Being Proud of Progress (even when you’re not perfect)

As human beings, I think it can be difficult not to be tempted by negative thoughts. It’s hard when we struggle not to beat ourselves up, to put ourselves down for all of our missteps. However, it is important to remember that we are making progress and that even though we’re not perfect, that does not take away from our success.

Let’s take yesterday, for example. I went to church and did extremely well. I usually sit next to a relative and this time, because someone was sitting where my relative usually sits, I couldn’t. Therefore, I sat in my usual seat in back next to someone I’ve never met, and my relative sat in the pew in front of me (a good few away). You may think that doing well during mass while someone that usually sits next to you, instead just sits a little further away, isn’t a big deal, but to me it was. It meant that I could be independent and have enough faith in myself to believe that I could get through mass without becoming anxious – which I did! I didn’t really get anxious at all!

After church, I discovered that my relative and I would be staying after a while to help decorate. Even my relative was unaware of this. We ended up staying after (a whole two hours) and while I did struggle a little, I did pretty well all in all!

Now here’s the thing: I did get very upset with myself when I struggled. I felt miserable and I was mad at myself – mad that I couldn’t stand up to my anxiety and overcome its power. I allowed my anxiety to take control and for that, I was very upset. However, at the same time, I did get – in the end – get through it in that I didn’t let that one moment control the rest of my day. I got through that moment and I continued on with my day. You know what? The rest of the day went well! How awesome is that?!

I understand how difficult it can be not to get fed up with ourselves when we allow our obstacles and struggles to take control. At the same time, though, we can’t forget about the progress we’ve made or the fact that we are able to overcome our obstacles.

So, don’t forget to be proud of your accomplishments! Don’t be too hard on yourself and don’t allow your moments of hardships to convince you that you’re not strong enough to get through whatever tries to hold you back!

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When Things Don’t Go Quite As Planned

I’ve been doing a lot better lately in terms of getting through my anxiety – I really have. That’s one of the reasons that, when my mom invited me to go out with some friends and relatives for St. Patrick’s Day, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to have a great time and not worry about my anxiety holding me back.

My mom and I made plans to go to church and then later go out together. While I did well at church, I struggled leaving – something I haven’t done in a while. Then while eating at the restaurant, and then while leaving the restaurant, I struggled some more. I hated it! It made me feel like a failure and when our friends and relatives saw me struggle, I felt utterly embarrassed!

So many things bothered me about becoming anxious. For one, becoming anxious never feels good. For another thing, I’ve been doing so well and all of a sudden, things weren’t going so well. I also hated that my friend and relative saw me struggling and that to them, it looked like no progress on my part had been made. Heck, I felt that way and I know I’ve made progress!

Here’s the thing though: I do know I’ve made progress. Nothing can take that progress away. Also, it doesn’t really matter what other people think. I know I’m trying my hardest and have been improving.

I’m proud of how much progress I’ve made and while I’m upset that I struggled so much the other day, I know that I’m getting stronger and better at facing my fears. No one is perfect and just because I still experience a great deal of anxiety sometimes, it does not make me a failure or any less successful.

So, if you find yourself still suffering from anxiety – or another issue – don’t feel as if you’re a failure or not making any progress. Look at how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved. Everyone has bad days; it does not make you weak. Continue doing your best on a consistent basis and remember just how strong you truly are.

 

More Progress!

Hey everybody!

I have some great news! On Sunday, I made some more progress with getting through my anxiety!

When I go to church, I usually sit in the back against the wall. I’ve gotten used to sitting there and I do extremely well. This last Sunday, however, someone was sitting where I usually sit, meaning that I had to sit somewhere else. While I was nervous at this idea, I felt confident that I would be okay. Still, during the service, I became a bit anxious.

It wasn’t easy sitting in a new spot. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but sitting against the wall where I know I can lean my head if I have to (I haven’t had to in a long time, but just knowing I can is a huge help), was nerve-racking. As many of you who deal with anxiety probably know, when anxiety hits, it can feel as if you’re trapped and while sitting in a different spot, that’s how I started to feel at one point.

When I started focusing on how I was sitting somewhere different, that’s when my anxiety hit. You might be thinking that I should have just stopped thinking about it right away, but that can be way easier said than done. My mind was focused on it and then I started thinking about how there was nowhere to rest my head if I needed to. Panic began to settle in.

However, I got through it. It wasn’t easy, but I did. I started focusing on other things – on my grandparents (who have both passed away, but used to be at church with my mom and I when I was younger), on the necklace I was wearing around my neck that reminded me of my grandpa, on what was being said in church, and on my hair which I was twirling nervously, but that helped me relax. Eventually, I calmed down and I got through mass! It wasn’t easy, but I did it!

While to some, this may not seem like a big accomplishment, I know otherwise. Ever since I’ve started going back to church, I’ve been sitting in the back (other then one time when I sat in the front when my grandpa died – another sign of progress), but this time was different. I did something that I’m not used to – even though I was anxious – and I got through it. Taking small steps towards reaching one’s goal does matter and being able to stay the whole time during mass while being anxious is a big deal!

It felt great that I got through my anxiety on my own. Yes, my mom was sitting right next to me, but I never told her I needed to leave or anything like that. There would have been nothing wrong with that if I did, but I didn’t. I got through it on my own and that hasn’t always been easy for me in the past. Counting on myself to calm down has always been difficult – I tend to obsess on my anxiety, which leads to me feeling the need to leave wherever I am. Even now as I write this, I feel slightly stressed. It’s a scary thing feeling anxious and not knowing if you can get through it. But again, I did and it felt amazing!

To all of you out there who struggle, with hard work on a consistent basis, you can and will get through your anxiety and over any obstacles that come your way. It just takes time, patience, and a lot of effort. Try your hardest to have confidence in yourself – you deserve it!

 

The Poetry Continues!

B.W. Ginsburg

Hey everybody!

I believe in my last post I talked about how I was writing some poetry after feeling stuck when it came to writing a new novel. While I am in no way giving up on writing fiction, I have decided to work on writing and publishing a poetry book!

First let me remind all of you that Gary Ginsburg and I do already have an inspirational article and poetry book out that is available for purchase on Amazon.com, entitled Inspiration Unbound. I’d like to thank everyone who has already purchased a copy and continues to support our writing. If you have any questions about this book, please feel free to ask.

While in the last article and poetry book that Gary Ginsburg and I came out with, Gary wrote the poems and I wrote the articles, I will be the sole author of the next poetry book and it…

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A Great Day / Getting Better

Hello everybody! Today I’d like to talk about something wonderful that happened over the weekend. I’d also like to touch upon the importance of connecting with others who struggle with the same (or similar) issues as yourself.

Let me start out at the beginning. I attended church with my mom Sunday morning (something that I’ve been able to do more and more as I make progress in getting through my anxiety). My mom had told me how a friend of hers struggles with anxiety and how the week before (when I didn’t attend church), they had talked briefly about the subject. I had never seen the woman when I attended church before but lo and behold, I did on Sunday. We got to talking and while our anxiety does differ slightly, we found that we have a lot of things in common. She had a lot of advice to give and she was very kind. We exchanged phone numbers and told each other to stay in touch.

It meant a lot to me to meet someone face to face who struggles with anxiety; for her to understand what I go through and to be genuinely concerned for my well being. This woman could truly sympathize with my pain and relate to what I go through. Also, I do sometimes struggle to make my mother understand my anxiety and I honestly think that having a friend that goes through it might make it more comprehendible to her. That might be a sad truth, but there it is.

Something that meant an even greater deal to me was that this woman offered to give me her number; to be there for me in my darkest of times. Not everyone in this world is that kind and it meant the world to me to know I have another ally.

After church, I headed to a relative’s house for a while. After having a great time, which was for the most part anxiety-free, I headed out with my mom to a store. At first, I didn’t plan on going in, but then I did! While I admit that I did feel nervous and towards the end needed time leaving the store, I did a great job! The fact that I went in at all and didn’t leave before my mom was ready to alone means that I made a great deal of progress! I was so proud of myself and even my mom thought I did a great job (though in all truthfulness, she did get annoyed when I couldn’t leave the store right away and had to relax first).

As you can see, I had a wonderful day! While I did struggle at times, I did better than I have in a long time and was able to do things that I haven’t felt confident enough to do in quite a while. It doesn’t matter if my mom got slightly annoyed with me or if I didn’t do everything perfectly well. What matters is that I made progress and that I know deep down what a great accomplishment that truly was!

Working hard on a consistent basis to face your fears really does bring success! Please don’t allow others to strip away your confidence or pride in your accomplishments. Also, don’t be afraid to open up about your anxiety to those you trust and make new friends and allies along the way!

Have a great week and be proud of your accomplishments!

-B.

I Did It!

Hey everybody! Today I’d like to share some exciting news with you!

I used to love shopping – seriously. However, once my anxiety began hitting hard, it became more and more difficult to go out, especially for long periods of time. While I know I’ve made significant progress over the years, I still have a long way to go.

In terms of shopping, there is really only one place where I feel somewhat comfortable, and even there I struggle with walking around without getting anxious. It’s hard for me to focus on simply looking at things and enjoying myself while I’m worrying so much and I tend to get shaky and have to sit down. However, I will say that in general, I do pretty well there.

Today I did something amazing. My dad and I went out to buy some gifts for the holidays and when he asked if I’d like to try to go in, I said yes. I asked that we use a cart so I could hold on and he said alright. While I did hold onto the cart while we walked around, I stayed in the store the whole time and did great! I held onto my dad’s arm while we left the store because I felt a bit shaky, but I’m extremely proud of myself! There would have been a time when I would have either not tried going in the store at all or would have had to leave the store before we were finished shopping. Today I stayed inside the whole time, helped with finding everything, and didn’t get overly anxious. I can’t tell you how good that felt!

The point of this story is that even though it may seem like you’ll never get through your anxiety or over your obstacles, you can and will if you work hard on a consistent basis. There was a time when I wouldn’t have thought I could go shopping like I did today; when I didn’t think I could possibly stay the whole time, walk around, and leave without getting uncontrollably anxious – but I did! If I never would have gone in today and tried, I never would have seen how well I could have done!

So if you struggle with anxiety or some other issue, don’t feel like you’ll never overcome these obstacles. As long as you work hard and never give up, you can and will continue to make progress!

I wish you all the best in overcoming your obstacles!

Taking Back the Holidays

Hi all! First and foremost, I hope that everyone who celebrated had a great Thanksgiving. I am happy to say that, I myself, had a wonderful holiday and felt very little anxiety! I am quite proud of my success!

I’d like to share some more good news with all of you! Yesterday an article I wrote was published on Harness Magazine’s website! The subject of the article dealt with taking back the fun of the holidays by not allowing anxiety to ruin a good day. If interested, I would love it if you took some time to check it out. You can find the article here. The article also includes some tips on getting through anxiety in general and during the holiday season.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

-B.

 

First Review for Inspiration Unbound!

Hey everybody! As a writer, it’s always nice to receive reviews from my readers and friends. Today I’d like to share the first review I received for me and Gary Ginsburg’s inspirational article and poetry collection, Inspiration Unbound. If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, you can do so by visiting Amazon.com. Thank you! Special thanks goes to my good friend who wrote the following:

Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Motivational Read!
October 17, 2018
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
B.W. and Gary have put together an absolutely beautiful book. 25 short inspirational messages and poems that combine to deliver that perfect positive spark of motivation that so many of us need and search for. An excellent read, well worth the purchase!

 

Mental Health Illness Awareness Week

Hey everybody! Today I discovered that October 7th to October 13th is titled Mental Health Illness Awareness Week. While I consider anxiety more of an issue than an illness, I thought I would talk about it a bit in order to spread some awareness.

Instead of going into percentages and how common struggling with anxiety is, I’m going to take a more personal approach to discussing the issue. As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with anxiety for several years. While I’m not where I want to be yet in terms of progress, I have made a substantial amount, even if it may be hard for others and even myself, to recognize at times.

For those of you who struggle with anxiety, you know that it’s not an easy thing to deal with. Anxiety is often random, comes at inopportune times, and can make things that may have once seemed relatively easy seem extremely difficult. It’s tiring and it can weigh us down.

I’m going to admit something to all of you – I often get depressed that I still struggle so much. There are so many things that I used to love to do (going out, shopping, etc.) that I did without even thinking twice, that I hardly do at all now. However, certain things have gotten easier and that’s what I’d like to talk about next.

While it may seem impossible, with hard, consistent work, we can all get through our anxiety and over our obstacles. All of us. It might not happen overnight and it may even take years, but we will get through our struggles – we will. How do I know this? Because I’ve witnessed it first hand. As I mentioned in the above paragraph, certain things have become much easier for me since I started struggling with anxiety. Yes, the progress I’ve made has taken years, and while I do wish the process of getting better would have taken less time, I am so grateful that I have made the progress I have. Seriously, you have no idea how good it is to see how far I’ve come – even if I have much further to go.

It is important that everyone who struggles with anxiety or another mental health issue realize this – you are strong and capable of getting through your struggles. You are also strong enough to get over your obstacles. You just have to continue to try your hardest and never, ever give up. Things may take time – maybe even longer than you want them to take, but you need to hang in there. It’s worth it and so are you.

Another thing I want you all to know is that it doesn’t matter what others say when it comes to how much progress you’ve made or how long it’s taking. Some people may expect progress to be made overnight or they may constantly comment on how everything you struggle with should be resolved by now; that you should be over this by now. There is no time table for how long it takes when getting through something difficult. Each individual makes progress at different speeds. Just because you may not be where you want to yet does not mean you’re not trying.

Something else that I think is extremely important is that we all recognize the progress we’ve made. It’s easy to merely concentrate on all of the goals we haven’t accomplished and get lost in the negativity. We need to remember all of the amazing things we have accomplished and yes, even a ‘small’ step can be amazing.

As I mentioned earlier, I am so grateful and proud of myself for every step I’ve made in the right direction. You should be too! Please don’t dismiss any step forward as inconsequential. Every positive step matters! I really cannot say this enough.

So to all of you who are reading this, please know that you are not alone in your struggles. Please know that with hard, consistent effort, you can get through your anxiety and over any other obstacles you may have – no matter how difficult it may seem. Also, please don’t let yourself or others make you feel useless or as if you’re not getting better on time.

If anyone is reading this who knows someone struggling with anxiety or another mental health issue, please listen to what they have to say. Please don’t dismiss their feelings or make them feel lousy for what they go through. Also, please understand that anxiety is a real issue (as many others are) and that if someone is telling you that they struggle with it, they are most likely not making it up! I understand that some things in life are not easy to understand, but if you love someone who is struggling, please try your hardest to be supportive. Thank you!

Thinking Back

For those of us who struggle, we may often times find ourselves looking back. We may think about how we once did things with ease and now, those same actions seem difficult. While focusing on the past can have negative ramifications such as causing us to feel depressed or hopeless, there is a way to reflect on the past and use it to our benefit.

For starters, even when looking at what once came easily and may now seem difficult, we can turn the fact that we now struggle into something positive. How? We can realize that since we were once able to do that action with ease, we still can. We just have to work our hardest to accomplish that goal! That may not seem simple, but it is possible.

Additionally, thinking about the past can be a good thing. Many of us (even if it doesn’t always seem obvious) have made progress when it comes to facing our fears, getting through our anxiety, and overcoming our obstacles. Many of us have made tremendous strides in accomplishing our goals. By reflecting on the past, we can see just how far we’ve come. Perhaps we’re not exactly where we want to be, but the fact that we’ve made progress is extremely important.

So next time you find yourself focusing on the past in a negative light, try to remember all of the positive ways you can think about the past. Think about how far you’ve come and how with continued hard work, you can become even more successful!