Through my own experience of creating a recovery, it is clear to me that anxiety is only a conditioning. I will share my full story at a later date (soon) but I cannot overstate the level of suffering I was living with due to anxiety disorders. I was a housebound agoraphobic for a period of time and I never thought that I would be able to live a life without suffering. Not only was I wrong, but I did it completely without medication. Actually, without any artificial means whatsoever. In a nutshell, all that I did to recover was to learn to manage my own thoughts and to change my response to my anxiety-driven thoughts.
There was a woman that I worked with for a period of time in my support group which had a great experience I will share with you. Her experience is quite easy to see how anxiety can seem to disappear;
This woman had a fear of going to larger stores, but on this day she had to complete her shopping. She had levels of anxiety all day in anticipation of going shopping. Once at the store, her anxiety continued to climb; the store was crowded and it was more than she could handle.
She gathered her stuff quickly and was waiting on line to check out, all the while her anxiety levels were escalating. It got to the point that she could no longer stay in the store, and she decided to abandon her cart and leave.
As she started to leave the cart, an old friend of hers appeared and as they greeted one another her anxiety disappeared. Vanished. Completely. Not only did she stay online and finish purchasing the items, but she stayed in the store for another 30 minutes talking to her friend. All the while with no anxiety at all.
Certainly, the anxiety eventually returned, it is not that she was instantly “cured”.
But the important thing here is to realize how the anxiety appeared and disappeared based on where this woman’s focus was. When she was withdrawn and focusing on her anxiety, she was suffering. However, when she was engaging with someone and her focus was not on her anxiety, there was no suffering.
I have had many experiences myself similar to this one; both increasing and decreasing my anxiety levels. And I have heard many stories like this from my clients over the years.
This is the basis of recovery; managing our thoughts and creating new conditioning which allows us to ignore our anxious thoughts, and remain engaged with life in general.
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