Do It For You!

Due to health reasons, my therapist of about three years recently retired. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of months, but I had planned to return when I found out that he would no longer be seeing patients. To say the least, I was upset. I truly believe that he was the best therapist that I have ever seen. He was kind, caring, and in my opinion, had the best methods for helping me get through my anxiety. I could tell that he genuinely wanted to see me get better. I will miss him dearly.

For now, and I think at least for a while, I don’t plan on seeing anyone else. I know what I have to do to make the progress that I want to make – I have to face my fears in small, manageable steps on a consistent basis. I have to continue to work hard.

I have to admit that it’s strange not seeing my therapist anymore, but not just because of the usual reasons. Not only am I not physically going to his office as much anymore (I’m still seeing my psychiatrist), but I was regularly sending progress reports of how I was working daily to get through my anxiety. It’s strange not sending these reports on a daily basis. When I first decided to stop sending the reports (I was never told to stop, but out of respect for my therapist, I decided it would be best), it felt weird not reporting to him about my progress. It almost felt unnatural.

The thing is though, that I was never working hard to gain my therapist’s approval in the first place. Sure, there may have been some days where I didn’t feel like doing anything productive, but I did in order to look like I was trying (I know that sounds awful, but I’m only human), but I never once tried my hardest to get better for merely my therapist’s sake. I want to get through my anxiety for myself – so I can enjoy my life to the fullest and do things with the people I love, along with being more independent.

I realized that just because my therapist retired and I wouldn’t be sending him emails citing my progress, did not mean that I couldn’t and shouldn’t still be recording said progress. Every step that I take in order to get through my anxiety is important and in order to remind myself that I am strong enough to conquer my fears, I should be writing down the progress I make – not for my therapist, but for myself. After all, I am working hard so that I can be happy with my life, not so that someone else can be satisfied.

The point is this: you should be trying your hardest to get through your anxiety and over your other obstacles for yourself – not for anyone else. If you want to keep track of your progress, don’t just do so because you’re told to do so, do it because it’s beneficial for you. I understand the desire to want to get better so that you can spend time with the ones you love and that’s fine, but your main reason for getting better should be so that you can improve your life!

*Please know that I am not trying to state that if your therapist retires, that you shouldn’t search for a new one if you believe you should keep going to therapy. I may eventually see someone again for my anxiety, it’s just that at the moment, I think I need to simply utilize the tools I was given – to work hard on a consistent basis to get through my anxiety!

 

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How It Feels

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas yesterday and a great day! Today I’d like to talk about something pretty amazing that I experienced while out for the holidays.

While usually I’m pretty calm when I’m at somebody else’s house, I don’t usually walk around a lot.My anxiety makes me feel kind of shaky, weak, and off balance so I usually stay on the couch while away from home. However, yesterday I actually got up myself and walked in and out of the kitchen. I also sat down at the kitchen table and talked to my aunt.

Now maybe to some, this isn’t a big deal. Heck, there was a time when these kinds of things wouldn’t have been a big deal to me either – man I miss those times. However, it felt really good yesterday doing something with little anxiety – I felt like my old self.

These times in our lives remind us that we have the strength to get through our anxiety and that there is physically nothing wrong with us. Anxiety can play tricks on us, but in the end, that’s all they are. Anxiety lies to us all the time and it’s times of success that we have to hold on to, for these are the times when our true selves are revealed.

Something else that these times show us is the importance of practice. If we want to continue to experience times that are free from anxiety, we need to be consistent in exercising and facing our fears.

We can get through our anxiety! We just need to believe in ourselves and work hard! It feels wonderful to see ourselves making progress and returning to a life that we can fully enjoy!

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Motivation

Motivation can sometimes seem impossible to come by. Even when we want to do something with all our heart and soul, we can feel as if we have no energy to take the necessary steps to accomplish our goals.

I have been noticing a lack of motivation and energy for a while now. As many of you know, I would love nothing better than to get through my anxiety and to live a ‘normal’ life. I absolutely hate how anxiety is always getting in the way of things I want to do and accomplish. Still though, there have been so many times when I put off exercising and practicing facing my fears – two things that I know I have to do consistently to make progress.

As I may have mentioned before, I tried setting my alarm clock on my phone so that when the alarm went off, I would know to exercise. Let’s just say that after a while, I started to ignore the alarm. Even when I changed the tune to the most annoying sound available, I would end up just letting it go. I knew even when it was happening that it wasn’t a good idea, but let’s face it – sometimes we’re just lazy or not in the mood to exercise or do what we know we have to.

The other day I saw my therapist and told him that I had come up with another way to help myself stay motivated and actually carry out the exercises that I know are necessary to make real progress. My idea? I’ve decided that until I’m allowed to write, I have to do some exercises.

Now I know what you may be thinking – that’s awfully extreme. When you really think about it though, it’s not. Getting through my anxiety is extremely important to me and the better I am at getting through my anxiety and not allowing it to control my life, the more I’ll be able to do what I want in life. By not letting myself do something I love until I exercise, I show myself that there is a correlation between exercising and writing. The connection, you ask? If I want to be a professional writer, the best way to do that is to overcome my fears so that I can go out in the real world and try to become the professional author that I want to be. If I’m more confident with getting out, I can get a job that helps me become more successful in writing and I can start living the life I want to live!

I’m not saying this plan would work for everyone, but if you’re searching for a way to almost force yourself to exercise and face your fears, it might just be something you should try! For example, maybe you love to read. Tell yourself that until you can read, you have to do so many exercises or face your fear in some way or another.

Sometimes we need to come up with creative and safe ways to motivate ourselves. While one might think that wanting something will all your heart and soul is motivation enough, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we have to find other ways to get ourselves to do what’s necessary to succeed!

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Hardships and Consistency

I’ve been struggling the last few days, especially last night. Between feeling like a burden to those around me and struggling to do simple things, I’ve been feeling pretty crappy.

I know I always talk about staying positive and remembering how amazing we all are. While I mean every single word of that, it’s not always easy to follow through with. It’s not always easy to put a positive spin on everything or to magically just snap our fingers and stop feeling depressed and sorry for ourselves.

Last night I was going through a lot. A family member said a mean comment and it just made me realize how many people I’ve disappointed with my anxiety and other issues. It made me remember all of the times when people have said cruel things to me or made it like I was this impossible individual to deal with. That feeling sucks. It sucks to know how many people you have let down and to feel like you’re a burden to everyone. My other family member assured me that I’m not a burden, but let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to shake the feelings of inadequacy and sadness.

I have to admit, I still don’t feel great about myself. I still feel like I let a lot of people down and drive a lot of people crazy with my anxiety and other issues. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’m loved and cared for. I just sometimes feel like I’m not really liked – like I frustrate everyone around me. It’s hard to feel otherwise when some people have actually come out and said how frustrating I am.

I’m not writing this post though to whine (although it does help to get things off my chest). I’m writing this post to show you that it’s okay to sometimes feel down, to sometimes struggle with putting a positive spin on everything. It doesn’t make you a bad person to struggle. Usually I realize quickly that I’m not a burden, but this time it seems harder to shake off the feeling that I am.

My family member who was trying to help me brought up a good point though that I think is very important to share. While it didn’t help me feel 100% better, I know that he has a point. Many people say mean things to us because they don’t understand what we go through. It doesn’t make it okay, but it’s true. Just because people get frustrated with me due to my anxiety, does not mean that they don’t love me or that they hate me as a person – it just means that my anxiety is frustrating or that when I go through it, I’m frustrating at that moment.

I’m not saying that this makes it all better. I’m not saying that it’s okay for others to be cruel, it’s not. What I am saying though is that we are not burdens. It may be hard for us to believe at times, but it’s true. We’re loved, sometimes we’re just not understood. Our family and friends love us though and they care about that. Please don’t ever forget that.

Another thing I want to talk about is consistency. I know that I talk about this subject all the time, but it’s important. As I mentioned, I’ve been struggling lately. There’s little doubt in my mind that the cause for this is that I haven’t been exercising and practicing facing my fears as much as I should be lately. Just like staying positive, while I  consider consistency incredibly important to practice, it’s not always easy to follow through on. Even though the most important thing to me in terms of my health is to get through anxiety, I still struggle with practicing and exercising on a consistent basis.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to do something that I know is so important. I want to get through my anxiety more than anything, so why don’t I do what I know is necessary? Honestly, I think it’s because other things get in the way. They shouldn’t, but they do. Let’s face it, as human beings, sometimes we just don’t feel like doing things – sometimes we get lazy. Other times as important as things are to us, we just forget about them. You wouldn’t think this is possible, but it is. Other times I think my anxiety stops me from facing my fears. Sometimes I feel too anxious to do stretches or other exercises. Whatever the reason, I need to stop becoming complacent. I need (and we all need) to exercise and practice facing our fears on a consistent basis. We need to figure out a way to hold ourselves accountable. Remember, it’s worth the time and effort to get better. We are worth the time and effort.

 

If anyone has any tips on how to practice facing ones fears and exercising on a consistent basis, please feel free to comment!

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Holding On To the Feeling of Progress!

This morning I succeeded at something that I haven’t really done in a long time, or at least I haven’t done it as well as I did today. It’s something that I’ve been struggling with for a while and although I did manage to kind of succeed at it a little while ago, this is the first time in a long time that I really felt like I did a good job at it. It felt wonderful to make progress and realize that I have the ability to achieve my goals.

I just recently went to my therapist’s and he was saying how I have to realize that when I make progress and succeed at something that it’s not just luck. I wasn’t lucky today when I accomplished my goal, but rather I accomplished my goal because I am capable of making progress and facing my fears. I am stronger than my anxiety.

I think that it’s so easy (especially in times of struggling), to forget just how strong we are. I know that for me, it’s almost become habit to worry about things, to feel like I can’t do certain things. However, I have the ability to succeed and I’ve proven that to myself more than just once. It just takes consistent effort and practice to continue to show myself that I can get through my anxiety and overcome my obstacles.

It’s so important that when we succeed and make progress, that we hold on to the amazing feeling that achieving our goals provides. Achieving our goals proves to us that we are capable of making progress. Please realize that when you succeed at something, that it’s not just luck, but rather it’s your hard work paying off!

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Accomplishments!

Yesterday I accomplished something that I’m quite proud of! I did this with no anxiety and let me tell you, it felt amazing! For a little while, I was very conscious of what was going on, but then I started to relax and as I was succeeding, I realized just how great it all felt.

I was, and still am, super proud of myself. I told my parents and a friend how happy I was to have succeeded and they were all very proud of me. A part of me felt silly being so proud and expressing this pride, but then I realized something with the help of a friend: there is no accomplishment too small to be proud of and quite frankly, I don’t think my accomplishment was very small at all. It’s one thing to get through something and another to do so without feeling any anxiety, and I’m very proud to say that I did a job well done!

This leads me to another point: any progress that is made should be celebrated in a healthy way, whether it’s considered big or small. Also, while you shouldn’t depend on others for recognition, there is nothing wrong with sharing your happiness. Additionally, while some people may not appreciate your accomplishments, others will and these are the people that you should be most grateful for (not that you shouldn’t be grateful for the other people in your life. Some people just have a difficult time understanding what they do not struggle with).

I would like to thank the first friend I shared my success with (you know who you are!). Thank you so much for being here for me, for listening, and for always caring. Your friendship means the world to me and so does your support. Seriously, I’m so happy to have met you!

I also want to thank everyone who supports me. I want to thank those who take the time to read, comment on, and ‘like’ posts on my blog. I want to thank those who take the time to email me and really get to know me while at the same time respecting my privacy. Thank you so much!

Please remember guys: no amount of progress is too small to celebrate! Even if some others may not understand the big deal, succeeding at something positive always matters! So be proud of yourself, be grateful, and remember that succeeding means that you have the ability to get over your obstacles!

 

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Everyday Things

I hope this post doesn’t sound like a cry for pity! The truth is that sometimes I just feel really down about my anxiety and I feel the need to express myself. This is one of those times.

I just went to a restaurant with my family and I struggled. I got through lunch and did eat a little, but I felt a lot more anxious than I would have hoped. I also became really anxious when we left. On the way home, I couldn’t help thinking about how badly I wish I could just do normal, everyday things with ease. I see so many people doing things that cause me tons of anxiety without even thinking twice about it.

Sometimes I wonder why things have to be so hard for me. I know that my issues have to do with my way of thinking, but it doesn’t stop the struggle from being real; from seeming scary. I hate the fact that things that should be simple and usually are for others, can be so difficult for me. I used to be able to do things with ease and now, things have become difficult at times.

It hurts. It hurts to see myself go through this, to want to get through this so badly and still struggle on such a regular basis. I try, I really do, but for some reason I just keep struggling.

Then there’s the medication situation I talked about yesterday. Would more medicine help? Maybe. Do I want to keep throwing medication at myself and hope that I get better and not worse? Not really. I don’t want to keep pouring medicine down my throat, I want to get through this by practicing and exercising instead of taking as much medicine as I possibly can!

Am I complaining a lot? Maybe. Still, I don’t like going through this and struggling with anxiety so much. I know that some things make people anxious, but not to degree that it effects me. Also, some of the things that cause me a lot of anxiety are so simple, or at least should be.

I’m not saying that I’m not improving or that I’m not grateful for the progress I’ve made. Rather, I’m saying that I don’t want to keep struggling like this and that it’s difficult to deal with.

I know I’m not alone in this battle. I know that everyday tons of people struggle with anxiety. I know that I’m not the only one who goes through this, who wishes things would be simpler. I’m not going to say that it’s worse for me than for anyone else, because I can’t possibly know that and I’m sure there are others who struggle to the same degree or more so than myself. Even for those who don’t struggle as much as I do, I know it’s hard.

I just want to say, that I understand and that you’re not alone. I want to say that I’m sorry to those of you who struggle with anxiety, who might struggle with things that are normally quite simple. I want to say that although it might not always seem like it, you can get through your anxiety with hard, consistent work. I also want to say that I’m here for you and that a lot of other people are as well. You are loved and cared for. Stay strong and remember that you can get through this!

*As always I would like to thank all those who support me in my journey to get through anxiety!

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