Last Updated on January 29, 2022 by Scott Charleboix
A 10 Part Series of Anxiety
I came across a blog post that struck me with instant fear – the post was a nine (9) part series post about anxiety and covered a multitude of topics that dealt with anxiety.
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It’s my hopes that if you’re reading this post and one of your children have anxiety that the program called Turnaround is there to help children that have been affected by anxiety.
This is not easy for me to talk about because when I retired from the military, (the United States Air Force) I was diagnosed with a condition that prior to retirement after serving 24 years, I didn’t even know that I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD for short. Even writing this is starting to make me ponder as I write this post because I’m starting to think a million thoughts all at once on what will people think about me if they read this and so many more thoughts that I have to take some deep breaths now and then to get through writing this.
On a topic so personal as this is one of the very first things that occur to me is will I be able to write a 10 post series blog post about anxiety? I’m trying patiently to develop an outline and at the moment I don’t even know where to start because I’m starting to get overwhelmed.
With that being said here’s the outline that I’m going to follow, and I ask that you bear with me. I’ll consciously try to refrain from saying that again and get straight to the outline.
I’m writing these in this particular order so that we can both learn more about Anxiety and for me to learn more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
For the topic of Part 10 that’s the temporary name I’m given to that blog post because I was recently diagnosed within the last month with having Diabetes Type 2. So I’m wanting to investigate those two topics together so that I won’t fret about the being a new Diabetic.
Part 1 – 3 Things to Remember When You Are Anxious (this post)
Part 2 – Understanding Anxiety Disorders
Part 3 – Understanding Panic Attacks
Part 4 – Talking About Anxiety
Part 5 – The Ultimate Guide to Living (Well) With Anxiety
Part 6 – For the Christian With Anxiety
Part 7 – Anxiety and Diet
Part 8 – Natural Supplements for Anxiety
Part 9 – 5 Irresistibly Fun Workouts to ease Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Part 10 – Diabetes and Anxiety
Part 1 – 3 Things to Remember When You Are Anxious
If I really look carefully at my life it shouldn’t be a surprise to me that I have had anxiety for quite a long time, but it was never diagnosed until after I retired. When I was little, I barely talked to the point that my Mom and Dad had me spend time with a teacher that taught me how to read. It was in the process of reading aloud that I came out of my shell.
Plus, I remember the time that I met a star in person when I was around 17 years old and when I went up to introduce myself I froze because I was speechless and didn’t know what to say. But enough about me, I digressed and had to start this blog post somewhere so I wanted to give you a little bit of glimpse into me before we continue.
Three things to remember when you are anxious!
A blogger that I admire by the name of Carly from Mommy on Purpose wrote a blog post called: Read Part 10 – 3 Things to Remember When You Are Anxious. Let me recap the three important things from that post for you:
- When you are anxious, perception is NOT reality.
- When you are anxious, remember, this too, shall pass.
- When you are anxious, remember there is hope.
1. When you are Anxious, remember, Perception is NOT reality
Perception is NOT reality. Carly explains that she’s a member of a local charity group and she’s helping the group to raise money for some Dementia patients. You can’t beat Dementia, but the good news is that if you have anxiety, you can defeat it! Your brain is a powerful tool and in the case of anxiety it can tell the difference between reality and perception. Anxiety sometimes leads you in the direction of believing that the perception is reality.
Continuing with the story above for the Dementia patients, the effort was raising money to buy dolls. Patients got the dolls and when they got the dolls they thought that they were “real” babies. It gave them a chance to live because it helped them to pass the time. But the fact remains that even though the patients thought that the dolls were real does not make them real at all.
This little tidbit for me is a mantra that with Generalized Anxiety Disorder makes normal anxiety magnified. So, it helps to repeat this if you are anxious.
Over time you need to be able to recognize the triggers that cause you to be anxious so that they don’t turn into panic attacks. We’ll cover the topic of understanding panic attacks in another post.
2. When you are Anxious, remember, this too, shall pass
This too, shall pass. This too, shall pass. No that’s not a typo. Having anxious moments or panic attacks do subside. In that moment with anxiety your in the flight or fight response mode and that’s possibly what makes those moments seem to last forever. I remember when the movie Guardians of the Galaxy first came out and I was watching the movie in the theater by myself because my wife was out of town. I had a panic attack watching the movie in one scene because I truly thought that the hero was going to die and I had to look away from the screen for a while several times. It was just one of those awkward moments where something trivial got the best of me for a while, but it did subside. I kept telling myself it’s only a movie and it’s not real. That’s probably the only thing that kept me in the seat to watch the rest of the movie as I kept telling myself this will pass (but not necessarily exactly in those words).
Another good way to fight anxiety is to use Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about CBT:
“Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes) and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. It was originally designed to treat depression, but its uses have been expanded to include treatment of a number of mental health conditions, including anxiety, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, and eating disorders. CBT includes a number of cognitive or behavior psychotherapies that treat defined psychopathologies using evidence-based techniques and strategies.” – Wikipedia
3. When you are Anxious, remember that there is hope
There is HOPE! Even though you may have anxiety don’t let it control your life. For you to heal your anxiety you need to decide on the changes that you are going to make in your life to get better. Look for the answers and then remember also that to get better you have to want to get better. I know this from personal experience. Shortly before I retired from the military I was in chronic pain from a ruptured disk in my neck that was causing me severe pain and even included restless leg syndrome. I sought the medical experience to have surgery and thank goodness after my surgery a lot of the pain miraculously disappeared. But before that moment where I had surgery I also had of trauma and needing counseling. That was one of the hardest things for me to do in my life but was also one of the smartest things I did in my life because the anxiety during a period in my life had gotten totally out of hand. It was the help of my wife and my Counselor that paved the way for a new way of life and started the pathway of learning to live with anxiety rather than run away from it.
I also like what Carly has to say about anxiety that bears repeating:
“You are bigger than your anxiety (or depression), you alone are capable of making changes. No one else can make it go away, except you. Make changes, not excuses. Or you can choose to live in your anxiety. And don’t be surprised when people get tired of listening to you, tired of reaching out to you, tired of your anxiety. Don’t be surprised when the more you withdraw, the darker it gets in your world.”
– Mommy on Purpose
As I alluded to earlier, this is the state that I was in a dark place and I had begun to get too far withdrawn. Don’t let this happen to you. I’ve been there and I know it’s hard, but remember there is hope!
This is the first part of the series that I’ve written and there will be more articles coming in the near future.
I hope that by the time that I get done writing this series that you’ll be on the road to recovery from anxiety.