If you are here visiting The Worry Games, then, like me, you probably have an anxiety disorder that is serious enough to interfere with the quality of your day-to-day life.
And if that is the case, there is something I want you to know. If you only take this one bit of information away from this blog, I will consider it a success. Even if you never come back and read another page or another blog post, please know and remember this one very, very, important thing:
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. YOU ARE STILL “YOU”. YOU ARE JUST MENTALLY EXHAUSTED, STRESSED OUT, AND LIVING WITH SOME BAD THINKING HABITS. ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN BE CORRECTED.
I mean no disrespect to the truly mentally ill when I use the word “crazy”. It is simply a word that frequently pops into the mind of those of us with anxiety disorders because the way we are feeling seems so “undefinable” and out of control. Many times you may have wondered if you are going crazy, but you aren’t. You probably feel like you aren’t in your right mind half the time, but you are. You might fear having a “nervous breakdown” and being carted off to a place called “Shady Acres” and put in a padded room, but you won’t be. You might feel like there is something wrong with your brain – that it doesn’t work as well as everybody else’s – but it does.
The whole point of The Worry Games is to let all of my fellow anxiety “sufferers” know that WE ARE NOT LOSING OUR MINDS. Our brains are not sick. In fact, our brains work pretty darn well and I would go so far as to say that they work even BETTER than the average person’s brain.
20 years ago, I had anxiety symptoms as bad as anybody could have them.
I had daily panic attacks. I had horrible intrusive thoughts about some bad, bad things that I was too afraid to tell anybody about because I thought they would have me locked up. I have lived with compulsive worry, health phobias, choking phobias, and constant fear over the safety of my children. I lost my ability to drive, to go to the grocery store, and to go out with friends. Anxiety literally ran my life and it was HELL. I truly believed that one day I was just going to go “crazy”……if I wasn’t already.
But you know what? I don’t live that way anymore.
I got my life back and now I know that I wasn’t crazy and I am not crazy and I am never going to be crazy. (Well, I have 5 kids, so I can’t say I won’t go crazy someday but if I do, it won’t be from anxiety. ) But that is what I want you all to know as well. You aren’t sick. There is a logical explanation for every single anxiety symptom you are having, and every one of those symptoms can be controlled, no matter how bizarre or strange you might think they are.
Through this blog, I want to show all of you…..all of you who I consider to be “my people”….the people who truly get me and who are like me and who understand what goes in my head the way nobody else possibly could…I want to help all of you get to the point that I am at today.
I want to help you sort out all this crap that is going on in your head and help you figure out why you have anxiety and what you can do to make it better and how to feel like you are in control of your life again. And also, just as importantly, I want to give you a little glimpse into my life today and show you how a person can have an anxiety disorder, raise children, be happy, and feel “normal” and in control.
Well.…most of the time anyway.
Please click on the page links at the top of the page, to get you started on your journey to a new you.
These pages are where I discuss my beliefs about anxiety, and the information you find there is the foundation of the anxiety recovery method that I used to get my life back.
I cannot guarantee that the advice I give will work for you because like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. And there is also the chance that my particular beliefs about anxiety just may not “click” with what you believe about anxiety.
I don’t expect, nor do I want, anybody to just simply believe what I am saying about anxiety because I happen to be writing a blog about it. And if you don’t believe in what I am saying, I highly recommend you keep looking until you find that anxiety information and advice that DOES work for you. Never give up because there is an answer for everybody – you just have to find YOUR answer. But if you are reading through this blog and it makes sense to you, and it gives you even a little bit more hope than you had before, then stick with me because I think there is a good chance that we can get your worry and anxiety under control.
The reason I was so successful with my recovery “philosophy” is because I believe in it 100%. It took a very long time and a lot of introspection and learning and talking to other anxiety “sufferers” to come up with my ideas and beliefs about anxiety.
Trust is not an easy thing for me to come by, but I trust what I have learned over the last 20 years. I trust what makes sense to me. And that trust in everything I have learned is what has gotten me through a thousand moments when I wanted to give up and succumb to my fear.
When my anxiety disorder first erupted 20 years ago, my life blew up into a thousand pieces.
Getting my life back was like solving a jigsaw puzzle one piece at a time. Only I didn’t know where the pieces were. I had to search for them. And every idea and every bit of information that I share with you here, is one of the pieces that I found.
Eventually they all started fitting into place and my life slowly started coming back together, and I honestly believe these very same ideas will work for almost everybody with anxiety, IF they believe in them. That is my hope, anyway.
Some exceptions would be for people who have been diagnosed with Clinical Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or people whose anxiety is caused mainly by hormonal or other medical issues.
In those cases, I firmly believe that a medical professional is needed to give a proper recovery plan and this is why I strongly recommend that anybody who suspects they may have an anxiety disorder, be diagnosed by a doctor or mental health professional, first and foremost, so that it can be determined if there is a cause related to past trauma or some other medical condition or diagnosis. And additionally, regardless of the cause of your anxiety or whether it co-exists with another diagnosis, I feel it is always best to start any treatment plan with a professional’s opinion and then work from there.
But if you are dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Worry, or Panic Disorder that is unrelated to a medical condition or past trauma, and you are still trying to solve the anxiety puzzle, I would love to try to help you! I want to share with you the best of what I have learned and figured out over the years and phrase it in a way that is less “clinical” and easier to relate to. I want to take the “scary” out of anxiety and make it friendly and comfortable to read about and talk about.
But there is more….
My blog entries will consist of my experiences as a person living with anxiety. I am more than able to laugh at myself and some of the situations I find myself in and I would love to share them with you all so that you can see how its okay to laugh at yourself too, and just be the wonderfully unique and “quirky” person that you are.
I will also recommend some great anxiety books, related websites, and my favorite “comfort products” to you, and talk about a variety of anxiety related topics such as advice on how to worry less, become a more positive thinker, relaxation exercises, ways to manage your anxiety symptoms, and how to stop yourself from panicking when you feel a spiral coming on.
I am blunt, and I tell it like it is, and I do not leave any room for self-pity or “victim” talk.
You are not a victim. You are a strong person who can handle anything. I am here to help you, but always in a way that teaches you how to help yourself, because YOU are the only person who can turn this around. Nobody can do it for you.
I believe that all of us with GAD and Panic Disorder have more power and control than we give ourselves credit for. I believe that we all play a role in the development of our own disorders and that it is important to take responsibility for that role and “own our anxiety”. I believe that we all have control over our behavioral and thinking choices, despite having GAD and/or Panic Disorder, and that we need to spend a lot of time looking inside ourselves to see exactly how our choices are allowing our disorder(s) to flourish.
Many people living with anxiety have very strong opinions and/or are sensitive about the subject and take it very personally, especially when it comes to the matters I mentioned in the previous paragraph.
That is understandable….anxiety disorders are about as personal as it gets.
However, my blog may come across as offensive to those who believe their disorder is strictly a medical issue that is out of their control, or who believe they aren’t in control of their reactions, behaviors or choices. So please keep that in mind before clicking on any of my posts or pages because I would hate for anybody to leave feeling offended.
This is not a “medical blog”. In fact my blog has nothing to do with anything medical, other than the topic of the “fight or flight” response. This blog is strictly about self-improvement and your emotional health.
If you are looking for a “professional” blog, believe me….this isn’t it! I have a casual writing style and sometimes use my kids for analogies and stories. I have five of them who I spend every waking minute of my life with , so I don’t have a whole lot else to draw from.
I respect everybody’s choices and beliefs when it comes to anxiety.
I will never tell somebody they are “wrong” for believing what they believe is the cause of their own GAD or Panic Disorder.
The truth is that there is no concrete evidence that can 100% identify the cause.
All anybody can do is give you their opinions. Doctors and therapists give you the opinions of their years of study and medical research. Anxiety bloggers and coaches such as myself will give you their opinions based upon years of personal experience living with anxiety.
It is up to you to familiarize yourself with all of these various opinions that are out there so that you can decide what makes the most sense to YOU about your own anxiety.
I hope that you decide to keep an open mind and give my ideas about anxiety some real consideration.
It is my belief that GAD and Panic Disorder do not stem from some type of mental illness or great mysterious “force”. I don’t believe that GAD and Panic Disorder are serious conditions at all. They just FEEL very serious, and those feelings happen to be louder than you are right now.
Now, aside from all that, my blog entries will focus on showing you how to look at anxiety in an entirely new light and they will expand on the information that you read about in the anxiety information pages.
For more information on my history with anxiety, check out my video Introduction to The Worry Games.
To kick off anxiety recovery, I think its best to go with the basics, so I recommend starting your reading with Part 1: The Truth About Anxiety.
Good luck to you and stay strong. You ARE going to be okay. No matter how bad your anxiety is, this is totally do-able.