When I tell people that I used to be so anxious I barely left the house, struggled to speak, hated myself and was constantly paranoid about what total strangers were thinking about me, every single person is shocked. That’s because today, people see me as outgoing, outspoken, sociable and unafraid to do whatever I want. When I tell them that it took me just 1 hour of hypnotherapy to change to the way I am today, they can’t believe it! Neither could I, to be fair! But it’s the 100%, cast-iron truth. My mission is to get other people to understand that there are ways to completely eradicate social and generalised anxiety that they may not even have considered, or thought that there was no way they could work. So here is my hypnotherapy story.
In non-spiritual terms, that means I try to keep the negativity dragons at bay!
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Some days, it can be really tough to batten down the hatches and stop getting burned by the flames.
Yesterday was such a day.
Most days, I just hustle. That gets me through the day without even having the time to dwell on the past, feel sorry about the present or worry about the future.
But sometimes, no matter how grateful I am just to be alive, just to be able to live in a free and democratic country, just to have food in my stomach, clean clothes on my back and a warm bed to sleep in, I lose that battle.
I don’t lose the war.
I’ll never lose the war and that’s what’s crucial. I am too mentally strong to ever lose that war again.
But sometimes, the smoke from the dragon’s flames chokes me. Causes me to drop to my knees in weakness for a few hours.
For the past few years, since I struggled with post-traumatic anxiety, I have not been honest with myself. I’ve not been aligned with my true passions, loves or dreams, especially when it comes to work.
I’m a self-employed, work from home, financial trader. I’m self-taught and began learning during my second bout of anxiety, purely because it was something I didn’t have to leave the house to make money from!
My dream was always to make it my sole source of income but those goals have changed since my spiritual awakening of 2016. I finally admitted to myself that it was never going to fulfil me because it’s not something I love.
At times, I would say I even hated it.
However, I feel as though I have come so far with it, I can’t give up. And I need to pay the bills somehow. But I refuse to settle for second best now.
I believe we should all be trying to do work that we love.
In this internet era, where the whole world is our market and almost any passion you can think of can be turned into a source of income, there is no excuse for any of us to be doing something for 8+ hours a day that we don’t enjoy.
So it’s time I started moving towards adding another income source, something that will fulfill me.
As I mentioned in part 2, following my recovery from social anxiety, everything seemed to be going right for me.
I could do no wrong in almost every area of my life; relationships, money, health, career, socially, adventure. Even when something out of my control lead a to a negative, every single time, it lead directly onto something positive and often beyond my wildest expectations!
At the pinnacle of this high-life, I was backpacking through Asia and The Pacific by myself – something the anxious me would never have dared to do!
Little Timmy Phoenix was at the Taj Mahal! Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge! Riding camels and elephants! Climbing glaciers and Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings! Sitting on a totally secluded beach on a Pacific Island on Christmas Day! This was never in the plan!
So how on Earth, when everything was going so perfectly, did I end up having my left eye socket shattered, battered down a flight of stairs, head sliced open at the rear and running for my life following an unprovoked attack from a deranged man I had never even met before?
Today I’m taking a probably-not-that-well-earned break and letting the wonderful Kelly, otherwise known as Anxious Lass (from the lifestyle blog centred around mental health, of the same name), to do the work for me!
She’s written a great piece about her own struggles with anxiety and how she overcame them to become not-so-anxious lass. Once again, we see the same common themes among everyone who overcomes an anxiety disorder:
Get help and make the choice to eradicate it
Get off medication
Put in the work to get rid of it
Right, that’s enough from me. Take it away Kelly!
The Journey of Overcoming Social Anxiety
Being diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder is a tricky business. On the one hand, my diagnosis at 14 years of age helped me feel less “weird”, I finally had an answer to what was causing me so much pain and distress and it was a legitimate medical thing but on the other hand I felt like I’d just ran a marathon only to find a mountain to climb at the end of my route, instead of a finishing line and a medal.
I actually never intended to write that post. It was about the question “What do I want from life?” and kind of got derailed into a rant about how lonely I am!
I was frustrated because I see people complaining about their situation when they still at least have support and love in their life which I would kill for – certainly, it would have helped massively when I had anxiety.
But sometimes, you have to go with your heart.
Writing for me, is as much a cathartic process as it is to inform or to create. I want to help others; those with anxiety in particular but also anyone who is at rock-bottom or in a rut.
I now realise I have a lot of stuff I need to get off my chest! Things that I’ve never opened up to anyone else about. Being lonely is one of them. It wasn’t easy for me to write that post because, more than anything, it’s embarrassing to admit you have no close friends.
I think part of me also, if I’m honest, felt a little anger and jealousy.
After crushing anxiety but now having to deal with the fallout mess it inflicted upon my life, I came across Napoleon Hill’s legendary “Think and Grow Rich” and BANG!!
My awakening had truly begun when Mr. Hill made me realise that my life, my destiny, my future was entirely in MY OWN HANDS.
No blame to place on anyone else.
Not the bat-shit crazy man who assaulted me.
Not the anxiety which sent my mind and body into shock-waves.
Not my age, race, lack of money.
That gave me an immense feeling of power that I’d never experienced before. The idea that anyone can achieve almost anything if they simply think in the correct manner, remains the best piece of advice I have ever read.
Understanding what thoughts are and the power they have, was crucial; who’d have thought it!! (see what I did there?).
What comes to mind when you hear the term “spiritual awakening”?
Up till a year ago, I would’ve been one of those people who sneered at it. Only new-age weirdos, filthy hippies, American religious nuts and con-artist “psychics” would be into all that crap, right?!
But after 12 months that have completely turned almost everything I understood about life upside-down, I can now say that I too, have experienced an awakening! And I found out that millions of people worldwide are going through the same thing in rapidly increasing numbers.
But it wasn’t anything like I’d thought it would be.
My own awakening involved me opening my eyes and “waking up” to a wider source of knowledge and information. Things I’d either never bothered to research, had not been easily available or I’d just been ignorant about.
So although there are elements of spirituality about my awakening (in terms of my beliefs about life, death and “god”), that’s only a small part of the awakening. But what I have learned has honestly blown my mind!
It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s changed my life forever.
Following my assault a few years ago, I lost everything I had built up after recovering from social anxiety. Now, after fighting back from the anxiety abyss a second time, I am ready to rebuild again.
But first of all, I had to ask myself an important question. One which most people surprisingly don’t know the answer to;
“What do I want from life?”
Think about it.
I am willing to bet most of you will struggle to answer that. It’s such a huge question though and if you can answer it, you’ll be well on your way to actually creating that life. If you can’t answer it, then how can you possibly create a life you truly desire?
Most people though, will give a vague answer like
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to be successful.”
“I want to be rich.”
In terms of creating your deam life, this isn’t specific enough. You need to be a bit more precise, otherwise, where would you even start? What is it that will make you happy or successful? How are you going to become rich?
It took me a long while to figure out my own answer – but here it is: