When I had anxiety and panic attacks as a 7 year old girl, I didn’t have the words to explain what was happening to me. My parents didn’t help me — they couldn’t — there just weren’t any options back in the 1970’s.
Panic attacks in children are awful – to be so frightened and yet absolutely unable to articulate my fears to my parents was overwhelming to me. I felt scared much of the time, and especially at night. It was a sad way to experience childhood.
It has only been in recent years that I have really started to take my life back and recover fully from a lifetime of panic attacks and anxiety. I’ve often talked about how negative thinking goes hand in hand with anxious thinking. For the majority of my life, I seriously felt that I was just too anxious, too damaged to heal.
And this was the message I internalized because I didn’t get the help I needed as a frightened, panicked young girl. No one in my family set out to make me feel this way. No one said, Hey, let’s make Jill feel abandoned and unimportant.”
But because of the fact that I did not get help when I cried out for it, it occurred to me that growing up and for much of my adult life, I felt on some level that I was a burden. That my needs and wants were too much.
This caused me to live my life very crippled with the burden of anxiety. I was so overwhelmed and felt I was beyond help. Therefore I sought relief in the only way I knew how- through being totally dependent on prescription medications. Or through using alcohol as liquid courage to quell my paralyzing social anxiety.
As an adult, I realize that I am responsible for my own life, including taking any steps necessary to help me heal from those early childhood messages. this is the foundation upon which I have learned anxiety self help.
I have had discussions with other people about what happens when we grow up feeling that our needs were either minimized or denied. We may have great anger that festers inside us, or shame about our situation, or severe isolation from others because we feel so very “different.”
And as long as we continue to believe these messages, we do believe that we are too damaged to heal and that we can never, ever get better…
Learning to increase my self esteem so that I can practice and move forward with anxiety self help has been a real blessing, as well as an excellent balm for this soul sickness I felt for so many years.
Please know if you suffered in your life from messages that your needs were not important, or if you felt abandoned as a child, you can counter these feelings today. You deserve and have a God given right to a life of quality- a life free from the trauma of trying to live with panic attacks and anxiety.
Believe in yourself. You and you alone hold the key to your recovery. No one can give this to you, not a doctor, a therapist, a pill, or anyone else. You have the inherent powers withing yourself to heal from panic.
I am not any different from you. You too can be the master of your own anxiety recovery. You too can learn anxiety self help skills, including:
- How to Be Your Own Safe Person– you don’t have to hinge your safety on another person. Instead, be your own anchor, your own rock on which you depend.
- How to make your recovery as effective as possible by having a wonderful positive attitude.
- How to keep the faith in yourself and in your inherent strength.
- How to notice if you are making excuses and staying anxious without realizing it.
I talk about my journey out of 30 years of anxiety and panic attacks both to remind myself that I am getting better every day and to show you that you can do the same.
Please don’t ever think that you are too damaged to heal, that your anxiety is beyond help, or that you just don’t have what it takes to recover. If you think this way, you are still believing the distorted messages from your past.
If no one helped you when you were a child, know that you can help yourself today. Learning & practicing anxiety self help skills is the most wonderful gift that you can give yourself.
I wish you peace,
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