Using Good Times As Proof

Today I had a great day! I went to my relative’s house and only got anxious for a brief second. It was hardly even that. In addition to minimal anxiety, I walked around more than usual and did things with ease. In addition, while I usually return home exhausted, I felt relaxed.

I know what it’s like to experience difficult times and wonder if you’ll ever get better. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless. It’s important to remember just how strong and capable we are.

Our good experiences are proof. Our progress is proof. What are they proof of? Our ability to do well, to get better. The good moments are proof that we are stronger than our struggles. So pay attention to when you have a good moment, day, week, month, year, etc. These times matter! Be proud of your success!

I Remember When…

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Before I really get into this post, I’d like to wish everyone well, especially with what’s going on right now. I’m not super into mentioning the virus, because I know we’re already being bombarded with stories and facts about it, but I do want to recognize what’s happening and wish everyone the best of health.

Now onto what this post is really about – the fact that while we may still be struggling with something, we should (and oftentimes, need), to focus on the good. The following is from a post I just wrote on my Instagram feed @b.w.ginsburg48. My account is private, but please feel free to send me a request to follow me if you so choose.

From my Instagram:

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of down. My birthday is soon and while this makes me happy, it’s also brought up some fears. I’m in my late 20s and I struggle with anxiety. I’m unable to work right now due to this and I worry that I’ll never get through my anxiety like I want to and never be able to work. But then, this morning, once again, I realized something. I have made 𝓼𝓸 much progress over the years – 𝓼𝓸 much. Sometimes I may forget this and maybe some people don’t realize it, but I’ve come a long way from how I used to be. My anxiety used to be worse and things that were once way more difficult have become simpler due to me practicing my fears on a consistent basis. So yes, while I still may struggle and have a long way to go, I have come far and made a lot of progress. You know what? You can as well.

So if you’ve been feeling down lately because you don’t feel you’ve accomplished enough and/or you’re worried about your future, please try to remember how much progress you 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮 and truly 𝓬𝓪𝓷 make. Have faith in yourself and try your hardest. Also, if you ever need to talk, I (as well as many others), are here for you!

Warrior and Worrier

You’ve probably seen the slogan all over countless forms of merchandise – warrior not worrier. Here’s my question: When did it become a matter of either or?

Don’t get me wrong. The ultimate goal when it comes to struggling with stress and anxiety is to worry less. However, I don’t think that just because we may struggle with anxiety, means that we are not warriors. In fact, dealing with something so difficult and not giving up – continuing to try our hardest to overcome our obstacles – is what makes us true warriors; true fighters.

The idea that we can’t be both; can’t be someone who both worries and who fights to overcome those fears, is preposterous. The notion that if we have anxiety, that makes us weak? Ridiculous. We are strong individuals who have the ability to get through our anxiety.

So next time you see a mug or T-shirt that says, ‘Warrior, not worrier’, remember that it is possible to be both. Remember that it is trying your hardest to overcome your obstacles and not allowing them to take control that makes you a warrior, not necessarily being free of all struggles.

Stop Downplaying Your Progress and Success!

Hi everyone! So last week, I had a great time shopping with my mom. While I didn’t do a ‘perfect’ job, I did do really well when it came to going out and not allowing anxiety to get the best of me. I never had to leave the store early, I walked around, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

With that being said, there were moments when my anxiety did increase and I found myself doing less than spectacular. At those moments, I found that I began to beat myself up. My mom kept saying how well I was doing and yet, I still felt down on myself. Here’s the thing – there was a time when I wouldn’t even try to go into those stores. There was a time when I’d have to sit on the ground whenever I got too anxious to stand (true, they were furniture stores, so instead I sat on the couches, but I did get right back up and continue shopping!).

In the back of my mind, a part of me is still wishing I would have done even better. For example, I wish that I wouldn’t have had to hold on to my mom for the majority of the shopping (there were times when I didn’t). You know what? It’s okay to wish that. It’s okay to wish that I would have done better. Why? Because it’s good to set goals for ourselves and it’s good to want to accomplish more. At the same time, however, we have to give ourselves credit for what we did accomplish. I am so proud of myself that I went shopping to so many stores! I haven’t done that in a long time. All week was full of getting out and having a good time. It felt great! The more we practice facing our fears and overcoming our obstacles, the more progress we’ll make!

So stop downplaying your progress and success. The next time you hear yourself saying or thinking I did okay, but… or I did really good, but… stop yourself and realize that you did a wonderful job. Tell yourself that you’ll continue to work harder (and follow through with that promise), but at the same time, be proud of what you’ve already accomplished. None of us are perfect, but the fact that we continue to make progress makes all the difference in the world!

I hope that you’re all doing well and please remember that you’re not alone in your journey to be free from anxiety and any other issues you may be dealing with. Thanks for reading!

May: Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month. While I admit I didn’t find out until I saw it on Instagram, I still consider it an extremely important topic.

As many of you know, I struggle with anxiety. I’m happy to inform you that through practicing on a consistent basis, I’ve made a lot of progress. However, I still struggle with a lot of things and there is still a lot of improvement to be made.

There are a few things in particular that I’d like to talk about today. First and foremost, never give up on yourself. I know how easy it is to wonder if you’ll ever get through your anxiety and other issues. Trust me: with hard work on a consistent basis, you will. It may take a while, but you’ll get there.

Another thing I want to talk about is how it seems that many people are under the impression that anxiety and other mental health issues are always a ‘silent struggle’. While some people do keep it all bottled in, there are people that express what they go through – whether or not they want to. Also, while some issues can be invisible in that it’s hard to tell that someone is struggling, sometimes it can be pretty obvious that someone is going through something. No matter how mental health issues are illustrated (or not illustrated, for that matter), it does not indicate that someone is weaker or stronger than someone else. It is simply how their mental health shows itself. Either way, we need to support each other and help each other overcome our obstacles.

I’d also like to talk about something that’s a pretty big problem in the world – misconceptions about those who struggle with mental health issues. There are too many to name them all, so I’ll just focus on the ones that I’ve actually been accused of.

1.) My anxiety is just a way for me to stall growing up – This can’t be further from the truth. I want so badly to get a job, be able to do the things I once did without feeling anxious, etc. I hate that anxiety has gotten in the way of that. I don’t enjoy it at all.

2.) Anxiety is easy to ‘snap’ out of – Another misconception. It’s not always that easy to just ‘think yourself’ out of feeling anxious. Anxiety has the power to hold on for dear life at times. Sometimes it takes great force to get rid of it.

3.) Anxiety isn’t real – When a person is anxious, it can feel like it’s the end of their life. Everything can feel impossible and what was once easy, seems like the hardest thing in the world. Anxiety exists and it can be debilitating if you don’t learn how to take control.

4.) Anxiety is just an excuse to be lazy – This kind of goes hand in hand with number 1. Again, I hate not being able to do some of the things I once did without feeling anxious. Also, I enjoy doing things and working hard. Anxiety is not being lazy.

If you’re reading this and you struggle with a mental health issue, chances are that you’ve run into a plethora of misconceptions about whatever you deal with. I’m sorry you have to go through this. Stay strong and remember that it doesn’t matter what others think – it matters what you know. For those of you who know someone who struggles with a mental health issue, please try to be understanding and rid your mind of any misconceptions. If you have any questions about what someone struggles with, please ask them kindly. Don’t just make assumptions.

 

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!

 

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!

Doing What You Didn’t Think You Could

We all have fears – whether they’re irrational or not. Something that I’ve always feared is swallowing pills. I’ve always been afraid that I’d choke. Therefore I’ve either taken chewable medication when I was younger, liquid forms, or pills that were crushable. However, recently I had to take something that wasn’t suggested it be crushed. At first I was told that it couldn’t be, but then I was told that it was just that it wasn’t suggested. In the end, I decided to cut the pills in half and swallow them – I was still scared.

I had to take two pills a day for a week. While perhaps some of you may think it got easier, it didn’t always feel that way. I was still nervous I would choke. But you know what? Every day I took those pills and in the end, everything worked out! I never skipped a day and nothing bad ever happened. I did really well and I’m so proud of myself! It just goes to show how important it is to have faith in ourselves and to go out of our comfort zones.

I’m not going to lie – I’m still going to ask if medication can be crushed in the future if I have to take something else. Still, I know now that I’m capable of swallowing pills and I’m confident that if I ever have to do it again, I can. It feels so good to know that! The saying really is true – we’re often much more capable of things than we think. We really need to start having more faith in ourselves.

I’m also proud of myself because, while the last few days for me have been difficult and I’ve had to do a lot of things that made me nervous, I’ve done pretty well. While I did struggle a little, I also got through things that I wasn’t sure I could. We all have the strength inside of ourselves to conquer our fears – we just have to constantly exercise facing them and remind ourselves of our true strength.

I hope that each and every one of you are doing well and please remember how strong you truly are. I know that getting through anxiety and overcoming other obstacles can be extremely difficult, but with time and consistent effort, you can accomplish your goals!

It’s Okay To Have A Bad Day

First off, let me say that I understand that no one experiences anxiety in the exact same way. Secondly, let me assure you that I know just how difficult experiencing anxiety and panic attacks can be. It’s frustrating, heartbreaking, and at times – very, very scary. I also know how great it is to make progress and to witness yourself doing so. At the same time, though, it’s hard seeing bad days come between you and that joy.

I’ve been doing very well lately with getting through my anxiety. I’ve noticed a lot of progress being made on my end and I’m not afraid to say that I’m quite proud of myself. Two days ago, however, something happened. I had the first panic attack I’ve had in a while. I absolutely hated that feeling. 

Having that panic attack made me feel like I was reverting to how I once was; taking a step in the wrong direction. That night was not easy for me and to make matters worse, I hardly got any sleep. The next day was okay, but last night was difficult again. I didn’t have what I would call a panic attack, but my anxiety was extreme and my legs felt like rubber beneath me. I felt weak, scared, and pathetic. I was also with someone less than understanding, so things were not in the least bit easy to deal with. 

The truth is though that I am strong, able to get through my anxiety, and making a good amount of progress. Bad days can be saddening and frustrating, but they do not take away all that we’ve accomplished. Also, there are people in this world who might try to make us feel lousy for struggling – we need to try our hardest not to let them. Trust me when I say that I know how difficult that is. Still, we need to try. No one knows quite what we’re going through or how hard we’re trying except ourselves and we cannot allow others to take away our confidence.

Please know that it is okay to have bad days. Having bad days does not mean we’re not making progress or getting better. Also, bad days aren’t necessarily a sign of danger ahead – they’re just moments of struggle. We’re stronger than our anxiety and every day is a chance for improvement. Please remember that and never give up on your fight against anxiety. 

Inspiration Unbound: Themes

Hey everybody! Since Gary Ginsburg and I recently released our new book, Inspiration Unbound, I thought I would take some time to share some of the themes included in the book with all of you! Thank you for your support!

THEMES:

  • Inspiration – Where to find it; sources thereof
  • Love – The importance of loving others and allowing others to love you
  • Confidence – How to search for your own confidence and not always allow others to define your self-worth
  • Positivity – How to hold your head up high and not allow others to bring you down; the importance of staying positive in even the darkest of times
  • Friendship – How to look for true friends and how to be a true friend – to get to know someone and not judge them. The importance of learning that true friends do not try to ‘fix’ you, but learn to love and respect you, along with offer their assistance in a respectful manner.
  • Mental health, especially anxiety – How not to allow anxiety and one’s obstacles to rule one’s life – to work hard to overcome one’s struggles.
  • Consistent practice – the importance of practice and accepting that perfection isn’t possible. Working hard to face our fears and not allowing them to control us.

All of these themes and many more can be found in Inspiration Unbound, written by myself and Gary Ginsburg. These themes are explored in both article and poetry form. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com, simply by visiting this link. Thank you!