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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Exercise: What I’m Learning

So as I’ve mentioned plenty of times, my therapist has suggested to me that I exercise every day to help boost my strength both physically and mentally. While I’ve been trying to do so ever since he told me to, I admit that there are times when I lose momentum, which is never a good thing. However, I’m started to learn something important about exercising and facing our fears.

About a week ago, I bought an exercise ball. Suffice it to say, at first I was awful at it – I was falling on my butt more than I was balancing on it. Seriously, the videos I was watching make it like it’s so simple to balance on it- for me, it wasn’t. However, after some help from my dad and continued effort, I learned how to balance better and do the exercises I wanted to do. Now that I’m better at it, I’m enjoying myself and I want to spend more and more time exercising!

That’s the thing about exercising and facing our fears – the better we get at it, the harder we want to work. My therapist always says that facing our fears is like exercising, you have to continue to work hard or you’ll lose momentum and we can’t afford that. So continue to work hard and enjoy yourself while you do!

Thank you to everyone who supports me in my journey to get through anxiety!

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2017 New Year Resolutions

Hey everyone! I thought I would share with you my new years resolutions and invite you to do the same if you’d like.

2017 Resolutions

-Exercise more on a consistent basis

-Practice facing my fears on a consistent basis

-Write more and try harder to work on my new story

-Think positively

-Try to read more

 

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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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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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Moment To Moment

Something that many anxiety sufferers are probably familiar with, are the many waves of anxiety. One moment you can be doing really well and noting all the progress you’ve made and then in another, you feel as if you’re struggling more than ever. This feeling is not fun and more than that, it’s frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always grateful for those moments and days when I’m doing well, but I always hate when things come falling – or crashing, down.

Take yesterday, for example. I got outside quite a few times, pedaled about 4 miles worth, did some sit ups, and did some other stretching. However, during that same day, I struggled with other things that I wish I would have done better at. Also, so far today, things are a little rough and I’m feeling kind of lousy.

I know that I’m not a failure and I know that I’ve made a lot of progress. I’m proud of myself. Still, it doesn’t feel good to struggle – to have a hard time doing things that are simple for so many people. These things were once simple for me too and now, due to my anxiety and over-thinking, so many things are way more difficult than they should be.

Something else that’s really frustrating is the fact that sometimes I try so hard and yet it doesn’t seem to amount to much. Yes, yesterday I went outside a lot and exercised, but what about today? I don’t feel like the progress I made yesterday carried over like it should have. I think that’s a huge problem for me. I make progress but it’s like my mind wont accept it and learn from it. I would love to be able to think, “I made tons of progress yesterday and that shows me that I don’t have to worry about these things. I’m capable of getting through my anxiety and getting things done without trouble!” and be able to actually believe it. While I think on one hand, I believe that I’m able to do these things without anything bad happening, I know that there’s still a huge part of me that believes otherwise.

As many of you know, struggling with anxiety is not easy – it’s a constant battle. Many times trying our best or at all might seem pointless, may seem futile. However, the truth is that we have to try our hardest and that it is worth it! No matter how difficult it is to fight the war against anxiety, we must not give up! We can get through this, we just have to refuse to surrender!

I wish you all the best in getting over your fears and through your anxiety. Please know that you have my support.

 

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“I Don’t Just Want To Get Through This, I Need To!”

I’ve always considered myself a fairly self-motivated person. I never really needed to be yelled at to do my homework in school or be told to attend. Also, I wanted to go to college and never skipped a day just because (if I didn’t go it was due to really bad anxiety or because I was sick). Even when I had online classes, I was self-motivated. There was no one to make absolute sure that I got my work done, but I did. I was never one to even really wait until the last minute.

However, I must admit, that when it comes to stretching, practicing, and exercising on a consistent and frequent basis to get through my anxiety, I struggle. It’s not because I don’t want to get through my anxiety (man, do I want to get through it!) but rather because 1.) sometimes my anxiety makes me so nervous I’m not even sure if I can stretch, practice, and exercise and 2.) while I’m not living exactly ‘comfortably’ there’s really nothing immediate that makes me feel like I have to exercise right away. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.

Let’s use the example of college. While it was difficult for me to go and stay in class at times due to my anxiety, I knew that it was something I had to do. Sure there were days when I stayed home or left early, but I knew that I wanted to and had to graduate (sure I guess I could have dropped out), but to me, that wasn’t really a choice. Not going and possibly failing my classes scared me and there was a more immediate repercussion: the repercussion of not graduating and receiving my diploma – something I didn’t want to risk.

Not graduating college was an immediate threat. While I took breaks from some classes and changed around my schedule sometimes, I still attended school and deep down I knew I couldn’t afford not to continue to try and go to school. I got through college and I graduated with a B.A. in Arts and Sciences. I went to enough classes and fought through my anxiety to make it happen! I did it with some help, but I still achieved my goals.

As much as I know that I need to practice, exercise, and stretch consistently to get through my anxiety, the threat of not getting through my fears isn’t as immediate. It’s not as if I have to worry that if I don’t do a certain amount of stretches for the day, I’ll fail a class or something or not graduate from college. However, I think I might have to start looking at things that way. I don’t mean that I should put loads of pressure on myself, but think about it. Getting through anxiety is just as important than graduating college, so why shouldn’t I treat it as such?

My advice to myself and others? Make it like in order to ‘pass’ the day, you have to exercise and practice facing your fears a certain amount of time. If you don’t achieve your goal, you’re not a failure, but you should still try to ‘pass’. If you do ‘pass’, why not reward yourself? Treat yourself to a snack you really like or write a fun blog post! Getting through anxiety is important and is something you should both want, and realize you need, to do!

 

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