Breaking The Anxiety Cycle

I'm new to this anxiety issue.  I've always lived loving life and loving to do things with friends and family.  I was never worried about health (although I was an athlete and was not unhealthy).  Well, as I aged (35 yrs old now) and losing my father at 20, you start to see the mortality in your own life.  It's gotten increasingly worse since getting married and having kids.  Your worry heightens because all you can think about is caring for your young children.  I had a health scare which turned out to be nothing, but then had a medicine mixup which sent me into GOOGLE hell for 2 weeks ultimately giving me a severe case of Health Anxiety/PTSD.  This started in February and it's been here for 2+ months.  I'm a person who LOVES life and LOVES sporting events, tailgates, friends, travel, etc.  So this has been debilitating to me because my love for these things have diminished since "the health scare" / "heart attack that didn't happen".  So the reason that I'm writing this to you is to tell you that if you don't like your CURRENT situation, CHANGE IT NOW.  DON'T settle and play the pitty me game.

Anxiety is a vicious cycle guys.  I know you've all experienced it or you wouldn't have sought out this forum (which is fantastic). 

You're body all of a sudden changes, you have physical symptoms, then sudden doom sets in.  You get online to GOOGLE the darn symptoms and guess what......?  Now you're battling a MAJOR ILLNESS that irreversible.  You seek out every doctor under the sun and get good results back.  You head back home and still feel off and start to think, "I need to find another doctor because they had to have missed something?"  This is how you get stuck in the Anxiety Cycle.  Every night you go to bed and beg and pray that tomorrow will be better.  You wake up wondering if you feel better.  You go through your day as symptoms show up and makes your day terrible.  You get back on the internet for answers.  You figure out that it must be "MS" or "Cancer" or "WHATEVER GOOGLE SAYS".  Your worry intensifies as you get no conclusive evidence.....it's like that movie, Groundhog Day.  We get stuck on this Gravitron of false thoughts which can lead any over-anxious person into depression.

I told my wife that the scariest part of this to me was that you don't get a timetable.  When you go to the doctor with the flu, they give you a shot, i.v., z-pack and say rest and you should be good in a week or so.  When you go to the doctor with a broken bone, they do surgery to repair, put a cast on it, and tell you that you'll be good as new in 3 months.  With this illness, you go to bed, wake up, and ponder all day about "WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER".  It will drive you completely insane.  You see the thousands of people in your city daily living life normally and it makes you sad because you want to be them.  I'm writing all of this because I know there's a way out of this. 

I've always been the person who avoided doctors and beat colds, flus, etc on my own because I hate doctors.  Well, this illness has taken me for a 2-month ride and I want off, so I went aggressive.  I listed my mistakes above that kept me (and you) in the loop.  This is what I've done to get out of the GOD awful cycle....

(1)-You have to change the way you think.  You can't live your life thinking that you have some major health issue.  Go to the doctor(s) and get medically cleared.  I went to my internest, my cardiologist, the emergency room, and a vertigo specialist to clear me of all of my worries.  Some of these visits were not an option as I thought I was going to die from something serious....this is how anxiety works.

(2)-You have to believe your doctors.  When multiple blood tests, CT-Scans, Angiograms, Vertigo Testing, Thyroid Testing, etc come out clear....BELIEVE THEM.  They know what they're doing.

(3)-Get the heck off of GOOGLE.  I think that there should be an illness named GOOGLED.  Here's an example of how an anxious mind works.  You go to work and a co-worker tells you, "Man are you ok?  You look pale, do you need to go home?"  A few hours later another co-worker, "You're still here?  You look like you're sick."  An anxiety person, jumps the gun and instead of listening to their body (which is not telling them that they're sick) tells them to check out these symptoms.  All of a sudden, with the help of google, we've figured out that yes in fact we do have some problem and now it's manifested into a full blown symptom.  Our minds are powerful...

(4)-Get out a exercise.  This is an easy one for me because I do this regularly.  But, when this all started 2 months ago, I stopped because I felt so bad.  I finally got out and started running again....DAILY.  I've run about  3-5 miles daily for the past 3 weeks.  This will drastically change your thought process.  Running releases endorphins in your brain that gives you a sense of accomplishment and also provides the EUPHORIC feeling that alters the chemicals in your brain.  Get a plan and get moving, you will see results in less than a month if you get a routine going.

(5)-Seek a therapist or counselor.  Find one that fits your needs.  Some just want your money, but most really care and most have battled the same battle that we're fighting daily.  I'm going to my 3rd session with my counselor today.  She's has a strong religious background and is very warming and helpful.  We will do EMDR today to rid my mind of negative thinking from my health scare.

(6)-Take a medication to bridge the gap between your exercise and your counseling.  Treat this as "short-term" based.  Use it to clear your negative thought pattern while you continuously work on getting better.  Try to stay at a low dose.  I use .5mg of Xanax once in the mornings.  It usually wears off by noon, but I tend to do my running at lunch so this makes my afternoons easier.  If you use a high dosage, be sure to get with your doctor on tapering.

(7)-Do things daily that you used to do in you "former life."  Do not become a recluse because of your thoughts.  Once you baby step yourself back into reality and find those things that you used to enjoy, you will see that your life will slowly begin to improve and your symptoms will slowly begin to diminish.

The most important thing is to get your mind off of the ANXIETY.  Take it for what it is.  Know that it WILL go away.  It WILL get better.  You WILL beat it.  I promise each one of you.  I have not beaten anything yet, but use me as an example.  I WILL NOT LET THIS PIECE OF $HIT beat me.  BE STRONG, LOVE LIFE, and realize that life is precious.  When you have a negative thought, follow it up with a positive/true thought to debunk the negative.  Stop your anxiety routine by altering habits that keep you in the cycle. 

Lastly, I don't know any of you.  But I love people.  I love God and I love you all. 

"THIS TOO SHALL PASS"

Scott

41 Replies

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  • This is great! Thank you so much for this! Let's kick Anxiety's ass!!!! 👊 thank you Scott! 

  • If this isn't motivation I don't know what it ! 

    Thanks for your words Scott. Let's do this s**t👏🏼

  • MIND OVER MATTER!!!!  This is motivation.  We weren't born like this, our brains were rewired at some point in time whether it's been building up and laying dormant or whether you had an extreme health scare, etc....

    Do me a favor and let me know if I'm wrong tomorrow. 

    Break your normal routine tonight.  When you get home from work, school, or if you're already at home, change your routine for the better tonight.  Get your ipod or cell phone fired up, find a good peaceful place to walk or jog and go.  Go out and get 30-60 min of exercise.  Build up a sweat and think about the best things that you've experienced in life (Birth of a child, Beach Vacations, Surprise Parties, Social Events, a Promotion, etc.).  Exercise and ponder about life's greatest moments.  Don't harp on the negatives.  If my dad were still alive he'd be pushing for the "Old Scott" to get back.  He would reassure me that life is long, but goes by fast.  ONCE YOU BEAT THIS, YOU WILL LOOK BACK AND SAY THAT THIS ROUGH PATCH WAS ONLY A SMIDGEON OF YOUR LIFETIME.  Whether it's been months or years.  WE WILL ALL LOOK BACK AND SAY.....WOW, THAT CRAP SUCKED, BUT WE ARE BIGGER, STRONGER, AND BETTER now that we've gone through it.  Life is filled with tests by the GOOD LORD, it's makes you a better person.  He will not abandon any of you.  Trust in him, ask him for help, and you WILL see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I can almost see it....It's very close for me that's why I'm actively posting on this forum.

    It is success stories that people want to hear.

    I have pocket coin of Saint Dymphna "Patron Saint of Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Health" that I carry around everywhere.  I had it blessed after a baptism this weekend.  The prayer on the back is this:

    "The World is filled with Stress, Anxiety and Mental Challenges.  Pray for me to have faith and patience to deal with all of life's obstacles."

    I carry this around and if times get stressful, I pull it out and read it.  I know that I'm not alone and that God does not want me to suffer.  He wants me to be strong and BELIEVE in him.  You will be a better person, a more thankful person, on the other side of this.

    Take Care my friends.  God will not let go of your hands unless you ask him to.

    *I will post about my EMDR session shortly*

  • Excellent post. Love it i wish we had more of these on here. Please do keep us posted on ur session. I agree the way we think must change. We have to push ourselves. I decided one day recently F this! I want to be happy again i want the old me back! And i began taking really good care of me. Yoga meditation vitamins etc. only thing im missing is a good therapist for cbt as my issue is panic anxiety & pure ocd. Ive recently forced myself to face my fear, cook again, ... And laugh more & i feel im now 87% better (i measure by %). Mark freeman on you tube is also great to watch & a success story. Be gentle with urselves love yourselves. Something that also helped me was setting timelines, boundaries, and making choices as anxiety feeds off instability & doubt. 

  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories)

    This has been a life saver for Army Vets.  The gals/guys come back from "TERROR" and can't get their brains to function correctly.  This is basically what the regular "anxious" mind is doing to us all.  There is NOTHING wrong with our bodies, it's just that our subconscious' negative thinking door stays open instead of shutting when there is no danger ("Fight or Flight").

    The vets come back from war and hear a car backfire and lose it because it reminds their brain of what they heard while on duty.  A vet may not be able to sit with his back to people at a restaurant for fear of the unknown (Like being a watchman or having a secure watchman while on duty).  They like to have the chaos in front of them so they can take action.  This is the same with a "Non-Vet" anxiety-riddled brain.  If you suffer from a major health scare, every time you have a minor symptom that a normal person would blow off as "just a cold", we turn it into a full blown illness.  It's just the way the brain is currently wired. 

    So, as I've stated earlier, I found a GREAT behavior therapist/counselor.  The first two sessions were just me talking about my history or lack thereof with anxiety and what possibly caused it.  She spoke, listened, wrote, and offered insight.  After getting all of the technicalities out of the way, we decided it was time for "actual treatment."  She suggested that I was suffering anxiety from being told that I had a heart attack basically.  I linked this to my dad dying young of cancer and also linked it to my uncle dying young from a heart attack.  I laid in the hospital bed devastated with this "incorrect news" and all I could think about was that my 4 & 3 year old girls would only remember me in pictures.....pretty scary thought, right? 

    During the EMDR, which is a board with a series of flashing lights that go back and forth on screen, the therapist digs back into the traumatic event(s) while you watch the dotted lines with your eyes.  You focus on the question and THINK while watching.  After the dots stop, you reflect on your thoughts.  You do this over and over and dig deeper into what's causing your pain.  They you do the same, but this time your therapist debunks all of the "lies" that your brain is telling you and gets to the route of the panic.  The "truths" that you start to ponder begin to rewire your brain and retrain it to thinking correctly again.  You have breaks where you talk about your anxiety and pain levels when thinking about the events, then as the session goes on these levels begin to swing more positively until they're ultimately gone or severely diminished.  This may take a few different sessions depending on the person and the situation.

    Like I stated earlier.  Am I healed 100%, absolutely not!  But am I kicking this things ass out of my life, absolutely! 

    (1)-I didn't sit idle and let it snowball out of control

    (2)-I took advantage of my medical tests/doctors to get a good clean bill of health

    (3)-I went to a counselor (even though I think of myself as a tough Big American Male who can handle anything thrown my way)---I was wrong on that.  You can't be ashamed of getting help.

    (4)-I'm taking a Xanax to ease my mind in the mornings when anxiety may be greater.

    (5)-I'm using exercise to rewire the brain and get rid of the bad chemicals that my body has built up over the past few months.

    (6)-Lastly, I'm leaving my worries, anxious thoughts, and panics with God.  This world wasn't created on it's own.  Take pride in your life.  Cherish your family and friends.

    I left my appointment, turned my music on really loud and sang at the top of my lungs on the way back to my office.  I teared up a bit knowing that this "Monster" is almost gone and I know that I will soon be the husband and father that my family last saw on February 16th. 

    So to that big, ugly thing I've been dealing with for the past few months that have caused my physical pain, caused my world to look completely different, caused stress on my families life.....YOU ARE DONE.  I NO LONGER CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR FAKE ARSE SYMPTOMS.  You will be a memory to me.  Like my deceased dad would have told me; "Pal, this too shall pass and you'll look back and smile because it made you appreciate your life that much more."

    TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE TODAY.  Live for today, enjoy every minute because we can't control the past or the future.

    Good luck, I know all of you are stronger than that mental midget.

    Scott

  • I only joined this forum yesterday and was a bit apprehensive at first. My councellor told me to stay away from the internet but right now, I'm so glad I did.

    Your words have really inspired me and given me a whole new perspective!

    We're all in this together and we are much stronger than what we think so let's show this mother****** what we are made of !! 

  • All I can say is THANK YOU scotto FOR the encouraging words!! I want to feel the same as u right now! #salute GET BACK ANXIETY

  • Scott this is great! 🙂 We are all in this together

  • Thank you for following.  We are in this together...ONE BIG COMMUNITY.  We will go as one, get better as one, and help each other as one.

    God Bless

  • Thank you so much for your words 

  • I am with you Scott! I am not letting this thing get me down ever again. It consumed my life years ago, and I felt it creeping back up. I changed everything in my life...diet, exercise, therapy, my thinking, mediation, reike healer, acupuncture....I am fighting it full speed ahead!

  • Good for you Kimberly!!!  This unwelcomed guest is a pest.  It takes up the majority of your day, makes a complete mess of your life, and doesn't clean up after itself.  I know I didn't invite this guy in, did you?

    It's our strength to rid of this aggravating problem.  I'm glad you understand it's anxiety, because those who understand that can let the "idea" go that it could be something else.  Continue getting better, I will pray for you tonight.

    I've given notice to my unwelcomed guest over the past few months that he'd be gone soon.....well that time is now, so Adios, back to MY LIFE!

    Scott

  • If you feel it coming on....at least I know when it is creeping back in my life....my reiki healer told me to sit on my hands! There is something about the pressure points in the finger tips that have to do with worry/anxiety. It really does help. I haven't had a major panic attack for years, but when I did I had no idea what it was (just thought I was dying)...finally after 3 ambulance rides to the ER, many doctors visits...and one year housebound....i was given a diagnosis. Thought they were gone forever, but I quit smoking and then the anxiety came back. I stopped that real quick! I changed my lifestyle completely. Thank you for praying for me. I will pray for you healing as well! I said we need to start a prayer chain for those in need! :) Would be nice!

  • Kim thats an excellent idea! Prayer is so powerful, it literally has saved me in this. I say whoever wants prayer should post pray for me as their topic so we can.

  • Thanks for your post Scott, I found it to be most helpful.

  • Just an update....

    My routine was thrown slightly off yesterday.  I usually jog at lunch time which is right about the time that my Xanax begins to wear off.  I don't really "feel" differently at that time, but I know it's got a 4-6 hour window.  So instead of running I had my EMDR session with my therapist then returned back to work.  I got home from work around 5:15 and went out for my 3 mile jog.  I felt as though some anxiety was creeping back on me after my run.  I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body w/out a release (This is actually my only symptom left from Uncle Anxious).  I told my wife that it was uncomfortable and that I may try a second Xanax, which is something that I never do.  I started to get pissed and told myself that all is fine, my routine changed a bit, and my body was reacting differently and sending stressors for no reason.  I sat on the couch and relaxed for a while then ate supper.  Within about an hour, I felt the adrenaline taper off and my arms didn't have that little shaky feeling.  After this small bout, I felt 100% normal.  I was glad that I didn't "mask" my symptom or my mind with an EXTRA pill.  Instead, I handled it with a SOUND MIND and rationalized.  I had a peaceful night, but knew that I'm still fighting this big marlin and it's getting closer to the boat each time I have a small victory over Anxiety.

    I woke this morning feeling off but did get a good night of sleep except for my 3 year old coming sleep in our bed due to nightmares at 2:30am.  I took my Xanax this morning and I am starting to feel good.  I don't feel like the pre-anxiety Scott yet, but when I look at the big picture, this Scott is leaps and bounds ahead of the Scott from a month ago.  Heck, I'm way better than the Scott from a week ago.  You have to step aside and analyze the situation.  You have to look at YOUR PROGRESS.  It's hard to see when you're stuck in it, but when you put forth the effort, you will beat some sort of anxiety daily and as you beat them, you get one step closer to a completed victory.

    Stay strong peeps.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say this is my life, one of us has got to go and I ain't gonna be me.....FIGHT THIS SUCKER WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART, MIND, SPIRIT.

    I leave you all with a prayer from the "Undoer of Knots" for today:

    Queen of Mercy, I entrust to you this knot in my life [mention your request here] and I ask you to give me a heart that is patient until you undo it.

    Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

    Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exist in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

    [Mention your request here]

    I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. 
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

    Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

    Amen.

    Your friend in the battle,

    Scott

  • Update:

    I'm constantly battling which puts the mind into overdrive.  I stopped my Xanax pill last Friday and had a pretty good weekend.  I like to have a few drinks on the weekend and don't have the excessive anxiety in the mornings from it.  So, we had some drinks, watched baseball, had some friends over and all was good.  Sunday night I started to have the arm and internal "shakes" again along with a headache and back pains.  I woke Monday with the headache, a severe neck cramp, and what seems like severe stress-related back pains.  This has lasted for the past few days.  I started to take my one Xanax again this morning (maybe I got off of it too soon?).  I'm still running (ran 70 miles last month).

    I beg every day/night that I get better.  My wife says that I'm getting better but it's hard to tell when you are the one that's stuck in it.  The mind is powerful.  Although I've been cleared by tons of blood work and numerous other tests, my mind is trying to make me believe that my back pain is related to a larger more serious problem.  I'm staying positive and I am still living life as "normal".  I'm just waiting for the day where I no longer focus on these little problems and live life like I used to.

    I don't want to get anyone down.  My last few posts have been positive, so I want to reiterate that I AM GETTING BETTER.  I'm just having minor setbacks that get the brain rolling again.

    My previous symptoms:

    -Chest pain (Gone after getting cleared by EKG's, Stress Test, Angiogram, etc.)

    -Dizziness (Gone after getting meds cleared and getting cleared by vertigo tests)

    -Face Flushing (Gone after getting meds cleared)

    -Brain Fog (Gone after getting meds cleared and stopping google)

    -Muscle Weakness (Gone, but no known reason why)

    -Nausea (Gone..same as above)

    My current symptoms:

    -Strapping headache daily

    -Neck pain / crick in neck

    -Back pain (feels like deep muscle pain possibly from stress)

    -Stomach uneasiness

    -Shakes (can feel a slight shakiness in arms)

    *I need to believe the medical tests and believe my doctors that nothing is wrong, but it's hard.  I am fighting this crap tooth and nail.*

    Can anyone relate to the symptoms coming and going or beating symptoms then having new ones come up?  Also, would love some positive stories about overcoming this animal.  This forum DESERVES success stories so please share.

    Scott

  • Scott, 

    You are exactly right. I said exactly what you did the other day....if you have a broken bone, they fix it etc. I like concrete answers for what is wrong with me. I have been a nurse for 16 years and this is the fourth panic/anxiety episode I have had in my life. They are usually brought upon by intensely stressful life events and even though I now recognize what it is, it is still hard to cope. Even though I am a nurse, I too get on Google and man that is the worst thing you can do. Somehow, I can't follow my own advice to others when they do it! Your information is probably the best I have seen yet. It isn't filled with doom and gloom and scary stuff, but that you can overcome it and it does get easier.

  • Hi DJRN,  like you, I want answers to what I am dealing with regarding anxiety issues.  I don't mean what brings it on emotionally, after 30 years of dealing with anxiety and agoraphobia, I understand stressors.  Being a former paramedic, I am more into the physical mechanics of what happens to our bodies during these stressful times.  I do not Google but do spend time researching how our body and brain react to anxiety and panic.  For me, understanding what the body is going through  in order to produce these physical symptoms, helps reduce the intensity of the symptoms where as now I am less symptomatic.  Wishing it away is not going to help.  Knowing why you feel the way you do is the way to go.  Take care  x

  • Good old adrenalin!  When I was younger I did not know what I know now. Heck, that can be a bad thing sometimes...we know TOO MUCH. 

  • DJRN,   I concur.....   :)

    Wishing you a stress free day....

  • Thank you for the reply.  It's just hard to fathom that my mind is making my back hurt, head hurt, arms shake......It's an anomaly and mind boggling.

    I know I suffered a health scare, got results that should've put my mind at ease, but it hasn't.

    I think that me worrying about my anxiety and it's symptom is keeping me in the anxiety loop. 

    I'm heading out for a 4 mile jog for lunch break.  Hope to hear back on how you've beaten the anxiety on the other occasions because I'm trying to conquer this thing and I will eventually.  Just love to hear stores from like-minded individuals and see their "light at the end o the tunnel".

    GOD BLESS

    Scott

  • Anxiety loop is right! Oh my gosh. First it's churning stomach, then tight neck, then you think you can't see,....the list goes ON and ON if you let it. You could fart and OMG, now a new symptom even though on a regular day you could fart no problem! Everything seems to build, small things turn into mountains and as you said...there you are in the "loop" again. You can't turn off the what if's and the why is this happening. What happens next is you get on Mr. Google and scare yourself even more, then you turn to friends and ask EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM if they have ever had this happen or if you are going mad. The people who respond with "you just need to calm down" or "you just need to breathe" are no help. Frankly I want to slap them with a wet noodle as they have NO CLUE. OK, so I did ask them and if they have no idea how THIS feels, I guess you can't blame them right? So, anxiety loop....after you ask 15 of your trusted friends and families, then you ask the doctor. Well, the doctor might say they do not know or maybe they say to seek counseling. Counseling??? But I have physical symptoms right? They don't know what they are talking about so you want to find another doctor and you may get the same answer. Well, they are all quacks. Oh my I have done it and I am doing it again right know. Even though I know that they are not stupid quacks and EVERY friend cannot be wrong. What truly helped me was a therapist....when I was in my early 20's. Oh the stigma of going to a therapist. Well, he taught me how to use an anchor when I feel the panic coming on and it really worked. I have started practicing it again. The thing is, we ALL want a quick fix....a pill or a word that will snap, crackle, pop, take this away. Well, nope it is not that easy. You have to retrain your brain to recognize what is happening and to stop the loop from happening. It takes a few months but it is like meditation. You lie down in the quiet and think of a place or thing you really love that makes you calm and happy. Then pick something like holding onto your thumb (something you can do discreetly if you panic in public) while you are REALLY CALM AND RELAXED. Practice the same thing every day for about 15 minutes and only hold your thumb when you are in a state of deep relaxation. When I had a panic attack after I learned this technique, I would hold my thumb and say to myself relax, you are ok, you know what this is etc. so it did not snowball like it can. Breathing also helps or slowing your breathing cause you tend to hyperventilate when you panic and your heart races and all the other stuff. I recommend therapy too! I know how terrifying and debilitating this can be but there is help. If all else fails, Xanax is a nice little pill to take you down off the ledge.

  • Oh my gosh, I should have broken that up into paragraphs! lol

  • P.S.-Just know that this will not last forever.....if you let it, it will, but you can beat it. If this is your first attack, which I think it is, it may take a while. Try Googling (oh boy) anchoring technique. This was 25 years ago when I learned it, but I am pretty sure it is still part of CBT cognitive behavioral therapy. Sorry for all the replies scotto. 

  • WOW! that was an AWESOME read. thank you for that......

  • Update:

    4 mile lunch jog went great!  I've set a goal to hit 100 miles in the month of May.  The reason is two-fold.

    (1)-Setting goals gets your mind thinking slightly differently about your current problems.

    (2)-When I run, all of my pains seem to go away.  During my run, only positive thoughts come to mind which is uplifting.

    This running also disproves my mind's negative thoughts about something being severely wrong with my health.  It proves that I'm healthy enough to run 4-5 miles daily w/out any complications.  It improves my overall health and gives me a 45-60 min break from reality.

    During my run I came to the realization that I can overcome my negative subconscious.  I couldn't understand how my body was having physical symptoms even though I'm not worrying about anything.  The answer that I got was that it's buried deep down.  My brain is constantly "worrying" about feeling normal again.  I'm constantly seeking answers to "when will this end"?  I'm constantly checking for symptoms, then seeing if they relate to anxiety.  I know that this is all mental because the symptoms disappear when I jog, drink alcohol (not condoning just using example), and sleep.  If I had a real medical problem, these symptoms would not go away while doing the activities above.....not possible.  Our minds need a break from the "loop" so that's why I'm going to focus on today and overcoming today.  Tomorrow will bring a different set of challenges, but if I get hung up on what's to come, I never beat the current day's obstacles. 

    To see how far you've come, make a journal.  List the symptoms that you've already kicked to the curb.  List the places that used to scare you, but don't anymore.  List any other accomplishments that you've made.  Then list the current struggles.  On the side of each, jot down comments/suggestions on how to beat or overcome them.  If it's physical symptoms, then just keep telling yourself that stress and anxiety causes that.  Use breathing treatments, go the spa, hot baths, etc.  YOU WILL BEAT THIS BULLY FRIENDS!

    As I'm typing this,  the back of my head is hurting and I have a slight back pain.  I'm having some negative thoughts about why's and when's.....but, I'm looking out of my big office window and see a beautiful mid 80's, sunny day with a huge flag blowing in the wind and realize that life is wonderful.  Sure, I have some symptoms that are dragging me down, but I got up this morning, kissed my kids and my wife, came to work and I am making it through another day.....one step at a time.

    POSITIVE THINKING AND TIME WILL HEAL US ALL.

    If you don't like the way you feel, change your "process" today.  Challenge a negative thought.  Write it down when you beat it....laugh at it when you beat it.  Soon enough you will run out of challenges and you'll come back to this forum and share POSITIVE stories for the millions of people that need to hear them.

    LOVE TO ALL - GOD BLESS

    Scott

  • Scotto,  you are a great motivational speaker and I'm so glad you joined this forum.  We all need the positive reinforcement daily.  Have an awesome day.

  • Wow, such kind words Agora1.  That alone has made my day better.  Thank you for following my journey back to the top of Anxietyless Mountain.....hopefully I see you there!

  • scotto,  I'll be there....  :)

  • I know you will and if anyone else is interested, I'll drag you up to the top with me.

    TOGETHER WE RISE

    Remember the next time F.E.A.R. comes into your life due to your Anxiety, just think about what that word really means to our anxious mind....

    F - "False"

    E - "Evidence"

    A - "Appearing"

    R - "Real"

    Retrain your thought process today folks.

    Make the rest of your day enjoyable; it's almost the weekend!

    Scott

  • Good morning.  I tried a new trick this week and it worked quite well!!

    How many of you use the snooze button on your alarm clock???

    Well, I've done this for many many years.  My alarm would go off at 5am and I would hit the snooze every 10 min and finally get up at 6am.

    Now to a person with a rational thought process, this may not bother you.  It didn't bother me for years.  I actually liked the idea of being able to doze off for an extra hour.  But I just realized that this was fueling the anxiety fire......

    Sleep is one of the keys to overcoming and burying anxious thoughts.  Since I've been battling my anxiety for 2-1/2 months this SNOOZING has been pure TORTURE!!!  The alarm would go off, but instead of falling back asleep for 10 min increments, my mind would RACE OUT OF CONTROL from 5-6am during my snooze period.  I would lie there and dwell over the day.  I would think about how I felt the previous day and how this day would be no different.  I would pray that I could just get back to normal.  This was pure torture and all of this was happening while my beautiful wife slept peacefully next to me.  I would look at her with envy, I wanted her peace, her sound mind, her calmness.....

    This week, I eliminated that one hour torture snooze.  I pushed the alarm to 5:45am.  The minute the alarm goes off, I SMILE, thank GOD that I'm awake, take a deep breath and say, "One more day to conquer and one step closer to my old life."  I immediately turn the tv on to stimulate the brain and get it away from wandering thoughts.  I watch for 15 min and it's then time to get a move on.  This new routine has helped start my mornings off on a better "foot". 

    I hope you all have a wonderful day - we are one day closer to feeling better.

    SCOTT

  • I work from home, so my wake up is not any forced time. This could be great, but it's a problem when I just lay there and get stuck in negative thought patterns. I definitely find that in the morning is when I'm most anxious. Once I get back to sleeping a full night I'm going to try to start getting myself up and active right away instead of laying there for a little bit more and a little bit more for an hour or so. Thanks for the insight here!

  • Now you've got it Scott.  Better to sleep uninterrupted than to be startled every 10 minutes.    The answer was right next to you all the time.  :)

  • Update:

    It's been about 83 days of dealing with Anxiety issues related to a health scare and having a medication mix-up  (read above for reference - if needed).

    I've shared some of the most important things that got me moving in the right direction.  Here's a brief synopsis of what's been done over the past 3 months:

    1-Get medically cleared from physical symptoms

    2-Take medication if needed to get your mind thinking clearly (short-term usage)

    3-Change your thought process.  Follow negatives with "strong positives"

    4-Have faith that this is a short-term situation.  Most, if not all were not born w/this

    5-Get help via a counselor or therapist

    6-Break a sweat....EXERCISE DAILY!!!!

    7-Have a better diet

    8-Try to stop talking about it everyday, it keeps you in the "loop"

    9-BELIEVE that this will soon be a memory

    As of today, all of my previous symptoms (close to 20) are all gone with the exception of 2.  I still have random minor headaches and some stress-like back pains that range from the top, bottom, and middle parts of my back.  I can live with this and this too shall be gone forever.  I can't really tell if the back pains are due from my running or not?  I've really amped up my monthly running (should hit close to 100 miles this month)....

    I wish that I could look at each of you in the eye and tell you that THIS WILL PASS.  I wish that I could physically call you and tell you THIS WILL PASS.  All I have is this website, but it's still effective - THIS WILL PASS.  You have to believe and you have to retrain your body.  Use every tool that you can think of to get through this.  If you sit and sulk or sit and ponder all day about each and every problem, IT WILL LINGER.  You must be aggressive.

    My story is not complete because I still think about this anxiety issue on a daily basis but it's not taking over my day like it use to.  I would think about my anxiety for about 15 hours / day and I'm only awake for about 17!  I now only think about it when I have a lingering symptom (back pain / headache), but I tell my self that I've beaten countless other symptoms and these will go away too.  I stay busy, work in my yard, play with my kids, converse with my wife and my days are starting to be wonderful again.  Now, I'm still taking a 0.5mg Xanax once in the mornings, but soon enough I'll taper off and be drug free.

    Please let me know if I can help with anything!  I was in a dark place, I hated the way that I felt, and I didn't think that I was going to come out of that looooooong tunnel.

    Keep pushing my friends, YOU WILL GET THERE.  YOU WILL FEEL A TAD BIT BETTER EACH DAY!

  • Anxiety isn't all about Google, in fact most people come to a point that they dont care if they live or die, what keeps most people around is the hurt and pain loved ones would suffer if they did take their own life. Agreed anxiety is an awful cycle but sometimes like myself losing 3 stone, being hospitalised, diagnosed with bi polar an personality disorder, all this has been coming on for 15 years if I'm honest, but the last 4 months has seen my life destroyed, there is no way I want anyone to feel pity for me, in fact only there is only my loved ones I care about. Some people don't have any fight left after fighting it so long. Ive just jetwashed my drive and washed the car, words cannot describe the effort and terror it took, and I write this from bed, where I have to go after little trivial things like this, as for going down the street, if my wife wasn't my carer I would starve. I'm not saying we have to all give in, but sometimes it takes more than the old 'get a grip' attitude. I pray everyday you all get better and that people learned to understand mental health a little better

  • My apologies if I've struck a nerve Karl. I'm basing everything off of MY EXPERIENCES. I was trying to be the POSITIVE LIGHT and share a success story-in-the-making. You're right, maybe I don't understand mental health.

    This is my last post.....

    I will pray that you can fine peace and break through your troubled times.

    GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU

  • No this shouldn't be anyones last post a forum is all about expressing views, if we were all miserable sods like me life would be terrible for eveyone which it isnt!!! I'm pleased people break the cycle and one day soon now the right care is in place I hope to look back on these posts and say "I just can't believe I wrote that!" Your experience is just as important as any other on here, no nerve was struck, it's just at moments in time people don't have any fight left. I was an ex serviceman who fought for my country, very fit, very healthy, had everything, I own 3 houses 2 sports cars, why the hell should I be going through what I am??? No idea!!! Still like you say that endless cycle, I know how fortunate I am when people are starving, this makes the depression worse as I know I should be thanking God every single day. Yet soon I will be losing my job and all these things can be taken away and I will probably be one of the people I used to say 'Get off your arse and stop being lazy, pay your taxes and stop sponging off the state" If I'm lucky I may get some sort of disability, when I see the pittance they get it worries me, worries me even more I might not even get this. I paid alot of taxes for 30 years and would like to say I deserve the help I get, but does someone who has suffered this way from a teenager any less deserving...NO!! Funny how life changes your views and quickly, someone seeing me in the street wouldnt know anything was wrong, I would act confident, laugh, joke, what they don't then see is the scared man bolting for his bed as it's just took every ounce of strength to do little things. So please don't stop posting a forum is to give people's views, mine or yours is no less important than the next ones wishing everyone happinesss and health

  • Great thoughts......I congratulate you on being so strong. I feel good reading your information and will try to keep those thoughts. Know about people telling you that you don't look good......example I had a coupe of people ask me why my hands get red and my feet. Well I hit Google and old Anxiety jumped right out at me! So.....this morning I am going to the doctor to see what I have. Want so desperately to get out of this and off med.........makes me too sleepy. On good days I try to cut one in half.

  • Thanks for this encouragement. I've been struggling "once again" with this Crap for 3 months. It gets so old and tiring. Especially when u have physical symptoms and have been tested for this particular issue. Makes me feel like I'm going nuts and that I'm alone and nobody understands why I'm stuck in this cycle. Helps to know others understand.

  • Brilliant thank you!!!

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