Social, generalised and post-traumatic anxiety disorder
Continuing from part 1, this is an analysis of the second half of my day trip to London, comparing how I think and act as someone without anxiety, to how I was when I had an anxiety disorder.
As we approach the ticket barriers on mass, most passengers are either confused, tentative or follow each other like sheep to one of the barriers. They don’t want to go first. Or they don’t know which barrier to go through so blindly follow someone they think knows better (not realising they are just as clueless!).
Today I had to venture into London for a meeting. Rewind 2 years ago to when I still had post traumatic anxiety and this meeting would have been a nightmare – that’s if I had even managed to get out of the house! Of course, it would never have happened anyway, as I had no job, no contacts, no motivation and no reason for a meeting of any sort, other than to get my meds from the doctor!
But I did wonder; how have my thought processes changed since then? This was my first time going back to London since I was assaulted years ago. How would the “new” anxiety-free Tim, think and act when confronted with the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most crowded cities? I thought it would be interesting to compare my new thought processes with my old ones. The results were startling….
I’ve spoken with many people who have suffered with anxiety and depression and have come to the conclusion that actually, many of them don’t want to overcome it. I know this is a controversial thing to say but I also know that this phenomenon of not wanting to rid yourself of the pain or negativity in your life, despite the fact it’s the cause of most of your problems, is a recognised one in psychology. Eckhart Tolle speaks of this in The Power of Now:
“….you may encounter intense inner resistance to dis-identifying from your pain. This will be the case particularly if you have lived closely identified with your emotional pain….for most of your life and the whole or a large part of your sense of self is invested in it. What this means is that you have made an unhappy self out of your pain…. and believe that this mind-made fiction is who you are. In that case, unconscious fear of losing your identity will create strong resistance to any dis-identification.
In other words, you would rather be in pain……..than take a leap into the unknown and risk losing the familiar unhappy self. If this applies to you, observe the resistance within yourself. Observe the attachment to your pain. Be very alert. Observe the peculiar pleasure you derive from being unhappy. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it. The resistance will cease if you make it conscious.”
Today, as I write, is World Suicide Prevention Day. There seems to be a special #day for everything these days but if there’s one subject that truly deserves to be highlighted for its own 24 hours, it is this one.
Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2017
- 6,188 suicides were registered in the UK
- The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 40–44
- Rates have increased in the UK (by 3.8%) since 2014
- In the UK, female suicide rates are at their highest in a decade.
- Male rates remain consistently higher than female suicide rates – around 3 times higher
Less than 5 years ago, I was very close to becoming just another number on those statistics. As it is Suicide Prevention Day, I feel it is my duty to speak out for the very first time in life, about how I managed to stay alive.
This is the man who I was totally obsessed with almost every day for an entire YEAR. I was enthralled by the wisdom spewed forth from this charismatic young Brit. Before, I had always thought YouTube was just full of clips of cats on skateboards, music videos and immature humour for teens. I had no idea it was a treasure trove of audio books, useful how-to videos and most fascinatingly, vlogs. Everyday people sharing their knowledge.
I keep hearing from people that they can’t help what they are thinking. That it’s not their fault they can’t be in a happy place. That they can’t just choose to be positive. But is any of that true? Can we choose our thoughts? Speaking as someone who had anxiety and overcame anxiety I feel I’m in a reasonable position to make an unbiased judgement. My initial opinion would be that no, we can’t choose our thoughts. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to be positive. It doesn’t mean you can’t choose to at least try to move towards being happier. Let me explain!
Here’s what you need to understand about getting what you want using the law of attraction. It’s not about whether it MIGHT happen. It’s not about whether it COULD happen. It’s not even about whether it WILL happen. You have to act as though it HAS happened! The only way to do this is to FAKE it. Remember; your subconscious mind (which controls 95-99% of what you do) can’t distinguish between a lie and the truth. It’s totally unbiased – it takes everything as fact. So when you focus on debt and illness and worry, that’s reinforcing this reality to your subconscious mind, whether you have those problems or not. When you visualise yourself surrounded by abundance, that’s what your subconscious sees as the NOW, real-time, the truth.
We live in an age where it’s never been easier to make money, become successful and do whatever we want with our lives. Most of you reading this will be living in a democratic (roughly), developed nation with freedom for its citizens and access to the internet and so there is no excuse for not being able to attain what you desire. If you read that and thought:
“You can’t say that, you don’t know me, you don’t know my circumstances, you don’t know how hard that is for me!”
then I urge you to watch the film “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring Will Smith.
Here’s the key thing I want people to take away from these three blog posts; it actually doesn’t matter what anxiety or depression is. All that matters is that you feel like shit and it’s wrecking your life. But the more you focus on labelling yourself as ill, sick, anxious, depressed, weak etc, the more you will continue to feel that way. That’s because you are building up the habit of negative thinking. Now this IS scientifically proven!