Do you ever play the victim when it comes to your circumstances? Do you ever fall into self pity because of how hard your life has become due to anxiety?
I guess it’s only human to feel that way some of the time. But there is a fine line between feeling sad about a situation –and feeling sad about a situation and staying sad– staying stuck in negativity and letting that sadness morph into anger or even worse, depression and despair. That is a victim mentality.
You know, you can stop being a victim… Let me ask you, have you ever played the “if only” game? It goes something like this:
- If only I hadn’t married the wrong person, my life would be better
- If only I had a better childhood, my life would be better
- If only I had more money, I could afford better treatment and I would be better
- If only I hadn’t inherited nervousness from my mother, I wouldn’t suffer so much all the time
- If only my job/kid/husband wasn’t so difficult, life would be better
- If only anxiety hadn’t robbed me of a good life…
Whenever you play the what-if game, you always lose. It makes you feel like crap and does nothing to help you feel better.
This sort of thinking is so fruitless. It is only when you stop being a victim of your circumstances that real and lasting change can begin.
It’s very easy and even tempting to want to blame others or situations for the pain we feel, but the very act of doing this only creates negative energy and keeps us stuck in our problems.
This real life example comes to mind: I have an aunt who is in her 70s. Her husband (my uncle) died a few years ago. They didn’t have a good marriage. He openly cheated on her as she raised my 3 cousins. Despite this knowledge, she chose to stay married to him, but she was miserable as hell.
Their situation got even more difficult once he started having severe health problems over the last decade of his life. She ended up caring for him like a private duty nurse, and when he finally died, she stayed bitter and negative.
This lady is now widowed 4 years and is so angry and lonely. She has fallen into depression and doesn’t do anything to take care of herself or try to have any sort of happiness in her life. It is very sad.
I feel bad for her and her situation, she is my aunt after all and I love her. I doubt she realizes it, but she did have choices all along the way. No one forced her to stay married. No one forced her to do anything she didn’t want to do.
What she did do was to blame this man for her rotten life. She blamed him for everything.
Don’t we all know someone in our life like this? Someone who is negative or miserable and that could be better off, but does absolutely nothing about their situation -except to stay miserable?
When it comes to dealing with chronic anxiety, panic attacks, or any hardship for that matter, I have learned that I had to stop feeling and acting like I was a victim.
Once I learned to accept my situation and take responsibility for a lot of my past actions, I learned I could really do a lot to help improve my situation.
Some of my light bulb moments included the following: Hmm, smoking all that pot in my youth was a bad idea for me being that I had panic attacks all the time… Hmm, quitting that good job didn’t do anything to make my situation better, it only reinforced how bad my anxiety was… Hmm, why did I always drink so much caffeine and eat only junk food? Hmm, cutting off friends because they didn’t get it made me lonely as hell… I could go on and on, but you get the picture I’m sure
As Stephen Covey teaches in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “I am the creative force in my life.”
I can create my own path to wellness and healing. I have the power within me and the God given right to a full life of quality and happiness.
And so do you.
You need to take whatever action is necessary for you to work creatively around your anxiety problems. This is the way to freedom.
So many of the things I talk about here really work, lots of anxious people know about them, they are accessible to anyone, and yet some people cannot see that these simple strategies will help them too.
It’s not rocket science. It really is all about doing a little bit every day and getting out there and exposing yourself. Success breeds success — the more you practice, the more progress you will make.
“I hope to have an ounce of the courage you have someday”
Please don’t see it that way. Living with anxiety takes more guts and courage than anything I know. You already have everything within you in order to overcome your anxiety. It’s not a race and it’s not unobtainable.
I may have been doing this longer than you, but you have all the courage you need.
“I’ve been anxious for too long, my life has been hell.”
I cannot deny your pain. I’ve had panic attacks since age 7 and I’ve had a lot of hardships myself. I’m no one special. If I can get better than you can too.
The fact is, there is not one person alive that isn’t dealing with some sort of struggle. It may not be apparent or noticeable to you, but believe me everyone has “issues”. Everyone has pain. It’s all part of life and part of being human.
If anxiety is your cross to bear, at some point you must be willing and able to say, fine it is what it is. I don’t have to like it, but I can learn to deal with it.
And then do it.
How to Stop Being a Victim
If you find yourself feeling down or just stuck in negativity about your anxiety situation, here are some tips to help you:
1. Decide today once and for all that you are in control. Decide today that you will no longer look to someone or something to blame for your situation. Decide today that you will look for creative ways to work on your anxiety.
2. Read some great motivational books to get you in the right mindset. Wayne Dyer, Victor Frankl, Stephen R. Covey are some noted authors. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen are also wonderful & inspiring reads. (I have some of my favorite books on audio tape and I listen to them from time to time which is also nice.)
4. Decide every day to take one small action step in the direction of your goal. If your goal is to be free from panic attacks, generalized anxiety, or social anxiety, put yourself out there a little with some exposure therapy, even if it’s for 15 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes.
The path to wellness is not the easier path. It is much easier to stay feeling victimized, it is much easier to just blame and stay anxious. But I don’t think this is how life was meant to be.
You can get psyched about your anxiety recovery and make it a wonderful and challenging journey. It is certainly never boring, I can tell you that.
You will never regret that you took action towards ridding yourself of your burdens. But you may regret it if you don’t…
Stop being a victim or falling into a victim mentality. You deserve so much better- create your own path to happiness and wellness- starting today!
I wish you peace,
How have I managed to come so far when I was anxious for so long? Simple, I have changed my mindset and I use Panic Away. I invite you to try this powerful method to put yourself in control of your fear- works like a charm.