Change, of any kind, can be scary. It can be uncomfortable, unwanted, and scary. But change can also be the thing that sets us free! Many of us who struggle with anxiety resist change at all costs. Sometimes, that even includes the changes we need to make to recover from panic attacks, anxiety, and agoraphobia. If you're scared of anxiety recovery, I want you to know that you're not alone. And that fear doesn't mean you're any less capable of recovering.
But if you're wondering why anxiety recovery feels so scary for you, you're going to find lots of helpful insights here. I want to help you recognize why these fears are popping up for you so that you can be empowered to take the healthy action that sets you free! Because I know how badly you want to recover. In fact, I've been right where you are!
Before we dive in, I want to talk about something that's super important. And it's that I think we often sabotage our own anxiety recovery because we're so scared. It's so important to dig into why you're scared about anxiety recovery so that you can learn to recognize the unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Your fears are real, and they are so valid. So let's talk about why you might be fearing anxiety recovery!
Why You Might Be Afraid to Recover From Panic Attacks, Anxiety, and Agoraphobia
1. You're Afraid to Recover Because Facing Uncomfortable Feelings Sounds Terrifying
And if this sounds like you, you're certainly not wrong! Facing things is scary because we're doing something that makes us uncomfortable. But I want you to think of it this way... isn't what you're currently struggling with pretty scary and uncomfortable? Battling with anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia each day is very scary and uncomfortable! I want you to recognize that the discomfort that you're going to have to feel while doing the hard things is at least the discomfort that's going to lead you to peace, joy, and freedom! The discomfort of avoiding and staying where you are tends to feel much worse. Although there might be times when facing the hard stuff feels incredibly challenging, it won't feel like that every time.
2. Anxiety Has Been a Part of Your Life for So Long, And You're Afraid of What Life Looks Like Without It
When you've been struggling with anxiety for a really long time, you might not be able to picture a time in your life when you didn't have anxiety. Naturally, thinking of a life without disordered anxiety can feel unknown, and really scary! But I want you to acknowledge that you don't need to know what the recovered version of you looks like. Because in reality, you'll likely be very similar to how you are right now... except filled with lots more peace and joy! It's important to remember that disordered anxiety isn't a part of your identity, it's just something you're struggling with right now.
3. You're Afraid To Recover Because It Feels Safer To Stay Stuck Where You Are And Not Take Risks
And this totally makes sense...you get comfortable in the discomfort, and it becomes your normal. But you don't want to stay here, and this isn't comfortable! And I think it's important to ask yourself...am I actually comfortable? Because most often, feeling stuck with anxiety recovery isn't very comfortable.
Recovering from anxiety might feel risky, and this is partly due to our brains defaulting to the worst-case scenarios. But when we let go of the control and the problem-solving, we actually start to feel better. And without healthy action, it can be so hard to recognize this. I struggled with this for so long, too! But learning to drop that need for control helped me realize that it's not risky to let go of the need for control!
4. You're Afraid That If You Recover, People Will Expect More From You And You'll No Longer Have An Excuse
I want you to know that recovering doesn't mean you can't say no to things! It doesn't mean you have to show up perfectly for everyone and do it all. But I want to let you in on a little secret... when you recover from disordered anxiety, you're going to want to do the things! Because you're not going to be struggling with the same fears that you're struggling with right now! It's going to be a whole lot easier to do things, and I want you to trust that it's possible for you.
So rather than continuing to feel scared to recover, I want you to feel excited to recover! I want you to start seeing and believing that there are so many amazing opportunities for you ahead, recovery included!
Make sure to tune in and listen to the full episode for all the goodness!