I have setbacks but I’m still making progress.
The purpose of this blog is to show you how I am learning to live successfully despite panic attacks, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. Yes I have them all.
The blog has helped me in 2 important ways.
First it forces me to commit to my personal recovery from anxiety on a daily basis. I try to write weekly and to always post something that is relevant to recovery. My posts are my personal story and some of the details are painful. I grappled with revealing this online for awhile. It has to do with the social anxiety thing and huge fear of scrutiny by others.
By sharing my life story, struggles and successes with you, I am confronting my social anxiety head on. At age 44, I am no longer hiding in shame because of my anxiety disorders. My fears crippled me emotionally and socially for way too many years. I am no longer allowing myself to be victimized by anxiety and panic. This has been an extremely liberating experience 🙂
The second way this blog helps is what I call the karma thing. I put this out on the world wide web and sincerely hope this will find someone who really needs it. When I was younger, I would have given just about anything to connect with others and know I wasn’t the only person who was going through this hell. I truly and sincerely want other sufferers to know that you are not alone and you can get better.
I report often on how well I’m doing and I recommend products that are really helping me. It’s important for you to know that although I have setbacks, I don’t despair because I know I’m still making progress.
At a recent Al-Anon meeting, I came about as close to a panic attack as you can possibly get without actually having one. As you know, these are almost worse than a panic attack because the lousy feelings just keep building up and building up. The people were going around the room sharing about a topic and I was one of the last people to share.
This is a huge panic trigger situation for me, and even with all my new successes I struggled to stay put, my face was scarlet red, and my heart was going about a thousand beats per minute. In short, it sucked. The whole thing felt like a disaster and I was tempted to beat myself up about it. After all that’s pretty much what I always did in the past. That or take a pill before the next meeting.
But I didn’t do either of those things. I let myself feel crappy for a few minutes, and then I went about the rest of my day using Act As If. PS, the rest of the day was uneventful. Don’t you just love those uneventful days? 🙂
In closing, I want you to know that if you are in recovery from an anxiety disorder, you will have setbacks. And more importantly, you will get through them. This is all about progress, not perfection. And I am here for you.
I wish you peace,
Update: It has been a couple years since I wrote this post and I continue to do well, thank God. I owe this to my persistence and determination and also for wonderful programs like Panic Away. It quite literally helped put me on the road to recovery.