I am new to the community here and already I am feeling calmer. I feel fortunate that so far a handful of people here have been so warm and opening towards me. My gratitude for this.
Each of us is on our journey and each of us, I believe, has something to offer the other. In my life, I didn't have understanding and supportive people to help me with my anxiety and panic. Quite the opposite, whenever I would try to reach out for help from a friend or family member I was usually met with dismissive words like, "What do you have to be anxious about?" or "You're too sensitive. Don't let it bother you." Very early on I learned to not trust anyone with this information about myself, and by extension of that feeling I learned to not trust myself.
Sometimes all we need is a supportive comment, an encouraging word, a "You can do this. Use your resources!". Community helps us to not feel isolated and being anxious, panicky and fearful can be very isolating feelings.
I have anxiety when I am in the barber's chair. I find it uncomfortable and I white knuckle until it's over. I let large gaps of time pass before I get my haircut. I did have a barber that I felt somewhat comfortable with. She moved her shop way out into the country (near her home) and it became a very long drive to see her. I finally decided that I needed to move through my fear and I went to a barber shop a few blocks from my apartment. Took a friend for support, got in the chair, and got what is probably the worst haircut I've ever had. But, I did it.
I may not be out of the woods. I may have recurrences of anxiety and panic. I may have strong feelings of wanting to shut down and retreat into my head. But I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I have to try to keep going.
These efforts are made a bit easier when you have support. And that's what we can do for each other...to give us the support that we can't get from those who don't understand what this is all about.
Ok...that's enough preaching from me.