We spend lots of time talking about how you can start to recover from panic disorder and agoraphobia...but have you ever wondered what panic and agoraphobia recovery actually looks like? Because I know before I recovered, I thought about this a lot! I used to question things like... Will the anxious thoughts actually go away? Will I always experience the symptoms of anxiety and panic? Will I feel like there are still things I can't do? And is it possible to actually go places without worrying about something bad happening? The list goes on!
So in this post, I want to answer these questions for you and share with you what being on the "other side" actually looks like, because I want you to have a realistic view of recovery. And I know that sharing this stuff will give you lots of hope, inspiration, and insights that will help you to heal and overcome!
What Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia Recovery Actually Looks Like
What My Life Looks Like Now That I'm Recovered
Despite the fact that I recovered from anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia years ago, I still experience anxious thoughts and feelings sometimes! And that's because I'm human. But now, these anxious thoughts are different because they don't hold the same power over me. I no longer spend my time worrying about what they mean, or if I'm safe because I know I don't have to! The anxious symptoms pop up a whole lot less than they used to, and I don't experience panic attacks anymore.
I'm going to share an example of what happens when those old, unhelpful thoughts pop up for me now that I'm recovered. Because every so often, they do! A few years ago, I went on a trip to Arizona with my family. And while we were there, we decided to do a safari ride! We had to get on a bus with tons of other people to go into an enclosed area with a bunch of different animals...and I remember thinking "Am I actually going to do this?". Although this thought caught me off guard, it made sense because these were things I feared for a long time. But now that I'm recovered, I was immediately able to recognize what was happening here. I told myself... you're feeling anxious, Shannon, and that's okay. But we don't need to do anything with these thoughts, and we're going to get on the bus! As soon as I got on the bus, the anxious thoughts and feelings disappeared. And I had such an amazing time with my family (and we even fed a giraffe)!
When you've recovered from agoraphobia, panic, and anxiety, you might experience these old thoughts that used to pop up all the time for you. And it makes sense! But now, you don't take them so seriously, you know you don't have to do anything with them, and you let them pass with so much more ease.
Recovery Happens Without You Noticing
I get asked all the time if there was a certain moment when I knew anxiety and agoraphobia recovery was happening, or if all the small steps just "clicked" one day and I recovered. But the reality is that anxiety recovery is something that just happens when you choose to live life, without anxiety getting all of the control.
Today, I fully live my life and do all of the things I want to do! I spent the last week in Florida, and it was a trip filled with lots of flying, driving, and lots of things that used to cause anxiety. But now, I get to do these things with so much peace, and I am so grateful for that! Most importantly, I want you to recognize that I'm no more different than you, and you are capable of the same peace, joy, and freedom that I experience now that I'm recovered.
If you're wondering where you can start with accepting the anxious thoughts and symptoms, my masterclass on Overcoming The Symptoms and Panic Attacks is the perfect place to start. In this masterclass, I'll teach you how you can start to find freedom from panic attacks, just like I did!
Make sure to tune in and listen to the full episode for all the goodness!