I’m going to ramble a bit here but stick with it… or you can just skip to the end for the free anxiety guide, that’s cool too!
When I was 14 I had to drop out of school because of my Social Anxiety Disorder. It was a hard time. I couldn’t even go to the shop alone and I couldn’t talk on the phone for shit. In fact, most days I couldn’t even leave the house at all. Eventually it got to the point where I was trapped at home for months on end without seeing daylight.
I felt like a sack of crap and honestly felt as if it would always be that way. It often occurred to me that I might end up living at home forever and never being able to work or take care of myself.
During this time I had some counselling – my counsellor had to come to my house at first because I wouldn’t step foot outside. We talked in my living room about breathing exercises and muscle relaxation, which worked in times of severe panic but it didn’t make any long-term differences as my negative thinking was still the same. I was still afraid of everyone.
A few years later I was referred to a therapist who taught me a new way to manage my anxiety. You may have heard it before (probably on this blog because I’m always banging on about it!) but he tried me with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT for short. The most helpful part of CBT was that I actually had to confront my anxiety but in smaller, easy to manage stages.
I’d go from being terrified to going to the shop even with someone to going to the shop alone without even thinking about it, or I’d start off being shit scared of getting on public transport with a friend to going on trains long distance every week on my own. I started meeting new people, having conversations without preparing what to say, going out to new places without someone else needing to walk in first…. and it all happened gradually over the course of my therapy.
Sometimes when I stop practising the methods I learnt in therapy I get fairly anxious again and start seeing old habits pop back up – not all of them and not as severe but just enough to make me uncomfortable and frustrated. So this is why I keep pushing myself and exposing myself to situations that make me anxious.
That’s why I want you to join me – because I believe you can manage your anxiety too with the right tools.
I’ve created a FREE anxiety guide to start you on your journey and is inspired by the same tools I used in mine! This free anxiety guide also comes with two free worksheets to help you keep track of your progress.
It’s called Exposure Challenges: The Free Guide to Challenging Your Anxiety Step-by-Step and you can download it for free here.