I was really stoked on Monday after I forced myself to go to the Al-Anon meeting I’d been avoiding because of my social anxiety and panic attacks.
It ended up going way better than I expected. My goal was to be able to sit through the meeting without bolting out the door. I not only sat through the meeting, I was able to share with the group.
It was the most magnificent, wonderful feeling!!
I’ve been riding on the tails of this triumph for the last 2 days in fact.
I’m bringing up again, not to brag, but to remind you that whenever you have a victory over your anxiety, be sure to celebrate it! Share it with someone. A happiness shared is doubled! You can always share with me
Every small step adds up. When I started writing this blog last January, I had just started my anxiety recovery program. I was also in severe Klonopin withdrawal. I knew I was in for a very long road, but my goal was to live a full life of quality and no longer be a slave to my anxiety disorder.
One of the keys to recovery from panic attacks and anxiety is to focus on the successes, and mark them. I like to keep a journal. Overall the successes do outweigh the setbacks. If you don’t write them down somehow, it can be hard to see that.
Margaret shared a wonderful success just the other day:
Jill, I have a real love hate feeling about public speaking In spite of panic and anxiety it is something I do and do well and actually enjoy in spite of feeling awful often. Last week was a perfect example. I was giving a talk to Elderhostel about our farm and my weaving. I’m talking using my slide show as prompts. At the same time I am feeling dizzy as I usually do, and started to have pains in my stomach and across my shoulders. So, at the same time I am talking about lettuce, I am screaming inside, “I’m having a heart attack” and, telling myself, “no your not, breathe, it’s just panic and the fact that you just ran up the stairs carrying a very heavy basket because you were late” (hate being late). Talked about schizoid. All 3 dialogues were going on at the same time. This is how I live. I refuse to give up doing things I enjoy because I get anxious, but it’s an endurance feat. Anyway, I finished the talk, didn’t faint (my big fear), didn’t have a heart attack, got lots of good questions and got stopped on the street a couple of hours later by several participants and told how much they enjoyed my talk. And NO ONE knew how anxious I felt.
This is a real triumph. Margaret is steadfast in refusing to give up what she enjoys (public speaking) just because she feels nervous, and I really applaud her for that. Not only did she finish her talk, she answered questions at the end and got lots of positive feedback. Margaret, I am so proud of you and Thank You for sharing this with us! What an inspiration!
Anxiety is such serious, gloomy business. It’s easy to want to just forget about it- and I get that. I am not saying to dwell on feeling crappy- not at all. What I am suggesting is do not let your victories and successes just pass you by. The fact that you have a success- no matter how small you think it is- is proof that you are getting better!
You have not only the right but the duty to be happy and successful.
-Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Thinking Every Day.
I wish you peace,