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  1. #1
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    How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety
    by Celia L. Iannelli

    You've heard it said, I have too: " Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth." Well, here's a new spin: I've been born with a predisposition to anxiety. The silver spoon? It's more like the spoon got logged in my throat making life somewhat challenging.

    I cannot remember a time when I was entirely free from fear. It could be like a quiet background music, or making a loud noise as it rattled around in my head. It was always ready to pounce in response to a thought only vaguely understood, some strain or tension. It marred happy times. I thought myself weak and inferior because I was plagued with unreasonable fears.

    I sought medical help. I was given a mild tranquilizer and the diagnosis of panic disorder.

    My well intentioned physician told me to go out and buy new dress! Yeah, right! How could I buy a new dress when I couldn't get out of the house?

    At that time, more than 30 years ago, anxiety/panic/depression were not household words. I felt it was shameful. Goodness - I had two children. Ordinary tasks like going food shopping or walking the kids to school were monumental.

    I felt isolated. No one understood. They called it stress. "Hmmm." I don't think so! This was more than garden-variety stress. Because I was plagued with physical symptoms that accompany severe anxiety and panic, I was convinced that I had a rare disease. Reassurance from my "well meaning" physician did not cut it for me. So I started doctor hopping. This only prolonged the inevitable.

    I had to take charge.

    After the realization that I had to help myself, I started to research my condition. Books by Dr. Claire Weeks were my bible. I read, studied and followed her suggestions. Lo and behold I was able to take baby steps. I progressed to the point where I was moving about more comfortably. It was then that I decided to go back to school.

    Going to school and raising two children, is a difficult task in a perfect world. Now with anxiety as my constant companion, I felt like I was climbing up a greased pole. This endeavor was very difficult. However, I felt my options were slim. I wanted to live a normal life.

    So - it went well for awhile . I was actually straddling two worlds. I secured a responsible position and moved up quickly. However, I was always fearful that my scary monsters and super creeps as I call them could pounce at anytime. This was all the more stressful because I hid my condition.

    The death of my Dad along with increasing challenges were putting a huge strain on me. It was inevitable - panic started again. This was a pivotal time. I was really scared. I decided to seek a therapist.

    Dr. Martin Garfinkle - is a kind understanding man. For the first time in my life, I felt someone understood what I was feeling; until he told me I should learn to "embrace anxiety!" Jeez, I thought embrace the thing I hated? Wow! This was asking too much. I wanted to quit right there and then. Lucky for me I didn't.

    However, he did convince me to not to fight so hard. I learned to be more gentle with myself. Little by little the scary monsters and super creeps started to behave. Most important! Dr. Garfinkle kept drumming this into my head : I HAD NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT!

    I guess it sank in. Today, I am recovered. Recovery for me, is not the absence of symptoms, but total acceptance that they may return under stressful situations or out of the blue.

    The scary monsters and super creeps? Well - they rattle their chains from time to time but it's no big deal. Embrace anxiety? Yes I do - a tentative hug!

    I no longer feel ashamed or inferior, in fact I am grateful for the experience. OK, I can almost hear your groans! The reality is: I am a better person, more compassionate, more appreciative of each new day.

    To those out there who are reading this - there is hope. There have been many advances in medicine and pharmacology. These advances can make anxiety disorders controllable.

    You can live a wonderful life. Trust me! I am living proof.

    Freedom From Fear Organization

  2. #2
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    Re: How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    Thanks for the article, this bit caught my eye:

    ""My well intentioned physician told me to go out and buy new dress! Yeah, right! How could I buy a new dress when I couldn't get out of the house?""

    Ive had professionals tell me to take a holiday/or ask me where am I going for my Holidays, or say that a holiday would do me good,, when Ive just been telling them I agoraphobic and get panicks attacks and have trouble getting out alone to do basics like shopping,,

  3. #3
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    Re: How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    There have been many advances in medicine and pharmacology. These advances can make anxiety disorders controllable
    along with a good therapist, cbt and psychotherapy. at least that is what i'm hoping for.

    nice story and i'm glad for the lady above that she was able to overcome her anxiety probs.

  4. #4
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    Re: How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    However, he did convince me to not to fight so hard. I learned to be more gentle with myself. Little by little the scary monsters and super creeps started to behave. Most important! Dr. Garfinkle kept drumming this into my head : I HAD NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT!
    I like this part. Nothing to be ashamed about.

  5. #5
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    Re: How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    You've heard it said, I have too: " Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth." Well, here's a new spin: I've been born with a predisposition to anxiety. The silver spoon? It's more like the spoon got logged in my throat making life somewhat challenging.
    I thought that this part was pretty funny. Not in a sense that anxiety is something to laugh at but the part about it being logged in her throat and making life more challenging.

    Today, I am recovered. Recovery for me, is not the absence of symptoms, but total acceptance that they may return under stressful situations or out of the blue.
    This really struck me because every time I see or hear some one say that they are recovered it makes me feel like it is possible for that person and why isn't it for me. I know that it is probably just my pessimesstic (sp) thinking but that is exactly how I feel.

  6. #6
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    Re: How you can live a wonderful life - even with anxiety

    hi nancy, i have read several posts saying it takes time and patience but that you will get there. i think you were the one who recently said you had found a good therapist where you feel you are finally making progress. i think that is half the battle. i know it's hard to stay positive, i struggle with that myself, but this forum has been really good for a lot of people. just keep coming here and we'll keep providing each other with support. someone called this forum a lifeline today, and i think it is exactly that. if all else fails, just try to remember you always have this lifeline to fall back on.
    ~ our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall - confucius
    ~ it is the journey, not the destination, that matters
    ~ keep hanging on, the sun will come shining through for you again

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