Once I made a firm commitment to get better and really practice tools to help me on my journey out of panic attacks, I started writing PanicFreeMe. And if I didn’t start this anxiety self help blog over a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have had the tremendous privilege of knowing and connecting with some of you. Thank you for sharing with me bout your struggles as well as your triumphs over anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety can be lonely business. I know very few people in real life who can relate to me because they also have anxiety. I would love to be part of a local support group for social anxiety or panic attacks, but there aren’t really any around here.
And I wonder if there was one, would I be brave enough to go? One of the hardest parts of anxiety is that we cover it up and hide it from people in our world. Would I be brave enough??
I was also
pretty very unstable growing up, which is a big factor in why I am coping with loneliness today. As I have shared, I drank a lot and did a lot of drugs to cope with anxiety and be social. Add this to being either under or over medicated by doctors for my panic disorder and what resulted was a huge mess.
One of the biggest downsides to this was there was a lot of drama and I actually have no freinds from when I was younger. With my 2 childhood friends, 3 best freinds from high school, and my first roommate in New York City, (and a few others too) I found some reason to get mad at them for something unforgivable at he time (in my messed up head) and essentially cut them out of my life. I have made amends to all these people, but aside from Christmas cards, none are in my life anymore in any real way.
I do think having severe anxiety has affected my life profoundly, both in good ways (because now I’m getting my life back) and in really bad ways too (not being able to handle friends, fighting with everyone and now having a really challenging marriage). For more about this please see: Social Anxiety and Friends.
Letting Go of the Past & Moving Forward…
I do try not to brood over the past anymore. Brooding and regretting the past basically helped keep me sick, isolated, and paralyzed with anxiety. I lived on the pity pot for the better part of my adult life, envying people with seemingly good lives and healthy relationships.
For anyone who reads this blog, don’t ever think my life was some walk in the park. I have only begun to feel really healthy in the last few years. The majority of my life has been a tremendous struggle. And I can see that the biggest detriment was my crappy negative attitude towards everything.
Today I know better. I know my thinking has been distorted and my perceptions were always slanted toward the negative. If I want to get better and live a full life of quality, my attitude has to be positive. I have changed for the better, and both my progress with my anxiety recovery and my marriage are 2 of the most significant results of my change in mindset.
Here are some of the people I have gotten to know in the blogosphere who are working on their anxiety recovery too. I think any of these people would make amazing friends in real life:
Zoe from http://toughwords.wordpress.com/- a devoted wife and mom who is working on herself, her marriage, and her anxiety. Her blog is her outlet and she has inspired me (and others) tremendously.
Aimee from http://anxiousnomore.blogspot.com/. She has been blogging online about her struggles- and triumphs- over anxiety for a few years now. She is a devoted wife and mother with a tremendous faith in God that she applies wonderfully well as a coping skill for her anxiety.
Robert from http://mywifehasagoraphobia.blogspot.com/ is a caring dad and devoted husband. He is a tremendous and patient partner to his wife, who suffers from agoraphobia.
Sarah from http://maybeican.blogspot.com/. A proper English mummy with a “dash of depression, 1 tbs of panic and anxiety, a good measure of agoraphobia….mix it all up – and you get Sarah. She is lighthearted, very engaging, amazingly honest and fun to read.
I really liked another blogger and enjoyed reading his take on things. His name is Nechtan, and he is very introspective and intelligent. However he got pretty angry when I posted a comment on his blog that he didn’t agree with. He wrote a blog post saying how he didn’t think Panic Away was an effective program. I disagreed, and I
think know I came across as pretty abrasive, which I can be at times (I’m learning, but still have a little of the angry young Jill inside me). His blog is http://foreveranxious.blogspot.com/ and you should check it out, even if he has blocked me from reading it.
Working on my anger, abrasiveness, judgment, pettiness and all my anxiety issues is a full time endeavor. I guess this is the work of my lifetime…
As a 40 something wife and mom, it isn’t really as easy to meet and connect with friends in real life. Certainly not the same way as when I was younger. Coping with anxiety & coping with loneliness seem to go hand in hand for me.
But instead of lamenting over this, I am using whatever social outlets I have today to be the best person I can be.
I am really, really fond of the friends I have made over the years in Al-Anon, but this is an anonymous program, so I don’t really see these folks in my day to day life. I do try to be cordial with my neighbors and work on not harboring any resentments towards them, whether I think they like me or not. And now that I am working again (thank you God) I pray to do right by my patients every day in every moment. I am very close with my sister and mom as well, which is wonderful.
Another great blessing has been connecting with new people on my Facebook page. If you do Facebook and would like to chat, by all means, please do
Well that’s it for today. I hope you have an amazing day and really start to go for what you want in life, anxiety be damned. If you are anxious and coping with loneliness, please know you’re not alone. I was a huge mess in my youth and yet I know am not too damaged to heal.
I can definitely say with 100% conviction that my life is very, very good. As I move forward and continue to overcome my anxiety and work on creating lasting friendships with others, that is my prayer for you as well.
I wish you peace,