May 2, 2019

Podcast 3 – My Turning Point

My name is Michael Valentine and I have anxiety disorders

Having grown up with anxiety disorders from when I was a young child – I have obviously had many experiences with anxiety and with panic.

But there is one occasion that really stands out to me – and was ultimately the turning point which motivated me to continuing looking for professional help.

You see my previous attempts at professional help failed miserably.  No one was able to help me overcome my anxiety – in many cases they didn’t understand me at all.  So I basically gave up on finding a cure and tried my best to exist with my anxiety.

So at one point I went for a vacation – just a long weekend which involved about a 5 hour drive each way. 

Even though I was a driving phobic and a bridge phobic – this particular drive I was actually able to do several times over the years.  Most of the road had plenty of rest areas which offered me comfort- but the worst part of the entire drive was the fact that I had to cross a bridge which was close to home.  I couldn’t go or return without crossing this particular bridge. 

At the beginning of the return drive home I began to wonder what the traffic would be like on the bridge when I got there.  It was a Sunday evening, and heavy traffic at this time was not unusual and could be expected.

Once my anxiety started at the beginning of the ride home – it built continually the entire ride until I got to the bridge itself.  Close to a 4 ½ hour drive I had higher than usual elevated levels of anxiety.  To put it nicely – the ride was a nightmare – complete torture all the way to the bridge.

The fear was “what if” there was traffic on the bridge?  What if traffic was moving slowly – and what if I got stuck on the bridge? 

These were very common thoughts for me that I would have often around driving in general – and even more specifically to driving over bridges. 

So even though most of the ride was a nightmare – it was not out of character for me to experience anxiety like I was – and my fear was very typical for that time of my life.

However, something very strange happened to me on that ride – something that I never experienced before – despite having high levels of anxiety for the entire ride to the bridge – when I finally got to the bridge my anxiety disappeared.

My worry and concern the entire time was based on conditions of the bridge – namely the traffic itself.  As I approached the bridge I saw there was very light traffic – and it all was moving very smoothly over the bridge. 

I suffered driving for about 4 ½ hours – only to get to the bridge and have my anxiety disappear almost immediately!  I was shocked – I was confused – I really had no idea what had happened to me at that moment.

The following morning I woke with a mission to find someone who could help me – someone who understood what was happening to me that could just explain what had happened to me the night before. 

And it was that morning that I first found the treatment center where I finally created recovery for myself.

And then went on to become a certified counselor specializing in anxiety and phobia recovery in the same program.

Since then I have worked with many clients that have experienced similar situations as mine.  Where their anxiety seems to be so predictable for so long – and then suddenly does something different that confuses them.

One of the things that I do in my video series is demystify anxiety disorders – I explain them in simple wording, simple terms, so that it is easy to understand what is happening to us. 

Between my own experiences since I was a young child – and the last 25+ years of working the recovery process – I have a full understanding of anxiety disorders and I share my knowledge in a way that is easy to use – and easy to implement in your own life.

For additional free information about my journey and the recovery process as a whole – you can go to my website – anxietypath.com – read my blog, get resources, join my community – all for free – and stay connected with me.

It’s a great place to get started working on your own recovery! 

Learn to go from FEAR to FEARLESS.

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