Being able to relate to others who “get it” is one of the things that helps me deal so much. I don’t have anyone in my day to day life that understands or experiences what I go through, which is why I write this blog.
Let’s face it, when anxiety rears its ugly head, or when you have to deal with stupid anxiety for any length of time, it affects your daily life, and so helps to have a friend to turn to. Here is a recent email discussion between Kathleen and me:
Kathleen: Jill, you’re such a “real ” person. I find us “real” people are the ones that often suffer from this condition.I am a medical social worker by degree and past work, I find those of us that care for others endure this even more. (nurses , soc. workers, etc)
Jill: I agree Kathleen. I think that some of the traits makes us prone to anxiety- such being sensitive and being caring people in the world- are also some of our greatest assets. Kind of a double edged sword, so to speak. I’ve also read that most people that suffer from anxiety are highly intelligent and creative.
Thank you for saying I’m a real person. Having anxiety for most of my life made me feel so inauthentic, because I was always hiding from reality. And being inauthentic made me even more socially crippled and anxious. It was and is such a vicious cycle. I was a very, very lonely person for a lot of my life.
Blogging and connecting with real people like you has been such a blessing in my life. This is where I turn when times are rough for sure 🙂
Kathleen: I wrote you some time ago as my issue was driving. I am in my late 50s and probably have “had this” for 20 plus years. Not the driving but being at meetings at the hospital, panic, etc. Stores, movies, church….. so I thought I graduated as I got better with those things. Then panic ensued whenever I was at a red light or traffic. I bought one of the programs recommended on your site, sadly, it did not help me
Jill: Wow, I’ve had very similar experiences- in stores, movies, churches and with driving too. I’m sorry to hear the program didn’t help you. Please know that I only recommend high quality products that I have personally reviewed myself. Everyone understands and internalizes things differently and so what works for me may not work for you and vice versa.
And sometimes I have to switch it up. For example, I focused on using the Panic Away Program for years and years, and found it helped me very much. I still think the program is great, and keep the book under my bed for reference. However, in the last few years I have been really using and implementing the 60 Second Panic Program. It just speaks to me where I am now.
Most programs come with a money back offer, and I say, if you truly commit to learning and implementing one program and it doesn’t work, then get your money back and by all means try another! Your goal is to feel better and be able to function in life, anxiety be damned. There is simply no reason to lose hope if one program doesn’t work for you.
Anxiety is a beast, and when you no longer fear it, you no longer suffer. Period. To that end, all high quality programs teach this. So use whatever one speaks to you and gets you there. 🙂
Kathleen: I still have been unable to secure a job with all the cuts in my profession . So, I look endlessly for what else can I do?! It is a long, sad, stressful story but we are now living with my Mom (she is elderly and needs care) but basically, we lost everything. Our only child, albeit he is an adult, is ill so the stress is layer upon layer.
My point in telling you this: your blog keeps it all real and I always find a way to look at things that perhaps I had forgotten. Claire Weekes for example. I have her books and will pull them out today.
I am suffering from all this -I got put on toprol and the Hashimoto’s does not help. I have alprazalom and I use it too, but the thoughts are key . When I am spiraling, however, it seems no matter what I have learned OR what I taught my patience goes out the window.
Prayers to you and if you have time, I could use one too! I keep my faith going but often have to ask why???
Hugs and keep blogging! <3
Jill: Gosh I am sorry for your struggles. Of course you can have a prayer. I just said one now, I did a loving kindness meditation for you. Peace and blessings to you, your husband, your mom, and your son of course. May you have peace, may you have ease of well-being. May you be free from suffering. May you be happy…
I hope you will soon find a job. I know how freaked out Bob and I were last year when he lost his. I feel like we have PTSD, we are still weirded out from it. Unemployment is a horrible stress for sure.
Yes, please brush up your Claire Weekes. I am glad to hear you have her books to go back to. She helped me more than any other author- before there was even an internet, back in the 80s when I was so very alone with my struggles and suffering daily with panic attacks and severe social anxiety.
Why? Why indeed. Who knows how one person has so much to deal with and others just don’t. To that I have no answer…
But you are absolutely right, thoughts are key. When the mind is calm, everything is ok 🙂 Kathleen, please take care of yourself. Huge hugs and thank you so much for writing.