Angelle is a former Panic to Peace student with an inspiring anxiety success story! Angelle struggled with anxiety for most of her life. When she was in her mid-20s, she began experiencing panic attacks nearly every day. She’d often struggle to do things like sit through her college classes, be far from home, or her car. And eventually, this fear became so debilitating that Angelle struggled to leave her driveway. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to travel or fly on an airplane again, or that she might miss out on life. And here’s a bit of a spoiler…after taking Panic to Peace, Angelle flew on a plane and went on an 8-hour road trip!
And many of us who struggle with agoraphobia can relate to these same fears! Whether it’s the fear of leaving home, being on an airplane, being far from safety, or feeling uncertain about the future, it’s important to know that it won’t always look this way. And Angelle’s story is proof of that! I love sharing these anxiety success stories because they’re so inspiring. So let’s get into Angelle’s story!
Anxiety Success Stories: Angelle’s Journey of Overcoming Airplane Anxiety
How Angelle Found Support
Angelle mentioned that she’d experienced anxiety since childhood, and she didn’t receive guidance on how to navigate it from a young age. Without the support she needed, the anxiety continued to grow. When she got to high school, she started having panic attacks every day, and had no idea what they were! Eventually, the anxiety forced her to seek support. And thankfully, she had an amazing friend who went to her first therapy appointment with her. Seeking support was the first step in Angelle’s journey because it helped her understand that what she’d been struggling with for so long was actually anxiety and panic attacks. Recently, Angelle has found EMDR therapy to be extremely supportive of her anxiety recovery!
When Angelle first met her husband, she was at one of her lowest points with anxiety and panic disorder. She was afraid to share her struggles with him and would play off panic attacks as simply not feeling well. It wasn’t until years later when they started dating that Angelle revealed that she had been struggling with panic attacks. And she found that when she was vulnerable, she was met with love and acceptance! With lots of practice, it became much easier for Angelle to be vulnerable with trustworthy people. And she said ditching the shame and being vulnerable has been hugely helpful!
Overcoming Airplane Anxiety
After having one panic attack on an airplane, Angelle thought that she would never fly again. Angelle’s fear of being trapped had always made flying difficult for her. Recently, Angelle applied all of the tools she’d learned in her recovery and got on a plane! She flew twice, and went on an 8-hour road trip! And when she told me, I was so incredibly happy for her. Angelle realized that panic might pop up on her vacation, and chose to do it anyway…which I love!
On the flight home, Angelle had a panic attack. And at first, she was really scared. But then she remembered that she was safe, her body would return to normal, and that she was capable of handling this. And she did! Instead of reacting to the panic, she let her body return to its baseline (and without taking her emergency medication). And for that, I am so proud of her!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about Angelle’s anxiety success story! And if you have an upcoming flight that you're anxious about, or if you've been wanting to book a trip but have been too anxious to do it, you'll want to join my live masterclass on Overcoming Airplane Anxiety. In it, I'll teach you simple and practical tips and tools that will actually help you to experience more peace and freedom while traveling.
Make sure to listen to the full podcast episode for all of the goodness!
Okay, I am excited because we have a panic to peace student here. And I feel like it's been a while since I've done one of these. So I have Angelle with me and angel took panic DPS over the summer. And so I'm really excited for her to just be here and share her story. And we'll sort of just dive into whatever comes out. So Angelle, welcome. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here talking with you. All right, let's just start with who the heck is Angelle? Tell us a little bit about you.
Yeah, um, so I am 37 years old. Born and raised in South Louisiana. moved around a little bit. But yeah, for the most part, I have always lived here. I have a wonderful husband and Jamie and three dogs like keep me super busy. I love to bake. I love to read. I love to be outside as well. So I do a lot of walking. enjoy hiking, not a ton in Louisiana. But when we lived in Colorado, see I love to be outside. Yeah, I first heard about you actually on Jenna over baz podcasts, all the hard things. And you did an interview on there with her and I resonated so much with your story. It was kind of the first time I think I've ever felt like truly validated. And truly, like I had heard someone that had been through what I've been through. And so yeah, that's how I found you. And then started following you on Instagram and watching your videos and then decided to take panic to pieces.
Ah, that's so cool. And like we're literally just talking about this right that, you know, coming on and sharing your story. It's of course intimidating. But no matter what rate we dive into, and what's discussed, it's just so helpful for people struggling to know like to truly know, they're not alone. And that when more people share their stories, we get this. Okay, like I'm actually not alone. There are people who are have struggled with this for a long time and like getting all that hope. And it's just so good. So I know you've had quite a long journey with anxiety. So let's dive into it. Like Where Where did anxiety pop up for you? I should say when like, what did it look like?
Yeah, yeah. And I think that's so true. It's definitely a little intimidating to share my story. But I'm really hoping that it can help someone kind of like your story really helped me and even the other panic to pee students I've heard on the podcast have been hugely helpful. Just to know you're not alone, and people are struggling in the same way you are. But yeah, so I have struggled with anxiety since I was a child. It of course, when I was a kid, I didn't know exactly what was going on. I didn't really have parents that were maybe aware of what to do with me and kind of what was going on. And so therapy wasn't really something I did as a child. When I was in high school, I was having panic attacks almost every single day in school. Again, not knowing what it was just knowing that it was extremely uncomfortable. And I really, really disliked school. And then in college, college was probably one of the lowest points was struggling, sitting through a class or taking a test was nearly impossible. So I was panicking, probably. I mean, I wouldn't say every day, but it was it was often and it wasn't anxiety over like am I going to pass a test or fail a test? It was anxiety of can I sit through this without panicking and feeling like I need to run out. I also always had to park like really close to my buildings because like my car was kind of a safe space for me. Not always because I definitely had panic attacks in the car. But when I was at school, which I was commuting to school, it was definitely my safe place from like, feeling like if I need to run out of a classroom or a building. I knew that I could go there and feel a little bit better. So yeah, I would say one of the lowest points was probably when I was in college and I went to go take a walk one day and I couldn't leave the driveway. I remember like I got to the end of the driveway and immediately felt that like intense panic. And that was really really scary. But it was discouraging because like I love to walk and jog and run and to feel like confined to my house at that point was just really it was really sad and really scary. So that's when I first went to therapy after that. And I remember my best friend came with me because I was so anxious to go to therapy, she came and went in by myself, but she came with me, she was really sweet. And then I kind of learned what panic attacks were with her, and got some insight into what was going on. And so I've done therapy on and off throughout my adult life. And it's been hugely helpful. Most recently, I found a lot of help with EMDR therapy for some trauma. But that's been hugely, hugely helpful. Yeah, I think,
when will I'm curious, when was it that you finally like, connected with a therapist and figured out what the heck was going on and learned like this is panic attacks and hear how, here's how we can start approaching it
was probably in my early 20s. And, you know, a lot of the advice that I got was to feel the fear and do it anyway. Which, you know, in some ways, is great advice. But then, in some ways, like, I am like the queen of white knuckling, or I should say, I was before panicked and peace. I mean, I walk white knuckled my way through life, I mean, for so long. And I actually even had a therapist telling me that one time like that, I was just white, she could tell it was white knuckling through everything. And so, it's really interesting, just, you know, learning in panic to peace, like, it's, it's not that simple. It's not that simple of like, feel the fear and do it anyway. Like, there's, there's some techniques you can use, there's some writing it out and not, you know, not resisting so much like, it's not just feel the fear on white knuckle it like, it's been hugely helpful for me to feel that fear and kind of allow it to be there. And, and not resist, and know that my body will regulate itself, that the panic will pass that it can get through it. Without fighting it so much. That's been a huge, I guess, like, tool that I've been able to use.
Yeah, I'm so glad that you shared that and have that honesty or had that honesty with yourself of, I was white knuckling it through everything, because they think it's hard with the messaging that's out there surrounding especially panic disorder and agoraphobia recovery, it is very much a mentality of, you just got to do it, you just got to take the fear with you do it. And it can be really harmful for a lot of people who struggle with some perfectionism and achieving type behaviors where you're like, Okay, this is what everyone's telling me to do, I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do it no matter what, at all costs, and you find yourself even more anxious, even more overwhelmed, and then you're convinced it's not working. I'm not getting better. Why isn't this working? And like you said, there's so many other approaches, and an approaching it in a healthy way for you and where you're at, like you said, some people, it does work depending on where you're at in your journey. But for a lot of people, that approach can be incredibly harmful.
Yeah, and you're right. I mean, I think for so long, like, trying to white knuckle, I felt like such a failure, because it was like, feel the fear and do it anyway. And so then you assume, or maybe you're told, like, eventually it will subside, or will go away, the more you do these things. But yeah, there's no, you know, I think if you're constantly or for me, constantly resisting, it didn't really let me like, work through it. And you know, just telling myself, you're fine, you're good, everything's okay. You're fine. Like when I when I didn't feel like I was, it doesn't really, like set you up for success, like in the future to go back and do that same thing. You know, I was so resisting. You know, like, if I was in a scenario where I had panicked, and then I tried to go back and do that thing again. I just didn't really feel like I had the tools. See, yeah,
yeah. It's like what you said, when you were talking about college, right? It was really incredibly hard to sit there and take exams, and it wasn't about the exam. It was, how can I get through this without panicking. And that's so much of how we approach things, because we have this mentality of, I just gotta do it, and I can't panic, right? I can't let it go there. Because who knows, right? What could happen and that resistance sort of just fuels this. And so it sounds like right, you walked through so much of your journey. I mean, our stories are fairly similar that like years and years right of this resist and send avoidance and this fighting against it and you find, okay, this isn't working, like, what am I doing? Or what what can I change? I'm curious, like, was there any point throughout your journey? Like when you started going to therapy? Like did some pieces started to connect for you back then?
Yeah, definitely. And, you know, for me, I think some of it is definitely related to childhood. But I also think that a lot of it is the panic attack itself. And like we've you talked about paying for peace a little bit like, sometimes those panic attacks themselves are like, traumatic enough to create so much avoidance. And so, you know, that was kind of a new concept for me in panic to peace, because I had been told so much that a lot of things it was really related to childhood and, and I definitely think some of it is, but also thinking like, these panic attacks that have had and, in Spa in places like those were, it's really, really so, so scary. And so sometimes it is kind of about, like, I guess some pieces were put together and therapy and kind of realizing, I guess, like childhood definitely contributed. And here's why. That's definitely very enlightening. But then I also think it was enlightening as well to learn that. Sometimes it's not only about that, like, sometimes it is also about kind of what you've gone through dealing with the panic and agoraphobia as well.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. And for some people, right. There's so many other pieces, too. But yeah, it's not, it would be so nice, right? If you sort of knew and had this understanding, okay, it's just this or it's just this, just these two things. And now I can sort of go out and fix it. It's just not quite that simple. But I'm curious, right? You struggled with anxiety, panic, as a, you know, a child and then as a teenager, in your younger adult years, did you meet your husband while you were struggling?
I did, actually. So we met when I was in my early 20s. And it's funny because I was struggling very badly at that time. And sometimes we talk about this one time where we were at a concert, and I was so so anxious, and I wanted to leave early because I we were just dating, we had kind of it was early on in the relationship. And I really wanted to leave his concert early, because I was feeling so so anxious. And so I think I like told him I didn't feel well or something. And so we left. And then we actually broke up for like, six or seven years, and stayed friends, and then got back together in our late 20s.
Yeah. And so he asked me about that at some point in the last several years. And I was like, Yeah, that was that was because I was afraid of that we're gonna have a panic attack. And it was this concert that was like, you know, it was a small concert with like, a big band. And so getting the tickets was difficult. And so I remember he thought he's like, I thought you were so excited to be there. And so it was shocking when you wanted to leave early. And so it's, it's interesting, because I think I hit it. So so. So well, I became an expert as well at hiding it. Just to get through life without, without people knowing, because I was so embarrassed and so ashamed. And especially with him, you know, because I liked him. And I didn't want him to see that part of me. So that has been a journey as well with him, like, you know, it's taken many years for him to kind of, well, I'll say for me to be open to being vulnerable with him. And that's something I've talked with you about, you've been really helpful with just being honest and open and in not ashamed. Because I think that made things so hard for him. Me It was hard for me but hard for him to because he wanted to be there. He wanted to help. And I was so ashamed that anytime it would come up, I would almost you know, I'd be irritable because I was anxious. And so it would almost turn into an argument. And he would just take shots in the dark of like how to handle me as well when I was panicking to like in the throes of a panic attack. And for so many years. It was it was a struggle, because he was trying so hard to help and I was resisting him and resisting being honest and what was happening, or even being fearful before we went somewhere and not just being open and saying like I'm feeling anxious and so yeah, it's that's been a journey as well, but I definitely think Being vulnerable and not ashamed has been hugely helpful.
Yeah, I, gosh, there's so much here. But I think being able to finally speak some of that shame out loud because we know right, like, shame gets so much power from not being spoken. And you, myself, so many others on the journey, right have this coping mechanism that that, you know, it takes a lot of practice to undo this,
you have your walls up,
you don't want anyone to see if you don't want anyone to actually know how bad it is. And you think it's partly because it's really hard to own it for yourself of like, how hard it is and where you're at, but it's really scary to let other people see it. And you feel like what, what happens when they see it, you know, are they? How are they going to react? Are they still gonna want to be around and it's just, it's so it's so beautiful, right? When the person on the other end is like I, I want to see it, I want to help you, I need you to tell me how I can actually help you. And part of that is developing that vulnerability. And expressing like, here's actually what's going on, because, like you said, I think so many people do that of whether you're dating or in a relationship or in a long term relationship and like married, we have a tendency to hide all that really hard stuff. And it makes it really hard for us to get the support. Because the other person doesn't understand they can understand what's going on, especially if you're not communicating any of it. But they're also like, you know, I, if I don't know, I can't help and if I don't know how to help, I definitely can't help. So all of those pieces, like there's so much of it that has to come together. But I think that first step is actually allowing yourself to speak the shame out loud, to be vulnerable. To say, like, this is actually what's going on. And I know it's so hard cuz you're like you, it's that coping mechanism of, I'm just gonna pretend like I'm fine, and everything's fine. And I'm, I'm gonna get through this and years after years of doing it, or like, okay, maybe this isn't actually working.
Yeah. Yeah. And it's, you know, looking back, it's like, Man, I spent so many years trying to hide it and cover it up and be ashamed of it. And, you know, it's not something I like, tell everyone about, but I think telling the people you're closest with your friends or your family or your spouse or boyfriend, you know, as hard as it is to admit, like, I might need your help in these moments, or, you know, this thing that is so easy for you is like, so, so hard for me. Like, I think that's, it's that was so so that was really hard for me to admit that, you know, because Jamie's very, like, adventurous and adrenaline junkie, and you know, a lot of fun, and I love having fun with him. But these things that are so easy and so fun for him are sometimes really, really hard for me. And he doesn't, you know, he doesn't understand it. And so, yeah, I definitely think it, you know, it was kind of up to me to be open and honest, so that he could try. So that's been hugely helpful. And another thing kind of On another note, too, like, I've also noticed people like, I get so, so nervous going to the doctor's office. So of course, my blood pressure is always super high, and my heart rates really high. And so they always kind of look at me funny, you know, like, are you okay, and a lot of times I've tried to hide it, but recently when I went for, like just a checkup, I told the girl that the nurse that I was feeling really, really anxious, and I didn't express it, I was like, on the verge of a panic attack, but I did say, I'm really, really nervous and I'm feeling really anxious. And, and she was so sweet, you know, and she took the cuff off and she laughed with me and joked with me for a minute and took my blood pressure and heart rate again. And of course it had gone down. So I think also like the kindness of people that you may not even know like, you know, it was hard and it's it's, it can be embarrassing to admit, you know, but like in that scenario, she also was like Oh, I get nervous going to the doctor too and you know people can relate sometimes that you don't even realize can relate to you and so that's also been a little bit something I you know, maybe have been working on a little bit too is is when I'm feeling vulnerable feeling okay telling people and they may not always yes, they may not always respond like how you want them to but then there's also that Knowing that, even if they don't like, I'll still also be okay. But it's a bonus if they do and it feels really great.
Yeah. Oh, that's so cool. It's so cool. We give ourselves the opportunities. And we do actually see like, oh, saying that was helpful. Like, why? Why did I try that sooner? But it's just it speaks to you, right? So many people especially think when you're struggling with an anxiety disorder, you don't give yourself any leeway to feel anxious, you always see anxiety as being a problem. I can't feel this way. Why am I feeling this way? Again, I'm just so silly. And you're like, you don't slow down enough to recognize so many people get anxious about going to the doctor, so many people get anxious about traveling and going on public transportation and flying and all of these things. And it's okay, it's okay. And a lot of times it makes sense that you have anxiety about it. But we get so caught up in those dang stories of like, but I shouldn't be feeling this way. This is so ridiculous. And you know, we add to all that resistance. So something I feel like we definitely, like passed by and didn't really talk about, which I want to talk about is how anxiety actually manifests for you. Because I think it does look differently. There are some commonalities, of course, but it can look differently for a lot of people. So I know you had the panic attack, right. And it being centered a lot around this feeling trapped and stuck. And oh my gosh, what if this happens? I can't let that happen. But what else did it look like for you?
Yeah, so a lot of mine does have to do with being trapped. So like, flying is difficult for me. And you know, it's not really a lot of fears that people may have with flying for me. It's it is it's being trapped, it's feeling claustrophobic. Once I'm in there, I'm usually totally fine. But they're kind of like sitting in the seat waiting to take off the the waiting and the like, okay, let's, you know, I get really anxious about that. I also struggle with or have struggled in the past really, with, like being far away from home. So whether that's walking or driving, you know, feeling even if I'm in a familiar place, like I live back in my hometown now, but in the past, like, even being very familiar with all of the areas around where I live, if I would kind of go farther out, even in a familiar spot, like because I was farther away from home, like, home has always been my safe space and safe place. Not that I've never panicked at home, but it's always kind of been the safe spot. Definitely some driving anxiety, like driving on the interstate highways. Getting stuck in traffic is a huge, huge anxiety trigger for me. That one is kind of one that I'm still working on. But it has definitely gotten so so much better. But yeah, being stuck, like on the interstate and traffic is, that's a scary one I get and I guess that's kind of like that trapped feeling of like, if I need to get out of here. I can't. I can't go anywhere. That's that's a lot of mine, I think.
Yeah, I think it's interesting, right? Because I know a bit of like where you've been at recently. And I would love to, if you're comfortable to sort of share, because I know you really are somebody who wants to live this adventurous life and do these cool and fun things. And of course, you have a partner similar to mine of like, seemingly super carefree and never anxious and like let's just do all the crazy things. So I know you recently went on a trip and although it was anxiety producing it was really cool to hear how it was different than it typically had been. So if you feel comfortable, like I'd love for you to share that.
Yeah, definitely. Um, yeah, so I was really nervous about going on this trip. We went to Colorado so we flew. And actually so we flew into Kansas City and then we road tripped eight hours to Colorado. So there was a lot of opportunities for triggers for anxiety. And your the way up there the flight was really smooth. I don't think I told you this, but there were only 32 people on our flight. So it was like the best flight ever. Oh,
my gosh, that's amazing. So easy.
A quick flight to from here. And then yeah, I had a moment of kind of like a little health thing that came up when I was in Kansas City. And I got super nervous and wanted to stay in Kansas City so that I could go to a dentist because I was kind of like getting really, really anxious. And, you know, in the past, I can definitely say that I probably would have spiraled and not really been able to do much on this trip. In Kansas City, I, I definitely think in the past, I would have probably either wanted to stay home, or obsess and obsess and obsess about what was going on. But this time was different, because that's not really what I did. I was definitely nervous, but I was still able to enjoy the trip with my husband and some of his family. And then, you know, he was because I've been able to be more vulnerable with him. He was really able to, like, talk me through just kind of, I guess, or we were able to talk through kind of how I was feeling and what was going on. And, you know, he really encouraged me like, no, let's, let's go ahead and keep going on our, you know, continue on our road trip. And we did and everything, thankfully, turned out totally fine. And we drove eight hours to Colorado, and I struggle with altitude sickness. And so, you know, I was really nervous about that. But instead of kind of letting it consume me and the anxiety about it take over and being worried about what if I get sick? And like what if, you know, I don't feel well. And what if I ruin this trip, because that was a big one. You know, I was able to, you know, take some pain reliever medicine when My head started to hurt and continue on. And we had a really, really great time. There were a couple of other moments that came up, we were going to a concert, and I kind of told you about this one, this makes me laugh. And this is kind of something I do that do working with Shannon, I think figured out is a coping mechanism. But we were going to this concert. And so we had to park kind of far away in the walk, stand in line for a while and then go into this really crowded amphitheater. And the whole time leading up to it, you know, I had been on the strip for several days at this point, I was kind of tired. I was, you know, I was feeling really anxious. So, so excited about this concert and really, really wanted to have a good time and get in there. And we couldn't find a place to park. And so I was just feeling really overwhelmed. And I kept telling my husband like I can't do this, I can't do this. I can't park and walk I can't stay on this line. I can't go in this crowded amphitheater. You know, crowds are definitely a struggle for me as well. As far as like how my anxiety manifests. I usually would be like looking for exits, like I gotta get out of the crowd, even if I'm in the back of somewhere. But so anyway, I kept saying I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this. All the while I was doing it. Like we walked. I stood in line, we got into the amphitheater, and so, but that whole time, you know, I felt the anxiety like really coming up and like my chest was tight. And I felt like he was having to take like, really deep breaths, and I could feel myself kind of getting like shaky and just just really, really overwhelmed. And the whole while saying I couldn't do it, I was actually doing it. And it was really hard like it, it wasn't perfect. And, you know, looking back, like, there are times where, you know, I kind of wish maybe like I would have handled it a little bit better. But I got through it. And I got into the concert and had an absolutely amazing, amazing time. So, you know, that looks different as well, because honestly, in the past, I think I would have just left. I think I would have really just said I can't do it and not even tried. And then but the best part of the story and it's kind of crazy because it involves a full blown panic attack. But it is the best part is that on the way home on the plane, it's makes me a little emotional. I did start to panic. And instead of like resisting, like I've always done like so, so hard. I I remember like I I reached down for the Xanax, because that's my instinct. And I said, You know what, it's not going to kick in fast enough anyway. And also, I want to try, like I really want to try my techniques and my tools that I've learned today. And so I let it come and I like wrote it out and it was it was hard and like my heart was pounding so fast. I thought it was gonna be out of my chest. And I felt shady. And all I wanted to do is like, get up and say, Please like, I, I don't wanna be on this plane anymore. But instead of doing that I, I sat there and I wrote it out, and I let it happen. And, you know, in that moment, I kind of took a deep breath, and told myself, my body will reregulate itself, my breathing will go back to normal, my heart rate will slow down, you know, and of course, in the moment, it's not perfect, like, there was some fear and and then the word ischemia. I'm like, Well, what if it doesn't? And then I did calm down. And then everything did kind of reregulate. And then I still had a what if thought of like, what what if this happened would have happened again? You know, we were sitting on the on the plane, like, it had been, like, 30 minutes, and we hadn't taken off. And, you know, I was starting to feel antsy. And I thought, what if it happens again, and I was like, but I just got through it. I can do it again. Like that. That wasn't as maybe, I don't know, as hard as they have been in the past. And it was still difficult, and it was so really uncomfortable. But writing it out, and just kind of letting happen without resisting and not telling myself you're fine. You're okay, everything's fine, you're gonna be fine. And more just, you know, okay, anxiety, like, you're here, I see you like, I'm uncomfortable. But I'm gonna breathe, and I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna just kind of let you be here. And then it did. And then it went away.
I imagine that right? It's so cool. Like, there's so much that you shared there. That's so cool. I think, you know, you said this trip, right was to give me opportunities. And you had so many opportunities to practice having healthy responses, and to really do things in a healthy way rather than the white knuckling and doing things how they traditionally looked. And I'm just so proud of you. Because I know it's not easy. And and I mean, on this trip, right? You had so many things like a flight of road trip, you know, just so many different changes, and a concert and you spent a lot of time outdoors and canoeing and like just so many things, and you did an amazing job of working through all of it, and also having a really good time. And it's just so cool. It's it's really cool when you start seeing people building that trust back within themselves and actually feeling more confident and knowing like, Okay, I'm, I am shifting this relationship with anxiety, maybe, maybe I can live more fully, because they think that's one of the things I remember, it always differences in what people say when they started the program, like always stand out for me, and I remember years being like, I don't feel like I'm living as fully as I could be. And I think so many people share that, right. Like, I know, that there's more, I know that there's more for me, I know that this doesn't have to look, this doesn't have to be how it looks. And really wanting to give yourselves yourself the opportunity to actually have life look how you want it to, like, that's a big part of what we have to own that it doesn't the life doesn't just happen. And it isn't just, you know, it doesn't just land in our laps, like we have to actually create it. And you're allowing yourself to have those opportunities to create this fuller life that you want. Which so, so cool.
Yeah, that's, that's very true. That when I did decide to take the course, that was kind of a big motivation for me, like I had felt like I had kind of hit a little bit of a plateau and like my healing and therapy and feeling like, you know, everything was helping, but I just wasn't, I felt like there was kind of like another little piece of the puzzle that like I needed to just kind of, I guess, fit in that I hadn't had. And so, you know, this trip was so different than others. And I guess I should add that the last time I flew before this trip, I did have a panic attack on a plane and it looked so different. I think that's why it makes me emotional. Because then going into this trip, I was I was terrified. I was so terrified, it was going to happen again. And then you know, when it did on the way home it looks so different. And so I think that's I should add that there that you know, I I was kind of afraid I wasn't going to be able to, like ever fly again. Or at least do it without this. So much anxiety that it was like nearly impossible. So now it's really cool. Because, you know, when I think about going on another trip, like, I'm not as scared. I'm like, I can do it like I did it. And it was, yeah, yeah,
it's so good. It's so good. I think you just hit on something so good that I really want people to hear it because they think our brains have this way, right of bringing up past memories, and bringing up instances where it did look really bad and hard. And our brains are very good at sticking to those things. And, of course, when you go along with it, you're just like, Yeah, I'm not, I'm not going to do it. Like, why would I do that I'm not going to have a panic attack like that, again, on a plane or that far from home, or in a car, like, all the things but you have to actually let it look differently. You have to actually allow yourself to create new memories of what it can look like. And sure, you, you know, you're going to have those thoughts pop in, you're going to have that fear. But you've got to allow yourself to have the opportunities for it to look differently. And that's exactly what you did. You know, it doesn't have to look like that. Last time, I had a panic attack on the plane. And how I felt and how hard that was, it can look differently. And now you've shown yourself that. And it's not to say, you'll never have you know, a panic attack again, on a plane and it won't be hard. It's not that it's actually being able to see, I can and it can be hard, but it doesn't have to look that bad. Like I can actually get through it. And it's not something that I have to fear. It's not something that I have to prevent myself from living. That's the best thing, right? When you have that knowing, like, I don't, I don't want to prevent myself from living anymore. But I also don't have to.
Yeah, definitely. And, and kind of what you said too, about, like creating new, new memories, and that things don't have to look like they used to, like another another thing that I kind of forgot to mention is like my anxiety definitely manifests is like what if thoughts? So of course, it's like, what if I panic and embarrass myself on this plane? Or like, you know, what, if I'm in a canoe, you know, on my trip, and I panic in the same way, what am I am I going to fall in the water? Am I going to jump in the water, colds, and I'm gonna, like get sick. And, you know, and so I think like, that's a huge thing, too, that has been extremely, extremely helpful, like when you and I have met, and then also in panic to peace is talking about like, like watching the stories that you're telling yourself and paying attention to those. And so, you know, in my head instead of, and that's been a huge thing. I've done kind of like day to day as well, instead of saying, like, what if I panic in the grocery store, and like, I have to leave my basket, or I like embarrass myself or my face gets super red. And people are like, What is wrong with her? You know, it's like, well, what if I go in there and like I, and I feel anxious or panicky, and I let that kind of come over me and I acknowledge that it's there. And I'm like, Yeah, I see you a year, you can come with me, you know, but you're not going to make the decisions for me today. And, you know, what, if I look at it, like that instead, and, and the what ifs become like, or one thing you even told me was instead of what if things like even if, even if I panic? I'll be okay. Like, even if the anxiety comes? I know that like I can write it out. And you know, so yeah, I think that's a huge, hugely helpful thing for me as well is, is just really, really paying attention to those What if thoughts? Because, you know, like you and I talked about, like, just because I painted on a plane once does it mean that it has to look the same way the next time? You know, and so, yeah, that's been hugely helpful.
That's awesome. I'm so glad that you brought that up, because so many people think struggling with panic and agoraphobia. It's the what ifs the the constant, and you feel like it's really, really tough because their thoughts and you can't stop your thoughts. And so it's like, well, what the heck do I do with all of these what ifs, and I am glad that you gave those insights. And, you know, I think this goes back to sort of what we talked about in the beginning, right? Allowing yourself to do things differently. It doesn't have to look like just facing the fears and doing the things in white knuckling your way through it like there are other really helpful and healthy chefs that are actually going to help you for when you're facing your fears and you have to feel equipped you have to actually be equipped you can't just force yourself to do all the things and you know what, like, you know, and the Panitch Peace program usually the beginning people are like, okay, and when are we gonna get to like facing our fears and, and the exposures and I'm like, No, not for a while, not for a while and There's a very good reason for it. So I'm so glad you have shared so many amazing insights and just you being so incredibly vulnerable and sharing your story. I super appreciate it. And I know people are going to take so much out of it. So thank you so much angel for coming on. I have loved every second of this conversation.
Thank you so much. I'm, I'm so glad you asked me and I'm so glad, like I feel honored to be able to share my story. And I really hope that I can help someone who might be struggling out there. Yeah,
it for sure. Well, so I always ask, right, if somebody's listening right now, and they're like, I am panicking all the time. Like, the anxiety is just constant. I feel like my life is never gonna look any differently, like, how the heck am I going to get in a better place and create this healthy relationship with anxiety? What would you offer to that person?
I would say there is definitely hope there is definitely help out there. I think, you know, panic to peace was really, really helpful for me, and, and it takes time, you know, like, you were just saying, like, it takes time to feel equipped, like, for a long time, I didn't and even when I started panic to peace, like I had done some healing and some work. But, you know, even some of the things that you mentioned are some of the things that other people mentioned, they were able to do, I was like, I'm just not there yet. You know, and so be patient with yourself and understand that it takes time to heal and that it's also not linear, like some days you feel on top of the world and some days are really still hard when it comes to like anxiety or panic and what you feel able to do so. Yeah, just knowing that it takes time and being patient and, and knowing that there is hope and that there are other ways to maybe heal and work on the anxiety than what you've been traditionally told. I mean, those things can definitely be helpful. And there's a lot of value in in, in all the techniques, I suppose but I think just knowing that there's, there's, there's more to learn. But yeah, be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. That's another thing that's been huge, like just be kind and compassionate to yourself and know that you're doing the best that you can and yeah, that that you'll, you'll get there.
Yeah, yeah. I love it. Thank you again so much.