Waiting for the window: I want to make... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Waiting for the window


I want to make a life change -- a specific and simple dietary change and start walking again, even if only short distances. I did what I often do at these times: I neaten things, clear off and clean the kitchen counters, pick up around the house -- prepare, I guess.

But I can't find that window that let's me break out long enough to go do. For no reason in particular, I'm having a lot of trouble with anxiety paralysis, mild depression, general sadness about so many things and a severe dip in my confidence level.

I don't know what things are like in other people's heads, but I really want to do these very simple couple of things, especially knowing that they will help me feel better in my head, too, if I can get going.

Really thought I was ready. I don't understand why this has to be so damn hard. I don't understand why I don't seem to have the will to just GO to the store, COOK the food, WALK out the damn door. It's not a phobia; it's just an unwillingness to move.

Two decades of therapy haven't taught me any kind of exercise to pull this off. And I don't want to delay any longer trying to get started. I'm so effin frustrated (in every way). In the past, all I could do was wait until the window opened. I want to be able to open it myself.

How do I do it?

6 Replies

Hi. I'm sorry you are struggling and feeling frustrated. I hope sharing on here and finding others who are going through what your going through will help you to open up that window. Continue to do the small things like cleaning off the counters picking up around the house and hopefully they'll lead to you opening up the window and doing some of the other things outside you wanna do. Hope things get better for you soon. Hugs.

By pacing I gues. I have fibro so I know I need to pace otherwise I'll end up in so much pain and fatigue. I want to do more as well..join a church, start a course that sort of thing. Get mixing with people again. Good luck to us both eh? xx

Hi Hidden,

First off, your situation was basically me a few months ago. Things had gotten so bad, and I was unable to DO ANYTHING! I DEFINITELY understand first-hand what "anxiety paralysis" is!! So finally, my therapist and I just made this strategy called "JUST DO IT!" (cliche, right ?!). Didn't work.

But anyway, suddenly, I was able to start doing stuff that I had long wanted to do, but just never got around to doing it! Here's what worked for me:

#1) First thing was to really really grasp the concept that this is a problem of "Getting Started" and not actually "Doing" the activity itself. I imagined a tiny little hill, with flat, green pastures beyond it. All I had to do was get that little burst of motivation and energy to get over the hill at the beginning, and the rest was easy, and amazing!

It's funny how easily our "brain" is to trick sometimes! Here's an example: I told myself: I don't need to go for a walk for 15 minutes. #BABYSTEPS All I need to do is put my shoes on, walk out the door, and walk right back in! But I found that I couldn't even do that! So on to #2...

#2) Write down EXACTLY how long it will take to JUST DO the planned thing itself. For example from #1 above: If I don't get distracted, talk to my passing neighbors, or organize my sock drawer en-route, I can put on my shoes, open the door, go out, and come back in 1 minute. 30 seconds if I really hurry! Didn't quite work, but I was getting closer! I could tell I was not as completely adamant about not doing that! So on to step #3:

#3) Give yourself a little heads-up! This was an amazing discovery for me! Set a time for yourself in the future. Maybe 6pm, maybe 9am the next morning. So... I told myself: "At 10am, I will do #2. For sure, without a doubt, by 10:01am, I will be back in the comfort of my home, and I can: [do something to reward myself] after that! In fact, I told myself... I'm gonna challenge myself. I can do that and be done by 10:00:45. And so... the trick here for me was to clear my mind at 9:55am. Just be up, standing near the door, ready to do it at exactly 10. When 10:00am came around, I put on my shoes, opened the door, and walked out... and then, a miracle happened!! Before I knew it, I had walked over 2 miles down the street, and saw so much of my neighborhood that I'd never seen before in 6 years!!!! I was so inspired!!! I realized I COULD do something after all!! AND SO CAN YOU!! :)

So in review:

1) Baby..., no, make that sperm/egg sized steps to start out! :)

2) Make a realistic minimal time frame for you to do #1, and write it down on a post-it. I'm talking minutes or even seconds.

3) Tell yourself a specific time you will do what's on the post-it; this is key. Because if you're like me, you have to psyche yourself up before just switching modes and doing something different all of a sudden!

So good luck! You can do it! If I did it, so can you!!

Onward and Upward!


It's good to start slowly. Instead of making big goals, make small goals for yourself. Like take a 10 minute walk or wake up 10 minutes earlier to listen to the birds. These are just examples but these little goals will produce big results. You'll find yourself making other healthy habits.

Hi Hidden. Have you tried doing a visualization exercise. Sit, relax ,close your eyes and breath deeply. Now see yourself opening a window or door. See yourself doing the activity you want to accomplish. Start with small things at first. Breath deeply and open your eyes. Go and do the activity. When you are finished, you can go back and close the window or door until you are ready to work on another activity or are ready to keep it opened permanently.

God how I totally understand what you are saying!! Its like I wrote this!! I don't have any answers. But the therapy thing I also tried and was a total waste of time. I hope we can find our way out!

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