It’s so surreal to be writing a story about how I have learned to love my anxiety

Well naturally I have over thought the first sentence to this story more than I should have, so anxiety is obviously still my friend!

It’s so surreal to be writing a story about how I have learned to love my anxiety, it’s apart of who I am now (as it always has been). That’s were ill begin.

I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I sat down on the side of my bed and was about to turn and lay down and I thought to myself I can’t catch my breath. Oh boy it was all down hill from there! I was convinced I was having a heart attack. I ran into the ER and basically explained that the need to get me back before I die right then and there. that was about 7 years ago (cliff-hanger) I didn’t die……

Needless to say, I learned at the hospital that anxiety is a thing and the magic pill they gave me didn’t help and I was certain there was something majorly wrong. I went through about every sensation, fear, hope, up, down, and thoughts you can’t imagine.

I remember walking outside once and feeling claustrophobic, that I was in so much open space. I was not able to eat because swallowing meant that I would suffocate. I could hardly stand the idea of being more than a short drive from the hospital and so many other overwhelming fears.

I would lay in bed and think I’m the only one in the world that is suffering this way and not a single person could possibly understand my struggle just to wake up every morning. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

That all took place over about a 4-year period and countless hours of google searching for the magic pill/answer is to what was wrong with me. I don’t want to say to much about this, but I believe in a higher power and in the blessing of prayer. One night while I was desperately praying for direction on how to find some hope or relief with anxiety, and as clear as day the thought came to me, don’t search how to overcome anxiety, search how to live with anxiety.

That was the night/moment I found Barry and Panic Away. I wish I could say at that moment it all changed and panic/anxiety was no more, but thankfully it wasn’t.

I would write in my personal panic away journal about once a week and tell myself all kinds of things. Like one day I will look back and laugh and one day, I will meet Barry and Suzane in person and thank them with a hug and a face to face thank you! I still will………. If you let me. I promise I’m not weird. Ok maybe a little but my wife will keep me in check.

I read the first chapter and couldn’t believe I wasn’t the only person in the world that dealt with/experienced anxiety this way. The idea that I wasn’t the only person that suffered from this trap immediately brought relief, but I was along way from free.

Truly I felt trapped, anxiety made me feel like I would never be free of my own thoughts and fears.
I mean really who’s scared of an elevator or suffocating for no reason! Yep those are the what if’s creeping in. Of course, you know in your mind your fears don’t make sense. And just weeks ago you felt totally fine so what is wrong with me now?!?!
So, there I was just going through the motions, trying to figure out what to do to feel better. Meeting with a counselor, reading panic away, asking my doctor for help and some days just wanting to hide from the world.

Ok enough about all my anxiety issues! All that needs to be said is anxiety sucks and it was ruining my life.

BOOM…… just like that it was all over. The end!

Yeah right.

Panic away was an amazing tool and program and in so many ways very much like DARE. But for me it had two major flaws. I couldn’t find a book anywhere, I could only read it from a laptop and of course I felt a little disconnected by many miles from me and the other panic away peeps.

I don’t remember how I was informed of DARE, but I was already in love with panic away, so I immediately wanted DARE. I also had one other issue, if I sat down and tried to read I would either fall asleep or my thoughts would consume me. DARE HAS AN AUDIBLE COPY (book on tape). And so, it began, I finally got past chapter one.

I couldn’t put it down I listened to DARE moment I was near a radio. But there was something different this time, it was me. I was beginning to believe that I loved my anxiety. Yep I said it LOVED my anxiety. I began to realize that anxiety is part of what made me, me!

I couldn’t believe it. I was beginning to understand how to live, even love anxiety. I remember when I began to change my thoughts of what ifs to, what if something good happens.

One of my biggest aha moment’s is when I heard Barry say, anxiety is just an emotion! That was a turning point for me. I still to this day I tell myself anxiety is just as much a blessing as happy is. What if I’m too happy!? What if I go on vacation and I’m too happy, what if I have too much fun?

Was it all sunshine and rainbows? Absolutely not. I had setbacks for years. I remember I finally was ready to get back on a plane and fly over the ocean, nonetheless. I was laying on the ground in the LAX airport telling my wife I might need to fly back home and skip the trip of a lifetime (and this from the guy who says anxiety is just an emotion).

So, there I was about to give up and what did I do, I messaged someone special (Suzane) and she help me! And a few helpful hints and I was right back to the basics. I put on my custom-made DARE shirt, got my dare audios, and posted on Facebook to my Dare family I needed help. That was it I made it and I have never looked back.

The Dare group and the moderators and Barry changed my life for the better. I had the trip of a lifetime, but it wasn’t a walk in the park I had to and still have to apply DARE, but the difference is now that in my thinking that I get to apply DARE.

So, what’s the magic to overcoming anxiety? You! Read DARE (or listen) and then read it again and again. It’s not about getting your old self back it’s about becoming a new and better you. If you apply DARE, you will become a new you. It doesn’t matter when it just matters you will, so stay the course!

I’m sorry I’m all over the place, but I hope my story helps someone. I could go on and on but hang in there you’ve got this, you’re worth it, and you’re strong enough!

Thank you all.

12 replies on “It’s so surreal to be writing a story about how I have learned to love my anxiety

  • Joe

    I love your story! Very Inspirational!! When you said to read DARE and read it again and again. That is exactly what I did and I kept the audio with me too. Spent countless nights listening to Barry explain DARE before bed. It takes time and A LOT of practice especially getting out of yoru comfort zone, at least for me. I’m still overcoming many obstacles but DARE has taught me, as with you, to live with my anxiety and love it. I thank God for it and DARE has changed my life. My fog is almost totally lifted but without DARE I don’t know where I’d be. Thank you again for your inspirational story, I can so relate, and hey Read DARE again!!! Take Care – Joe

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for sharing your story! It helps me to hear what others are going through. I, too, thought I was alone. It’s so nice to know I’m not.

  • Penelope Dawn Welch

    Yes, your story is inspiring. I have not had the experience of loving my anxiety yet, although it has been 70 years so part of my mind obviously is able to take over whatever I do. I knew about the DARE idea and doctors were very familiar with anxiety, stress and depersonalisation many years ago but GP surgeries still haven’t a clue, even though a woman called Claire Weekes travelled and cured people in Australia, the USA and UK, wrote books, had records and lectured and had newsletters which are still available to watch on Utube and Joe mentions her as he was very familiar with her works. Yet those of us at the other end of the knowledge still have to look at our doctors who are staring at us wondering what on earth we are talking about, yet they also have the same problems in many cases themselves. But thank you for your story as each person has a completely and individual one although the end has the happy ending even if there is some slipping and sliding along the way!

  • Eileen S Woodring

    thank you from the bottom of my heart…Believing the Lord directs my path,, today I read your story,,God bless you … had experienced a setback….listened to my apps from Barry..then read your story

  • Caroline Phelan

    Wow thank you for sharing your story. Lots of similarities in our stories, except I haven’t plucked up the courage to fly yet. I have come on in leaps and bounds and getting married in 3 weeks but I still fear a setback that I can’t return from. I will persist and get there in my own time.
    Thank you and best wishes

  • Jennifer

    Wow we sound like twins!!! I’m in a big set back and climbing out and this helped so much! God bless you and peace to you and thank you!!!!!!! Ps: I’ve never heard anyone else but myself, til now, that did the clostrpobia of outside!! The sky! Wow

  • Arlean Rogers

    I had the relief from anxiety, which I have read several times. It helped so much, I recently started having the anxious thoughts again after relief. This came out of nowhere. I have ordered the Dare book. I am hoping I will be posting a success story soon.

  • Arlean Rogers

    Last time I posted was in May. I had another huge setback. Barry sent out an email and I read like. All the others. This time, the lightbulb finally went on. I was trying to accept what was happening, but still fearing it would happen again. I decided at that moment to accept my anxiety with me so I invited to be with me at all times. I had two boys and I had to constantly watch them to make sure they were safe, kinda reminded me of the anxiety. I made mine into a big bird with big feet and squeaky shoes and little voice. I invited anxiety to be with me so I would know what was going on and didn’t have to wait for anxiety to come to me. I was in control, I still
    Had some intrusive thoughts and I did the strong “so what”, if I started to feel anxious I would pull up the image in my head I had given Anxiety and it wasn’t scary anymore. I used the 5 minute rule,( a Mom thing). You have 5 minutes to do the best and worst you can do, so get started, I have a busy day. This was my asking for more. I have not had anymore panic attacks. I envisaged a big bird with big shoes having a temper tantrum in the floor. It worked. I still journal, signing up for the boot camp for health issues anxiety as I received a diagnosis of breast cancer, but it’s all good so far. I pray each and everyone of you find your peace or Big Bird. good luck

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