If you have anxiety, ask yourself that question. Seriously, what are you doing on a DAILY BASIS to over-come anxiety? Not cope with it; DEFEAT it. Because from what I see and hear all across social media, is people complaining about their anxiety. Or retweeting these anonymous anxiety accounts which seem to be set up solely to message how shit it feels to live with anxiety 100 times a day. Or at the other end of the spectrum, people being incredibly positive and sharing inspirational quotes every 10 minutes. Or trying a million and one different techniques to cope with anxiety when it gets particularly bad. That’s all very commendable. And yes, it’s fine to vent every now and then and feel that people out there do empathise with what you’re going through. But is it actually doing anything to eradicate your anxiety FOREVER?
Instead of doing those things, what if you were to spend that time actually working towards crushing your anxiety so that you never even had to bother with breathing techniques? What if instead of being pessimistic about your anxiety, you took ACTION to get rid of it?
I’m constantly amazed by how many people with anxiety are seemingly just coping with it, as if that’s the best they can ever hope for. Let me tell you now; IT’S NOT!
If I sound a little harsh, well that’s because I want to see you get better. I’m saddened that so many people are suffering when the solutions to anxiety are out there. But it also infuriates me that people have seemingly been brainwashed into thinking that anxiety is a life-long illness; something in the genes that you just have to make-do with the best you can. If it was, then I wouldn’t be here now telling you that there’s more you can be doing. I’d probably be fucking dead, in all honesty!
YOU’VE GOT IT WAY EASIER NOW!
I went through hell TWICE with anxiety. You can read my full story of how I also defeated it TWICE, by downloading my free PDF. The first time was 10 years ago. It may as well have been 100 years ago because the difference between what was available in terms of help, support, treatment and awareness makes 2007 seem like the stone age! The truth is that mental illness is still a relatively new medical field. No-one really knows what it is or the intricacies of it. That’s why I always say:
“There’s no way you can be certain your illness is hereditary or that it is something you’ll have for life, so therefore, why take that viewpoint? Why take the most negative, pessimistic side?”
I had no friends close enough to help me out. I had no family support because I never told anyone about what I was going through. The first time with anxiety, I had no internet access. And even if it was available back then, there would have been almost nothing in the way of information. Mental illnesses were still taboo. There wasn’t the open discussion we have now. You may think things are still bad in terms of mental health awareness but let me tell you, compared to ten years ago, it’s fucking UTOPIA!
So taking all that into account, plus the fact I had no idea what was wrong with me, had not been diagnosed with anything as I’d not been to a doctor and was basically terrified of being in public so was alone for much of the time, I don’t think anyone can say they were in a much worse position than me. I literally had NO-ONE to turn to;
I couldn’t even have the pleasure of venting online by retweeting a meme!
Look, I’m not trying to turn this into a “who has the most fucked-up mental illness?” contest. I’m sure some of you would top me on that! And some of you WILL be as isolated as I was. But just know that I was suicidal the second time and you really can’t go any lower than that. The next step is the mortuary! So I don’t care what illness you have, if you reach the stage where you are seriously planning your own death (train, if you must know!) you are on a par with every other poor sucker on the planet who feels the same. You cannot be any worse off. Doesn’t matter what the external reason is. What’s in your head will be pretty much the same.
“Tim, why are you telling us this morbid shit!?”
It’s because I want to give you a good fucking boot up the arse! In terms of mental illness, we are living in the best possible period in history to have it! Help is all over the place. Yes, stigma needs to be reduced. Yes, it’s not on a par with physical health. Yes, we have to keep fighting to raise awareness.
But I would say the biggest awareness needs to come from those who HAVE anxiety.
They need to be aware that the treatment is already out there to help them. Aware that it CAN be totally and completely eradicated. But most importantly, aware that you have to take ACTION for that to happen. For many, it’s gonna mean hard work on a daily basis. Possibly for years. But from what I see and hear, people are not doing that. I just don’t get it. This is your LIFE we are talking about. If something that bad, that serious is affecting your health, it should be an absolute priority focus EVERY DAY. You should be working on eradicating it, not coping with it. So look in the mirror and be totally honest. Now that you know from me, that it totally can be destroyed:
“What are you going to do EVERY DAY, to eradicate and crush anxiety?”
I’M ON YOUR SIDE FOLKS!!
Please try not to read negatively into what I’m saying. Listen, I had anxiety for over 20 years, you can’t fool me! I know that for some of you, your demons will be telling you that I’m a bloke who isn’t being very nice about your disorder and needs to be more gentle. But there’s no blame being apportioned here. I feel your pain and I want it to end.
I love you because you’re a human being who doesn’t deserve the rotten luck that’s been bestowed upon you, through no fault of your own. But most of all, I want you to experience what I’ve experienced, which is a feeling so incredible that I’m welling up right now just thinking about it.
That feeling of lightness. The weight completely lifted. That feeling of divine freedom. That feeling that you can do anything you want with your life. It took me 20 years to feel like that. To escape the prison cell I was chained up in. To feel normal. And here’s the thing: you will probably right now, just wish that you felt normal. That’s all you want. But when you feel that concrete block rise and the full beauty of being alive first comes to you, you won’t want to just settle for normal.
I guarantee that you’ll want to make up for those lost years and that means a normal life will almost certainly not be good enough. You’ll want an EXTRAORDINARY life. Where you take risks and have adventures and be spontaneous and explore the world and go for your dreams.
That’s what I want. That’s what this blog is going to be all about (I hope!). But you won’t experience all of that if you don’t believe you can crush anxiety and then take the consistent action to do so. I have honestly never done anything to “cope” with my anxiety. I have no tips to give! Because all I did was find ways of ERADICATING it. Because I believed I could. And I did.
By all means, read other blogs and watch videos made by people with anxiety. There are loads out there (many on my blogroll, so check them out!) who are fucking awesome and will give great tips on coping with anxiety and will allow you to empathise and not feel so alone. But I’m not gonna be one of them. I’m here to show you, to TELL you, that those are mere temporary steps. They’re not going to be part of your life forever. I’m going to show you what life SHOULD be all about. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
And the same goes for anyone reading this who is down on life right now. Who wants something bigger, bolder, brighter. I’ve been there before. I had a terrific life. Anxiety (and an angry, psychotic, wife-beater!) took that away from me. I’m fully recovered now. But I have to start the rebuilding process.
I’m strong mentally but my life is in tatters. So I need your support. In return, I hope to show you how you can get that amazing, sexy life that you want.
Please leave a comment, I want to hear from you, to connect to others. None of us can go through this journey alone. That includes me! I’ve got a ton more posts ready to go, so subscribe now and you can say you were there when Timothy Phoenix was just a nobody, trying to kick everyone’s butt into gear but falling on deaf ears. But you’re a soldier! You put yourself up for conscription before anyone else – imagine how good that’s gonna feel 😉
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