I hope that at the time of me writing this most recent post, everyone is well.
This month I would really like to talk about how we learn to manage our symptoms and move forward in our lives once again.
I get lots of people contacting the website stating that they just want these symptoms to go away and "be back to how they once were"
I will try to give you my thoughts on this subject based on my own experience here.
What is really important to understand if you suffer from panic in any form is that once its happened to you, it stays with you as a small part of you. This "staying with you" is not just "panic or anxiety" , this means any illness, or in fact any experience or feeling you have in your day to day life.
Remember the Amygdala, its the part of your brain that is responsible for the formation and storage of memories, especially those linked to emotion, which includes the emotion of fear. Its also the part of your brain which is responsible for activating the "fight or flight" response within you. It works very quickly, so quickly in fact that you are not even consiously even aware of it happening, rather like when you breathe.
Ok, so what does that mean?
Well it means that all your life experiences , feelings and emotions stay with you, they become a part of you and make you the person that you are today. You cant just erase parts of yourself. Nor can you avoid yourself (Remember Anxiety Disorders are also known as avoidance disorders, this does not just mean avoiding the supermarket or driving your car, avoiding YOU and your own feelings sadly also counts as avoidance). This does not have to be a bad thing, being yourself can be a great thing!
With all the above take into consideration, I hope that people understand that the trick is not to remove the anxiety or anxiety fuelled memories from your life, rather to accept who you are, grow to admire and like YOU and choose to move forwards with whatever memories or experiences that you have had. The trick is to work with who you are now, not against and to form newer more positive memories and habits moving forwards.
As you drop resistance against yourself and begin to accept whats happened to you and who you are now right at this moment. You stop trying to "get rid " of it and move forwards "alongsde it". This is key in achieving recovery from these symptoms and maintaining recovery.
I consider myself in long term recovery now, my life is 99% panic free, does my Amygdala still activate my fear response in certain situations - YES ! (Because its reacting to a past panic reaction), Do I resist and avoid and try to get rid of my feelings - NO!, because I accept myself, who I am and whats happened to me. I allow it, work with myself and work through any stumbling blocks this still decides to throw at me. I keep my end goal always in mind and always apply the steps and behaviours that will take me to goal and keep me there.
I no longer avoid myself or who I am. And I accept that this is a part of me that I have to work with . I dont try to get rid of it, I work with it. Thats the key.
I hope that this gives you all food for thought, to aid your own recovery from panic symptoms.
I'll blog again very soon.