I’m trapped in this fear, in my mind or a body that’s not mine.

Before I go into my success story I want you all to read these two passages so you can try to begin understanding what my life was like agoraphobic for 5 years.

I’m trapped in this fear, in my mind or a body that’s not mine. I don’t know how to explain it. Every part of me is saying GO DANIELLE, but I sit still. Again it happens, “Danielle get in the car and just f***king go”.  I’m frozen. Does anyone else understand this? I’m inside this body with steel walls, it won’t let me break free and I can’t find a way out. I’m screaming and nobody can hear me. I’m alone in this, all the words in the world couldn’t describe this to anybody. And nobody would believe me.

Sometimes I sit here and I mourn the loss of her. I imagine myself hugging her, the carefree girl, I grab her so hard and squeeze her. She smells good, make up looks perfect, a smile that lights up the room, she doesn’t understand why I’m hugging her telling her “it will all be okay”. At that time she has no idea that her life will soon turn into one she wouldn’t imagine in her worst nightmares. She doesn’t know that her makeup will never look that way again, her hair will be a mess and she will live for pajamas because she can’t bear to put a pair of jeans on. Her smile wouldn’t light anything and hell, she won’t ever get a compliment of smelling good cause well, she’ll be stuck in 4 walls without seeing life anymore.

She doesn’t know she won’t be able to drive 45 minutes up to the north shore to see the houses she always dreamed of. She doesn’t even know that she won’t be able to go food shopping by herself with blasting Eminem on her iPod feeling like the world is at her fingertips. She doesn’t know any of this, and I can’t tell her but I can hug her and tell her no matter what, it will all be okay. Or at least that’s what I pray for every day.

I see her and I miss her more than I’ve ever missed anything in my life. I see her in my mind at Miller’s, running around laughing at the diner at 7 am, I see her driving long distances crying when she thought life was “too hard”.  I still see her packing her sh*t, fed up and moving down to Florida. She has no idea that life is actually going to be hard one day. She has no idea that one day she’s going to walk away from the one person who ripped her insides out and never think about him again. She has no clue that she’s going to marry the man of her dreams but carries the burden of ruining his life, cause- she will always remember the girl she use to be.

That’s the thing, she just has no f***ing idea. But the thought of her makes me miss her so much, the memories of her are the only strand of hope I have left that life has something great to it. She’s the only reason I wake up just to be smacked down to try again. It’s an endless fight of breaking down brick walls the size of every third world country. I’m nowhere close, but before I leave this place I’ll find her even if it f***ing kills me. I don’t want to let go, I know I’m not that strong. I want to take her back home, collide who I am now with who she was and create the masterpiece she was always meant to be…

I have been in 6 months of recovery now. I have read DARE… I don’t even know how many times. I have prayed to God I don’t know how many times. In 6 months of my recovery, I’ve gotten engaged, I just got married 5 weeks ago. I drive places and go places I NEVER in my life thought I’d be again. I listened to Barry’s voice so much on the app that I can recite basically every single one. I WORKED. I CHALLENGED. Anytime ANY type of fear starts creeping in, I challenge it willingly. I tell that bitch to bring it on! “Okay let’s faint RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW DANIELLE!” “Oh you’re going to puke? Let’s f***ing puke everywhere! Ready! Set! Go!!! SYYYYKKKEEEEE!”

For months and months I worked with Suzane. She told me to do this and even though I knew it was true, the fear was stronger than the thought of CHALLENGING panic! I read all your success stories thinking “they were never ever as bad as me- no wonder they recovered!” I don’t believe that to be the truth at all anymore. My life was stripped from me, and I thought would never be found. I’ll be honest, 6 months ago I wrote a suicide note to my now, husband. I tried explaining that I didn’t actually want to die, but the fear of living was just as scary as dying, but dying seemed more peaceful than the hell I was going through. NOBODY understood.

I was alone and I knew I had two choices. Medication- or death. I needed more help than I could give myself. I cried on the floor for THREE days panicking 24-7. Thinking this pill and its side effects would make me throw up, or do something I was terrified of. Even now 6 months later, I take my meds with food even though it’s not required. I was so deep in sh*t, I couldn’t break hold of my mind, I couldn’t stop the thoughts. Now? I wake up smiling. I wake up EXCITED for what’s next. No, I can’t get on an airplane

Now? I wake up smiling. I wake up EXCITED for what’s next. No, I can’t get on an airplane but I AM living my life again. Dare saved me. Dare will save you if you let it. Sit and watch for a while, like we are so good at doing. Observe people’s stories and recoveries. Without Dare, I wouldn’t be where I am, have the strength to do what HAD to be done. I can go FOOD SHOPPING ALONE! With the scary lights and all! I can drive to my mom’s without my body feeling like it’s literally exploding inside me.

I smile when I go on longer drives, the drives I couldn’t do and swore I wouldn’t ever do again. I sobbed with her for months and months. PLEASE just TRY! Please trust these people, and LISTEN! Save your own life! If I can do this, you CAN!!!! I promise!

19 replies on “I’m trapped in this fear, in my mind or a body that’s not mine.

  • Dori Annoni

    I feel like I was reading my story that somebody else had written. I have been suffering since 2010. Until I read Barry’s book! It took baby steps for sure. I too couldnt leave my house, barely got dressed. I sat home alone while my husband was at work scared out of my mind of being alone. Always thinking about the next attack. After reading the book I started working the program and slowly things started to improve. Im now back to work, go shopping by myself etc. I still have setbacks and I still have struggles, but now I can handle them better than I ever could. I flew in for the first time by myself last year, after eight years. Until I got involved with DARE, I thought I was the only one going through this, countless doctors etc. after reading the book I realized I was not alone, it gave me comfort knowing others were struggling as I was and that this was real. Now when I see cars on the side of the road, I think oh, maybe they’re having a panic attack like I used to and my sympathetic heart goes out to them. As it was to A point that I couldn’t drive By myself anywhere. The struggles are real and not everyone understands it, that you’re mine takes over your body your thoughts you’re consumed with it. Thanks to Barry, I’m getting my life back!

  • Erin Scott

    As I’m reading this I’m sitting here, wrapped up in my blanket bawling. The woman you described is me. I don’t know how I got here.. but here I am. I dont drive, if I do I feel l feel like I’m going to throw up or pass out. Im scared to take my medication, I truly feel alone.
    I have been listening to the dare Auido book. I think I’m on about the third round. I’m waiting for it to click. After reading your story I am hopeful.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Amjad Al Alawi

    Passage 1

    I totally understand the first part as it happens to me frequently but I’m moving forward but ir’s difficult

  • Sally

    Sat in the pub, in the corner – trying to stay here and not run back home where I want to be, safe in my own 4 walls. Reading this made me cry but gave me hope too. Thank you

  • Eva

    Your courage , your strength, your love for yourself, your drive, your journey, your determination, your will, your heart,……you’re f***ing inspiring, couragous hero :-)!! I will print this as my inspiration! thank you! 🙂

  • Sammie

    Wow so powerful, I think we all believed we were worse than everyone else and now we are free like everyone else who has truly Dared to heal , I loved reading your story but I’m sitting here crying as it’s so honest and brings back the pain and sadness anxiety and panic brings , **** you anxiety ! We are fighting back ! ?

  • Mim

    tears….I relate so well that dying was better than living in this hell I am in nad have been for too many years. It is only my kids that keep me alive. I’m so happy you are happy and on the way to complete and total recovery and thank you for sharing xx

  • Confused

    Very confused what Im reading says everyone finally took there meds. So basically this program doesn’t work? What works is taking medication that kicks in. I thought this program would give me hope that I could get my life back without meds that have horrible horrible side effects. But everyone says oh I can take my medication now.

  • Chris

    I have had anxiety for 9 years and feel hopeless a lot of the time. After reading this, omg I’m really not alone. I need to read dare. Thank you

  • Jay F Mathews

    I dont have addiction. I do have horrible anxiety, I have had it as long as i can remember. I left my family, i dont really know why. I felt trapped. Now in another relationship, i am trapped in again. ???? I can’t just walk away.

  • Dima

    I have been struggling for 2 years now… Driving is a mission… I too miss the person I used to be… The physical pain is unbearable… Taking one day at a time

  • Minmin

    I was lucky enough to find this book just 3 moths after I got GAD…. It was severe…. I thought I would never get out of ot…. Now I think about it I feel I was out of sense…. It’s been 7 months now onto my recovery journey and I believe I am 85-90% recovered now…. I could call it a 100% but I won’t becoz I do stress out sometimes but I can handle that a lot better now… DARE response does work…. It worked for me…. All thanks to Barry ?

  • Martin Kelly

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I can relate to so much of it. I thought I was on my own but I see its not true.M

  • Mona Karlsen

    Your story gives me so much hope Danielle. I have felt so trapped in my own mind as well. I feel this could be me. I think you are doing so well. i just collapsed in 20011 at work. I could hardly breathe, I had to go to the doctor. I did not understand anything. I was working at school and I had been working all year with a young boy that was 10 years old. When i first met him he lay under a chair unable to move. He was really bothered of panic attacks. After a year when i had helped him, he made friends, relaxed more. He could take care of his little sister for the first time in his life. He never again that year was laying under a chair or a table all alone. This boy was a schoolmaster student young at age and eventually managed to socialize with others, I loved my work. The Irony in this is now it is me who are bothered by panic attacks and social anxiety. I have been hospitalized 3 times, first time in 2011 and last time in 2016 . I have been so scared. Before i started on this program i had been laying on the couch for a month unable to do anything. I had strong side effects from the medicine i went on.For a week ago I found the program on internet, I got it through Heart of Gold who is my shaman friend. He had a friend again who had heard about the Panic Away program. Now I’m optimistic I have started on the program finished my medicine I have worked with the program every single day. This weekend I have cleaned my house and my anxiety attacks are almost gone. I notice the discomfort of not taking any medicine , but I am so much better. Thank you for sharing your story’s with me.

  • April

    This is an amazing testimony! I feel like I’m going to look like this for the rest my life. This is the only life I know. Every day I struggle every minute every hour every second I struggle. Your testimony gives me hope. I want to be Sharing my testimony when I’m fully recovered. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Autumn

    Danielle, your story has really inspired me. I’m sitting here crying. You are so amazing and you are so brave. I’ve been battling my anxiety the past 7 years, and when it initially started it felt exactly like what you described. I haven’t ever truly dealt with it, and now in the midst of a global pandemic I am forced to face it. I just started reading DARE. I am scared. I’m scared to challenge my anxiety and panic to come on stronger. Anxiety has been such a huge part of myself and my fear for 7 years straight. Reading your story gives me hope that I can tell that bitch to GIVE ME ALL SHE’S GOT.

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