Recently, a listener asked me a question about last week's podcast episode. After sharing some info about my personal journey with agoraphobia, they asked "So, you've never experienced full agoraphobia?". Honestly, after reading this question I immediately felt hurt (even though I knew this person didn't have bad intentions). And it's not the first time I've received a message like this.
I understand why they said what they did. When we are the one that is struggling and facing the hard things, it can be painful. And it can feel like we have it the worst. After all, we're the ones living it, which makes it the worst for us. And when we're struggling, it can be easy to compare our journeys to those others are on.
When we put energy into comparing ourselves to other people, it can be easy to get caught up in the stories we tell ourselves about why we can't recover. And ultimately, this is where our conversation ended up. This person expressed interest in my program, Panic to Peace, but they ultimately don't believe that anxiety recovery is possible for them.
But what if I told you that almost everyone who signs up to work with me, and for my program, experiences lots of self-doubt and fear? And it's natural! Because taking a step in the direction of recovery is scary, but it's also courageous!
So when it comes to self-doubt in the anxiety recovery process, there are a few things I want you to recognize...
You're Never "Beyond Fixing"
The goal of recovering from anxiety is not to fix you. It's to fix your relationship with anxiety, panic, and fear. In reality, it's NOT you who needs any fixing! Panic to Peace teaches you how to have a healthy relationship with anxiety and with yourself, which will allow you to experience much more peace, joy, and freedom. When we've been struggling for so long, it's easy to think that we're just "beyond fixing", or that we will never recover. But I'm here to tell you that no matter how long you've been struggling, anxiety recovery is possible!
The Stories You Tell Yourself Come From a Place of Fear
It can be helpful to ask yourself, "Why can't I recover? What's stopping me?". And yes, I'm serious! Because most often, the only thing standing in the way of you and anxiety recovery are the stories that you are telling yourself.
These stories may sound like...
I've struggled for years, so I can never fully recover.
I'm not capable of recovery because my anxiety is different. I'm different.
I have panic attacks so often, they will never go away!
Usually, these are the stories that are preventing you from believing that recovery is possible. I want to challenge you to change the stories that you might be telling yourself, and to allow anxiety recovery to become a possibility for you.
You're Questioning Yourself, Not the Program
At the beginning of each round of Panic to Peace, many of my students fear that my program will not work for them. They're often scared that they don't have what it takes to recover. But these stories come from a place of fear and self-doubt. Throughout the program, I teach my students how to go AT these fears. They learn to keep facing these fears (in healthy ways), and they get to see just how capable they truly are.
The students of mine who have had the most success share one thing in common: they were willing to keep betting on themselves, even when it was really, really hard. Even if they didn't quite believe in themselves, they knew that they wanted to recover from anxiety, and they just needed a little extra support (aka a healthy push) throughout the process.
You Might Be Scared to Recover
Let's face it... anxiety recovery is scary. Most often, it's uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and challenging. It's normal to be afraid of what your life will look like without anxiety controlling your every move. What I want you to know is that no matter which path you choose, anxiety is hard. It can either be hard because you choose to live only within your comfort zone, or it can be hard because you choose to keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. I want you to remember to choose the "hard" that will lead you to experience lots more peace, joy, and freedom.
Back when I was struggling, it was never easy to leave the house, work, see friends, or go to stores. But I kept doing these things because I wanted to choose the "hard" that would eventually lead me to the place I'd always wanted to be. And now that I'm here, I want to show you that you're just as capable as I was.
Some of my students have struggled with anxiety in ways that were similar to my personal struggle. But I've also helped lots of students who were completely housebound, or struggling with monophobia. Many of these students have had great success in Panic to Peace, even if they thought they were worse than everyone else. Many of them thought they would be the exception, too. I want you to read their testimonials, so you can recognize that you are no different than those who have recovered.
Ultimately, I want you to find a program, a coach, or a therapist, and I want you to stick with it. I want you to let anxiety recovery be a possibility for you, so you can see just how capable you really are. Keep betting on yourself, and I promise you won't regret it!
Make sure to tune in and listen to the full episode for all the goodness!
Want to join the next round of Panic to Peace? Jump on my waitlist and I'll let you know when doors open. *If you're on my waitlist, you'll get early access, as well as a pretty awesome discount!