Living at the mercy of anxiety is painful. It restricts you, feels awful, and makes daily living very hard. Nobody wants anxiety or panic attacks, but many people continue to be riddled with anxiety, even after they seek help.
I think this has something to do with learning how to be powerful from a personal perspective. I spent years and thousands of dollars on psychiatrists, therapy, self help programs, biofeedback, hypnosis, you name it. And I was numbed out on medications for years to boot. But I was still anxious. I could still have panic attacks. My life still sucked.
What occurred to me a few years ago was that I needed to learn how to be powerful. I realized that the key to healing was within me and I had to learn to tap into it. I knew this was true because I had read about other people who had overcome panic attacks, such as Dr. Claire Weekes.
I have read her books for years to help me and to learn how to apply her wonderful techniques to overcoming panic attacks in my life. But I didn’t think too much about the fact that she suffered from anxiety herself. And I think this is really significant. What did she have that I didn’t?
Well I don’t know this good doctor, and she isn’t even alive anymore so it’s not like she’s around talking about her life. But I know she was trained as a physician and helped many many people with agoraphobia and panic. She was a pioneer in the field of anxiety recovery.
Claire Weekes was powerful. She wasn’t powerful in the sense of someone like say Donald Trump who is loud, out there and boastful. She was powerful in that she used what was within her to overcome her own difficulties, and she helped others to do the same.
Another author I admire is the late Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning. He survived a German concentration camp in World War ll despite being small and having a limp, and coming close to death. He learned how to find meaning in his life, even in the depths of despair of a concentration camp, where his whole family was killed.
In his book, he talks about overcoming anxiety on p. 147. It is very similar to what Dr. Claire Weeks teaches, in fact.
I learned from reading Viktor Frankl and thinking about Dr. Clarie Weekes that I could be powerful in the face of my anxiety. I could see my anxiety in a different way.
Instead of it being some terrible thing that happened to me, maybe I could take more responsibility with my life. Maybe I could see this panic disorder instead as a wonderful opportunity to learn about myself and what it takes to get better.
Why would I even want to see this as a “wonderful opportunity” when I hated my anxiety so much?
That became clear to me only in recent years, but it basically boiled down to one thing: Where had hating myself and my crappy anxious lot in life gotten me?
It got me nowhere. It kept me sick in my anxiety. It kept me looking to doctors, pills, therapists, everything outside of myself for help. I remember asking a doctor if there was surgery that could remove the anxious part of the brain. I asked him why wouldn’t someone invent a surgery like this that could help so many people? I told him I would be the first one to sign up for it, if it existed somewhere.
Is that crazy? To want to have brain surgery? At the time I didn’t think so. It seemed like a small price to pay for relief from a horrible, shitty way to exist.
But today I think differently. With love for myself I am learning how to be powerful and reclaim the God-given power that exists inside me.
Today I take practical steps to eliminate stress from my life. I exercise, practice yoga, I work my program of choice to overcome panic. I keep resource books at hand. I keep a journal. I am careful what I put into my body. I try to avoid caffeine too much sugar. I try to avoid negative people. I practice gratitude…
And along this little journey that is my life, I am seeing that indeed my life is wonderful. Today I am choosing to see the roses through the thorns.
Someone posted this on Facebook today: “Sure I can force myself to do those things that make me anxious and uncomfortable; but, what I want to know is why do I have to?”
I use to think this way too. Why me? Anxiety sucks and I hate my life! Why should I have to try to get better?
Because… no one is going to do it for me. Because… no one can make me better but me. Because… I deserve to have a great life of quality. Because… I am worth it. Because… life is meant to be lived, not wished away. Because… I know if I stay negative I will keep on being anxious, I will stay stuck. Because… I know I was meant to be happy.
And even if they did have brain surgery for panic attacks, I don’t think I would want it today. I am truly doing something wonderful for myself. I am getting better inch by inch. I am actively practicing self help for panic attacks to the best of my ability.;)
I know others are doing the same and succeeding. With kindness and love in my heart for myself I am learning to be powerful in the face of anxiety. And what about you? Can you learn how to be powerful in the face of your anxiety too?
I wish you peace,
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that the mighty oak grows strong in contrary winds, and diamonds are made from extreme pressure.” – Peter Marshall
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