Firstly sorry for the late post, as stated it was computer problems. I still don’t have access to my files where I placed the success stories, so here is a separate post until I get my files back.
Just before I start I have recently joined twitter if any wants to follow me at @anxietynomoreuk . I will post on there when there any new posts, interesting comments, changes to the new site and any other news of interest.
One other thing, I keep getting emails from people off the blog asking if I can do a post on this subject or that subject. I can’t do requests, as I can’t just help one person, it has to be for the benefit of everyone, so please don’t be offended.
OK, to today’s post.
After looking through and reading a lot of posts I decided to talk about people’s attitude toward anxiety. If anyone ever asks me what was the eureka moment, what really helped? I always say it was a shift in my attitude to how I felt. This mainly comes through a better understanding of the subject, as it is far easier to be less impressed by certain symptoms of anxiety when you understand it far better. This is why you see people on here move forward over time. They start to understand far more and their symptoms impress them less, yes they may still dislike them, but they are able to see them in a different light. When someone writes a positive post, it is obvious that there has been a big shift in attitude to how they view how they feel.
So let’s try and help change this shift in attitude. One thing to make very clear is to resist the need to work everything out, please don’t waste time and energy doing this, it is time to interact with the world around you and not yourself and how you are feeling, this just makes you feel more inward. Read the posts and replies on the blog, add a little info elsewhere and then just get on with making the tea, seeing friends and being you. That is what I did not do in my early years. I would read some info and then go away and go over and over it, trying to figure this out, that out, testing myself, questioning this or that. It truly was a vicious cycle and I had no hope of being part of the world around me when my whole world was me.
What I ended up doing was educating myself and then I would just go away and live my life exactly how I would if I did not feel this way. I had been totally indulged in me and how I felt, my mind was totally shattered, it could take no more, it needed a break, the best way to do this was to DROP the subject and just go and live my life whilst taking how I felt with me.
That is why people go to work and then have a home life. If they dealt in cars all day and then thought about cars all night when they got home, went over and over which car to sell tomorrow, spent all there weekends thinking about cars, then the subject would become them, they have let nothing else in, this is why it is vital to take some breaks. You can’t take breaks if you go into every situation questioning why you feel this way, why it went like it did, what may help etc.
The best advice and one line I think I can ever give to put this point forward is ‘Live like you don’t have it’ that truly was me in the end, I went around like the person I was before and took how I felt with me without question and I eventually became that person, I was no longer a victim. I have said many times if you act like a victim of anxiety, then you become one, a slave to it. I don’t claim this to be easy, it can really test your willpower at times, but it is so helpful in the long term.
I would go to a quiz each week with friends and I mostly felt horrible and detached, I truly just wanted to go home, but I didn’t. I never tried to come across as normal or act my way through the night, I was just me and if that meant being a little quiet then so be it. I was not running home feeling sorry for myself, anxiety was not winning, I was. These trips to the quiz went on for many months and each time I went I would feel a little more comfortable and a little more normal until I was sitting chatting away and enjoying myself. I would also walk up town twice a week and feel overwhelmed, the crowds, the unreality of it all etc, but I would just go and do my shopping. Sometimes I had to look at the price of an item 3 times before it sunk in, but I never questioned why I felt this way, I just got on the best I could. Again these trips became easier and easier, a shift back to me was certainly happening.
This is the reason so many people stay in the cycle because every instinct says ‘go home, it’s easier there’ or ‘try and fix this, this is not right’. I think everyone who has recovered or really moved forward, will all say they had to go against their instinct many times. That is because we are built to make a decision when anxious, anxious feelings usually mean there is a threat. Well there is no danger and there is no need to flee, it’s a false signal that we should simply move on from.
I always say people are too impressed by how they are feeling at the present time, that’s when all the ‘What am I doing wrong’?, ‘Why do I feel this way’?, ‘What can I do to help it’?, ‘I hate this feeling, why me’? starts. How you feel now has no bearing on how you may feel in a few months time, none at all.
So 4 key points to finish:
1. Begin to learn to be less impressed by the way you feel, even if you don’t understand why you feel a certain way, it doesn’t matter, just place it all under the umbrella of anxiety.
2. Live your life like you don’t have it. Don’t scurry home or cancel appointments, run away from a friend to get away from a conversation etc, just go everywhere at will, anxious or not, it can’t and never will do you any harm.
3. Don’t go over and over how you feel or feel the need to work it all out, dissect it. By all means, educate yourself by reading the book or the blog and then just go and get on with your day. Never be afraid to drop the subject for a while, I have advised people on here that they are becoming too indulged in the subject and to have a week off and just add some living in.
4. Don’t see anxiety or the sensations that come with it as the enemy, embrace them, they are only feelings/sensations that can do you no harm.
I hope someone finds something in the above