Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Doing 'what we fear and hate to do'

Last week I traveled to England for work. It was my longest flight, with about seven hours in the air between New York and London. I had never been on a larger plane (a 767), and I had never traveled outside of the United States (except for road trips to Canada).

I was nervous before leaving--not only because of the flight, but I would be in a new country. I excused instead of accused myself, recognizing that any person would be anxious in such a situation. Instead of working myself up, I worked the situation out by conducting online research about what to expect when traveling to the UK. I acknowledged that anticipation is often worse than realization.

There were some uncomfortable moments during my travels, but by not allowing my fears to take control I was able to get through the experience--and even enjoy my time there. I endorsed myself for challenging myself and tackling my uncomfortable symptoms.

When nervous people are faced with a new or unexpected event, our usual reaction is to respond that "I can't do that" or "I won't do that." Yet a person in Recovery recognizes that obligations need to come before inclinations--in my case, traveling internationally when I'd prefer not to because I would be uncomfortable. And when we do things that we "fear and hate to do," we can be surprised and delighted about how much we can do, even when we are anxious.

35 comments:

Jeff Harmsen said...

Hi Doug,
Congratulations on a successful trip! I've been struggling with agoraphobia for 25 years. For about a year now, however, I've made great progress with mindful meditation. During this focussing technique, I've come up with 180 tenets that help me master a sense of calm. Funny thing is many of the things I've realized are similar to what's found on your blog. Perhaps we're on a similar path. One thing that helps me get by is writing and poetry. If you have a minute, check out my blog.
Keep up the good work, I'll keep in touch with your posts.
Jeff Harmsen

Jim Neidert said...

Your article is truly informative. Thanks for sharing it.

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Dr Loona said...

I am suffering from anxiety and it is hard explain the symptoms. I feel like I'm so nervous and scared over nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I hope you are all feeling better.

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It took some time to build up in my system but once it did, it significantly reduced my anxiety symptoms and I was able to function again. I highly recommend for anyone seeking a natural remedy to reduce anxiety.

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Jess said...

Hi there!

My name is Jess and I’m a journalist and podcast producer at BreakThru Radio, a multi-media platform covering independent news. One of the podcasts I host is called Biology of the Blog and revolves around interviewing one awesome blogger (such as yourself!) every week on the show. I’m wondering if you might be willing to come on air as a guest speaker in the next couple weeks and chat about I am Living With Anxiety?

The interview is not done live (don’t worry), so I can edit out any verbal pauses. I’ve found the best medium is Skype (mine) to phone (yours), and can give you a call from our studio.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please send me a reply to Jessicaayn@gmail.com, along with some idea of availability over the next week or so and we can figure out more details.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration!

Warmly,


Jess

cm grue said...

Congratulations!!! I'm new to blogger and I just wanted to check out some new blogs, I find myself extremely anxious whenever I have to travel. I like your idea of researching what to expect when arriving in a new place! I've been starting to become a bit agrophobic and I have a trio coming up and I will definitely use some of your tips!
Thanks!

Jeff Harmsen said...

Hi cm Grue,
Have you tried mindful meditation? After 25 years of struggling with agoraphobia, I've been experiencing breakthroughs. If you'd like to hear more about it, you can find my email address in my profile.
Welcome to blogging,
Jeff

Henreeta Cadmeen said...

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder described by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive ritualized behaviors and My Natural Therapy for OCD will introduce you to several alternative medicine remedies

Jeff Harmsen said...

Hi Henreeta, I read that the medicinal ingredients in Naturalpath remedies is too small to have an effect (other than the placebo effect).

Jeff

Guntur Caksono said...

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Jim Neidert said...

Thanks for the post. Really such a nice post. It is very useful.
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Clair Bellarby said...

reading your posts is quite interesting and informative, i to have a blog about my anxiety. two quick questions. how do you stop your fears take control is ther any method in particular? and i currently live in the uk and was wondering how your trip went?

Peter said...

For me what you did was very brave . My daily commute to work is under 2 miles yet I'll shake and worry every night before getting too sleep thinking something bad will happen at work . It's nice to know some of us are learning to conquer our fears. Good luck for the future

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Whitney Hawkins said...

I love this post. As someone who runs a mental health blog, It's so great to hear an anxiety sufferer's perspective in their own words. I agree that it can be so liberating/invigorating to push yourself past boundaries, especially boundaries you thought you'd never cross. Traveling can be so difficult for many.

Super brave of you to share this with the world. If you ever want to check out ways to manage anxiety and stress feel free to check out my site www.stressfreewithwhitney.com. I'd love to collaborate in the future!

general manager said...

Stress and anxiety is really a bad thing,....I really want to know about "how to deal with stress",..

Elviira said...

I admire your courage! Long flights are not easy for anxious people. I remember myself traveling from Europe to the US and those 11 hours indeed went okay even I was scared to death for even thinking of traveling. I had some Valium with me but as far as I remember I didn't have to use it. Sometimes you just have to face your fears. You might get surprised: it's not that scary in the end, actually, you might even enjoying the thing!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, I suffered from anxiety from as long as I can remember. I understand the pain you all are going through of simple tasks in your daily lives being affected from the anxiety. Finally, I found something that worked! It is called Emotional Freedom Technique. Check it out on youtube where practitioners have guided videos of EFT anxiety or check out http://powerhealingllc.com to make an appointment! Wishing everyone well!

Lisa said...

Hello,

I have had anxiety for a very long time. I never used to talk about it with anyone. Now, being in my thirties. I am getting the help necessary. I have a show on blogtalkadio.com. On January 22, at 630pm, I will be discussing the topic. I think it's great to talk about anxiety. People do need to know that they are not alone. I would love it someone would like to be a guest of mine on the show. Or you can just listen.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lisatalksit

Anxiety disorder symptoms said...

Anxiety is big problem today, i don't know how, but i am trying to fight with this problem 3 years. The worst is when you have panic attack in the public place, i want to die then. Good luck and don't give up.

Anonymous said...

I went to my first Recovery Int. meeting and i think i have finally found a method to deal with my self-defeating thoughts. Great article and blog. keep on sharing!

Alex Neil said...

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Unknown said...

Anybody have Valium's? Email me de jour hawk@gmail

Laurie Norman said...

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Laurie Norman said...

Having been through reasonable anxiety for quite some period, which for a twelve month progressed into overwhelming extended generalized anxiety, I’m able to soundly assert that I took all the natural remedies for anxiety and endured all the actual physical signs and the signs of anxiety in this blog

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get medication said...

Living in anxiety is impossible for a man if it is for a long time. Stress and anxiety are only bearable if they are for a short period of time. People who suffer from stress and anxiety for a long period of time often end their life in suicide and deaths. This can be avoided if they are taken care of. They should be given special attention and doctors need to find the cause of their tensions and anxiety.

Dennis said...

Inspiring post. Love the inspirational feedback for anxiety sufferers. Here's a fantastic anxiety support podcast for anyone who needs the guidance now: https://goo.gl/gLyz2W

fahiamjfb said...


Some people who suffer from both depression and anxiety have chemical imbalances in their brains.
Anxiety depression disorder has recently emerged as a new type of disorder, but this does not mean there is not an effective treatment for the condition.
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Deborah Martin said...

You have done well to analyze things and isolate the fear to a corner, where it no longer has the same volume. Researching things is always a great way to limit the unknown and control anxiety.

imran said...


Over-the-counter drugs such as anti-inflammatories, cold/cough/decongestants - can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions.
As with any condition, anxiety attacks have causes and triggers.
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Austin Armstrong said...

Hi Doug, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us all! I struggle with anxiety as well and recently wrote a blog with a few tips that have worked for me on how to overcome it. I would love to hear your (or others) opinions on these methods! http://therapycable.com/blog/5-tips-for-how-to-overcome-anxiety.html

Cara said...

Doug,

I enjoyed reading your post because I react the same exact way. Because of the OCD within me from anxiety, I freak out if I go outside of my comfort zone or do something that is not on my schedule. During the Holidays, my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to New Orleans and I was super excited, but I was also terrified. I was scared because it is a new place, a new environment, and new people...a lot of people. But you know what? I am so happy I agreed to finally get out of my bubble and go because it was a fun time, and I enjoyed seeing a different culture. As hard as it was when it came to packing and actually driving to New Orleans, I kept doing what I could to only put positive thoughts in my head. I am looking forward into reading more of your posts!

Cara
cmdevenney@mix.wvu.edu
www.devenneycara.wordpress.com