First thing i want you to do is take a bow. You really need acknowledgement of just how brave you are being. The suffering that comes from anxiety/depression can truly be immense and the reason for that is because it is from ourselves. When we have something bothering us that is outside of our selves we can move away from it, drop it from our lives. When the suffering comes from within, it’s there all the time, dogging our every step.

    Now, here is what i think is happening with you. I think you are still looking for a destination, a place you must eventually get to. That is putting extra strain on yourself and extra pressure which will just increase your anxiety. It is like Stephanie said “expectations”. As hard as this is there can and should be NO try in Paul’s method. There is just his method. Give up on it, give up on trying to do anything about it your feelings, just begin to feel them and as you said maybe you are feeling worse because you are finally experiencing these feelings instead of running from them. I believe this is a very important step, a very difficult one ass well. To feel better we must first feel a little worse. Think of anticipation for a moment, just think of it’s very purpose. To be alert of something coming. Now we worry and worry that things will only get worse and we are then stuck in a loop of trying to move forward yet frozen because of what looms in our dreaded future. Let things get worse, let it all come down. Only then when your hands are off the wheel will relief find you.

    Again, please give yourself some compassion, you are much braver than you think, quite heroic actually. You are trying your best to stop the wave from crashing upon you but deep down you know that act is impossible. Better to let the wave do what the wave will do. The other key here is that of course by doing that you will be filled with feelings of failure. The wave crashed upon you even after all your trying to stop it. It’s only natural at first to feel failure when we feel we have failed at something, it’s only after failing and failing again do we learn that maybe there is a different approach and that is the seedling of hope in this situation. Fail my friend and then fail again if you must until the new way opens itself up to you.

    Compassion is key, you are doing great things here, believe me. Your anxious state is just tricking you, it means well, it is trying to protect you. The protection isn’t needed though and you will see that and feel that only after the wave crashes.

    Remember, no expectations, especially at first. Just be with your feelings, just be with all the madness and sadness. Just be.

  161. Stephanie Says:

    That’s a good thing, Andy! When we let the feelings/thoughts be, there is often an increase because they’re finally allowed to come at full force. But again, that’s a good thing! Eventually they’ll fizzle out (doesn’t matter how long) because we’re not suppressing them inside, running around doing anything and everything not to have to feel them. So understand that you’re going to feel however you’re going to feel – you don’t have to like it, the fear can even still be there – but keep living your life. In other words, don’t wait for yourself to feel ok to live your life. Even if the fear never leaves, as long as we don’t let it stop us, that’s all that matters.

  162. Jude Says:

    Sorry, my keyboard has an uncanny ability of adding an extra “S”. thought i got them all but i missed one it seems, a pretty big one. :)

  163. Andy J Says:

    Jude, Stephanie,

    Thank you so much for replying.

    I am really grateful for your support.

    I know what I have to do.

    All the best

    Andy

  164. Lavender Says:

    Hi Andy J,

    Big hug! As what stephanie and jude had shared, it is indeed a futile struggle. We know it yet we continue to resist / struggle / fight it with all that we have.

    Claire Weekes wrote about this ‘peak of experience’. That is to let all the physical symptoms, thoughts go full blown and just be there with it. And at the peak of the experience, there is simply nothing to do but to completely surrender to it. Tell yourself – go ahead, let these all rage on. Becos deep deep down inside, you are still ok! This storm – let it rage on, it will not destroy you. It is still pretty horrid, very very comfortable, but it is ok. Just press on… Then slowly but surely, moment by moment, you will find it doesn’t matter. So go on, live your life. Make it bigger than this anxiety. Press on!

  165. Louise Says:

    Hi jus looking for aoe advice, I am a lot better thn I was last year im still not 100% but im getting there slowly the thing I wanna know is I have perioda where I feel like im fee and back to my old self but thn I start thinking oh no what if iv gt a personality disorder or bipolar, I know its anxiety tricks im just wondering if anyone else has had this through the end of recovery
    Thanks louise

  166. Alz Says:

    Hey everyone …
    So im continuing to do evrything and i guess my initial anxiety was about resuming work ( had holidays since I work at a school ) . But i mean why the continuous thought that i have gone mad or am losing my mind? The mind chatter is constant especially when im reading or playing games like sudoku – there will be continuous thoughts that i cant read or cant play the game .. im also doing everything but on auto..
    Iv actually reached the point where I’m living but also resigned to losing my mind. There’s too much strain on trying to control the thoughts or even accept them since they’re constant

  167. Char Says:

    Hey Alz

    I can assure you mine can be constant aswell – well it feels constant anyway.

    I know tha Alz this will stop for you and for me – I know it will – in the meantime as we can’t stop it we need to try to life alongside it.

    And to take as much care and understanding of ourselves as we can.

    I am in the same position as you please believe me .

    C

  168. Alz Says:

    Thanks char! <3

  169. Roxana Says:

    Hi everyone :)
    Is it anybody that is dealing with ringing ears/permanent noise inside the ears/head?

  170. Roxana Says:

    Hi everybody :)
    I’m not one of the ones who already recovered, but I’m one of the ones that know they’ll do it ?
    It started after I got my lovely kids and I wanted to control everything… at that time, I use to think that I can control things by overworring… today, thanks this ugly monster, named anxiety, I got convinced that worring is the most useless and harmfull thing you can do!
    So… I was quite anxious regarding everything, day in and day out…
    Had health anxiety for about 1 and half year and can tell it that it was not nice at all ? How I overcame healthanxiety?! ‘Simple’ as hell :) when everything (here I mean all possible tests, MRI, etc) got consumed and my symptoms were still there, my anxious mind had to find something else (health anxiety became something boring for it), so the new stage was with psychological ones :) thoughts about harming my kids, huge fear about geting suicidal, existential thoughts, insomnia (that was horrible, just like Nolan descirebed it as well), DR, DP, restlessness, feelings of burning on my muscles etc
    This breakdown with the psychological symptoms hit me 5 months ago… the darkest perioud of my life!!!
    Despite all these horrible feelings, I’ve never avoided anything, I went on taking care of the kids, doing everything that I was supposed to do, but of course, inside me was the strongest storm of my life.
    My father died when I was in the middle of the storm (before even descovering Pauls book) and if anybody could imagine… I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about my battle with my thoughts, even at the funeral :(
    It wasn’t easy at all…
    but in may, God helped me to find Pauls book and then I just started to understand everything and seemed like everything made sense…
    Unfortunatly I wasn’t yet prepared to follow his approach, but I felt some improvments in my attitude… even nowadays, it seems a bit hard to accept that I’m on my way to recovery, because my mind is so used to question everything… the only difference is that now, I started to like all these questionings :) why?! Because I can really see the lie behind them :)
    What I wanted to tell you is that today I have ALL the symptoms that I had in the past, but it feels almost good :)
    It’s just like Paul said… I can physicaly feel them like a detox procedure :) I feel them at a higher level, but with another attitude…
    I feel that whole body fatique every morning and in the same time restlesness (almost like my feets would like to run all the time), but I know it’s just a release… one that needs to come out somehow…
    what I would like to advice all of you is to stop puting so many questions about this subject… I was the one on top with this (Nolan knows it), but today I realised that the only thing you need to know and faith in, in order to regain your ballance, is that you’re NOT BROKEN and that TIME will bring ‘you’ back!
    Thanks Nolan for all your answers and also for the ones that you didn’t wanted to answer me :) I know they wouldn’t even been usefull and Thanks Paul for all the ‘aha moments’!
    Just to get familiar with my story :)

  171. Roxana Says:

    Nolan, with ‘they wouldn’t even been usefull’ I ment that I was trying to hard to get answers instead of allowing it, not that your answers haven’t been usefull. The ones that you answered me, were like water in the desert :)

  172. Anon Says:

    Roxana, I did for about a year. It stopped on its own

  173. Anon Says:

    Roxana, I am in same boat as you. Agree with all you wrote. Mine started after having my kids and being a control freak. I read that anxious people ask why when a better question is how. How did our actions over time leas to sensitization and what different choices can we make. Loved your post. The ear noise is one of the crazy symptoms.

  174. Anon Says:

    Nolan is a Godsend Doreen too.

  175. Roxana Says:

    Thanks Anon :)
    Been following your posts and always liked them 😉
    Totally agree, Nolan and Paul are Godsend! ?
    We’ll face it Anon, I know that we’ll come on the other side, just like others have 😉

  176. Anon Says:

    That’s right Roxana! There is a guy with good videos called The Anxiety Guy. Really great tips about specific action points. Hang in there we’ll get through. I try to laugh st the symptoms when I remember to.

  177. Roxana Says:

    Anon, do you have Fb account? Maybe we could talk more there 😉

  178. Scott Says:

    Anyone else feel it’s hard to keep momentum going ?

    Just over a week ago I organised lots of things to do with various friends and got alot of things sorted out that I had been meaning to do. I felt great , anxiety was there but I just ignored it and did everything. It was really the best I’ve felt for a while . Then suddenly I had nothing left do and I’ve just went back to square one again. Can anyone relate ?

  179. Char Says:

    Anon and Roxana – another one here whose anxiety started after kids and life events and trying to control everything…..

    I also don’t avoid but my goodness it is so hard to carry on and accept at times

  180. Alz Says:

    Guys!!!’
    What is this sudden double checking meaning of words , thoughts of not being able to read ( yes read) and if not being able to solve sudoku then redoing it atleast twice coming from?? Why is anxiety so bizarre ??? Just when you think ur done with it , there’s a new symptom which totallly pulls u down . I’m conscious talking to people incase I might say something wrong or I’m surprised by how I am making sense .
    Need advice

  181. Jude Says:

    Alz,

    You answered your own inquiry in your post. Double checking words or concerning yourself with saying the wrong thing to people is just your anxiety. They are just thoughts and since you feel anxious they have become anxious thoughts and furthermore since you feel compelled to do something about the anxiety itself you feel as if you have to do something with these thoughts/feelings. That will just keep you in the loop for eternity. So go prepared to double check words when reading and go prepared to say the wrong thing to people. Like you said anxiety is bizarre and it truly is, bizarre AND harmless.

  182. Anon Says:

    Hi Roxana. Sorry I don’t fb and trying to reduce my online time because I find it feeds anxiety. I think it is hard to truly believe that all these crazy symptoms are not physical ailments. But when they suddenly disappear it confirms it. My ultimate problem is being comfortable with lack of control. my husband is the exact opposite. Cannot be bothered to care. I envy him

  183. Roxana Says:

    The same with my husband :)

  184. Roxana Says:

    Ooooo Yes, Char, it’s very hard sometimes, I can feel it on my own, BUT we can!!!

  185. Char Says:

    Hey Roxanne

    I am having an awful morning I have kids and work . Am having a hard time allowing and not feeling scared. I m never sure how to hid it infront of kids, I know a lot of people on here have kids and just wondered how they mange the hiding it from kids while trying to appear “normal” and accepting.

    char

  186. Roxana Says:

    Cher, I feel with you…I have an awful day as well, my tinnitus is bothering me sooo much…questions like ‘when will I recover?! Will I reciver?! What’s recovery?! Will I be able to move my attention from myself to something else?! Etc’ are every moment, believe me every moment… symptoms like tinnitus, dizziness, pressure on my head/nose, numbness, etc are there as well… the kids are coming home in the afternoon and I have to be ‘there’ for them… and the pressure we put on outselves to appear normal Like you said, is making everything worse! Don’t try to appear normal, be exactly how you are…and I guarantee you that you’re more than normal 😉
    Believe me, I’m in the same boat and I know it can get really bad, but the thing that we are so aware of everything, like not loosing control and go mad, is exactly the prove that we’re not there! 😉
    I had a peacefull perioud (was great) and now I’m back because of this tinnitus that got worse… but I know how I have to treat everything, so I think time will bring me back to peace 😉
    Until then, of course, it feels good to have a bit of reassurance as well 😛

  187. Char Says:

    Hi Roxana

    How old are your kids ? Mine are 9 and 5 years. Do yours know about anxiety ? I had to tell m 9 year old as when on hols a couple of weeks ago I was in tears and panicking and there wasn’t much place to go to hide it !

    He was fine but I just worry about it

    Do u get the psychological symptoms as well as physical ? Mind chatter, intrusive thoughts etc ?

    c

  188. Roxana Says:

    Oooo Yes, I do get them!!! I have racing mind, brain fogg, intrussive thoughts like getting very scared of not getting suicidal (but I understood the lie behind them), scared of nerve disorder, scared of not getting my nerves healed, insomnia, lack of appetite, DR… I went through everything Char ?
    And I’m still here writing you, still not Mad, still not suicidal, still not psychotic, etc :)
    I have two boys, 4 and 6 years old ??
    They don’t know about my ‘problems’…
    I cry very seldom, so they didn’t caught me crying…
    do you have Fb? It’s easier to talk there :)

  189. Char Says:

    Hi

    Yes I do – how do we find each other ?

  190. Roxana Says:

    Good question :)
    I’ll write right now a comment on AnxietyNoMore (on Facebook) on the latest post… so you can add me 😉

  191. Anon Says:

    Also, I had thoughts like that. Mine were about not being able to work. When would start to do my work anxiety would take over and tell me I was not able to and I would be flooded with fear that I knew was irrational but could not get rid of.

    Does anyone agree with the idea that we cling to anxiety in some perverse way because it is familiar? I have seen this expressed a few places.

  192. Sean Says:

    Hi my name is Sean and I’m currently writing from my firehouse and i am having a difficult time with anxiety and fear. I am a fearful man at this point, no doubt about it. Funny how i can go into a burning building but my thoughts and feelings can reduce me to a puddle. Just briefly, my story begins as a 15 year old who experienced a skipped heart beat and then began to obssessively worry about dying. This contiued into my early 20’s until I had that fear and fear of panic over taking me. I went to a doctor and was put on Celexa and then Lexapro. This worked great for 15years while I incrementally increased the dosage, but then i had fired my last bullet and it was no longer effective. I know have many different fears that center around my thoughts and how I feel.Pretty severe anxiety set in a year and a half ago and went to see a psychologist and went on a second medication. Through therapy and your book, which I purchased last year I began to get about 50% back between a lot of fear and not much fear but that fear still persists. However, this past April I made some really great progress and thought I might have this thing licked. I was gradually tappering myself off of Lexapro and finally stopped taking it this past April. Now I’m on a low dose of one medicine. Unfortuneately, my anxiety came back two months ago and it has been pretty relentless. So I would like to ask a few questions:
    1. My anxiety manifests itself with pins and needles in my back and shoulders. This is frustrating and can stay with me all day. What were some of your physical manifestations from anxiety?
    2. I read that you were recovered in 10 months and symptom free 4 months after that. I feel like Im back to square one after a year and half of therapy and reading your book a long the way. Is this process taking too long for me in your opinion?
    3.How did you know you were releasing your fear?
    4. I sometimes feel better after working out and sometimes I don’t. I saw that you said,” for me it took time for negative thoughts to come back in after a workout.” Am I reading too much into the difference between yours’ and my experience?
    5. and lastly, any maintenance after recovery? Or is it something that sticks, like being on auto pilot.
    Sorry for the long winded message, as I am a bit confused and do not want to be the one who does not make it through this. And thank you for writing your book and putting this website together. you do have a lot of great points that resonate with me.

  193. Char Says:

    Anon – I have those thoughts about not being able to work also. Sometimes they are even more stupid like I can’t move, or what if I am stuck on the sofa forever . I can’t believe that I pay them any notice when I’m not anxious – when I am anxious it’s like they are the absolute truth.

    Not sure about clinging to anxiety statement, my opinion is more that it is something that is familiar and a habit ?

    C

  194. Anon Says:

    I’m sure it’s a habit Char. Or better yet a conditioned behavior so we need de conditioning. Which takes practice. I would say it goes beyond thoughts. To me what makes it seem so upsetting is that the thoughts are paired with very uncomfortable physical symptoms. Like I never just get the thought that I can’t work. I get a dropped feeling in my stomach, a sense of dread, panic, and overwhelm. If it was just thoughts it would be easier to ignore I think. It’s the entire experience that is so difficult to accept. But I agree that allowing the feelings does seem to make them dissipate rather than fighting them.

  195. Shirley W. Says:

    I think I just need some support from one of the gang today. I have been doing very well with the ‘acceptance’ side of things. Pushing on through but when I have a setback it’s like the end of the world! We all have stories but I have been made redundant twice recently which has knocked my self esteem. Was in a controlling relationship which finished in May. Financial worries due to having no job and being an older employee my choices are limited for future employment. I was self employed and have to try to get my mind set into submitting a self assessment. I want to have a go at it myself – the former self would have taken all these things so much in my stride. I know acceptance is the only way to get to the other side but the things that are holding me back are not just irrational thoughts but they are reality in my life. I need to get stronger to deal with these things. Mornings are horrendous with the adrenaline. By evening I can be back to the old me and have such optimism that this will go over to the next day and then ‘wham’ next morning and here we go again. I know Paul says that the longer you have the anxiety and bad habits for the longer it takes for acceptance, it’s the setbacks that I find the most difficult.

  196. Shirley W. Says:

    I also forgot to mention that I live on my own and have limits support from family – but mainly because they can’t understand what’s going on in my mind.

  197. Char Says:

    Hello Shirley

    I am very much in the same place as you. In a full on setback. Last night I felt back to me again – this morning I feel sick with anxiety and it’s all back. I know there is no it and it’s just feelings from too much anxiety but it is so hard.

    I’m getting myself ready and my kids as I have to go to work.

    Big hug to you please let me know how u are

    C

  198. Si Says:

    Hi Shirley, Just to add that you are not alone by any stretch of the imagination. I find it really strange that some sufferers (Don’t like the word sufferers although it is a fact) have the same experiences.

    For example –

    I too seem to be able to relax enough in the evening to watch TV, listen to my wife and even get mildly excited about things I will do the next day (mainly work related) and yes I feel confident and quite optimistic. Sometimes my attention comes back to my problem (my worries) and I have to try and snap out of it. I go to bed without much anxiety only to wake anywhere between 2 and 4am where the doom and gloom sets back in. I don’t want to face the day, I can’t see a way out, I dread nearly everything (silly silly things another example – I’m driving to work, listen to the radio and hate it that people are getting on with life and it makes me so so low, my mind is constantly tuning in to negativity).

    Most of the day I am thinking about what I can do when I get home (but I don’t want to do anything!!), the hours between 4 and 7pm I need to fill in because I don’t like the anxiety feelings I get, and this then makes me more anxious, usually around 7pm I am in more of a relaxed state.

    I have had this episode now for over a year and yes I think I am still fighting it even though I read and re-read Pauls & Dr Claire Weekes books most days.

    I have mentioned previously on this blog that I think (THINK) the reason why I am still where I am is because I actually thought that
    1. I would never get this condition again
    2. When I did get it I initially thought “I can manage this, it will be gone in a month or so”.

    On a more positive note, I seem to be understanding this problem a little more and now try to challenge my negativity during the day instead of it getting me futher down. (practicing not engaging with the thoughts and just get on with stuff)

    My biggest fear is that this will not go away this time – but again on the flip side THIS IS WHAT IS HOLDING ME BACK – Fearful of the depression and anxiety, yet I know I can only change this attitude myself, by not being so impressed by the thoughts and feelings (as Dr Weekes puts it)

    One day we will look back at this and think ‘oh my goodness, why ever did I think this or that’ – I did when I recovered last time (for 6 years).

    Si

  199. Char Says:

    Hello Si

    I also recovered for 3 years and then other long periods. I totally agree with all your points. I think I never truely lost my fear of fear ?

    Also in work here trying to work with my anxiety and not against it.

    I had to laugh at your description of your day as that is mine – esp the 4 til 7 pm bit …. thaTs me. And to make it worse if by 8pm I’m not feeling better I’m then wondering in my head if I am getting worse and hey presto my anxiety goes up.

    Hope this helps

    C

  200. Si Says:

    Char – that has suprising made me smile – I also have the same feeling if the evening hasn’t made me relaxed (which thankfully is far and few between)

    For a 47 year old guy, I look forward to Emmerdale, Coro, Eastenders, Bake off and now also X factor at the weekend.

    So So very strange – lol – I am glad I am not alone then.

    Si

  201. Si Says:

    Sorry forgot that some of you are not in the UK – Emmerdale, ect.. are soaps and reality type programs – I don’t do football

    Si

  202. Shirley W. Says:

    Char, thank you for replying. It seems you and Si are much the same as me. This is my third episode and when I reached recovery before I vowed never again would i let this blight my life. Si. i am the same as you – resent the fact that people are having a good time in life. I am not out of work through choice – i want to go out and be a part of the world again. Each job I see seems to have drawbacks and I know it’s the anxiety that is putting the hurdles in the way. It’s the sickness in the mornings that I find the most difficult. Having a decent nights sleep is undone by the instant adrenaline. It’s hard to accept these real physical feelings. Its a while since I laughed and I feel that I have been punished enough now for whatever reason Anxiety stepped back in to my life. I practice acceptance as much as I can and was doing so well. Everything seems so hopeless at the moment – the longer it goes on. I know the route to recovery is within me and no one else or medication can help. I need to get my foot on the first step of that self esteem ladder and i know everything else will fall in to place.

  203. Char Says:

    Si you made me laugh again – Emmerdale ?? Really …. and I’m a 47 year old female .

    Ah I’m actually chuckling away here .

    We all too similar.

    I was trying to think of a new hobby last night – and couldn’t and so worked instead and surprisingly I had some relief for a little.

    C

  204. Char Says:

    Shirley – I cannot tell u how bad my nausea is in the mornings – I can barely clean my teeth and can’t eat until at least midday.

    But I know it is adrenalin only – I think I might write it on my hand and see if it gets into my annoying head that way lol!!!

  205. Alz Says:

    Hey so I guess it’s setback season 😉 anyway while driving , while at work , while doing anything my friend anxiety is with me . Also today a colleague had a really bad accident and it further threw me off the tight rope of ‘keeping it together’ that I hv to walk everyday . I went to see her and she was barely conscious . Anyway when I was narrating the incident to my husband I was wondering if it even happened … ? Is this common ? Dp I guess..
    You know before the loss of my baby I had anxiety but never like this … I had hopes and dreams and aspirations . Now, it’s just the hope of managing each day .. it just reminds of the song by johnny cash – hurt .. dunno if anyone of you has heard it . Even as I was typing this song I was questioning if it’s normal to type write that or not . Honestly I’m living each day but it’s like there’s two of me – me trying to appear normal befr others and the other me full of fears, worries , irrational thoughts . Wish a magic wand could just make everything ok !

  206. Shirley W. Says:

    Char, Yes…. i can believe how bad your nausea is! it’s a vicious circle. Don’t eat properly because I feel hungry but can’t eat. This then leads to the empty stomach and then the nausea because you are hungry and nothing settled it. Teeth cleaning an issue with me too. Eating habits the same as yours. All anxiety and Adrenaline.
    Alz, we all wish we had a magic wand to help us out of this. How wonderful that would be? Sorry to learn of the loss of your baby. That was a major trauma for you. Paul’s posts are always to inspire positivity in us all, so often it loses its path as each of us finds ourselves in setback along the way. That mountain is so hard to climb.

  207. Char Says:

    Hey Shirley

    How are you today ? I’m a little better , still in nausea time as it morning in the UK but that’s ok! R u in the UK?

    Alz , we /I are all the same when we are in this hyper stimulated anxiety state . Slowly but surely our anxiety will come down jus by the very act of us just being and doing.

    C

  208. Shirley W. Says:

    Hello Char, I live in Herefordshire. A nice County. Going along steadily thank you. That’s about as far as it goes today.

  209. Alz Says:

    I wonder where all the others – Bryan , Nolan , Belgian , rich and Doreen are ..
    Thanks char !

  210. Shirley W. Says:

    Yes Alz…….it’s very quiet on here.

  211. Char Says:

    Hey Shirley. Cambridgeshire here !

    Also agree is very quiet – is this usual ? Looking back it seems to have been quite a different type of blog – very busy and many comments ?

  212. Roxana Says:

    Got an ‘aha moment’ in the last days…
    everytime I have a cold, my nose gets clogged and I hate that sensation, really hate it… so… I use Rhinexin (these nose drops)… in 5 min I’m almost perfect again ? don’t even feel the cold anymore, since I ‘hided’ the most unconfortable feeling for me…
    BUT then again… after few hours my nose gets clogged again… and the only thing that helps is Rhinexin again… and so does my cold go away in few days, but my nose remains still clogged, just because I supresed what I SHOULD have felt for the time being (few days until the cold would have been over)… I had times when my addiction to these kind of nose drops, lasted even for 1 year… again, it was JUST because I prefered to ‘mask’ the whole ‘problem’…
    This week I had a cold again… same story… Rhinexin… BUT yesterday I said to myself ‘STOP, you have to feel it, you have to get back to normal, by feeling it first!’
    Pffff… it was horrible, couldn’t breath at all (my nose was worse than during the flu)…but I managed ?
    Now I’m sooo well again ? I can breath perfectly normal, it’s almost like I would have never had problems with clogged nose ?
    I know in anxiety, things last more than for one day, but it’s the same thing that we need to follow… we need to feel all, in order to get ‘back to normal’

  213. Bryan Says:

    Hey all.

    Busy time of year for me with thr kids starting school, work ramping up and in the middle of a move as well. So haven’t checked in as much but good to see folks still here working on implementing what Paul teaches.

    And like you guys, the pace and stress has led to a few bumpy periods for sure. It’s no fun, and can be terribly difficult. But it does represent a time for us to practice and improve. I personally try to stay away from rumination or paying too much respect to it all. But at times it can peak and in those times I tend to refresh myself on Paul’s basics. (Which are similar to Claire Weekes etc)

    So if you’re having a rough patch, do your best to let it tire itself out on its own. But if you feel stuck or lost, Paul has laid out this great roadmap… as have guys like Nolan. So we can refresh ourselves and move back into practicing and moving forward.

    Hope my fellow Americans have a great Labor Day weekend and to all others a great weekend as well.

  214. Alz Says:

    Hey all ,
    It’s a very very odd day where Iv been so scared of losing my mind that Iv been questioning normal things… should I meet the relatives ? Is it normal? Should I do this ? Should I do that?? Again like Bryan says I’m doing everything and practicing acceptance but there’s also this very strong sense of fatigue- I’m just so tired ! I want to continue sleeping all day .its a special occasion for us as well ( in Pakistan) and I’m continuously doubting myself. I don’t remember the anxiety cranking this high . Losing all sense of what’s rational and what’s not . And to think that a month ago I could actually see the thoughts as thoughts and breathe through them !

  215. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    It sounds like it is just an increase in anxiety levels. Probably because you have a special day and you didn’t want to feel anxiety – the slight resistance an cause the increase.

    I am in a similar position to you. I have Had increases in anxiety before family events this weekend . I was much bettter on Friday and now feel I gone right back again.

    Hope u manage the occasion today

    Thinking of u

  216. Shirley W. Says:

    It’s weird how the mind works. You worry about going to the event, when you get there – it’s not too bad and you probably enjoy yourself and then when it’s over you crash because it can take you out of your current bad phase for a few short hours. I went away with my sis last weekend to the sea. She drove – I had underlying anxiety whilst I was there for the two nights and three days – especially trying to discipline myself to getting up for that breakfast (you are well versed in this one aren’t you Char)? I did manage to eat something light – my sister put no pressure on me to eat anything at all. When I got back home and was once again on my own I crashed big time. It’s forever climbing that mountain. Snakes and ladders! Get to the top – slide back down – climb back up again.

  217. Char Says:

    Hi Shirley

    I’m terrible with food when anxious – I have had half a cups soup today and I am in a set back within a setback – is there even such a thing ???

    Just going to try and eat something actually for te and will reply in a bit Shirley !

  218. Char Says:

    Hi Shirley

    How lovey for you to go away with your sister – she sounds lovely and especially with thyour not eating . I was away at the weekend at a family celebration and found it very hard . We had a night in the hotel with the kids which I enjoyed but then on the journey back felt the old mind chatter come back. Then have been very agitated and anxious all today and generally it’s been a crap day.

    Oh well as Claire weeks saya tomorrow is another day is practice acceptance!K

  219. Alz Says:

    Hey..
    So woke up today with palpitations and didnt want to go to work. I am at work and i am happy iv come and not let my thoughts or anxiety dictate my life. There is this constant sense of being lost/not grounded and TRUST me anxiety has really made a comeback.. before driving, before reading , before talking… before anything..
    oh well.. this too shall pass

  220. Alz Says:

    ok im actually missing people like RICH, BELGIAN, NOLAN AND DOREEN . Where are you? Helen you also helped me through such a hard time..

  221. Chrissy Says:

    Hi
    Found this website after suffering for twenty years
    Numerous therapist. Tried every different types of therapy etc
    No one could get rid of my anxiety and depression
    Which made it all worse
    Found Paul’s book and it was. A light bulb moment
    I completely understood what he wrote I literally felt like he wrote it for me
    However I couldn’t believe it was this simple
    I am here to tell you it is
    For me it was long years of stress I never dealt with properly
    I became anxious depersonalized and focused inward on my thoughts and feelings fighting it the entire time “I don’t want to feel like this”. “Why me” “I should be happy” etc etc
    Allowing yourself to feel miserable was the key for me. Allowing the thoughts
    The less you paid attention to them the weaker they become my reaction to them became minimal. It’s my brain doing its job. It’s what it’s programmed to do. They are just thoughts. Scary feelings and thoughts but not real thoughts it’s like the flight and fight syndrome jwith bad timing.
    Allowing the physical feeling and thoughts to ramble and rage (you’re not crazy or weak) allowed them to be released and that’s all they want to do
    Yes I am still recovering. This was years of me running from reality trying to change it. I have to reprogram how I react to it
    It works Do I get anxious and panic and negative thoughts but now I can say “oh ok you ok you want to be heard go ahead”. Then comes thenpeace for me
    There is no manic cure no overnight success. It takes patience. You will get there and at last you will have a life not run by anxiety and depression
    Be kind to yourself.

  222. Anon Says:

    Alz, the fact that you have palps and questioning your sanity proves it’s just anxiety. Those are classic anxiety symptoms.

  223. Andy J Says:

    Guys,

    Im low, im really low.

    I have an appointment with a therapist on Friday, but it cant come soon enough.

    I’ve got worse over the last few weeks and feel like I’m about to be overwhelmed. I cant think straight, cant function correctly, cant stop worrying and all the while its adding to the miserable existence I’ve been living for the past three years.

    My concerns are that I will never be free from this. As my thoughts probably class as OCD, I think I am different to alot of people on here. And I’ve read literature stating that OCD can never be beaten. It will only be managed. I dont want to just manage, I want to get my life back like Paul says throughout his material. I also read a reply from Paul to a facebook post which stated that OCD wasnt really his thing and that the person would be better off going to another forum. Again, this has totally thrown me. I thought all along that I was following the right method and that this would help me.

    I just dont know which way to turn. I’m back to being my usual ‘get home and be safe’ routine, getting through days as quick as possible to try and get home to bed. I’m performing poorly at work as I just cant get my mind off how I’m feeling and how bad a turn my life has taken.

    I’m trying to ‘just let it be’, to ‘not get involved’, to ‘accept’. But this just tends to throw me in to an even deeper hole. Should depression really just be accepted? Should we not actively go out of our way to change things?

    Sorry for the overly negative post, but I really could do with a boost.

    Andy

  224. Chrissy Says:

    Andy
    You not different than us. You’re not different than a lot of people in the world
    Only difference from us we focus on these thoughts and don’t let them go
    Believe in this Let yourself be uncomfortable let the thoughts come
    Eventually we do change however it takes time. Have yourself a miserable week. You’re human. Live with your OCD. Which I believe falls under an anxiety disorder.

  225. Stephanie Says:

    Andy,

    There’s nothing new that can be said. I know that sounds harsh, but coming on to this blog every time you’re having a hard time to get “a boost” isn’t really helping you. I think I said before that reading good advice only gets you so far; you have to start living it. Take a moment to cry or feel sorry for yourself or whatever you need to do – and then move on.

    There’s nothing wrong with you. All the days that you’ve been experiencing this, nothing has ever happened to you. You’ve never stopped being able to function. You haven’t lost your mind. Nothing – except the uncomfortable weirdness that is anxiety/depression. So stop giving it so much importance. Remember, the more you look to a therapist, or this blog, or your safe places to make you feel better, the more you’re only fueling the anxiety/depression by suppressing it instead of letting it be. You asked if you shouldn’t be actively trying to change things. The answer is, no you don’t need to do anything to change how you feel. Why is that? because you can’t. You’ll just suppress it for awhile. Think about it: all of the things that you’ve tried to change how you feel, has any of it worked in the long term? So stop trying. Focus your energy on things that actually matter.

    The last thing I’ll say is, let go of the labels. What good are they doing? We can all find something that makes us “special” or an exception – but it’s all just more nonsense that our mind wants to grab onto. There’s nothing wrong with you.

  226. Jude Says:

    alz,

    What specific help do you feel you need?

    Also if a specific person helped you before, what was their advice/help?

  227. Jude Says:

    Andy,

    What is it you are trying to accomplish?
    To not have certain thoughts?
    To not have certain feelings?
    or
    Do you feel that if you allow all of this stuff something even worse lays in shadows?

  228. Matt Says:

    Can anxiety cause chronic leg fatigue? I’ve had anxiety for 4 years and I’m wondering if it’s starting to take its toll. Had some basic tests from the doctor, which are negative. But don’t see this as a symptom as much.

  229. Andy J Says:

    Hi Jude,

    I think I am stuck in the cycle of trying to reclaim my former self. Or how ‘non-anxiety’ people are. Not having the worries. I want something I probably cant have.

    Ideally I dont want the thoughts or the feelings, but again I know that isnt realistic. I know they arent realistic when I’m feeling OK and not in a full blown panic. But when that panic occurs its hard to remember that these are anxiety. Yet these thoughts and feelings are automatic. I’ve conditioned my body somehow to react incorrectly to these things.

    I guess underneath it all there is a fear that this isnt anxiety. That I am a monster or what my deepest fears tell me. Which I should know is rubbish, given the type of thoughts have only been present after my anxiety journey began. In fact I had Paul’s book long before this new theme of anxious thoughts began.

    I get confused and then I panic. Fear is the main theme.

    Stephanie, I know what you are saying and I know theres no point sugar coating it. I’d do exactly the same if I were advisning other people coming on here looking for reassurance. But sometimes when we are in such a panic, such fear, such anxiety, feeling so lonely, its hard not to turn to people for help. Just that little bit of a kick or a boost or what not to help us calm down. And then be able to move on again. I know it isnt ideal in anyway but its through desparation and I do appreciate the response from you, Jude and Chrissy.

    Andy

  230. Carl Says:

    You all have to accept it. As Paul preaches, acceptance is key. No fighting the thoughts, suppressing, hiding away from them. Let them come, show them they mean nothing and as time goes by … your old habits start breaking free as you no longer have an emotional reaction to them (anxiety). Your uncomfortableness of feeling it will go back to normal levels and your nerves become de-sensitised. If you’ve been stuck in a loop for months, even years … you needn’t worry anymore because it’s all reversible if you allow it to be. Your nerves will take time to heal… just like a broken leg does. You will of course not forget it overnight and appear normal again. Your brain takes time to retrain out of the anxious habit and when it does , peace will return. Time and patience is key and of course all you need to have is a full dedication to acceptance. All fearful thoughts generate anxiety, don’t change them, let them try and scare you .. you’re better than that , you know they are false. It’s your imagination creating things in an unhelpful way. Lose the fear of the thoughts and then they will not rebound, as your anxiety levels will normalise. All that’s left is the memory of what once was, and time fades memory. Stay strong, you will have good and bad days , but you CAN do it. Another thing, stop looking for reassurance and answers when you have a bad day, you’re fine. You are ok, I promise you. You wont go insane. Just accept whatever the hell comes your way and eventually, the hell will disappear. Good luck all.

  231. Daryl Says:

    Hi Andy,
    You see, you know it yourself, you just don’t believe it. You seem to be hanging on to the fact that your case is pretty unique and so there is a bit more to it than anxiety.
    For almost 2 weeks I have felt completely like my old self I mean, just like I always used to be!!……….moaning a lot, miserable, bored, happy, motivated, not motivated etc. I have to say, I never thought that would be possible. I genuinely thought I was different and my problems were unique. I had OCD, ROCD, Real event OCD, Anxiety, Depression I had it all according to me and that meant I could never get any better cause I was so, so different!!
    I, like you looked at everyone and analysed how they were so happy and normal…….How could they be?? Couldn’t they see how terrible life was?? Why weren’t they seeing the futility of life?? Why weren’t they thinking “What’s the point of anything?”. I was so different because nobody on here or anywhere else had 100% the exact same symptoms as me………….I was doomed.
    Then suddenly I noticed something……..My Relationship anxiety (sometimes called relationship OCD so anxiety and OCD do seemingly go together whatever your anxiety is trying to make you think) shrank a little and was replaced by what is sometimes called Real Event OCD (I looked at something I shouldn’t on the internet……..nothing illegal but I blew it all out of proportion as OCD or Anxiety seemingly does).. So I then researched Real Event OCD and got into another hole. Then I noticed I was humming a lot in my head……advertising jingles and stuff!! OH GOD I WAS GOING MAD NOW!!
    The point is…………..I was just replacing one Obtrusive and Anxious thought with another so that I could keep my evil comfort blanket of anxiety with me and this realisation was a bit of a lightbulb moment………”no matter what the labe……l its my distorted way of thinking that is causing the problems……..if it wasn’t this thought it would be that thought and if not that thought, then another thought”.
    I went back to the books…….Paul’s and Claire Weekes and I finally decided like Paul says to just BIN EVERYTHING OFF. No more research, no more Google……SIT WITH IT………..it passes ………otherwise looking it up, confessing, asking for reassurance is feeding the obsession. I also decided that my mind was exhausted and for the first time I decided I needed time, plenty of time in order to heal.
    As soon as I accepted that, it became easier, I didn’t pressurise myself and so it was as if a cloud lifted, I can’t explain it.
    I also did some other pro active things that Paul advises……I got on with life……I did things that I used to do…………I started cycling to work, I went to the pub, I went shopping in IKEA (Horrendous :)) I bought my daughter a hamster!! All very weird but I did them because I decided I wanted to and didn’t do them to defeat my anxiety.
    You need to do this……….I am not saying I am cured…….I still dread feeling like I did but I do hope that by posting this when I do get a set back I can refer to it as at this moment in time I am feeling GREAT and you will too!!
    Oh, one other thing Andy…………and I know this is a bit insane! I ditched my Smart Phone…………I got a Nokia 208 which supports Whats app (so I can keep in touch with friends) but not the internet because I honestly feel having answers to every possible symptom at the touch of a button is what sends me further into a spiral.
    Andy, you are fine, you have OCD/Anxiety/Obsessive Thoughts/Depersoanilsation…………whatever you want to call it. It’s all the same………….You have a Mind that is exhausted and you need to lay off the thoughts that you are somehow different. You’re not you’re just as boring and mundane as the rest of the world but you have anxious thoughts which distort how you interact with the world.
    Mate, you’ll get better and you’ll be free of this but I think you’ll only be free of it when you stop focusing on it. Take care, don’t be strong, be weak, enjoy your anxiety, let it run out of steam………….and make sure you have some kind words for me when my inevitable set back comes :) x

  232. Daryl Says:

    Hi Andy,
    You see, you know it yourself, you just don’t believe it. You seem to be hanging on to the fact that your case is pretty unique and so there is a bit more to it than anxiety.
    For almost 2 weeks I have felt completely like my old self I mean, just like I always used to be!!……….moaning a lot, miserable, bored, happy, motivated, not motivated etc. I have to say, I never thought that would be possible. I genuinely thought I was different and my problems were unique. I had OCD, ROCD, Real event OCD, Anxiety, Depression I had it all according to me and that meant I could never get any better cause I was so, so different!!
    I, like you looked at everyone and analysed how they were so happy and normal…….How could they be?? Couldn’t they see how terrible life was?? Why weren’t they seeing the futility of life?? Why weren’t they thinking “What’s the point of anything?”. I was so different because nobody on here or anywhere else had 100% the exact same symptoms as me………….I was doomed.
    Then suddenly I noticed something……..My Relationship anxiety (sometimes called relationship OCD so anxiety and OCD do seemingly go together whatever your anxiety is trying to make you think) shrank a little and was replaced by what is sometimes called Real Event OCD (I looked at something I shouldn’t on the internet……..nothing illegal but I blew it all out of proportion as OCD or Anxiety seemingly does).. So I then researched Real Event OCD and got into another hole. Then I noticed I was humming a lot in my head……advertising jingles and stuff!! OH GOD I WAS GOING MAD NOW!!
    The point is…………..I was just replacing one Obtrusive and Anxious thought with another so that I could keep my evil comfort blanket of anxiety with me and this realisation was a bit of a lightbulb moment………”no matter what the labe……l its my distorted way of thinking that is causing the problems……..if it wasn’t this thought it would be that thought and if not that thought, then another thought”.
    I went back to the books…….Paul’s and Claire Weekes and I finally decided like Paul says to just BIN EVERYTHING OFF. No more research, no more Google……SIT WITH IT………..it passes ………otherwise looking it up, confessing, asking for reassurance is feeding the obsession. I also decided that my mind was exhausted and for the first time I decided I needed time, plenty of time in order to heal.
    As soon as I accepted that, it became easier, I didn’t pressurise myself and so it was as if a cloud lifted, I can’t explain it.
    I also did some other pro active things that Paul advises……I got on with life……I did things that I used to do…………I started cycling to work, I went to the pub, I went shopping in IKEA (Horrendous :)) I bought my daughter a hamster!! All very weird but I did them because I decided I wanted to and didn’t do them to defeat my anxiety.
    You need to do this……….I am not saying I am cured…….I still dread feeling like I did but I do hope that by posting this when I do get a set back I can refer to it as at this moment in time I am feeling GREAT and you will too!!
    Oh, one other thing Andy…………and I know this is a bit insane! I ditched my Smart Phone…………I got a Nokia 208 which supports Whats app (so I can keep in touch with friends) but not the internet because I honestly feel having answers to every possible symptom at the touch of a button is what sends me further into a spiral.
    Andy, you are fine, you have OCD/Anxiety/Obsessive Thoughts/Depersoanilsation…………whatever you want to call it. It’s all the same………….You have a Mind that is exhausted and you need to lay off the thoughts that you are somehow different. You’re not you’re just as boring and mundane as the rest of the world but you have anxious thoughts which distort how you interact with the world.
    Mate, you’ll get better and you’ll be free of this but I think you’ll only be free of it when you stop focusing on it. Take care, don’t be strong, be weak, enjoy your anxiety, let it run out of steam………….and make sure you have some kind words for me when my inevitable set back comes :) x

    PS Sorry, I think I have posted this twice!! Didn’t mean to clog the blog up.

  233. Alz Says:

    @Jude,
    thanks for asking. Ok so theres a surge in the anxiety and the fear that i have or will lose my mind. I was seeing a therapist and she would ask me for the solutions . I read what you wrote for andy and for me it is the fear that something worse lays in the shadows or that anxiety is taking over. The mind chatter is constant . So for example these days when im reading , its the thoguth that i wont be able to read, when im working its the thouhgt that i can’t work im so tired, when im at a shop its the thought that i will not be able to shop and will make a boo boo or say something wrong, when im driving its the thought that i am mad or will lose my mind, when im talking to people im so conscious , i can hear myself talking. Its anxiety but its sort of warping everything im doing. I want to have a child, i want to move on, i want to enjoy every moment , i want to be free of fear and i want to be like others who don’t have constant mind chatter. I want the reassurance that this is anxiety and it wil go …
    Jude, iv always had anxiety but it went a bit overboard after the loss of my first baby a year and a half ago.

  234. Alz Says:

    Andy ,
    please note that OCD is a form of anxiety and it is curable. My bro in law has it and is living a very productive and fulfilling life. He didnt see a therapist and he dealt with it on his own. How? By feeling the fear and by realising that he has bigger goals to pursue. I still see him shutting and opening the lock but he has understood his problem and doesnt find it odd. He accepts it.
    Also CLaire weekes the author of hope and help for your nerves, talks about OCD .. in fact if you go online and watch a video of a patient she talks about-a patient who had such bad ocd that she was considering lobotomy in those days- she completely healed that person with therapy.
    paul also mentions OCD on this site in the ‘disturbing thoughts’ section so please dont lose hope and think you’re different and incurable. OCD is an offshoot of anxiety.

  235. Alz Says:

    Daryl your post is so bubbly and full of relief.. happy for you :)

  236. Andy J Says:

    Hi Daryl,

    Thanks very much for the post. Sounds like you are very much on the mend and have ‘got’ what Paul and every one preaches.

    I get what you are saying about realisations. For example, earlier this year I served a Juror on Jury Service. During this period, sitting in the court room etc, my anxiety pretty much diminished. I was pretty much always focussed on what was going on, listening intently, nothing else mattered. My anxiety significantly reduced.

    My issue is I work in a job where I often get a lot of free time. As I work with computers and the internet, it can be quite easy to become bored and start researching things. When I feel anxious, naturally I come to this blog or other things (like Nothing works by Chris on his Weebly site), which is clearly comfort/reassurance seeking. But all this does is reinforces to my mind that something is wrong, that I need to read stuff in order to ‘perk me up’. I know now that this isnt the way. How can I live my life by coming on this blog day after day. Thats no way of feeling better. The same as seeing a therapist. I can’t live my life reassurance seeking, checking in etc.

    I still try and get involved in life as much as possible. Still work, still go out, still visit relatives, still go shopping etc. I just need to accept that this anxiety has got me to where I am by fighting. When I was out walking my dog this morning, something came to me which has been alluded to on here before. Why do I keep searching whats inside of me? Surely after all this time I should know that there is nothing to figure out/ nothing I havent thought of before. Heck I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about me, so surely if there was an answer/secret method I would have found out before. Then it struck me. I need to focus on whats going on outside of my body. Its not going to give me answers, but then there isnt any answers needed is there.

    All along this has been anxiety. From my health anxiety, to generalised anxiety, to obsessive and intrusive thoughts, its all anxiety. I cant actively stop it, but I can sure as hell make sure I dont actively make it worse by investigating it and trying to out think it.

    I need to realise that I will have doubts and that they will shake me, but they dont have to take me back to square one. I just need to get on with my day, like it or lump it and hope tomorrow is better.

    I need to take a leap of faith, not just a few small tentative steps.

  237. daryl Says:

    Hi Andy,
    I really don’t know if I have “got” what Paul says or not but I do think that by pulling away from all things “anxiety” I have managed to make it less of the focus……..
    I may fail in the future, I may fall back down the hole but in the meantime I’m going to enjoy the clarity and the opportunity to sit around reading the paper without checking in on myself.
    I am now signing off again for a while as I don’t want to start making this subject the focus again while I am still far from being fixed. See you all in a few weeks and good luck with allowing it all to happen :)
    Take care x

  238. Roxana Says:

    It’s a physical symptom that annoyes me so much… the noise inside my head…I have like an engine that is running inside my head all the time…I can ignore it during the day, but if I want to hear it, it’s always there… I’m not focusing on it since I have it for 1 and half year (have been to MRI and e erything was perfect)… I know it’s just anxiety, sensitiesed nerves, too stressful… but still I would love to know if someone had it and if Yes, if it went away…

  239. Peter Says:

    Hi Carl,

    Are you recovered? Did you find it helpful to stop coming to this blog and other anxiety sites, I mean, to stop reassurance? Thanks. :)

  240. Carl Says:

    Hi Peter,

    I would say I’m 80-90% recovered and considerably much better than I was. Without going into too much detail, I had around 4 months of chronic stomach churning followed by about 3 weeks of lightheadedness. I’m not going to lie, it was horrendous and without realising at the time what was causing it, I was at a complete loss. Then amongst a lot of rubbish on the internet, I discovered Paul’s site, one of the very few that seemed to offer a way out of this misery. I read his website and all his blogs. This man had done it… he knew what his mind and body was telling him if only he’d just let it. I then decided to accept. Whatever feelings came my way, no matter how bad , accept them. I got on with my day living alongside the Anxiety. Bad thought? So what … accept it. Be ok with it or be ‘as ok as you can be’ with the thought, no matter HOW bad it is. Accept it.

    I also discovered another person on Youtube who preaches the same thing, acceptance. What does total acceptance mean? It means you are completely and utterly willing to just give up the fighting, trying to end this nightmare, thinking of a way out. You can’t think your way out of it. It happens on its own when your body and mind has had the rest it needs, at a subconscious level. Once you truly truly no longer care how you feel, something amazing happens. Your anxiety naturally reduces and it feels amazing. A glimmer of my former self was back… and I wanted more. I know the process I have to go through in order to get full peace but it takes time.

    Don’t spend your life researching, googling symptoms, thinking it’s anything more sinister than Anxiety, it isn’t. Having a bad day? Forget googling, refrain from it, it will only remind you of something you want gone in the first place . Realise that you aren’t stuck this way forever, your sensitive nerves DO heal, you just have to allow them to. If you think you’ve had a good week where you feel amazing, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s gone, as that will only bring it back. You carry on accepting it until one day it completely goes, even if it takes months. It’s all about a change of attitude. View your Anxiety differently to that of fear , and see it as a blessing. It’s there to protect you at the end of the day, every human on the planet has it as a defence mechanism. Yours is just reacting to something you’ve unintentionally taught your brain, which is to be scared of something when there’s no need to be, like mine did. Thankfully it can be reset to factory settings. Knowledge is power.

    If a car comes towards you head on, you know that guaranteed 100% something catastrophic is about to happen, therefore your body pumps you full of adrenaline in preparation for it, a normal bodily reaction. The same goes for if someone creeps up on you and frightens you. It makes you jump, automatically sending you a swift surge of adrenaline. At the moment , it’s releasing unnecessary adrenaline as your brain thinks there’s a threat, when there isn’t. It takes time and patience to understand it. As soon as you do, you realise that there’s nothing to fear… what a revelation!

    Don’t read all the things in the blogs that people have said, only follow Paul’s advice. His is the only advice that matters. Read all his blogs and get the book if necessary. I have never used medication or received therapy, I went to the GP when it all began as I didn’t know what the hell was wrong with me. All he did was offer me pills and a counselling leaflet and sent me on my way. I refused medication. I went on the websites that the NHS offer, and all of them required me to do something to purposely ‘change’ the way I think , knowing that my thoughts are unhelpful and unrealistic. Well I already knew this.. so why spend time adding even more stress to an already tired mind ‘trying’ to change thoughts? You cannot change your thoughts and wish them away. Thoughts occur naturally and usually stick to your Psyche if you give it a fearful reaction. They will always stick and harden over time the more you react to it. As soon as you stop reacting, by accepting the thought, letting it be there , letting it float by naturally and not being scared of it, you brain slowly learns and changes.

    Everyone wants this elusive answer to get rid of it, there isn’t one. Your mind and body does it on its own without any conscious interference from you. It just happens. When you get moments of peace, try to stop self checking too, ‘oh I haven’t felt my Anxiety for a while, this is great!’ It will lead you back to thinking about it. Naturally it will be on your mind for a while after you recover , but thoughts change , time passes , memory fades.

  241. Kit Says:

    Hi there guys,

    I have followed Paul’s method for 2 years now following massive anxiety post loosing both my mum and my sister. It has worked amazingly and I have been able to put everything into practice. My problem is I had a baby 24 hours ago and after quite a traumatic birth and no sleep for 30 odd hours following it I started to have an odd occurance. I will try to explain this best I can… I’m almost having very quick flash back type momories they last only for 2-3 seconds but they’re it’s not something I ever recall happening it’s almost like it’s flash back to an old dream or different life ( I am aware it sounds crazy )? It’s made me feel uncomfortable and odd when it’s happening but the feelings associated with this is anxiety and fear.. I wondered if it was sleep depravation but it didn’t come right even after sleep it’s still happening..
    It’s hard trying to explain ..they are never long enough for me to quite remember the whole extent of what the flash backs are I just know they make me feel crazy and unsure if this is anxiety related? They are quite often so atleast every hour if not a couple times an hour I’m unsure if this makes any sense but I thought it was worth a try incase anyone had , had something similar and I can just write it off as anxiety like an intrusive thought or if it’s something more serious.???

    Thanks in advance :)

  242. Peter Says:

    Appreciate your detailed response, Carl.

    I think I worry too much about how to do acceptance the “right way,” when really I should just maybe do it the “stop reading about anxiety constantly” way and see what happens. :)

  243. Roxana Says:

    Nobody can relate to this noise inside the head?

  244. Jude Says:

    Alz,

    or anyone else stuck suffering at the moment.

    The reason the anxiety is ruling your life is because of your frustration with it. there is good news/bad news.

    The bad news is you can do nothing about the way you feel. That alone is probably the most devastating thing you want to hear, especially when the feelings are so utterly intense. All your hopes and dreams seem to be annihilated by these feelings. Even the small things seem destroyed as in your case just simply reading. Anxiety has the potential to interfere with the big things and the little things, it has no boundaries, it doesn’t care for little or big, it’s not even aware of the difference between big or small. It can’t think on it’s own. It is a feeling and nothing else. Anxieties claim to fame is to give you a sudden feeling of unease as if something horrible is on the horizon, it annouces an inner “uhoh” but has no outside cause for this sudden fearful feeling, so we naturally fill in the blanks. “oh my god i feel such fear i must be _________.
    We put something in that blank space. Anxiety is incapable of providing an answer to fill that space because it is only a feeling, it must turn to you for that fear to have a face. We come up with so many endless faces for that fear, i am crazy, i am a horrible wife/husband, i am having a heart attack, i am dying, i am a coward, i will never be sucessful, i am a failure etc. etc.

    Now the good news. You are simply experiencing feelings, awful as they may be, they are just feelings nonetheless. It is what YOU choose to attach to the feeling that is causing the greatest amount of difficulty. This is going to be a very generic example but at times when we are stuck getting back to the basics is helpful. Let’s say someone has their first panic attack while driving, someone who prior to this event was never afraid to drive and actually quite enjoyed it. It is only natural at first that this person would link driving with panic. The person would then try to resist the fear with knowledge. They know deep down they are not afraid to drive yet each time they make an attempt to drive they feel this panic. They don’t know why and now at this point they are even more upset. If they can’t reason with this struggle then what hope do they have in EVER moving on from it? The fight has begun, no matter how noble their intention they are digging themselves into a hole. The reason this is true is because there is no logic to this anxiety. There is no outside threat in which the anxiety would be useful there is no danger, there is only this feeling itself. So at this point WE create the adversary, the feelings are the threat. So with this example this person hits the rode driving yet each time they experience these same feelings all the while trying their hardest not to and there lies the trouble, there lies what is actually WRONG. By telling yourself these feelings you are experiencing are bad feelings, you make it so. Anxiety makes diving horrifying, makes being alone horrifying, makes being around others horrifying, makes thinking itself horrifying. We say “anxiety is the bad guy and it will ruin my life”. Therefore we have empowered it to do just that. This feeling we dread so much can easily be put toward anything and everything. If we take a step back, is this really true? Feelings will ruin our lives? It is only in giving space to these feelings, allowing these feelings, re-framing these feelings that in the long run will free you from them. Again, it doesn’t matter if your experiencing these feelings over something big or small, it is at the core the SAME feelings. Imagaine if we could accept ourselves at our lowest, imagine if we could accept our most intense feelings of fear, imagine just what we all could do. Remember, anxiety is just a feeling, it needs us to fill in the blanks. There is nothing wrong with you, though it feels as though there is, that is again anxiety’s sole purpose, to alarm us. It is only behaving that way because it has been given the spotlight, it has become our number one priority, “i must stop feeling this way”, all the while we are just giving more and more power to the feeling. Ask yourself why you continue to resist what you have felt for days, months and years? All the feelings you have and have had have led to nothing more than more of the same feelings, they are on repeat, they will NEVER be more than what you have already felt. Anxiety is anxiety is anxiety. Imagine spinning in place for 30 seconds straight, after that would you question why you feel dizzy? I doubt it, so why question anxiety when you feel anxious? Just allow it, allow it all no matter how horrible it may be. Just as Paul has said, feeling bad is a good thing. It is balance, without bad there would be no good, so actually while resisting bad feelings we are actually resisting good feelings as well. So be open, be afraid, be sad, be mad, be happy.

  245. Carl Says:

    Peter, I am guilty of it too, have been for months. Looking for an answer on how to feel reassured. It’s like an addiction. I was obsessed with googling about Anxiety. Trying to find new ways and techniques to make it all go away. There isn’t any technique to get rid of it. There is no specific way on how to master acceptance. Try what I said above by accepting your worries and horrible feelings without judgment. And try to refrain from googling, it’s only going to keep you in a loop.

  246. Debbie Says:

    Hi kit i have had what your talking about and it puts me in a panic attack i just had ittoday i have flashes of something i dont know if it was a dream or a movie i have seen its an errie feeling . I dont know what it is but i guess if we both have it , it must be anxiety . I dont see anyone ever saying they have it only you. De

  247. Marie Says:

    Dear Paul, your work really helped me a lot, but I have one question: Don’t you believe that some people have their fear for a certain reason like problems they haven’t solved yet, and that the fear is there to show them? So that it is important not to ignore the fear but listen to it? And maybe to look at deeper reasons like childhood trauma?
    Thank you!

  248. Mark Says:

    Hi there,

    Maybe u can help me ?!

    My name is Mark and i am 24. i am suffering from anx. for 2 years now.
    I am studying in a big city but hometown is really small. I first got really hard anx symptoms after my first year of studying when i came back to my student flat after the summer holidays. In the thord year i decided to study smthng new and i went back home. In this 2 years i alwys suppressed the symptoms. I got accepted at the new uni and i went back to the big city this summer. Before i went back i discovered pauls method and i started to release stuff. When i came back to my student flat i had heart pumbing, extreme head fatigue and stomach churning. I accepted everything but now it seems the i get stuck in a situation: i lost the fair of being away from home but feelings of dread and the fatigue seems to stay. I dont supress things but its just there 24/7 with no good moments. I try as good a possible to accept it but it har

    Can anybody relate to this ?
    Is this part of the process ?

    Maybe some guys can relate to this ?

  249. Bryan Says:

    Kit,

    You are just removed from giving birth. Of course you are having stress symptoms. What you describe is normal. Tons of people have mental blips, zaps, memories, déjà vu and other symptoms of mental and physical fatigue.

    File them under “stress symptoms” and get back to your baby and trying to somehow get some rest. As you refresh the mind, Paul’s methods will begin to come back naturally.

    Congrats on the baby!

  250. K Says:

    Hello,
    I just need some support. I came off a medication a few weeks ago (because i did not see any improvement). I now realize that it was helping to some extent because some symptoms came back, including insimnia. I am determined to not go back though and try and continue on my path with Paul’s method. I am also talking to therapist who mainly teaches me to be patient and kind with myself and my symptoms. In my mind, this is a different advice than Paul’s. I also turn to prayer. I feel like I am going from one thing to another without any result. I am feeling like nothing would help me because I just cannot stick to one method. Due to desperation, I think of death a lot and how my husband and daughter would handle. I want to be here for them, do things for them, enjoy life, but I am not myself, I am just a sad person living with pains and lack of sleep and fear of how to get through tomorrow…
    Thank you,
    K

  251. Kostas Says:

    Hello K,
    If it was a phychoactive medication, you SHOULD NOT been out of it without proper very slow tapering!
    A very useful site to visit for it to advice you, is the survivingantidepressants.org.
    Best of luck
    Kostas

  252. K Says:

    Hi Kostas,
    It was lexapro and I tapered over a couple of months. May be still not slow enough. I am taking lots of vitamins now. I am hoping this dark time will ease up.
    Thank you,
    K

  253. Kit Says:

    Hi Bryan,

    Thanks heaps! And Debbie it is 100% anxiety once I started doing the same method of just allowing and paying it no attention it lifted and haven’t had it since and if it comes back I know what to do!

  254. Alz Says:

    Jude,
    Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I am trying to tell myself that the part of me which imagines these horrible scenarios (going mad etc or having gone mad already, not being able to converse with my husband etc) are all irrational thoughts being caused by anxiety and that i will be OK. I dont know what the trigger was… sometimes there isnt any but i need to have the faith to know that this too shall pass. The concurrent horror stories running in my head are all false.. created thanks to anxiety and when im facing the real situation, i tell myself it will go away. Its a dysfunctional or rather excessively functional nervous system which is protecting me …

  255. Belgian Says:

    Everyone!

    I have been away from this forum for quite some time. It is impossible to read up on everything that has been said here since. I just wanted to offer you some words of hope.

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a magnificent experience. I felt utterly, truly calm and at peace with myself. It might sound strange to call this experience a magnificent one. But as you all know, anxiety is somewhat like the total opposite of this state 😉 .

    In these moments of calm, simple awareness of what is, you see and feel the truth. The truth which your anxious mind constantly tries to cover:

    – The truth that at this moment, you are all already fine. Whatever your situation might be

    – The truth that it is not your relationships, your (imaginary) illnesses, OCD or whatever your anxious mind throws at you which is making you feel anxious

    – The truth that unfortunately we are all living our lives in and through our minds, identifying with every thought, every feeling that passes by

    – The truth that in order to overcome anxiety, the only thing you have to do is accept its presence in any given moment and let it go

    Oh, how simple and yet how not easy all of this is.

    Every question, every scream for help here, is nothing more than a scream uttered by an anxious mind. You (and I) have so identified with anxiety, we let it define who we are. No wonder, we can’t give up on seeking for advice, looking for help, battling and fighting anxiety. If we did not, who would we be?

    Indeed, who would you be if you decided to accept your suffering and your feelings?

    Who would you be? You’d be just the same but without the suffering, but somehow we don’t think that. We think that by letting go and accepting, we are rendered completely helpless. How wrong

    Surrendering to a feeling means nothing more than riding it out. It means nothing more than a headache, a (missed) heartbeat, a tear.

    I currently have a terrible aching back, exhausted and experiencing stress at work. Of course, anxiety is looming over me. But you know what, let it loom. Let it loom just there where it is.

    There is enough space left for happiness, a laugh or at least my awareness as I watch it loom over me from the shadows.

    After all, we ARE NOT in the shadows. We ARE NOT anxiety.

  256. Alz Says:

    Belgian .
    Amazing reply but here’s the thing :
    when im reading and then there’s a continuous thought that i cant read and its continuously running in the background – the thought that i wont be able to concentrate , i accpet that and go about reading? the acceptance is so hard.

  257. K Says:

    Here is my loop. I develop a muscle ache during the day, I then rush to get rest because that is the only thing that helps me to get rid of it. If i get rest/sleep – the muscle aches lift; if I don’t – it stays for a few days (exacerbated by lack of sleep).

    I am seeing my first mistake – I was trying to get rid of the aches instead of letting them be.

    Ok, I am now wide awake at 2am, aching and also anxious that I will be aching and sad all day tomorrow and won’t be able to do much… and, ultimately, that this sadness is accumulating and making me more depressed, which, god forbid, would lead me to wanting to take my life.

    Seeing mistake two. I am not giving in to whatever symptoms I am feeling (in this case, achiness and inability to sleep). Buying into the worst case scenario that my vivid anxious imagination is “helpfully” drawing for me.

    What do I do instead?

    Ok, I am aching and wide awake. I am having some weird chills or pulsing. I have to be up in six hours in order to go and make arrangements for my child’s daycare. I cannot sleep even though I would LOVE to just pass out. Ok, fine. It’s not the best situation, but it is not the end of the world. I will survive. I will catch up on sleep the next night or the night after. And pain will dissipate as soon as I stop worrying about future pain and inability to sleep.

    Is it ok to meditate now? Or is it a technique/crutch that I should drop? Suppose, it is a crutch, so do I just go back to bed and “stare the pain in the eye”? And try not to fall into the usual negative thinking about it? Lost here…

  258. Nick J Says:

    Hi there.

    I now follow this blog most days due to a recent and unforeseen anxiety related breakdown. I am interested in the facts of what I am experiencing and came by such an interesting article today which helped shed some light on what I believe is going on inside me and many others.

    It might be very obvious to some but for those that it might give an extra bit of insight/clarity to, I thought it worthwhile to post it here. Hopefully that’s ok.

    ”Human beings have a long evolutionary history. We did not magically appear out of the ether. We evolved from simple species and still retain most of the biological apparatus that our ancestors used several hundred million years ago. Though we possess higher intelligence, much of our behaviors is not very different from our non human ancestors.

    There are three key areas of the human body and the brain that control our behavior: 1. The reptilian nervous system, including the brain stem and the amygdala in the brain. 2. The mammalian limbic system. 3. The prefrontal cortex. —Know that these three parts of your brain and body control most of your behavior including anxiety, panic, and depersonalization.

    Our reptilian nervous system was the first to evolve. It is a tried and tested piece of fine machinery that we share in common with animals like rats, snakes and even fish. It is blazingly fast to respond to a stimulus but lacks the ability to perform complex tasks, like reasoning or understanding language.

    We then evolved our mammalian limbic system that regulates a number of behaviors using hormones, feelings and emotions.

    Only recently in the evolutionary timeline did we develop a portion of the brain that distinctly made us human. This was the prefrontal cortex, and is responsible for information processing, reasoning, language, thinking and making us laugh whenever we hear a joke.

    The reptilian nervous system is directly responsible for our survival, and one of its main duties is to scan the environment for threats and alert us, immediately, once it finds one.

    Anxiety, Fear, and Your Nerves:

    You might ask what all of this has to do with anxiety. Well, anxiety was previously known as “nervous disorder,” or at times, colloquially as “weak nerves.” The nervous system, which includes the amygdala (a small region in the brain), is primarily responsible for producing feelings of anxiety, fear, panic and dread.

    When the nervous system detects a threat in its surroundings, such as a snake slithering nearby, it immediately instructs the amygdala to produce a sensation of fear so the organism, whether a small rat or a human, can quickly take action and get out of danger.

    But sometimes our nervous system can become extra sensitive and start to raise alarm bells even when there is no real threat.

    Furthermore, our nervous system cannot distinguish between external threat in the outside environment and internal threats coming from inside our own bodies and minds.

    Even a thought can trigger the nervous system. This is the blueprint of an anxiety disorder.

    Sensitized Nervous System:

    Whether through trauma, such as an automobile accident or a difficult childhood, where we had to always be on the lookout for danger, our nervous system can become hypersensitive to threats. There’s also vast evidence supporting the fact that such an oversensitive nervous system can be genetically inherited from anxious parents.

    Slowly, over time, our nervous system becomes hyper-vigilant and is constantly on the lookout for threats, even in places of leisure, such as the park or inside a sauna.

    So, when anxious people are sitting on the train, and it goes into a tight dark tunnel, it can trigger alarm bells. For someone with normal sensitivity, they would not feel as claustrophobic as someone with an over-sensitized nervous system.

    When people with highly sensitized nervous systems step out of the safety of their homes, a threat signal is fired immediately, even when there isn’t any apparent danger.

    Realizing this fact can sometimes be very relieving. When we understand that the reason we experience tremendous fear, anxiety, or panic is due to our highly sensitized nervous system, it removes the mystery behind why we are the way we are. It can help calm us down.

    Our nervous system is an ancient one. It evolved before there was language and thought. Unlike the advanced prefrontal cortex, which understands human language, the nervous system cannot be reasoned with. When you experience anxiety or fear, you cannot argue with your nervous system to make it stop what it was designed to do.

    So, what can one do to desensitize their nervous system?

    R.A.S.P to the Rescue:

    When you’re having a nervous episode, or seized by overwhelming anxiety, you can follow my 4-step RASP technique to calming your nervous system. RASP stands for Remind, Accept & allow, Shift focus and finally Prevent Feedback.

    1. Remind yourself that you are not in any active danger. Your over sensitized nervous system has decided to raise the alarm, even though there is no real threat. Just reiterating to yourself the fact that there is no external threat is enough to calm you down a little.

    2. Accept and allow the fear in. Let all the scary thoughts come and go, whatever they may be. The more we resist fear and panic, the more intense they become. Move closer to the fear. When we accept fear and let the nervous system do its job, it will then return normalcy after sufficiently warning us.

    3. Shift focus to the body sensations that nervousness produces. You might feel compression in your chest; your belly might feel different; or your legs might go weak. It’s all part of the nervousness/anxiety cycle. Accept and allow all of these sensations, while keeping your awareness on your body. This procedure grounds your awareness in the present moment where there is no threat.

    4. Prevent feedback of fear. Anxiety and panic operate on fear producing more fear. By understanding that your nervous system is just sending you incorrect fear signals, you are preventing these signals from stimulating your nerves again and again. Do not believe in all the scary thoughts going through your head. They are not based on what is real. Let the fear and anxiety come up from your nervous system and evaporate as body sensations.

    Repeat the above four steps of the RASP technique until you have naturally calmed down. Over time, by using this technique you can slowly desensitize your nervous system by letting it act out and not feeding it with more worry and fear.

    If we allow ourselves to experience such unpleasant, and sometimes painful feelings, our nervous system will begin to re-calibrate. Through acceptance we let our nervous system know that we are not in danger. It will slowly lose its sensitization. Given enough time, it could go back to normal sensitivity level.

    Our nervous system may be a complex collection of nerves operating at ridiculously high speeds, but if it becomes over sensitized, it can cause chaos in our life. Thankfully, humans also have a highly developed and intelligent brain, which can retrain our nervous system back to its original sensitivity, thereby preventing unnecessary panic and anxiety.”

  259. Jude Says:

    K,

    To simplify, there is no “right” or “wrong” way. Your mind is naturally still looking for an answer to uncertainty. You are trying to instill knowledge where none is needed. You are trying to instill knowledge as a tool for control, as a way to “get it”, where not getting it is the answer you so seek. remember there is no rationalizing with the irrational.

    Think of being lost in a maze and spending hours/days frantically looking for a way out, up and down the same corridors, round and round we go, yet we never find that elusive exit.

    Now imagine being in the same maze but instead of looking for a way out, we just pick a spot and sit down. Any spot will do. Just sit down and give up trying to find a way out. The exit will then just appear.

    With all your thinking you are again, naturally looking for a way to tip the scales, to alter what you don’t want and what you do want, all the while just getting yourself further tangled in anxiety’s web.

  260. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone, it’s incredible to read through people’s stories and see that, stories stripped back, we’re all essentially feeling the same sensations and energy. It’s a bit liberating isn’t it? I’ve had some pretty great insights the past couple of weeks and one of these is that the brain doesn’t actually ’emotionally’ know what it is we are scared of – it’s just reacting from what we’ve taught it. The process of ‘allowing’ is actually about knowing that we’re OK underneath and over the time of letting thoughts and sensations happen, the brain is shown that there is no danger.

    I have a quick question if anyone out there has had this experience.

    My anxiety is often about control (as all anxiety is really) about not being able to escape situations etc. After dragging myself through a bunch of flights last month, I got home and the anxiety transferred itself to things like the meaning of life and the size of the universe etc. These are things my mind keeps looping on and as you can imagine, I don’t really have any safe spaces anymore. I know this is often a blessing because one can’t just kind of half-avoid anxiety anymore – but it still throws me daily.

    I just wanted to write something here in the off chance someone else has come through it or knows someone else on the blog who has and can give me a bit of encouragement or perspective (with sensitivity that i’m incredibly easily spooked at the moment and thus can’t bring myself to google it incase I hear someone has been stuck in such a loop for years :/ )

    I know it’s not the best habit to keep seeking reassurance – but I feel like it would help me so much to just know I won’t have this perception forever. If I just knew it will shift and the world feel more normal, I feel like the path of acceptance i’m on would be that little bit easier.

    Also, Jude and Carl, reading your responses has been really helpful to me today. Thank you. xx

  261. interestedoz Says:

    Hi everyone

    what I am doing is going towards the fear. Feeling the anxiety
    instead of running from it. I have been doing for a couple of months now. Is this the right interpretation of the method?

    thanks in advance

  262. Alz Says:

    Jude did the certainty that the exit will appear come with practice? Or are you a psychologist?

  263. Scott Says:

    Test

  264. K Says:

    Thank you, Jude. I realize that my biggest mistake is avoidance. I am afraid of the pain, insomnia, inability to do things next day, etc., so I am looking for any way possible (meditation, breathing, “being kind to pain”, exercising, etc.) in order to not feel it anymore, in order to get a relief. Instead, I will do whatever it is I would do if anxiety did not exist. I will just sit down in the maze. At the very least, I will not get further tired from thinking and looking. And that is a start.

  265. Scott Says:

    Hi guys , anyone else here suffer particularly bad from Social anxiety ? Me personally, I’ve had it since I was 14-15 ( Was shy for as long as I can remember before that) I really believe social anxiety was the instigator for my other anxieties. Since reading Paul’s book I have made progress , I feel much more comfortable speaking to people. However yesterday I had a bit of a eureka moment and realised the majority of my social anxiety is caused by an overwhelming fear of rejection . My whole life I have feared making mistakes in front of people , feared not being accepted by people , feared that someone I asked out would say no . How do I learn to not fear rejection ?

  266. Mark R Says:

    Hi all,

    It’s been about 5 months since I’ve posted and hope people are going well.

    Seems I’ve hit murky waters again after feeling pretty well for the period I’ve been absent on here. Started to feel tense on Monday evening after work and Tuesday and Wednesday have been very hard days. This evening I’ve been ramped up and even been sick in the process. It’s hard feeling such front line stuff again when you’ve felt calm. Im trying not to project too far ahead but I’m feeling pretty down and off at the moment. Absolutely hate these times!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Markm

  267. Roxana Says:

    It’s a physical symptom that annoyes me so much… the noise inside my head…I have like an engine that is running inside my head all the time, like a humming noise…I can ignore it during the day, but if I want to hear it, it’s always there… I’m not focusing on it since I have it for 1 and half year (have been to MRI and e erything was perfect)… I know it’s just anxiety, sensitiesed nerves, too stressful… but still I would love to know if someone had it and if Yes, if it went away…

  268. Mark R Says:

    Sorry to blog again.

    When you go to bed you sometimes hope that tough times will blow over and you will wake and feel as okay as you have been. Yesterday and last night were filled with high anxiety and this morning I feel at a low ebb. No appetite, interest and feel like I want to cry.

    Sorry if this has “negged” anyone out on here, I just hate dealing with this, as we all do.

    Mark.

  269. K Says:

    Roxanna,
    You might have tinnitus, ringing in the ear. Someone in my family has had it for a long time and she just learned to ignore it overtime. You can have an ENT doctor check it out. If they clear you, and you conclude it is just another face of anxiety, treat it as a temporary discomfort. I have muscular aches and headaches and the less I focus on them, the less I feel them. If you stop paying attention, it will go away.

    Mark,
    You know it is a setback. It has it written all over it. But guess what? It’s time to celebrate because it is anxiety leaving your body. Let it! Feel the discomfort! You will be okay soon.

    Good luck guys,

    K

  270. Mark R Says:

    Thanks K.

    I know what it is and I’ve hit this place many a time over the years. Just hate the ‘S’ word!

    I’ve had a big cry this morning. Its a combination of feeling dreadful and frustration. I know its a storm and will pass like all the others, just never fails to pack a punch!

    Mark

  271. K Says:

    Scott,

    I can relate very much. Being introverted in the world that commends the loud and outspoken is not easy. And yes, many will reject you. But that is okay. Many extroverts will be rejected too. That is just part of life. We cannot count on everyone around loving and approving of us (no matter how many wonderful qualities we might have). If you have not already, overtime you will learn to appreciate yourself the way you are. And when that happens, you will be fine with some people accepting you, and some not. Since we cannot control other people’s reactions, the best thing is just be yourself and let things happen. You are not a superhero who is supposed to be perfect in everything he does. You are a human. It is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to be you.

    Best,

    K

  272. Roxana Says:

    Thanks K :)
    I Guess it’s from my anxiety, since it’s also together with the pressure on my head and a huge fear of not getting to hear strange noises/voices => psychosis
    I know I have to ignore it… I just wanted to see if somebody relates to these ?

  273. Louise Says:

    Can any please give me advice regardin intrusive thoughts mine are always around death self harm an im wondering do ppl actually have these thoughts with anxiety its the only thought tht bothers me plz any advice

  274. Lucy Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m usually never one to ask for it but I wondering if anyone can help me. I’ve been having obsessive, ongoing existential thoughts (what’s life? the universe, what if I end up ending it all? etc) for weeks now. My mind is so fatigued that when the thought pops up I feel a rush of shock/fear as if i’m lost. I’ve been just letting it float in and out as best I can but it makes me so scared i’m going to get incredibly depressed and see no meaning anymore etc.

    It’s just so scary because other than this one thought, my life is really nice and enjoyable. I guess i’ve put so much mental pressure on wanting these thoughts to go away that i’m scared I won’t be able to be “not scared” of them. Sigh

    I’d really love to know if anyone has been through this and if there is hope. It just feels hard to see it as anxiety sometimes because it’s so all encompassing xx

    P.s. Even if someone just had some advice about obsessive thoughts it would really help me so much to know my perspective won’t be like this forever xx

  275. Louise Says:

    Hi lucy im too having thses type of thoughts and have been looking for some advice but I have in the past jus let the thoughts be an have felt some relief from them for wks but thn thy come bk which to me is a set back as these are the thoughts o fear the most.

  276. Jude Says:

    I truly believe a lot of the suffering we go through is because of the reluctance to feel these feelings. The judgement we have applied to these feelings and the thoughts we have attached to these feelings.

    For all of us somewhere, somehow at some point our bodies got run down. It happens to everyone. Here we are going through life, everyday events, stressful occurrences and then BOOM something gives out. Without us even noticing that maybe, just maybe we were pushing too hard. Our body lets us know this by applying these feelings. It is as if the body is crying out, “just stop!”

    But we don’t stop, we then feel these added feelings and decide to press on even harder than before and why?

    We all have different answers to why we continue to push when we should fold. I believe anxiety/depression expose us to a deep feeling of vulnerability a deep feeling of insecurity that we tend to reject instead of embracing.

    Its only natural to a point i guess, look at animals, when injured they tend to be either A) more aggressive and defensive or B) Hide out of site. They know something is wrong and know they are all the more vulnerable because of it.

    Our injury here is falsely perceived and since it is being directed by anxiety/fear it becomes a true distortion and it can only become distorted by attaching thoughts/judgement to the feelings themselves. If you perceive your anxiousness or depression as a weakness you are going to just like that animal choose to be aggressive or hide away.

    Take the feelings as they are though with zero attachment and they are just feelings. Feelings that need to be felt to be free of. Why should we only ever feel good? Why should we hate feeling bad? Both are needed, both are necessary, its balance. To reject one is to reject yourself and it is a deep rejection, one that causes a deep disturbance. We are telling ourselves over and over “there is something wrong with me” when all the while that is a judgement and an extremely false judgement at that. There is nothing wrong other than our inability to feel something we have chosen or were taught to avoid.

    We then claim there are a few weird thoughts or a few weird feelings that if only we were okay with those we would be free from this hell. That is a lie, you have chosen these feelings/thoughts as your peak of the mountain and if only we could climb that high we would remain above such difficulties. There is no mountain to climb there is no final thought or feeling to conquer. There is no checklist with anxiety/depression. There is no job that needs completing. There is only in the long run acceptance of ones self no matter what one is feeling or thinking.

    So maybe instead of looking for answers or reassurance that always just keeps us on the worry wheel, we could instead practice allowing these feelings/thoughts to just be. Maybe then we could notice what it is deep down that we truly need, love, a good cry, a hug, some rest, a good laugh, etc. Your body and mind need some care not more abusing and further false judgement.

    On a side note…

    K,

    Your response to Scott was so thoroughly thoughtful and caring, what a beautiful person you must be. Now imagine giving yourself that bit of compassion. :)

  277. Jude Says:

    Another quick bit…

    All this talk of existentialism. The meaning of life and the galaxy. I am sure you are already well aware of just how very very tired your mind is. Imagine thinking of these existential things with a mind that is very well rested and I am sure they would still seem quite overwhelming.
    Your anxiety at the moment is persuading fear upon these things instead of pure wonder of their mystic and majesty.
    Here’s an example, look up at the sky and I mean truly look at it. Ever expanding and an awesome site for sure. Then look at it while feeling anxious, it’s still ever expanding and awesome but now there is an exaggeration this perception. That exaggeration that anxiety instills in us is the same for the big things AND the small.

  278. K Says:

    Jude,

    Thank you so much, your words made me cry. I am feeling very insecure this week, wondering if my husband still loves me after seeing the rollercoaster of my emotions, why it is so hard for me to deal with a toddler while others make it look so easy, questioning my self worth, fearing death. I am realizing more and more that the anxiety/depression has a lot of negative crap to tell me about me, so, I am just letting it talk but not doing anything about it. I am still feeling very low. I understand it is part of the process.

    Warm regards,

    K

  279. Lucy Says:

    *Apologies if this is a double up comment – something glitched out*

    Jude, what a wonderful response. Thank you so much for all of your insights.

    I had a bit of an insight last night where I felt quite ‘normal’ for about ten – twenty minutes and while the thoughts were still there, there wasn’t a scary feeling around them. This was a true insight into the fact that we don’t need to get rid of the thoughts themselves, it’s more a matter of letting them be – and over time the response (ie anxiety) fades away, because we stop resisting and fighting and analysing.

    Louise, one thing I remind myself of with this type of thinking, is that whatever you’re feeling afraid of, there is someone out there who has devoted their life to the topic and finds it absolutely fascinating and wonderful ie: philosopher, astrophysicist etc. Therefore it’s more our anxiety + whatever the question/topic which equals the discomfort and fear. As anxiety fades over time, the thoughts can still be there but won’t fill us with that dread as if we are ourselves FEELING the weight of the world/universe. We are only ever feeling our thinking, and thinking shifts.

    It is so true that we get into the trap of thinking “Just this symptom/thought needs to go and i’ll be OK!” I absolutely agree and I had gotten into that trap myself. I had gotten myself into an obsessive loop of thinking about such matters, so much so that it was like the effect of saying a word over and over again – it just makes it more bizarre and unnerving.

    If it helps anyone else, this piece really opened my eyes to how we (innocently) teach ourselves fears, and that ‘doing nothing’ about them truly is the way to teach our brains that they are not a threat (I don’t think I can post the link so just google: Nothing Works, Weebly) The writer of this came through pretty much every symptom of anxiety you can imagine including obsessive thoughts. Something about reading this made the whole nature of acceptance click for me, personally.

    xx

  280. Louise Says:

    I dont if anyone else has this but its like I try to be positive and think happy but there is this little thought always there thinking negative thoughts is this common.

  281. Carl Says:

    Lucy;

    Glad my post helped you somewhat. Since posting last, I’ve been feeling even better again than before, and only came back on here to try and help others. My story was that I was living an anxiety-free life until the age of 30 (and I still am 30) then one day… I suffered with obsessive thoughts which purely came from discovering an OCD website by chance. I never knew that people could ever think such dark and disturbing thoughts and it scared me so much that when I read about it , I then unintentionally applied it to my own life and there it was . Panic and fear hit me for the first time, Anxiety. What was happening to me? I’d never experienced such overwhelming feelings of unease before. I didn’t understand what was going on and because my body took that scary thought as a potential threat I was unable to stop thinking about it and my feelings combined.

    To cut this story short, through knowledge and understanding of Anxiety I lost the fear of it. I was no longer scared of feeling uneasy or having these thoughts, and the most wonderful thing happened to me. I realised that by taking the fear away and having a ‘so what?’ attitude, the thoughts faded away, and I’d say are gone completely now. The only thing I was left with was the memory of past suffering and habit developed through a lack of knowledge. I was afraid of reverting back to the way I was. But through FULL acceptance, seeing the thoughts for what they are (meaningless) things get easier and all you need to do then is let your body recover , your damaged nerves. So you go from being sensitised (where pretty much any thought about it triggers a feeling/sensation), to de-sensitised , where your triggers don’t give as much of an overwhelming surge of adrenaline anymore. So in essence, your brain learns it no longer needs to fill you with such surges anymore as there’s nothing to fear in the first place. The more you realise this, it helps you understand even more… and you feel even better again, like me. Patience is important in recovery, it cannot be rushed and as long as you know that it was you that taught your brain to be fearful of something which does not exist, you can be rest assured that you can retrain it back to the way it used to be and the anxious habit becomes unlearned . Anxiety is just a behaviourial habit we all acquire by mistake.

  282. Alz Says:

    Hey!
    Quick question : Paul and others mention how anxiety results from a tired mind . How does one rest a tired mind besides sleeping and understanding that the thoughts etc are resulting from a tired mind?

  283. Lucy Says:

    Carl, your post really resonated with me! I have actually been able to see very clearly how this fear for me came about. The last time I had anxiety I would subtly avoid watching anything about the universe etc – I think that came from being raised in a catholic household til I was 18 with slight aversion to disproof of God etc. Anyway, kind of arbitrary in hindsight since plenty of religious people are into the universe, but regardless – my brain most have noticed all those little subtle avoidance behaviors around such themes and so when I was well and truly in this anxiety cycle, it just threw it back at me full force.

    So I see that now is my real chance to shrug off the thoughts, not avoid and to truly show my mind that I am safe through my behavior – even better, that the topic can actually be deeply pleasurable and amazing to learn about.

    If it’s any help to anyone else experiencing obsessive thoughts, I can tell you that the perception won’t be stuck on you forever. When I first experienced anxiety I had the one thought obsession that went for almost a year (because I didn’t know what I know from Paul’s writing etc and I was trying to stop it constantly.) finally I learned to accept the thoughts and get on with my day, and they faded. It really was a case of waking up one day and realizing “oh! I haven’t thought that thing in a while. Funny” and you know what? Today I can’t even tell you exactly what the thought was, only the theme, and it brings about zero anxiety. And I really was obsessing for about a year, daily.

    So thank you Carl for this reminder! It’s SO hard to believe the lens will ever shift but I am remembering now that it does xx

  284. K Says:

    Overcome with fear and sadness again. Feeling the now familiar deep pain througout one side of my body head to toe. I keep goong back and forth between ‘this is just another face of anxiety’ to ‘I have some kind of disorder that they cannot diagnose and by not knowing what to do, I am getting worse’. For days or sometimes weeks, I don’t have pain. And those weeks I have a more standard anxiety symptom bothering me. I find it easier to apply Paul’s method with something that other people here have complained of too. There is usually something else negative on my mind (some self-conscious ideas of myself) when this pain sets in. This is making me very sad and helpless. It makes me feel that I do not even belong in this group and should go to some physical disease forum, but which one?? Anyone else here is experiencing chronic body pain?

  285. Rena Says:

    Hello everyone,I’ve been out of this blog for about 4 years. i had almost every symptom of anxiety-it started from panic attacks, later I felt depersonalisation, insomnia,fear of going crazy, scary thoughts and more.When I accepted one symptom, then the other came:) But finally I was free -it happened only with acceptance and giving up the fear of the fear :) But 6 months ago, while I was relaxing in bed in the evening I felt heart missbeats. And the cycle has started again-oh my god , is it a heart attack,will I die, I counted my pulse like crazy, I was afraid to ride my bike, to exercise, I convinced myself that I have problems with my heart. Of course I started to fell various symptoms-like chest pain, hypertenzia and etc. At last I consulted with cardiologyist.Guess what-my heart was fine.He told me that I have anxiety:)So,after the consultation I finally gave up the struggle.Whatever happens I let it happen.i can’t control everything in my life , even my heart:) I accept every symptom and I am not afraid anymore.It’s just anxiety playing tricks with our minds and emotions.Be patient and accept.It’s the only way, believe me:)

  286. Carl Says:

    It would be nice to hear if Paul reads these messages. I’m sure he does and is all too familiar with each and everyone of us. Has been for years. His work is inspirational and should be recognised by all medical professionals around the world instead of offering pills and therapy eliminate these unwanted thoughts and feelings. We’re supposed to feel them, supposed to challenge our triggers so that our mind eventually learns and realises, there is no threat anymore. It takes time to master, but as soon as you understand it, it makes perfect sense. Paul realised that, as I now have. And whilst it’s going to take courage, i fully trust the process and am no longer scared of it.

  287. Louise Says:

    all of you are very inspiring on this blog but can ask if anyone else has ever had thoughts of self harm constantly I find this is one that keeps coming up for me n I jus cant seem to let it be im scared to incase I do what my mind is thinking. Any advice

  288. Carl Says:

    Louise:

    Ask yourself this… do you truly want to self harm? No. I’ll tell you why, because you are seeking reassurance. If you truly wanted to do it, you wouldn’t be seeking reassurance. Realise that it’s just Anxiety playing it’s tricks on you, it’s not a real thought that says ‘anything’ about you as a person. Instead of being worried of the thought or that the thought may make you do it, instead… just accept it. Yes, that’s all … accept it. It will be uncomfortable to start with but know that its ok to have these thoughts. Accept them and don’t fight them, let them come and let them naturally pass over your mind like floating clouds. The more you do this, the less anxious you’ll be and less fearful you’ll be and the thoughts eventually fade over time :) it really is that simple. Hopefully this will end your fear. You are ok, I promise you. Be kinder to yourself, life is wonderful.

  289. Rena Says:

    Louise:
    Yes, I had these thoughts.I even had thoughts about harming my children. can you imagine how terryfied I was. But deep in my heart I knew that I will never do this. Believe me, you won’t harm yourself:) Accept these thoughts,let them be,smile ang go on with your daily routine.Then you’ll notice that they are not so scary .believe me ,one day you’ll smile when you have them.Just be patient .You are not alone

  290. Louise Says:

    Rena and Carl thank you so much,iv had lots of thoughts and I did have a few wks where I felt my normal self but these thoughts seem to be the hardst of all but thank you both so much for answering my post it has reassured me that I can do this ?

  291. Carl Says:

    You can do it , yes. You aren’t any different to the rest of us. It can be done, just takes practice not to identify your thoughts as real. No matter how loud they shout, they may even come across as little mini video clips in your mind where you see them in greater force. It’s still nonsense and the biggest thing to realise is that you are not your thoughts. Fact. :) next time you get a thought , smile to yourself. Smile and think , ‘ok brain, I know you are trying to scare me, but I’m not going to pay you any attention anymore’ and that’s acceptance. We aren’t a dog that needs to chase the stick, just because our brain throws us a stick, doesn’t mean we need to chase it.

  292. Andy J Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just a quick update from me. I have reluctantly been back to see the local mental health provider and have been referred to a higher stage of therapy. Unfortunately I dont know how long this will take as they apparently have a decent waiting list.

    I am trying to get on with just living. I know the key here is to ‘get on with your day’, but what if you can’t? What if this has sapped all of your energy and you literally can not think about other things. You are so distracted from work and things you used to enjoy doing that there is nothing you feel like doing?

    Also, when we say allow the thoughts to be there, where is the cut off point for allowing them to be there too long, which ultimately leads in to analyzing them? And on the same theme, if we do try and throw ourselves in to other tasks, when does distraction become avoidance?

    There always feels like a huge pressure to get better, be it at work or at home, and I struggle to keep focused on allowing these thoughts and anxiety to do their thing, especially when the natural reaction is to fight.

    I am convinced that I have an extreme case here, of several different themes, affecting my life in more than one way. All of which have lead me down a dark and lonely path of depression.

    Again, sorry for the rant, but this is literally the only place I can get things off my chest at the moment.

    Andy

  293. Louise Says:

    Im sorry for righting on the blog again but I dont if iv gt dp/Dr I feel like body and surrounding are not in sinc with one another, I find my vision is affected and one minute im up the next im down,really tired and can be very moody is this normal

  294. Scott Says:

    Hi Andy I can totally relate with what you are saying. I’m bombarded with anxious thoughts all day and I try to allow them but then I too start analysing them. Often IL just change the subject in my head , go on my phone , or start speaking to someone to give mysslf a break. But I believe this may come under avoidance. Thing is if I’m being honest when I was going through a particularly bad time last year for a week straight I refused to let myself to think anxious thoughts ,every time I would have an anxious thought I would say to my self ” it’s only anxiety ” and then carry on with my day. Truth is It was the best I’d felt for a long time but I think the underlying anxiety was still there

  295. Ian Says:

    Been a long time seen I was last on here but sadly After such a good/strong few months inwhich I actually found myself laughing and having fun(even the wife commented it that it was nice to see my hold self again)ive now hit a set back.
    We’re currently in the earlier stages of selling/buying a house, which is stressful I know, but now my anxiety as come back to have its fun with me.
    In have come the sleepless nights of thinking, walking around in a cloud, wondering if I ever did really recover, the what ifs and the rest.

    Hope this doesn’t seem too silly of me

  296. Rena Says:

    Ian, setback is a sign of a healing process.Believe me! Please,don’t start asking why I feel low again,I felt so good and now I feel so bad,maybe I’ll never get better and etc. I said to myself that setback is a chance to practise acceptance.Don’t be afraid,it is a normal process.I had a lot of setbacks, but after sometime I was not afraid anymore.Say to yourself-ok, now I feel bad,but I’ll just live my life,do what I have to do and let myself to feel the way I feel now. I am stronger now,i have a lot of knowledge ,so I know that I am recovering.( sorry for my english:)

  297. Carl Says:

    I recommend as well as this website, To all check out Dr Claire Weekes in overcoming Anxiety. Google her and you will find a wiki link to her which contains MP3’s. They. Are. Incredible. It makes perfect sense. Trust me on this. All about pure pure Acceptance. Some of the content is a little dated now as it was recorded a few decades ago but the principle is very much applicable to this very day.

  298. Lucy Says:

    Hi all,

    I second Carl’s recommendation of Claire Weekes. I read her book Self Help for your Nerves and it helped solidify some things, though slightly dated.

    I also wanted to recommend a link to a letter someone on here recommended. It’s called “Nothing Works” (just google it)

    This article/letter REALLY made the allowing thing click for me. Everyone is different but something about understanding what the brain is doing, that anxiety is a learned habit and most importantly, what it is you’re conveying to the brain when you just carry on about your day (it is not in vain! It’s actually doing something!) took away so much fear for me. It is written by an ex-sufferer of incredibly severe anxiety.

    I hope this helps
    XX

  299. Lucy Says:

    P.s. Sorry, search for “Nothing Works Letter To Myself” – the direct site is at nothing works dot weebly xx

  300. Javi Says:

    Hello

    I am new to this website i found it while searching for answers for what i am feeling right know and i know that i am not doing anything good to me doing this, i am a 29 years old male english is not my first lenguage sorry if i make mistakes haha, my problem started since i was 10 years old struggling with heavy separation anxiety i remember times i didnt go to school because of this,i went to therapy and all was well but 3 years ago all this thing started again, it all begin one day when i was alone on my home my parents were out for vacations and i had a problem i need to talk to them,i try to reach them by phone i wasnt unable to do so my panic flared out of the blue i was gagging,sweating and feeling like everything is closing after a while i could reach them i was calm,but this lingering sensation of bad feeling wont go away, like when you think something bad would happen, and since then i have to call them almost daily to feel calm if i cant reach them panic flares again hard, i cant believe at my age i have this issue again i have a lot of things i want to do but this feeling wont leave me alone,i cant concentrate, i feel weird , sweating i know its all anxiety but right know i am having a hard time, any help would be welcome.
    Thank you

  301. Char Says:

    Andy and Scott

    My thoughts – as u know I was really bad a few weeks ago. However I decided that actually I wasn’t going to accept feeling crap anymore because to me it felt crap and I didn’t want to feel like that. I can read others saying it doesn’t matter if you feel bad -carry on etc all day long but I just couldn’t accept that or understand it. So I decided to accept I had anxiety but to not accept that it didn’t matter to me – cause it did and it was and is crap.

    So I changed slightly to not allowing the thoughts to do what they liked – ok I can’t control them but I can answer them back or say “it’s just anxiety” and the difference has been amazing.

    I have also deliberately done “self care”‘- yes to try and feel better – cause why not – I hate feel anxious. So I started yoga and meditation and shopping – everything I liked and again – it’s worked.

    Sometimes I think we can misinterpret the “acceptance” – well i was anyway. Yep I accept I have anxiety but I don’t have to accept and listen to nonsense thoughts and I don’t have to accept that I can’t try to get better cause I can. DoIng things you enjoy creates pleasure pathways in the mind. Telling anxious thoughts to do one and to replace them with a more positive thought builds up positive pathways.

    I know all about thought suppression and thought stopping and I am not advocating that – it’s just a slightly different mindset that you are in control of you and the way you want to choose to get better.
    Make lists of everything you enjoy and refer to them -‘a lot if want – when u feel better you won’t even bother to look at them again. Do what feels right for you – you know yourself best.
    Sorry if that rambling…. but hope it helps

  302. Char Says:

    Andy and Scott – I Forgot a to say something I think is crucial – distraction is NOT avoidance. You must firstly accept the anxiety but then you distract away – give your brain something to focus on – that’s well known advice but sometimes I think we are somehow afraid of distracting – but it is very powerful – I don’t mean running around like a headless chicken but rather when u are very anxious – really really focus hard on something else – this will reduce the anxiety rather than feed it….. and when the anxiety comes back – cause it will – just keep doing the same thing – acknowledged it is there and then refocus on something else … and keep doing it- whether it is a million times a day .

  303. Alz Says:

    Char,
    Great to hear t hat you’re doing well. I have also attributed all my scary thougths to a tired brain and anxiety. Howver, its a constant train of thoughts and then there’s the thought “Am i normal’ . Like you i am also shopping (just went) although the thoughts were running, drove and just got back. However, do you get the constant thought of.. am i normal? is this ok ? will i blurt something crazy? these thougths are there but again i am attributing them to a tired mind.. so tired that a side effect of it , is these thoughts. I know im moving in the right direction – there is no other option and thank GOD when i talk its like i make sense even though my midn is so caught up in the thougHTS. So its like i have to cater to two worlds- the real one and the one in my head. Like evryone who’s recovered here says, the more you involve yourself in the real world, the more the world of thoughts fades away and you are once again yourself. Except, one needs to have that faith that these are just thoughts when you’re practicing acceptance.

  304. Alex Says:

    Hello,

    I would like to ask some advice regarding recovering from anxiety and putting the advice in the book to good use.
    I am a 22 year old guy. I have been suffering from anxiety and depersonalization as long as I can remember. I only found out about “depersonalization” last year, but I have been having feelings of unreality all my life. I often worry whether I have DpDr as I don’t remember any traumatic event taking place in my childhood, or when my feelings of unreality began.
    The last couple of years I have just suffered so much. I was never a popular kid and I was always viewed as an outsider whether it was because of being overweight or moving to a different country. What makes it worse is that I am very ambitious and I’ve always wanted to be successful in life.
    A couple years ago I came across a community online which focused on success mainly through self-improvement and dating. It’s suffice to say that I felt like I just escaped the matrix; I learnt about meditation, psychology, sociology, meeting women, how to be interesting, social etc.
    In a way, this experience made my depression worse than before. You see all these successful guys who go out and talk to girls like it was nothing, make friends and work very hard in life. And I don’t do these things because I am just so afraid and lazy. Sometimes I feel as if I am the laziest and the most hard working person at the same time.
    I went abroad to study twice, in way to ‘soul search’ and to better myself. I am a 100% sure that I was always the person who put the most effort into socialising; I knew the most people out of everyone, yet I found it impossible to make close friendships. Yet again, I was the outsider. People say I try too hard. But if I didn’t try I would just stay at home, if you understand where I’m coming from. It doesn’t help that whenever I tried to woo a girl things would never ever work out. This is actually the main reason I fell into a very deep depression. My close friends know me as the guy who is always trying but never succeeding with girls.
    I find it impossible to have fun when I go out, after a while I just feel like a robot, just going through the motions and pretending I’m fine. But the other option is just going home.

    Anyways, sorry for the long rant, I just thought there might be others out there who are like me; even inside the circle of anxiety sufferers.

    I’ve read the book multiple times. At least 5 times the first half of the book. I don’t understand it as Paul says we should give up the fight, yet also go out to not fall into the avoidance trap. This is a contradiction. Going out despite fear IS fighting anxiety. As I said, I have been trying to be courageous in the last couple of years. Studying abroad, going out and talking to girls and trying to make friends, despite my mind telling me to stay inside and watch videos. It didn’t help me at all.
    Also I’m worrying about my depersonalizaiton now more than ever. If I didn’t even know that I had deperwpnalization for the first 20 years of my life shouldn’t it have disappeared??
    I went to a psychiatrist once in my life. Never taken meds or went to therapy and I don’t intend to. Otherwise I cannot be present to the moment whilet meditating. I tried all sorts of meditations and other practices believe me. Used to go to the gym rigorously and had a very healthy diet. Didn’t feel better at all.

    Anyone maybe have had similar experiences to mine and could offer some advice please? Thank you so much,
    Alex

  305. Jolene Says:

    Has anyone of you ever missed anxiety/depression after they recovered? I never thought I would say this, but after having suffered for a long time, and now been anxiety/depression free for about two years, I just feel… empty. When I was suffering I was always trying to find meaning to life, focussed on the smallest thing around me to make me feel just a tiny bit happy. Looking back, in my darkest times, I felt extremely connected to everything around me. I read about Buddhism, the universe, read poetry, meditated, went for walks, paid more attention to my husband and kids etc. And then one day, all of my effort paid off, and I started to feel like my old self again. It just feels like my old self is quite superficial, caught up in the ratrace around me, and I feel no motivation whatsoever to contemplate about the mystery of life like I used to when I was unwell.

  306. Char Says:

    Alz

    Absolutely everything you describe , I have had. Living like two different people – one to the outside world and another in my head – yes totally. Constant mind chatter – am I normal, why does my voice sound odd . What if I go crazy, what if I shout something odd, what if I etc etc etc. You don’t have to attribute it to a tired mind – although it is – just think it’s anxiety – that’s it’s nothing more – your mind is just reacting to the stress hormones you are feeding it ! You have too much stress hormones because you are anxious- those stress hormones cause you to think hard and constantly- and that’s been it’s – nothing more.

    I admire you Alz, as you have managed a very difficult life event and are now on the road to recovery… sounds like u are doing everything great – try telling those anxious thoughts to do one tomorrow!

  307. Nick Says:

    Hi guys,

    Really appreciate all the comments I wonder though if anyone can help me with some advice as i feel some of my symptoms are slightly different to all the stuff i read on here.

    So ive had anxiety for about 6/7 years which all started from a huge panic attack triggered by smoking some weed. At the time i had a few money troubles and family worries which i think contributed.

    Anyway in the early days i had heavy DP and thought i was completely mad, id suffer dark anxious periods but not too many physical symptoms. I started running and meditating and managed to eventually improve a lot after a couple of years and while not cured it was very background and i could go out drinking with friends and lead a vaguely normal life.

    About a year and a half ago the deep anxiety crept back in though and I had a huge panic attack in a pub while having a drink and anxiety returned with full force.

    The problem is this time its worse than before. I had physical symptoms for a good while, most notably stomach upset sometimes. But now I constantly feel on edge and have completely lost hope that i will ever be free or be able to enjoy life again.

    The worst part is, i have become intensely fearful of drinking. As soon as i have 2 or 3 pints i think i’m going mad and feel like i have DP and am scared of losing control. So i have had to stop completely and cant just chill and meet friends for a drink (i never used alcohol as crutch btw)

    I am also intensely fearful of dating girls as i tried to go on a couple of dates but got hugely panicked. Another bizarre thing i have is i am acutely aware of my reflection in mirrors, windows etc etc, i had this the first time i had anx too.

    Thing about my panic is that i show no physical symptoms really, apart from occasional stomach upset sometimes. But i just have about 30 minutes of utter doom and despair, thinking i’m going nuts but also that i’m so deeply troubled and that i will never be free and my life is over which then ruins my whole night.

    Also the slightest thing can raise my anx levels. Ive known about pauls method for 6 years but I feel like ‘allowing’ my anx just isn’t helping.

    I also now have periods were im not just on edge but also depressed and question everything from my job (a lot) to my whole existence especially my ‘purpose’ and definitely dont believe i will be happy or free again, my confidence is shot to pieces. I basically cannot just relax and live in moment when i do anything and the not being able to do normal things like have a beer or go on a date is just feeding my anx more and making me more depressed.

    I also find the idea of huge life changes like girlfriends or babys absolutely terrifying.

    I know a lot of people don’t think therapy is necessary because they have pauls method etc and all the info is there but but the only reason paul was able to write his great book was because he had a great therapist himself to help him through. So i am thinking that i could get one too and get proper support as ive been struggling for so long now.

    Anyway any help or guidance anyone can give i would be hugely grateful for as im finding it harder than ever at the moment…

    Thanks

    Nick

  308. Mamba Says:

    Hi, i’ll try to keep it brief. i’ve suffered with anxiety for many years but to keep it to one problem i’m having a tough time relaxing and watching films and TV. it feels stupid to bring it up as there are so many people with bigger problems but being a huge film fan (i watch hundreds a year) it’s seriously affecting me.

    I’ve been on 30mg Citalopram since 14th august which has helped calm my overall mood but still having a problem.

    I can follow the plot but i keep getting thoughts popping in checking to remind me i’m not relaxed and offering other negative thoughts. also get rehearsing of conversations in my head or going over thoughts to do with what i’m watching.

    I’ve started to read At Last A Life and it’s helping but i also have that thought “what if this isn’t just anxiety” “what if i cant get over this?”

    I guess i’m just looking for advice from fellow sufferes and to see if anyone has gone thought this.

    Thanks

  309. Alz Says:

    Char thanks a lot ??
    It means a lot .. given what ur saying I’m not alone and it gives me hope that one day I can recover , be anxiety free and hv a child :)

  310. Char Says:

    You are already fine Alz, you do well, you still carry on and u goto work and shop – and all that with anxiety as well – u should he proud. and u r most definitely not alone…

  311. Anon Says:

    I agree

  312. Cray Says:

    hello, i have a question i hope someone can answer me. I am feeling relatively ok these days, still feeling odd sometimes but accepting thoughts and feelings are now easier than before. but this symptoms that i  have is still bothering me. one time i was cleaning my desk and at the corner of my eyes i thought i saw my laptop but when i double check it it was not there and it freaked me out. now everytime i saw a flash of light or a figure i tend to doubt if i am the only one seing it or not, or am i seing it right as other people see it.
    :( my eyes also feel dilated and dry. is this just anxiety symptom? is this normal to have with anxiety?

  313. Alz Says:

    anon, char …
    thank you so much! Such support really gives me comfort :)

  314. Elle Says:

    Hi Cray

    I can totally relate to your comment, I also had experiences of thinking I was seeing/hearing things that weren’t there. I can only say that this happens with lots of people but we only react to it due to the anxiety, then we wonder if we’re going mad! We’re not! It’s just the anxiety tricking us into over analysing it.

    I also get the dry eyes etc too, eye drops can help this if becomes annoying. There’s drops you can buy from the pharmacy called hypromellose eye drops which can help.

    Elle

  315. Alz Says:

    Char ,
    But having said that I also fear I will lose it all and lose my mind -start believing my thoughts . To have the faith that it’s all just anxiety and that one will be ok on the others side of fear is like takign a leap of faith

  316. Char Says:

    Hi Alz

    Yes I know I have the same worries but they are only worries . Many of us on here have exactly the same symptoms as one another – all anxiety symptoms. We even have the same thoughts! It all proves it is anxiety. There is nothing else , it is anxiety!

    Is today a work day for you Alz?

  317. Belgian Says:

    All,

    There really is no cure for anxiety. Stop looking for it.

    Before all of you get depressed, hear me out.

    There is no cure for anxiety as it is not a disease.

    Anxiety is part of our human nature. Without we as a species would have gone extinct millions of years ago. It is the ultimate self-protect system ever built.

    It heightens your senses in such a way it prepares you to fight back the lion that attacks or to flee the scene as soon and as quickly as possible.

    All of the symptoms you are describing and I mean all of them, are nothing more than the result of the adrenaline that your body produces because it thinks it is in danger. It thinks it is in danger because you are telling it is. It is acting just the way it is supposed to act.

    ALL of you couldn’t be healthier.

    If you are healthy, why do you suffer? You suffer because unfortunately you don’t see the immediate threat (as there is none) and therefore start inventing one. Whether it be your symptoms, your thoughts or some seemingly unsolvable life issue. You are all so good in thinking off things that are causing your anxiety. You do this because you HATE (and i think can rightfully put these letters in capital :) the way you are feeling. You hate every aspect of it. You hate it so much, you want to stop feeling it not tomorrow, not within an hour but NOW. You hate it even more. You hate it because it scares you. Which is ironic as it is designed to scare you :-)

    The truth is that you have become scared of yourself. There is nothing else. You have become scared of the effects of adrenaline. You have become scared of the very thing that is trying to protect you.

    “Protect me against what?!” you might say. Who knows, but more importantly: who cares? Human emotions are by definition not an exact science. In fact, it makes more sense to become scared one time too many. Your body is built that way to protect and keep you safe. Everyone has these moments. Remember last time you got a scare because you thought you saw a spider where in fact it was a leaf.

    At first you got scared (provided you are afraid of spiders in the first place :) ), but when you realized it was a leaf, the fear left your body and you didn’t think about it anymore.

    Now imagine you seeing that spider constantly and everywhere. This is what happening to you. You have become afraid of your own fear and as it is something you carry with you all of the time, there is no way you can escape it.

    You are now presented with two options.

    The first is to fight back or run away. As I’ve said, it is impossible and it will not offer you success. And yet everyone of you asking for advice, looking for reassurance (this is anxiety, isn’t it?), frantically reading about anxiety keeps doing it. When I read all your comments, I want to shout at you “STOP”. Leave it. You are afraid of your own shadow. It is as simple as that. Believe me, I don’t judge you for doing it though. I did it for many years and very often I catch myself of doing it again.

    But I know the right way now.

    The right way is to “do” nothing.

    Going back to the spider. As I’ve said, the moment you have gotten close enough to the ‘spider’ and realize there is no spider, fear will subside.

    You too have to go and see the spider in order to know it is only a leaf. Of course, it is much more difficult to understand how to ‘go’ to an emotion than it is to go to the spider. Here is where acceptance comes in. Acceptance doesn’t mean not to be afraid. Not to feel anxious. On the contrary, without feeling anxiety you couldn’t possibly ever accept.

    Acceptance means being with your anxiety without being totally consumed by it. Without fighting it or doing something about it. Acceptance means nothing more than surrendering to the feeling completely. That way you will understand, know AND FEEL that these feelings and thoughts can’t harm you.

    I have spent so many years fearing all kinds of stuff only to understand this: That everything I have ever feared was nothing more than just my own tail. There are no words to describe how much energy went into this battle with myself.

    And still, I truly believe this battle is the best thing that ever happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a terrible and awful experience. But without it, I would not feel as strong, confident and humble as I do today. How else can one become strong if he/she did not felt weakness before?

    All of you. Stop DOING something. Stop trying to stop your thoughts. Stop trying to question ‘your setback’. Stop trying to figure out why you are feeling ‘dizzy’. Stop it all. Stop it now. I know all the tricks your mind will throw at you. All the what ifs that pop up when you are practicing this approach. Even stop trying to stop them. Stop doing things about your anxiety and start doing things in your life instead.

    What do you have to lose?

  318. Alz Says:

    Char ,
    It is a work day and Iv been going late to work almost everyday because I dotn feel like waking up. The thing is , my work people are so good, they let me come late but obviously I need to get my act together! I’m alright when I’m at work … besides the fear of babbling something incorrect , not being able to concentrate etc . My workload has increased for sure this term .

  319. Cray Says:

    Thanks Elle,

    I know i should stop all this assurance and just keep on living and going with my day, and i keep on reminding my self not to over analyze but when this kind of things happen my body reacts so fast that when i remind my self not to over analyze its already too late because i felt all the energy and fear in me already. But the good thing is i can calm my self faster. I guess i’m still a little bit disappointed that this kind of silly things still gets me to react in a certain way.

    Regards,

    Cray

  320. Mark R Says:

    Great post Belgian.

    I think my biggest issue at the moment is feeling frustrated when anxiety presents itself again. For the most part I seem to have pesky symptoms at a low level but I’m happy in my mood and function very well. For example I had a week off last week and was feeling good and spent the week doing hobbies and travelling to different places in the UK. Sunday morning I was out with my camera and then had waves of anxiety and have been feeling tense and down since. Seems to be an instant thing and always innocuous for me.
    It always lifts but its annoying and extemely uncomfortable.

    Any thoughts?

  321. Char Says:

    Alz

    Remember it is so normal to feel worse in the mornings- and so what if u r late – I’m always late as well but make it up later so it all works out!

    How lovely that work is supportive to you, that’s really good

  322. Belgian Says:

    @Alz: you are one of the bravest persons on this forum. You continuously try to fight off your symptoms and never give up. You must have an enormous amount of energy :-) Now for once, try to stop living for tomorrow when you are “anxietyfree”. Try to live for today. However you feel. Stop trying to feed into persons, but just live your life. You can do it and you will do it. I am sure of that.

    @AndyJ: you can’t ‘do’ nothing more than you are currently doing. You are getting help and that is fantastic. The only thing that I would wish you is to be able to accept, albeit it just a little bit at first, the place where you are right now. At the same time, never stop talking about how you feel. Give it air whenever it is possible. Rant as much as you want and like. I am giving you the only knowledge that is needed to ‘recover’ which is stop trying to do something about the way you feel in a given moment. You will get there too and when you fall back. You get back up. That is the only way.

    @Ian: lol, so recognizable. I just went through the same process as well. And oh yes. Anxiety returned. It wasn’t funny. But it left me quite quickly after everything settled down and more importantly during it , it wasn’t as difficult as before. The reason for this , is that I was expecting and also accepting it. I tried to give ‘it’ names again: health problems, relationship problems, .. but I never stopped realizing it was only stress. Good luck, this little glitch in the road is yet another opportunity to practice!

    @Mark R: When I am at work and talking to a colleague, I sometimes begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy and experience difficulty to concentrate. I notice my breathing becomes bad. It would be very easy to develop a panic attack and it is not at all a funny feeling. :-) All of this happens automatically. I have no control whatsoever on this. BUT I have a choice. I can make the choice to capitulate and run away or I can continue to have my conversation with those feelings present. I always choose the last. Always. I don’t care how bad or uncomfortable it feels. Don’t make the mistake to assume that recovery is never feeling anxious again. Recovery is about being able to handle anxiety without it hindering you to live a normal life.

  323. Elle Says:

    Hi Cray

    No worries, I know what it’s like, it takes time. I still question myself when my mind plays tricks but I guess if it was a sign of madness it would’ve been confirmed long ago! I used to ask the people around me if they were hearing and seeing the same things I was to make sure I was ok but stopped that now as that became a habit.

    Hope you’re having a good day!?

    Elle

  324. Cray Says:

    Hi Elle,

    Thank you for your help. Yeah i’m not asking the people around me anymore ‘coz i realize it only fuels my anxiety. But to be honest the feeling of shock and adrenaline that comes after it is what bothers me the most, i guess i just have to live with it for now until my nerves gets the rest it needs.

    Cray

  325. Mamba Says:

    Hi, not sure why it took 2 days for my message to be approved. it feels pushy to point it out but it was posted on th 24th.

    Thanks

  326. Alz Says:

    Thanks Belgian !! It’s just getting tough these days. Just need this support and prayers . It’s unbelievable how many tricks my brain is playing to convince me I’m not ok . Saying something – I hv to crosschevk in my head if it happened fr real or not .. I guess thts what dp is ? When I’m talking I’m scared I’m not making sense. Going to a shop I imagine seeing things ..meeting people .. bizarre thoughts of ‘I’m not normal’ . It’s a bit much !!!!
    Char ur so kind fr being this supportive . I am grateful each day passes but I’m being robbed off my self confidence n life …

  327. Char Says:

    Alz

    I fully agree with Belgian comments – you r doing amazing . Am I normal thought- I have that one a lot – I bet a load of people do.

    Do you have counselling at all? I know people have different opinions on that but I have found it helpful . You can do many counselling as Skype sessions I felt u can’t get access to anyone.
    X

  328. Carl Says:

    Hi all, hope your doing well.

    I’m just wondering if any of you went through a ‘giddy’ stage at any point? Feeling somewhat off balanced? It’s an odd, yet annoying feeling that seems to persist indefinitely at the moment. It came before and I did start getting moments of clarity again, then back to giddy, then clarity etc… then it went away. Now a few weeks later it’s returned and is back again. I don’t get any weird thoughts or am worried anymore about my anxiety, I’ve lost the fear, so essentially I’m not adding any fuel to the fire. Maybe it’s my bodies way of ‘slowly slowly’ releasing all the bad stuff that I endured for months? I’m confident that my clarity will return and worrying about it will only make it worse, so that’s no good lol.

    Cheers.

  329. Alz Says:

    Char I did try counselling and I definitely think I need it . Not against it at all. Except at this point the counsellor who Iv heard of asreally good is quite expensive and booked for a month . The other one I used to speak to over Skype but once I was doign better I stopped it . She didn’t like the erratic and irregular sessions ..

  330. Mark R Says:

    Thanks Belgian,

    I always knew that anxiety would return as unfortunately its the nature of the beast. It’s just when you’ve had a good spell and feel happy and healthy its a shock to feel as bad again.

    It’s the dreaded S word and I’ve been thrown back into the worst of times this week. My body feels horrendous, Ive no appetite, mind like mud, detached and emotions all over place. Whats keeping me going is that I know its temporary and I have and will be okay again.

    I could do with some positive input to be honest as I am really at a low ebb.

    Many thanks

    Mark.

  331. daryl Says:

    Hi again all,

    Top post Belgian……….really helped me recently that post did! I was flying at a few weeks ago and really enjoying being back to my true self and then I changed roles at work and BOOM ………….setback…………totally fell apart, worst I have felt in a long time…..thought I was going to give up work!! Felt like handing my notice in and thought I was totally destroyed and there was no coming back!!

    I felt awful for around 2 weeks…………that after the best 2 weeks I’d had for many months. I decided to plug on………..I kept going to work, I kept doing all the usual stuff but honestly I didn’t think I would ever get it back the SB was AWFUL.

    I started delving back into the subject……….analysing every minute detail and tricking myself that my symptoms were different because I am a special case……NONSENSE of course. Started blaming my relationship again…….as well as work and it felt like there was no coming back from this.

    Then…….two weeks in to the living hell that is Setback and I went to the pool, doing a forced swim because I felt I should because sitting at home wasn’t helping me. Then while I was at the pool I had a bit of a light bulb moment……….I realised that I was scared, I was scared of my job, scared of my relationship, scared of my own shadow but then I thought…………….actually………….I am not literally scared of these things…………I am scared of my own thoughts and my own thoughts around these things……………essentially I am creating fear for myself and then scaring the s**t out of myself………….it’s ME, it’s my thinking that is the problem, my thoughts about things that scare me and I am sure that is what Paul and Claire Weekes are getting at.

    Since that light bulb moment I have steadily got back to myself again and I feel good again at the moment. I feel I am close……..may be even closer than the setback and posts like Belgian’s have also really helped so thanks again B.

    For Mark……….just keep going mate……….its hell on earth but it will get better (as you know). The key is to keep going and don’t indulge your anxiety by becoming self absorbed in it. It’s a total s**tbag and it wants you to make it the focus……………..don’t. Don’t keep checking like I did and do!! It just prolongs the pain and the only way to get out of the Setback is to sit through it………..nothing else.

    For Nick………..as no one has responded to your “drinking” issue. I have had this……..I have been scared to go out and have a drink with friends but it is JUST anxiety. Obviously, you don’t want to be boozing heavily as the following day is pay back and Hangxiety but your issue seems to be being scared of basic social drinking.

    With me, I was scared of drinking socially because I had read around anxiety and it always said this activity fitted with gambling and porn use for example in that you would feel terrible after due to the fact you were using these activities as a crutch to escape your anxiety. Therefore…….because I had read all that on the internet when I was sensitised it soon became a belief of mine (an obsession if you like) that I should avoid alcohol and social situations around alcohol………….essentially I became scared of drinking socially………..petrified in fact! The truth is…………I wasn’t scared of drinking i was scared of the THOUGHT that I had created around drinking and so as stated…….it all goes back to your thoughts………..NOT your actions and NOT the true reality and its the thoughts that scares you to death!

  332. Mark R Says:

    Hi Daryl,

    Thanks of mentioning me in that post, very kind of you.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote. I have been knocking around on here for a few years now and have got past these points many, many times in the past. The way to do it is to live life anyway. It’s been a very hard week but I’ve made sure Ive been to work everyday. I’m also going to the footie tonight too. I feel totally horrendous and bereft of any motivation.

    I know its a bump in the road and will look back and probably laugh when things have settled but its no fun at the moment!! The storm is raging at its worst but I did get a bit of peace last night albeit only for around 30 mins. Proves that I’m okay underneath.

  333. Louise Says:

    Hi daryl jus a quick question I read ur post which has really made me see sense and I too am feared of drinking as I fear I would be come depressed and do something stupid basically I want to know do u drink socially now or isit still a issue and if its not hw did u overcone this fear.

  334. Daryl Says:

    Hi Louise,
    I am by no means recovered from anxiety but I started Paul’s method when I got Paul’s book at the end of June so I am about 3 months in. I have to say, I have had terrible times during that 3 month period but they have all been about thoughts. My issues have been as follows in no particular order:

    Being scared of finishing my relationship or blaming it for my anxiety.
    Being scared of work and changes at work.
    Being scared of drinking socially
    Being scared of humming tunes in my head
    Being scared of real life mistakes I made in the past
    Being scared of going on holiday and having a panic attack
    Being scared of not being able to sleep

    The only link in these problems is that I am making myself scared of imaginary situations so in other words I am having a thought of fear and then adding to that by reacting to it. So I am scaring MYSELF to death!

    Take humming for instance, I think I have always hummed in my head…………I think I am one of those people and yet when I was well it never even bothered me………I never noticed probably or I just thought “Damn! that songs in my head again” and shrugged it off and it went evetually. At my worst I must have been so sensitised that I became aware of the humming, hyper aware in fact and then I did what I always do (but try not to now)……..CHECKED MY SYMPTOMS ONLINE………….queue articles of tinnitus, never being able to sleep again, not being able to function etc. Then I was in a full blown panic!! This then led to doubting Paul’s advice because he doesn’t mention humming specifically in his book and suddenly my whole world crashes around my ears etc etc.

    Drinking is the same………..I read that drinking is a crutch online and it made me panic when I had even a bottle of beer………..I agree that alcohol is a crutch if you are using it to mask your anxiety or run from it but it isn’t if you are just having a beer with a friend socially. There is a distinct difference in my opinion……….(obviously I am not saying go and have 2 bottles of wine it WILL affect you badly). Of course drinking to excess causes a terrible effect even on those not struggling with anxiety but avoiding alcohol entirely will not solve your anxiety issues especially if it has previously formed some of your social activity previously. In my opinion any avoidance just causes you to make adjustments for your anxiety and keeps you focusing on it. BUT as I say TAKE IT EASY, IT IS THE SOCIAL ELEMENT YOU WANT NOT TO GET DRUNK!

    Essentially what I can see from my own issues is that I was trying to eliminate things I thought were contributing to my anxiety. Change or leave job= I will be happy, Leave my wife =I will be happy, Stop drinking completely= I will be happy, Stop humming = I will recover etc. I am constantly looking for a reason for my anxiety and when one problem dies down, another appears or I go back to one I feel I can’t solve but as Paul says in his book………………the reason isn’t important, it’s all the same, it’s senistised nerves and it takes time………all these irrational, obsessive thoughts are trying to trick you in to thinking there are outside factors at work when it is just your skewed thinking.

    I am far from recovered, I struggle, but when I look back over the past 3 months of using this method I can see there are improvements. I need to keep following the advice and also stop making anxiety the focus of my life through constant checking and referencing online. If I can do that and sit through my fear and laugh at it like I could when I was well……………I am confident I can recover…………….although I am sure I will need the help of you lot along the way !!

    Good luck all.

  335. Char Says:

    Mark R

    I completely sympathise . I also have periods of no anxiety whatsoever and then it comes back and this has been my pattern over a number of years also.

    No advice really other than I hear you and I m in the same boat . Was much better last week .. now this week not so good again… trying not to say it is very annoying and just accept and move on…

  336. Alz Says:

    Char,
    It’s always an up and down journey unless we completely give up the fight . For example, even a day itself can be up and down. I was alright today but then suddenly while sending a text , I sent it to someone else whose name is completely different from the person who I had meant to send it to.. now what ? Gets me thinking I’m loopy . So everything’s exaggerated . Had I done this anxiety free, I would hv shrugged it off but anxiety won’t let this be . I’m
    Honestly sick of the whole thing … it’s a nuisance ! Anxiety is a defense mechanism .. it’s just making me too conscious of everything .. safety mechanism gone bonkers . And why? Because I’m adding the fear !like Daryl said , it’s all our doing .. fear -adrenaline- fear cycle

  337. Jude Says:

    Alz,

    “Honestly sick of the whole thing … it’s a nuisance ! Anxiety is a defense mechanism .. it’s just making me too conscious of everything .. safety mechanism gone bonkers . And why? Because I’m adding the fear !like Daryl said , it’s all our doing .. fear -adrenaline- fear cycle”

    Perfectly put :)

    Anxiety truly is an unbelievable nuisance. It is exhausting and maddening, frustrating and of course scary but all the while deep down it is truly just a nuisance. Nothing more nothing less. It is our resistance to it for one reason or another that fuels it. We hate it, so we create it. Try compassion, try humility.
    Fighting it WILL NEVER help and will only in the long run strengthen the anxiety.

    Alz, you truly are a trooper, you are to be beyond commended for your struggle, now just for a moment imagine giving up that struggle with anxiety. For a moment say “to hell with it”, no more making sense of it no more concern with being right or wrong, just throw it all away. Again, just for a moment. There is such unending courage within you, an unending will to persevere. All of those remarkable qualities are being tasked with the impossible. Give yourself a break, give anxiety a break. Just for a moment. Perhaps practice that today. You deserve a break :)

  338. Char Says:

    Thanks Alz – couldn’t agree more – it is a bloody nuisance !! Nicely put!

  339. Roxana Says:

    Hello Daryl :)
    Finally someone with that humming tunes… could you please tell me more about it? That’s my biggest problem at the moment

  340. Josh Says:

    Hello all,

    I’ve been using Paul’s book since January. Some huge strides in the first few months. But recently I’ve felt sort of held back.

    I guess I’m concerned that I’m “not doing it right,” or not confronting my racing thoughts. I also picked up a book by Dr. Claire Weekes, but I find myself anxious to read it, also I’m fairly restless.

    Any way it’s September now obviously. I’ve been out of a job for quite a long time and I’m just concerned with how long this will last. Additionally, I live with my parents and I’m not sure if they understand entirely what I’m going through (perhaps because I’m not entirely clear).

  341. Mark M Says:

    Hey guys,

    Has anyone dealt with, or is dealing with the symptom of strain and pressure just above both eyes? After a long period of stress this something which is causing me a lot of worry…it makes it hard for me to focus on conversations, it’s sort of a dull straining of forehead that make sit seem as if my eyesight is blurry but it’s not really (hard to explain Iknow)…..if someone could relate to this and overcome it that would be a huge help.

  342. Jude Says:

    Mark M,

    would you say the feeling of anxiety and worry themselves make it hard for you to focus on conversations?

    This physical feeling you are experiencing is just an offshoot of your stress. It is harmless, like all the other endless symptoms from stress. I feel so many people here are putting too much concern and emphasis on surface level details of their struggles. Of course we do this because yet again we feel if we only can get past this or that thought or feeling we will be free, only to have another thought or feeling pop up.

    Go deeper, imagine just allowing the feeling of stress, anxiety and worry at it’s base level all of these attachments(thoughts, feelings, etc.) would just disappear.

  343. Daryl Says:

    Hi Louise,
    Just bear in mind, I am no expert but once I had got over my freak out about humming jingles and songs I just allowed it…….just like everything else…….it disappeared…….then it pops back but essentially, it’s anxiety and nothing else, so just do the same as usual I reckon.

    Good luck x

  344. Mark M Says:

    Hey Jude,

    thanks for the reply. I would say it’s more a near permanent feeling of mental exhaustion.

    I overcome anxiety through Paull’s advice 4 years ago…and since my stress began in January this year, it’s true that anxiety resurfaced. I just can’t understand how my forehead feels so burnt out and my head feels so fatigued. This may all just be anxiety, but I haven’t felt any other anxiety symptoms in months…..just feeling a little lost on it to be honest, four doctors have told me it’s nothing serious. When I speak with people, I feel the fatigue in my forehead increase and it becomes very difficult to contribute much. Maybe it’s what they call, burnout?

    Yes your right, sometimes we focus on symptoms too much, it’s just hard at the moment.

  345. Nicholas Sidor Says:

    Hi everyone, five weeks ago I was about to post here to tell everyone I’m cured! Well happy again and everything went away. Ok the main thing I’m struggling with is constant thoughts about anxiety, also I feel really depressed and constant feelings like I’m need to cry.. is this normal ??? I’m so upset and can’t cope in work,…. the good thing is I know I can be well as I went on holiday etc and was fine for weeks just getting on with life basically. Can anybody comment on do they feel depressed ??

    I’m hitting the gym and having protein shakes etc with a good clean diet but what’s annoying is it would be ok as Paul says good day bad day but mine is like bad months and hopefully I can get back to having good weeks… it would give people lots more confidence if it was like good days and bad days -( instead of very long periods.

    Ok onto something that hopefully might be of use… I think maybe people should post in a topic of things that can help through the dark patches, identify what could be of use etc. I’ve vowed to stay offline but this is the only page I come to and it’s been months since I last checked in. But yes what helps others is always worth a try etc.

  346. Ian Says:

    Thanks Belgian for taking the time to reply. the simple words mean a lot, even more so at this moment in time

  347. Louise Says:

    Thank you daryl for messaging back. You have made me see sense in regards to my thinking pattern and it is me thinking about fear or what if I do this and this happens, its the same when I feel like my old self is finally showing through I begin looking to see if the symptoms and thoughts are there but all im doing is resurfacing it. Thank you again u truely have opened my eyes to what mistakes I have been doin. Wish u luck along ur journey ?

  348. Nolan Says:

    I had the same issue with a jingle or a part of a song that would play over and over in my mind. My anxious mind would latch on to some 4-7 second loop of a song and play it over and over.

    Treat it the same way: let it be there; be patient with yourself if you find yourself noticing it; don’t force yourself to ignore it…. but adopt an attitude of “oh well, so there’s a jingle that’s playing in my mind. So be it.”

    One of the original reactions I had to it was to try to force it out of my head. That just doesn’t work. Trying to ignore it was almost as bad. But letting it flood over me with the new attitude of “oh well, whatever” eventually took the wind out of the sails.

  349. Alz Says:

    Jude ,
    Thanks .. I hv given up . I swear my nerves need a break . It’s reached the point where if I’m mad so be it.. it’s just tiring , frustrating and maddening .i definitely can’t win . I leave it to God and the advice by people who’ve come out successfully at the other side . If I’m going mad and anxiety is leaving no stone u turned to prove it so be it !

  350. Alz Says:

    Haha used a few of ur words in the post above . But must say it’s completely stripped me off my confidence – I can’t speak without questioning if I’m making sense .. I’m so bloody conscious . NEW SYMPTOM .NEW SET OF FEARS. On the upside I did what I had to do today – real unreal , mad or sane. I went to work , went to shop , went to the parlor , went to shop done more and more drove along with my frnd to eat out .Sounds like a brilliant day however it went in my head .. hahahah thts another story

  351. Nick Says:

    Hi Daryl,

    Really appreciate your reply. Yes I never used alcohol as a crutch but i have built up a huge fear of it since my panic attack and as soon as i have a drink or two I get panicked and fearful thoughts that im gonna go mad or my lifes over and i’m trapped for ever and will never be able to cope with life and there is no point to life. I think its a fear of losing control or something.

    Thing is the thing of late i just feel purely depressed, and hopeless. As i’m never able to relax ever and never really feel content at all as I feel like every day is just a battle and i have no future. Almost like i don’t know what or how to feel anymore. What i don’t understand is how i’m meant to just let this feeling ‘be’. Like i just feel super down and trapped and like life has nothing to offer anymore. When i get a bleak thought i try and say ‘so what’and let it be but in the long run doesn’t seem to make a huge difference cos im constantly on edge anyway and can never get lost in the moment or take much joy in things i used to despite trying too.

    What i wonder is how people cope with really low mood from anx and feeling utterly defeated? How do they learn to believe they can beat anxiety? Because at the moment my belief is non existent. Like i function every day as normal go to work, do lunch even go on holiday etc and do normal things yet i still feel this dark cloud with me all the time.

    Can anyone offer any advice with this?

    Thanks

  352. Mark R Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Just to reassure you that you are doing everything correctly, although it doesn’t feel like it. It’s counterintuitive to leave anxiety alone but it is absolutely the correct path.
    I have been there, as we all have in just trudging on with life and getting nothing in return but just remember this is how it is now, not forever. You won’t always have the dark cloud. Sounds cheesy but you will have days where the sun comes out and everything will seem worthwhile.
    As I said in my posts above that I can be okay for weeks on end without even a sniff of anxiety to feeling like you do. I then get lost in the maze of my own mind and the feeling good days are unimaginable. I know though that I can only accept until my mood lifts.
    My advice is don’t try and force yourself to enjoy things, don’t try and force the belief, time will bring them to you.

    Best regards

    Mark.

  353. Daryl Says:

    Nick,
    I think Mark has it spot on…….it is hard, no doubt about it but you have to keep believing the truth and the truth is you are suffering from over sensitised nerves and anxiety. Once you accept that you then have to accept that you will need time……..time to heal your mind…….that’s all.
    It will be/ it is a rollercoaster mate…..you will get good days and bad but just try to accept both. Your feelings of depression will lift, they always do but at the moment your are just scaring yourself with thoughts……that’s what we are all doing when we get ourselves in the cycle. Just try and accept the thoughts and don’t be scared of them. Good luck!!

  354. Alz Says:

    I have never had such bad anxiety. I mean i am completely lost in thought and its like im in a daze … when i say something its like Im questioning if it actually happened. I want to know how to overcome this… im so conscious of myself – am I ok … if im doing this , is this act normal .. am i making sense? am i normal?
    IM conscious talking… why is this happening ? for example if im talking to my mother , and i tell her i did something.. i am questioning if i actually did it. If this is anxiety .. why is this happening??
    Need some reassurance.

  355. Mamba Says:

    Hi, i’ll try to keep it brief. i’ve suffered with anxiety for many years but to keep it to one problem i’m having a tough time relaxing and watching films and TV. it feels stupid to bring it up as there are so many people with bigger problems but being a huge film fan (i watch hundreds a year) it’s seriously affecting me.

    I’ve been on 30mg Citalopram since 14th august which has helped calm my overall mood but still having a problem.

    I can follow the plot but i keep getting thoughts popping in checking to remind me i’m not relaxed and offering other negative thoughts. also get rehearsing of conversations in my head or going over thoughts to do with what i’m watching.

    I’ve started to read At Last A Life and it’s helping but i also have that thought “what if this isn’t just anxiety” “what if i cant get over this?”

    I guess i’m just looking for advice from fellow sufferes and to see if anyone has gone thought this.

    Thanks

  356. Alz Says:

    Noones replying .. there’s no point either I guess .. anxiety is something one has to deal with on their own . Iv reached the point where I can’t talk properly to my mother or husband because I feel like I hv gone mad . . Right now a few minutes ago , when I was talking to my husband, I was talking but barely holding on to what he was saying .. my mind is numb and im avoiding meeting people . Shopping – something that I enjoyed is scary because I feel like people are looking at me and I’m perhaps not normal.. constantly questioning whatever I’m saying or doing is just too much ..
    all I want to do is sleep. Everything is a drag .. and the sad bit is, a few months ago I was ok . I visited another city .. shifted houses.. did so much . Now it’s like a distant memory .

  357. Nolan Says:

    Alz, you can’t talk your way out of anxiety. And any bit of comforting words you hear from another person will only be temporary.

    Everyone who struggles with this has to eventually get to the point where they have to truly give up getting better. I know how terrible that sounds…. but it’s ultimately freeing. Right now you (and countless others) are scrambling around for those last safety lines. Something to cling on to in order to have some peace and semblance of your old life. Because the thought of being irreparably broken and unable to reclaim that ownership of your mind and thoughts is terrifying… that coupled with the constant despair and exhaustion. Because with that the thought process concludes with something like “if I can’t have that peace again and my old self…. then why even bother any more?”.

    When I hit my ultimate lowest…which means: no hope, no ability to positively entertain the thought that I could ever get better, only despair/pain/exhaustion and the torment of the fact that my mind and body used to be mine. It use to make sense to me. I use to feel at home in it. But now I’m a stranger everywhere….
    When I hit that lowest point I was certain I was done. I came here for one last vent. I talked about how I can’t see any hope left for me. That those initial modest moments of peace I felt when I started following Paul’s method were just a fluke… a sign pointing nowhere.
    I came here any said I had no hope of ever getting better and that the only certain thing is the despair and constant torment.
    One very wise lady said something to the extent of “so you’ve truly given up now? Good. Now you can live your life again…. because you have no hope of ever getting better, because you know that anything you do won’t even matter. It won’t help you in the least. So give up and live your life again with no hope of getting better.”

    So Alz, give up and have no hope of ever getting better…. and live your life again with no expectations of how things should go. If you feel like crap: oh well… live your life. If you feel flooded with fear: oh well… live your life. If you’re body is jittery/shakey/uncertain: oh well… move forward with no expectations that it shouldn’t be that way.

    Along with that – stop the pity. What has it done for you so far? Nothing. No more feeling sorry for yourself. Because that’s just another manifestation of having expectations of X but getting Y. Have no expectations of neither X nor Y. Whatever comes your way…. embrace it and move forward in your life.

    Treat that old life of yours that you so desperately want back like a missing limb. You can’t pity a limb back onto your body.

    One last thing: whoever successfully chased down and captured peace? The thought that you could somehow obtain peace by looking in just the right areas or hearing just the right combination of words makes little sense. It’s in you…. but you’re not letting it surface, Alz.

  358. Andy J Says:

    Good advice Nolan.

    I just think it’s really hard to put it in to action. Our natural instinct is to survive and to make ourselves feel better. By accepting not getting better, how do we do that without falling in to even deeper depression? I think it’s a very thin line between the two.

    For me hearing that I should try not to get better as I may never is one of the most scary things to hear. Ive been suffering with this for years and now the possibility that things may never improve? I’ve continued working, continued living. But anxiety and depression have tainted it all. I already have been living my life just not with the attitude of giving up.

    There’s only so much you can make your life bigger. We all have jobs to go to which like mine become tedious at times and give me too much time to think. It’s all very tough, very frustrating and cruel. I’ve said this before but I’d rather have had a serious physical illness than this. Something which could be managed or measured. These conditions are horrific and particularly indiscriminate.

    I will go about my life again today Nolan, without expectations, and once again appreciate your posts.

  359. Jamie Says:

    Hello all

    I have not posted for a while and over the last few months and I have been feeling better just by ‘letting time pass’. I have just re-read Paul’s book but and at a leisurely pace this time, not frantically scanning the pages for ‘the answer’ like I have done previously.

    Work has been easier, I have felt a bit calmer, making decisions have been a bit easier, making difficult phone calls a bit easier (I work in complaints) and talking to people on a 1 to 1 basis has been easier. I have struggled the last few years 1 to 1 things e.g. haircuts, doctors appts, dentist, dates or discussing work 1 to 1 at work as I worry I will feel panicky and someone will notice. Dealing with my ex-wife has also been easy as this has also been a struggle.

    Anyway, we have a new person joining the team tomorrow for 3 months and he will be learning some work that I do at work. I knew it was coming but my manager sat down and asked me if I could sit with and train him. This immediately filled me with dread.

    I mulled it over and said to him I was not comfortable doing it as partly as I had some knowledge gaps and wasn’t 100% confident explaining it but importantly, training someone for long periods and someone I had never met before would really stress me out. What if what I was telling him wasn’t correct ? What if I got panicky ? What if my mind went blank ? My manager knows about my issues and said it was fine and he would ask someone else. Then I worried that THAT person would wonder why I wasn’t doing it.

    Paul’s book talks about non-avoidance and not letting anxiety stop you from doing what you want to do but I would have stressed about this all weekend if I had agreed it. I have been criticizing myself since and telling myself I chickened out of it and should have done it. Is this weird ? Can anyone relate to this ?

    On a more positive note, I am quite into running and a couple of months ago I joined a running club after years of running on my own. I have been a few times and it has been good chatting to a few people. Anyway, all they talk about is 10ks, half marathons and marathons so I did my first ever organised run today – a 10k. I got very nervous leading up to it worrying where I had to park, where I had to go, would I see anyone from the run club there ? some family members will be watching and I hate being the centre of attention.

    The result – I saw some other club members, started with them, waved to my family and actually really loved it ! I am looking to do another one now. Now that is me not avoiding as I woke up this morning regretting signing up for it and considered not showing up. As I went through the anxiety with the run, I feel like I should not have dodged the training bit.

  360. K Says:

    Hi all,
    I have had a great few weeks, but I am back in the woods with anxiety, so I am drawn here. I do not want to complain because I know what to do. Instead, I want to say that once you truly accept, you see recovery as possible and you feel relieved. I have seen this a few times before, and these last few weeks were no exception. Keep reading this forum and similar kind of advice until you truly understand what acceptance is. Stay courageous, everyone. We are in this together.
    Best,
    K

  361. interestedoz Says:

    Jamie – great post! Well done on your non-avoidance work. I too basically view Paul’s teaching (in summary) as being about “non-avoidance”. I also re-read the books and blogs from time to time.

    I think re-reading is valuable as although the principle of non-avoidance is simple – the application of the principle is not necessarily easy. It takes considerable commitment in my view. But can be done.

    cheers
    Interestedoz

  362. markr Says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth K!

    I seem to be in a really annoying pattern at the moment of feeling really bad for ‘3/4 days then fine again for a week or so. I’m letting it express itself as best as I can but It’s very uncomfortable and very frustrating! Today has been hard, a teeth grinding ‘get through the hour’ one.

    Total nature of the beast, and I know we can’t attach any meaning or predictions to it but it is a hard one to swallow sometimes. I’m mindful that I am struggling and the fact that everything seems crap and difficult is totally dependant on my mood.

    Hope people are doing okay.

    Best regards

    Mark.

  363. Mark R Says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth K!

    I seem to be in a really annoying pattern at the moment of feeling really bad for ‘3/4 days then fine again for a week or so. I’m letting it express itself as best as I can but It’s very uncomfortable and very frustrating! Today has been hard, a teeth grinding ‘get through the hour’ one.

    Total nature of the beast, and I know we can’t attach any meaning or predictions to it but it is a hard one to swallow sometimes. I’m mindful that I am struggling and the fact that everything seems crap and difficult is totally dependant on my mood.

    Hope people are doing okay.

    Best regards

    Mark.

  364. Simon Says:

    Well here I am again, and I want to share something with I feel a lot of you are also experiencing (Mark for one).

    I have had the 2nd good spell in probably 3months – a good spell is where I feel normal, I can watch t.v., I can relax when I haven’t got much to do, I search for things to do because I want to, because I have an interest in doing something. I can go about my day with only the occasional bit of normal anxiety and low mood, but these pass very easily, I can plan things I want to do, I have interest in things I was interested in, I’ve been away to Centre Parcs for the weekend and enjoyed both the activities and down time. Sleeping hasn’t change much, still wake early but not anxious or low mood but more with a feeling of ‘I’ve got this to do and that to do’ so what I am saying I felt normal.

    BUT……..

    I started to feel low a few days ago, then came the anxiety and then the lower mood, then the lack of interest, not wanting to do anything but trying to fill each hour, waiting and longing for the evening so I can get some rest, waking up super early, not being able to relax and getting more and more anxious. Get out of bed but just feel crap like I can’t do this.

    BUT……

    I am reminding myself that – hey I have had 2 experiences of feeling normal and when I feel normal what do I do – I live normal which also includes not visiting the blog and checking every 30 mins to see if anyone has written.

    So…….

    I made myself a promise (broke it already) that I would not visit the site and read the blog, that I must carry on regardless.

    I know I’m probably not making this sound too good, but YES when we don’t have the anxious symptoms what ever they maybe – we live normal (enjoy). SO now I am going to practice a little harder at not being over impressed by my feelings in order to do what I want. One other thing I have practiced is that usually if I get anxious about something, I stop myself from trying to work it all out in my head and just do it. So lets say my wife wants to go to the movies and I am having a setback, I would start getting scared, worried, trying to picture everything and working out in my head how it will go. So now I just stop myself and do IT!!! it is as easy as that – I have to stop overthinking and just do it.

    I think this tike I will not visit the blog as much, will not listen to Claire weekes audio over and over again, carry Pauls book, carry my journal around me everywhere. I know it all – I don’t need to keep reminding myself I have anxious moments

    Thanks for reading and best of luck to us all

    Si

  365. Louise Says:

    Hi all iv was on here last month with the same problem really thoughts…. Iv overcome all thoughts tht iv had in the paet but I cant seem to get rid of the suicidal thoughts.. It worries me tht thy pop into my head as I dnt know if im seeking thm to see if thy are there or if it is my brain. I hate thinking and feeling like thia any advice plz

  366. Vicki Says:

    Hi,
    I’m new to this forum, although I’ve been reading Paul’s books and blog for a while. I found the post from Belgian (Sept 25th) fantastic! Thank you. And you’re right – I do HATE this feeling! :)
    Louise – I hope someone can help you x

  367. Will Says:

    Hi guys,

    My anxiety comes and goes in the form of random symptoms, and always happens not long after a period of fear and/or mild panic. Once I felt panicky at work and my hand wouldn’t stop tingling all day, another time I read about a cardiac disease in the young and I felt as though the floor was moving for a full week, another time I felt like my brain was spasming, etc.

    Well lately I’ve been obsessed with my heart. This has come and gone over the years but it’s become pretty prominent now. It mostly happens when I’m trying to sleep; my chest is super tight and I’m focusing on my heartbeat, and when the odd late beat occurs it starts thumping hard again. It’s like I’m trying to gain manual control over my heart. I feel as though I can’t even relax, because as soon as I do I get a chest pain/spasm that jolts me up and gets me panicked. Just feels like I’m constantly putting strain on my heart.

    Palpitations have been happening occasionally too. One time while I was driving to work my heart was palpitating for the entire journey, and almost made me panic in the middle of traffic.

    I know this is nothing new, but can anyone relate? It’s really been bothering me lately and I’ve been wondering if I should see a doctor just to confirm there’s nothing wrong with me.

  368. Sally Says:

    Will
    I have had the heart palpitation thing and tight chest since I was in my 20s many an ecg but it all comes back to good old anxiety The more you stress about them the more you will get believe me I have been there I suggest you get some tests done and then believe them when they tell you you are ok Good Luck

  369. daryl Says:

    Simon

    I think you are totally on to something……….I like to think I don’t have crutches but essentially checking this blog is a crutch, diving into Paul’s book or Claire Weekes audio (As I also do!!) is a crutch and it just keeps us in the loop and keeps anxiety at the forefront of our thoughts and focus.

    Do “normal” people check this blog or read a lot of books on anxiety regularly?? No they don’t!! If they did, anxiety would become their focus. We are using these things as a comfort blanket when it hits hard. Paul says it in his second book very clearly………….drop all the searching and researching, you have everything you need.

    Last week I fell back into it………..I got my relationship doubts badly, I was scared of a family holiday we are going on next weekend and I began to start panicking, deprsonalisation struck and I was lost. So what did I do? Out came the books, the research into OCD and relationships, Claire Weekes audio etc. What happened?? I got some reassurance for a short time but I had to keep checking regularly to keep getting that reassurance and relief.

    It doesn’t help long term…………what REALLY helped was like you say……….going to do things……..spending time with my wife and daughter so that I was facing the fear and living with it until my focus switched. That is what really helped. Now I am trying like you………..I am going to have to SIT WITH IT when it hits, stop looking for reassurance because if I allow it and go through it without the blogs and research I think I will be able to see that it is ME who has the answers, ME who can see the obsessive thoughts for what they are and ME who can get myself to think the way I want to think and enjoy life.

    There is no new information…………..OCD, Obsessive thoughts, Social anxiety, humming, heart palpitations, relationship worries, it’s ALL THE SAME!! No need to check if you are mad or going mental…………..YOU AREN’T……..we are just scaring ourselves to death :) :) !! No need to check if that is the case with Paul or blogs or books or audio……………………….we just have to accept it and wait for it to pass.

    Now for the hard part……………….doing it :) :).

    Good luck everyone

    x x

  370. Simon Says:

    Daryl,

    If nothing else, I feel less lost knowing that it’s not just me…… I find it truly weird how people with anxiety seem all to do the same things (to a degree).

    It’s so strange how we feel “WE HAVE TO” re-read, re-listen, question this and that, tell ourselves that we have this forever. Yet when I get a moment of relief for more than a few days I can go about my day 95% normal happy go lucky. Last week before I hit the wall again I said to my wife “remind me next time I don’t feel great that my thoughts are fogging everything, because when I feel normal I get understand it” …. and yep it came back, yep she told me, NO I DON’T GET IT NOW lol – such a stubbun condition :)

    Thanks again Daryl for helping me understand I am not alone – and I am not going mad

    Simon

  371. Nolan Says:

    Hi Will,

    I just wanted to comment on this: ” It’s like I’m trying to gain manual control over my heart.”

    One of my biggest issues was this feeling like I was putting everything under “manual control”: breathing, blinking, sleeping, swallowing (the part where the food has to pass into the esophagus).
    Early on it would drive me mad. It was like with breathing and blinking this fear that I broke something inside of myself… and I will forever have to focus on these actions.
    Sleeping (or the hyperfocus on it) was torturous.

    I know the sensation of intense fear and dread when it starts creeping into your mind/awareness.

    For me: I just stopped fighting the fact that my mind wanted to attach importance and this automatic attention (automatic in the sense that I didn’t have much initial control over it) to these actions.

    If my mind wanted to go on high alter when I was trying to fall asleep…. I simply let it. The fears of “what if I can’t sleep tonight because of this?!?!?!”, I just let them be there and answered them in my mind with a “so what?”

    Same with all of the other “manual control” (I like that phrasing) actions that seemed to keep getting added to my anxiety.

  372. Nisha Says:

    Hi all,

    I have intrusive anxious thoughts about past present and future. Also, worrying thoughts about day to day activities and people’s behavior. I know that I should not allow other’s behavior to rule me, but I couldn’t come out of it. And my current anxiety is about my health. I have ovarian cyst and the doc said it might be due to stress. So I keep thinking about this and am in the vicious cycle about my health and other things. It keeps saying if am not addressing my anxiety I will never be cured, so I constantly trying not to be stressed and wanted to be happy.

    I was saying myself: “if iam stressed then it’s okay”, but other thoughts keeps popping in..then I again get stressed… struggling to break the cycle. I really wanted to break this cycle. Please help me with your inputs.

    Nisha

  373. Louise Says:

    Does anyone have intrusive thoughts about self harm and what if thy end it all this is something tht keeps croppin up for me I can get a couple wk rest thn wham its bavk any advice plz

  374. Nolan Says:

    Hi Louise,

    When those thoughts come allow them to be there.

    I had those thoughts. Initially I would struggle against them, argue with them, try to block them out, try to “happy-talk” them away…. none of this ever worked. It only made me more frustrated and desperate when they would come.

    Your thoughts are being hijacked and you want control of where your mind wanders again. So to get back to there you have to stop struggling with the thoughts as they come. Let them be there while still going on about your day.

    Those intrusive thoughts will grab your full attention so let them. But greet it with a “so what… sure, more terrible, nasty thoughts…. no big deal” and move back on with your day. As Paul would say, don’t add any extra special importance to those thoughts (or anyway anxiety manifests).

  375. Louise Says:

    Thank you Nolan, I jus worry tht if I getbdo bad or feel low one day what if I did so tht n it panicks me as tht seems to be a issue I wont even losten to conversations or the news regardin it I know silly but I jus dnt want to think like tht thn I wonder if its me actually thinkin it n not anxiety which thn panicks me

  376. Laura Says:

    Hello everyone, I’ve been a dealing with anxiety for almost 13 yes now but the last 3 have been my toughest. It was 3 years ago now that a suffered a complete breakdown. As you will all you know it just sometimes hits you like a tonne of bricks! I’d not particularly had anything bad happen to me it was just. Stressful time of my life. My recovery started when I first found Paul’s website. I thought I was the only one having these horrible thoughts and I had completely shut down from everything and everyone. When I first read Paul’s advice it was like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders! So 3 years down the line and I’ve been fine until this week :(. I alway pop onto this blog to get reassurance I’m not alone so thank you to you all. I feel I’m going through I complete set back. It’s the feeling of not being in control and feeling like your going crazy that scares me the most. I also have reoccurring horrible thoughts that makes me feel like I’m the worse person in the world. I need to take on board Paul’s advice again and just go with it. I know with time it will pass. Any advice would be greatly appreciated though. X

  377. Laura Says:

    Hi Louise, just seen your post about suicidal thoughts. I used to have these too and they used to fill me with dread. I believe I May have read it in Paul’s book but if these thoughts fill you with dread and make you anxious then it’s something that you really don’t want to happen and will never happen. This helped me to let those awful thoughts pass through and they’ve never bothered me since. I hope this helps you too :) x

  378. Alz Says:

    Hey! So went to see a therapist and she said it was all anxiety. Even while she was saying it , I didn’t believe her . Anyway she’s given me techniques which are in short what PAUL has been saying throughout his posts – accept and let go.
    simple . Yet tough to accept and let go. Is it common when anxiety is high to hear urself talk ? I guess I’ve been thinking so much that my I am even paying attention to my voice ?
    Secondly , had this bizarre moment when while driving I completely blanked out and thoght of my friends car and soemthig she has in it . Yes that friend was with me in the car . Howevr what I was imagining in her car is not really there in it – a bowl . She has a smaller bowl.. what ws thisssss?
    Alz

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