Anxiety Setback: A Reader Asks for Help

trust me I can take care of youToday we are going to revisit the topic of anxiety setbacks. We all have them, and boy can they set us off big time. To put it mildly, they suck! Today’s post is inspired by a reader comment on a previous post.

I am breaking down what the reader Tonya said and looking at it piece by piece. Follow along, we are all in this together. All recovery from anxiety is basically the same, so see if you can relate to her feelings….

Tonya: I am so discouraged with this shit! How can I pretend it doesn’t matter and I don’t care when I do! I am sick of feeling like shit and not being able to go anywhere without this fucking anxiety!

I hear you girl. Well of course it matters and of course you care. Acting as if has nothing to do with pretending it doesn’t matter.

Let me start by saying it sounds like you are at the point where you are overwhelmed.

You tell me you have been having lots of anxiety lately, some small panic attacks, and then of course the one at the Broadway show. Plus you recently took off from work because you had surgery.

That would probably put anyone over the edge. It is discouraging to feel anxiety and have to go through it and then you wake up and oh hello there it is again. What the hell, you were supposed to be getting better right?

Tonya: I am so fed up. I pray, I exercise, I eat right, I do the self talks and still have this sick nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach all the time.

Yep. That low lying feeling in the  pit of your stomach. You might even wake up with it.

Tonya: Some days are good, they are really good, but when they are bad, they are really bad!

Amen sister.

Tonya: I really don’t have anyone to talk to about all this.

Me neither, that’s why I write this blog. LOL. But then you are talking to me, so I guess that’s not entirely true is it hon? Hey, thank God we have each other right? 🙂

My husband can look at me and tell I’m not feeling well, but all this fucking pretending is driving me crazy. How do I not care about it. Why the fucking set backs, what’s their point? Sorry for the words, I’m so frustrated!! I only curse when I am really really angry, and I am.

No worries, I curse like a sailor. It’s ok to be angry for a bit. You have to get your feelings out. In fact, I think being angry is GOOD! I want you to use that wonderful energy and direct it toward your recovery now! This can really fuel you. I’m serious. You can do this, and you have what it takes.

If you are in a setback, it means you’re getting better! I know it doesn’t make sense, but nothing about anxiety does, in my opinion.

Let’s start by giving this a thoughtful read: Anxiety Setbacks: How to Get Past Them

Now that you have let your anger out, you need to collect yourself and get busy. Ask the hard questions. How are you doing lately?  Remember, if you are

Tired or

These feelings make anxiety worse. Sounds to me like you are all of the above except hungry. So everything bunched together is overwhelming you. Tonya, it would overwhelm anyone.

Here is a post that will help you understand what it happening, and how to get through it:

Learning How to Be Patient With The Anxiety Recovery Process

There is a psych doctor who is supposed to be really good but doesn’t take insurance and is self pay $290 for the 1st visit and I am actually considering going to see her, but the voices in my head say don’t go, she will just mess you up worse and I say how can it get any worse?

It can’t get worse. It can just continue how it’s going. It already is the worse if you ask me. So maybe you will see the new doctor, and maybe you won’t.

I think once you can collect yourself a bit you will be able to make a decision about this.

I get it about the thinking. Your negative thoughts are really running rampant. That does happen to me from time to time. For me, and I only speak for myself here, that is when I have to up my meds for awhile. I am not helping myself or anyone else when I can’t function. If I can’t get out of my head and my anxiety is running my life, I will use medication to get me over the rough spot.

That said, here is something to help you with the out of control thoughts: How To Stop Anxious Thinking and Racing Thoughts

Ok Tonya, now it’s time for you to get working. But please don’t forget to have tremendous compassion for yourself for all you’ve been going through lately. If I could I would give you a big HUG.

Here’s a little something I want you to remember as you work your way out of this funk:

Positive Affirmations for Anxiety– Say these over and over till they sink in. They are all true.

Here is exactly what I did myself the last time I went through what you are going through- a horrible anxiety setback- read to the end and listen to the audio, it will really help you:

After the Panic, What to Do

God Bless Tonya. I believe in you and know you will feel better!

If you found this post helpful, I suggest you bookmark it. That way you can refer back the next time you are feeling overwhelmed with anxiety or struggling through a setback.

Now I turn to you. What advice do you have for Tonya about anxiety setbacks? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

I wish you all peace,


Ready to take action with an effective anxiety elimination program? I recommend and use the 60 Second Panic Solution. Please get started today and reclaim your life from fear.

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16 Responses to Anxiety Setback: A Reader Asks for Help

  1. Tonya says:

    Thanks Jill, I am so grateful for you and your posts. I am rereading them all today! I pray for anyone who else dealing with this, they too can get some relief. Thank for for getting back to me so quickly, guess you knew I needed it and soon!! I just need to learn how to not let the symptoms bother me and it is really hard, harder at times when my family and others are all having a great time and I am so focused on my feelings. Your posts are so helpful and help me to get a better perspective on things. Thanks again for being there for me and the others dealing with anxiety/panic. You are the only one that truly understands!! I’ll let you know how this week goes, I’m heading back to work, maybe my mind will be too busy and I’ll start feeling much better!

    Take care,


    • JillG says:

      You are so welcome Tonya and I so hope you are feeling better soon. Remember you are stronger and more powerful than you know- we ALL are 🙂 xx

  2. maz says:

    Well how did you know I needed this also you nailed it for me. Thanks for reminding me what to do. I’d also forgotten to tell myself this too shall pass. To ya never feel alone always remember someone know how you are feeling and I certainly do at the moment. Then there is you jilly always so inspiring. So it’s onwards and upwards to all who suffer

    Take care to all

    Jilly your a star

    Luv Maz

  3. says:

    Yes! Perfect timing, I’ve been doing really good for awhile and finally adjusted I think to prozac

  4. Tonya says:

    Reread the posts and still fighting this preanticipatory anxiety now and afraid of having more panic attacks. I am trying not to “focus” on my symptoms but it is so hard not to. I tell myself not to care how I feel but I can’t stop thinking about it. I am in a circle of obsessive thoughts right now about anxiety. I constantly feel I need to run to a doctor and get put on medication. My daughter is going through a rough time again at bedtime and thinks someone is breaking into our house, so this isn’t making matters better. I could just be sitting on the couch and feel a panic attack coming just from thinking about anxiety. Thanks for all the tips, I am going to read some more old posts and try deep breathing today.


  5. Sylvia B says:

    Dear Tonya, I really get how you feel! I lived with anxiety and bad panic attacks since the 80’s, and finally I have been panic free for several years now. Like you I had many, many set backs, I thought I would never be free of panic. I felt like I would live like this forever. I cried, I got angry and cursed, I had so many feeling and emotions. But believe me, you can be free of panic, it won’t last forever. I can’t tell you how many times I have called 911, been to the ER and spent years going to many doctors.

    Learn everything you can about panic and anxiety, keep a journal, and never ever give up!!

    Jill is GREAT!! She is a real lifesaver! Spend time on her web site and read and study all of her great articles. And try out and use what you learn and find what works for you! You can do this!! Hang in there! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

    And a BIG thank you to Jill for another great article!! You are amazing!!

    Sylvia B

  6. Tonya says:

    Thank you, Sylvia, how did you get better?

  7. Kelly says:

    I feel for you so greatly. I have struggled with panic attacks and anxiety for years. At one point I lost over 20 pounds within one month it was so bad. But I can give you some small pieces of wisdom.
    Jills website is the best. I have searched the web over and over again but her positivity and attitude keep me comig back. And I havent had a panic attack in years but I still read her blog. Its truly amazing how profoundly she helps me.
    Also dont try to pretend the anxiety isnt there. That wont accomplish anything. Unapologetically let it be known that you are dealing with something hard and im sure the people that are able to help will rise to the occasion.
    And finally, remember that your goal isnt to go back to “normal” or the way you were. Thats what brought you to this point. Your goal is to constantly grow and learn from this experience. I guarantee you will end up a more compassionate person whose story can help someone else.

    • JillG says:

      “Your goal is to constantly grow and learn from this experience.” I so agree with this Kelly!

      How wonderful to use the hardship and challenge of panic and anxiety and turn it around like that.

      Personally from all the years of introspection in my anxiety recovery, I have learned to be very loving and compassionate towards others, and towards myself…something I lacked when I was younger, which may have been a factor in why I stayed sick for so long.

  8. Allyson says:

    Hi Jill,
    I started to try to decrease my 10 mg of lexapro for the last week. I started to panic and get extremely dizzy in a restaurant this past weekend. I became so fearful that I’m back on the 10 mg. I can’t believe I quit so easily. I feel like a loser. I feel like the 10mg of lexapro is my safety blanket. Does this make sense? I love reading your blog and seeing how other manage their anxiety. Thank you for posting.

    • JillG says:

      Yes Allyson it makes perfect sense. I just wish you wouldn’t beat yourself up. There is no time table for decreasing that kind of medication. In fact, you shouldn’t decrease it at all until you feel well enough to do so, in my opinion. I’m sure your doctor would agree. Please take excellent care of yourself and give yourself lots of pats on the back for being a survivor. xxx

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