Anxiety and Depression Support
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Stepping Away from my Comfort Zone

Hi all!

So yesterday I had a 50 minute episode of heart palpitations. It was unsettling and uncomfortable. It also put a little fear into me. I went to bed with anxiety over my heart. I woke up today with anxiety and fear. I’ve been to a heart specialist and had tests done on my heart, thankfully the palpitations are nothing to be concerned about-but it still scares me when they happen. Anyways, today I woke up and have been tempted to just curl up in a ball on my bed and lay there for the whole day. However, I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and live life today by not curling up in a ball. It’s tempting and if I need to, my bed will be there waiting for me. But it’s like a pill in the box method for me. Has anyone ever said you could take anxiety medication only when you need it, like a pill in a box type method? So that’s how I see my bed today. I’m sick of fear and anxiety impacting my life! I’d almost rather have and panic attack or heart palpitations while I’m experiencing things in life that bring me joy rather than limiting myself to my bed. I love hiking but sometimes worry if I’ll have a panic attack out in the middle of nowhere, but I’d almost rather have that during something I love than feeling depressed in bed. I recently heard someone talking about anxiety and they said that there fear of death caused anxiety. Then they realized that that fear took over and became fear of living. I don’t want that!

What has life been like for you when you step out of your comfort zone? Overall has good come from it? Are you proud of yourself for doing so?

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Some days I can convince myself to get up and be happy even when I'm not, but some days I can't. Good for you doing it today, though. Enjoy today!

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Thanks so much! I totally get what you’re saying though. Some days are harder than others and it totally stinks!! I wish you joy in even the smallest things! I was told by my councilor that finding the positive is really the only real way to beat discouragement. Some days it’s extra hard to start looking for the positive but I keep a gratitude journal and write down even the smallest things. It’s starts to bring me a little hope. It can add up! Sometimes I can be down and I see something positive and it doesn’t make me joyful like it should. I then realize that I need to really try even harder to be thankful at least for the smallest blessings in my life. The struggle is real though.

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Krystal,

Omg I have experienced the exact same things. My bed was my safety net because I didn’t want to have a panic attack or die in public. I read a lot and went to therapy. Here’s what I’ve learned: we have dilusional thinking...nothing has happened to us due to our health, so we shouldn’t feel scared. Also, just like u did, we need to verify that our symptoms are not due to healthy problems or sickness. So after we verify it, we need to be confident that we are healthy and strong. Finally, once u have an episode or two like that, you are able to know that it’s just panic and u can find tools to manage it: breathing deeply and slowly, telling yourself that it will pass but allowing yourself to just “be” in that moment or else u will panic more. It is a scary feeling, but it’s just our body. Exercise def helps because all of the nervous energy etc just sits inside of us. Self soothe. Talk to yourself. It will be okay. Best to you.

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Thanks so much for your reply Jen! I really appreciate the advice you gave me. I wish you the best on your continued path of wellness! It is important to realize all is well and believe it especially if you’ve had health tests verified. I have to remind myself that so I don’t find more to worry about. Thanks for the reminder!

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Hi karingkrystal, no you do not want the fear to escalate. Fear begets fear. In order to break that cycle we must trust ourselves enough to leave our comfort zone. It's the only way in going forward. Small steps will get you to your goal. "Pill in the box type method" is good to use in giving you a Plan B if you get too uncomfortable. For the most part, just knowing there is an alternate, you will probably never need to go there.

Even when I was Agoraphobic for 5 years, I never was held hostage by my bed. I would meet the new day with anticipation but always got up and dressed and kept busy in my home. As long as I was confined in the house, I felt safe until one day all my therapy sessions came to light. I was hiding from myself. My mind was telling me the world outside my front door wasn't safe but it was my mind feeding me those negative thoughts. Those thoughts would be with me whether in the house or outside. So why not get out of my comfort zone and live again.

Small steps as well as reinforcing every step I took, led to success. Agoraphobia has been left behind in the dust. Not a day goes by now when I am out driving, shopping, etc. that I don't stop to take a minute to tell myself "Good Job Agora, Good Job" . With a smile and a positive attitude towards life, I found myself. I believe in myself that anything is possible if we want it bad enough. x

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Agora, thanks so much for such a helpful reply! I agree so much with what you said! Fear causes more fear and taking small steps forward but reinforcing those small steps. I used to not be able to drive for a year. I had such bad anxiety and felt I wasn’t safe behind a wheel. But, I decided to take small drives here and there and I’d go further and further each time. I’d always say, “ Good Job Krystal! “ I drive anywhere now without a problem. Good job to you too! You’ve come a long way! I wish you continued health on your path of wellness!

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Thanks so much and same to you. Life is Good :) xx

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I totally get this. Stepping out of the comfort zone can be a battle. At the moment i am forcing myself to do things that i know i love - but that at the moment are causing me anxiety. For me, that means going any place where there are a lot of people - so the gym or work or the grocery store. I just kind of feel like i don't want having anxiety to define me so i push myself. Some days it works out well and i feel good about it, some days i get through it but i feel crappy an exhausted and some days I don't have the strength to do any of the above, and i stay in bed the whole day and don't see or speak to anyone. Just pace yourself, start with something smaller and achievable, and if you want to step it up, do that. My friends know i have depression and anxiety so they usually are very supportive. Is there someone who can help you to reach some smaller goals? Don't be too hard on yourself.

For me my medication is a bit of a gray area - i don't feel like it is helping me, and s i have asked my doctor to take it off the table for me, because it had some pretty nasty side effects for me personally. I am trying to use herbal stuff instead - it's hard to tell if it makes a difference or not. But hang in there! Let us know how it goes. Good luck x

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It’s so good that you’re pushing yourself the way you are! Sometimes it’s exhausting to push one self. I had a psychologist tell me that I still got these imaginary points for pushing myself even if it wasn’t fully successful. That even when I try, it’s something to be proud of and to not give up trying it again soon. I think people with anxiety might be really hard on themselves and have that in common. Sometimes we just got to take a rest before we try again. Social anxiety is the worst and crowds, I totally get it. I at least like to tell myself that everybody fights there own battles whether we see it or not. I wish you luck on your continued path of wellness!

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Just remember to give yourself credit - it's so easy to see things through a particular lens. I feel like people with depression and anxiety are forced to face their fears daily, and that's so hard. You're right, the battle is there whether people share it with the world or not. :) keep being positive and strong! Good luck x

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