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lonesailor14 last won the day on February 12

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About lonesailor14

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  • Birthday 03/15/1984

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    Queensland, Australia
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    Fingerstyle guitar, neuroscience, fishing, boating, historical fiction, helping others.

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  1. So this week I've learned something! Accepting anxiety or "letting go" as I've described it before, is bloody hard if you can't accept the situation! To accept or let go, you have to think of what it is causing you anxiety and what will happen if your fears come true. For example, say someone gets anxious when they're out grocery shopping...they fear a panic attack occurring and that they may lose control of themselves and do something embarrassing in front of a heap of people. The apprehension of shopping causes anxiety. The anxiety rises towards panic. But what if the worst did happen? What if they screamed? Cried? Passed out in aisle 3? What if the symptoms becme so uncomfortable they had to leave thier shooping trolley and run from the store? There's a million reasons not to worry about any of that happening and with a bit of thought, the person could keep themselves calm enough to go through with it. They could rely on past evidence that none of it has ever happened before. Or that time they did panic, it wasn't that bad, nobody noticed and nothing embarrasaing happened. So what if you leave your trolley? You haven't paid for the stuff yet. If you did indeed pass out, cry or scream, a little faith in humanity goes a long way, people would stop to help you. So with a bit of thought, the person can eventually come to accept the situation and even if the worst happened, be able to face it. So they are able to let go of the apprehension and face the shop, face the fear and wait to see what happens. This is how I've let go and accepted anxiety before. Basically, it's no longer fighting the anxiety and be willing to accept what is thrown at you, even the worst possible scenario. Be willing to let the worst happen but give it your best shot up until that point. This week I discovered it was very hard to relax and let go because I was driving and the worst possible scenario was not acceptable to me. The niggling fear this week was shortness of breath that could lead to me crashing and dying and maybe killing someone else. I wasn't able to let go and relax because I wasn't willing to face the worst possible outcome. But in realising this is why I couldn't let go like I had at other times, I kind of found some sanity. I allowed myself to fear the worst possible outcome though reminded myself it wasn't a likely one. Instead what I did do was eat the elephant. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.So I took it one drive at a time. One corner at a time. I kept my mind in the now by realising "right now I am fine. Right now, I can breath. Right now I am driving and doing my job as always. There is no danger." Then I'd feel a tiny sensation like I needed to gasp for air. I didn't let my mind go from zero to a hundred. I gave it a second and realised I was still fine, took a gasp as that is what my body wanted to do (I was trying not to consciously control my breathing or interfere with it). I kept driving. I realised with each tiny sensation my brain went straight to panic mode but I wasn't giving it time to watch and see if there was indeed anything to worry about. I taught myself to watch and wait before panicking. And of course these sensations were nothing. Just me paying too much attention to myself. I decided even though the worst possible outcome was something I wasn't able to accept, I could wait until it was actually happening before panicking. If it did happen I gave myself permission to panic then, when it was real, but not before. I calmed down a lot then and of course the symptoms that caused it all in the first place calmed down too. I had many hours where I was back to normal. But every now and again the anxiety would take over my thoughts and try to trick me that this time it was real, this time I was gasping & this time I should pay attention, be apprehensions apprehensious and on gaurd. But it was lying. I cottoned on to it's wiley ways and nipped those thoughts in the bud with somw positive thinking and self confidence. It's been a long week at work. I'm glad I'm on days off now. Ugh😖 talk about struggling! Bloody anxiety! Just some thoughts I had in my head today I thought I should put down in writing.
  2. That's excellent news! Web sleuthing sounds like a good hobby to have. And now it's taking you places! I hope I get to see this doco. Glad your driving lessons are going well. I take my hat off to anyone who can drive in the UK. My friend drove me around when I was there. Your narrow streets and crazy traffic confused me! I guess you'd be used to it.
  3. You're kicking arse Gilly and that's awesome! Yes it is easily convinced by fantastical fears! I've never been a naturally positive person. Not that I'm naturally depressive, but the anxious thoughts are there out of habit after 5 or so years of having it so I guess this is my natural state. Though I know if I make an effort, I can make positivity my natural state eventually. It must be hard to juggle an actual medical problem like crohn's and anxiety. To decipher which is a crohns symptom and what is anxiety. Do you find this? Anniversaries are always tough. It's bound to play on your mind. You have every right to feel down and miss your mate but I must remind you how awesome you are. You probably thought you'd suffer badly on your own but look how far you've come. You're an amazingly strong woman, my favourite kind. I'm super proud and impressed at how you've managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and kept kicking goals. Don't let yourself forget this. You're amazing! Good luck with your driving lesson☺
  4. How's everyone going? I made a little break through today! I notice the voice in my head is very negative. Anxiety tends to zap my self confidence and I didn't even realise it. To meet me, you wouldn't think I lacked self confidence. I'm not afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger or speak up in a meeting at work in front of 50 people. I live an adventurous life and am outgoing. Yet inside my head...that's another story. The voice in there is what causes my anxiety! Anytime I think a symptom might be taking over, I add more anxiety. Then I focus too much on the symptom and make it worse. The voice in my head says things like "oh no this isn't good" or "I should call in sick" or "I'm losing it and going to do something embarrassing". It over reacts and in reality the situation isn't nearly as bad as it could be. My anxiety is tiny compared to what it used to be. My mind is freaking out like as if I'm having the worst panic attack ever or I'm about to but in reality I'm not even breathing heavy yet. I haven't had a bad panic attack in years and I find I have to remind myself of this all of the time! Anyway, those thoughts saying "I should call in sick" or "I'm going to lose it" are little voices I didn't even realise that are there all day ripping apart my confidence. I don't act on them. Well, sometimes I do take a sick day. But most of the time I know it's best to ignore them and face the day. Today I noticed them. Today I thought "hang on a minute!" I realised how I've been talking to myself. All day hearing things like "you can't do this" or "be careful" has made me anxious, on guard and well kind of a wimp! I know the best thing to do is to get out of my own way, get out of my head, think of something else or get busy so I don't listen to the thoughts or focus too much on the symptoms. As I've mentioned before, that's hard to do in a truck. There's nowhere to go & no way to get busy. So I try to think of other things. I've tried spelling big words in my head. Remember song lyrics. Remembering the few German words I learnt years ago or trying to think of as many Spanish words I know. I try to name songs starting with the letter "B". Anything to keep my mind busy, giving it something else to do rather than look for problems. But today I found a really good exercise. Rather than thinking of songs or words or spelling, I made my mind find all the positives I could. I also made it praise me over and over. I made myself think of all the awesome stuff I know how to do. I made it think of all the times I thought I couldn't do something but did. I made it think of all the different trucks I've been in and the panic attacks I've had in them and how I'm still bloody here making money and doing it because I didn't run away or give up! And I thought about how proud of myself I should be an am because of it. I thought about how just turning up to work is an achievment some days and I did it. I thought about how in the scheme of things, I'm a god damn warrior and I shouldn't be afraid of anything! Much like the line from Cool Runnings..."I'm a bad ass mother who won't take no crap off of nobody!!!" That includes not taking crap from myself and my thoughts. I had to keep my mind busy so I made it do something good. And it works well! I can make anxiety go away in many ways but this has to be my favourite. I know some days it's hard to fake positivity if you're just not feeling it, but today it worked and I recommend it to anyone. Try it. Think of the things you've done and can do and tell yourself that's an awesome thing. Do it over and over and over. I probably sound like Tony Robbins now haha! It's true. Being positive works. I think we with anxiety probably forget to see the good in ourselves. We spend a lot of time mentally beating ourselves up. The whole time we could be mentally talking ourselves up instead. If nothing else it will give your mind something else to do rather than think about anxiety all day. I'd love to hear some more stories of progress, I hope you're all doing well too☺
  5. Thanks Holls I'll check him out. I love audio books! But in the trucks we have two way radio's on and everyone talks all of the time! So it's hard to listen to a book and hear the radio if something important gets said. But most of the talking is about something irrelevant to me so I kind of just zone out unless they say my name or truck number. It is constant, all day jabbering! But I will definitely check out the anxiety guy, thanks for the tip.
  6. Hahaha you're so right Chris! I've been doing this too. I get myself calmed down and then feel fine. Then it's like feeling fine is an unbelievable thing so I check to make sure I really am fine. Then of course my brain latches on to any tiny thing that might not be normal and it starts all over again. 😖 I've learned to laugh at my anxious ways!
  7. Having anxiety is like living with 2 different people inside of your own head. One being your brain & the other...well...me, the old me. The me that always was. It's like a parasite has grown onto my brain and has taken over and it now controls my thoughts. All logic and self confidence has gone out the window! Me: singing happily...'ooh ee ooh ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang' Brain: Hey did you see that? Me: See what? Brain: You didn't take a breath for like 30 seconds! Me: Wow! Is that normal? Brain: Probably not. It's probably really bad. Me: Are you sure it was 30 seconds? Brain: *mumbling incoherently* probably not. Might have imagined it. Me: What's that? Brain: yeah a whole 30 seconds! Me: Oh shit! I'll keep a super sharp eye on my breathing from now on. Brain: Yeah be super alert and make sure you're breathing normally! Want me to chuck out some fight or flight chemicals? Me: No I can handle... Brain: Too late! #sorrynotsorry Me: Fml As most of you know, I drive trucks for a living. Big trucks. Really big. Back and forth all day long. This is the worst job for anxiety! Nothing but your own company and nothing to keep your mind occupied. So the above scenario plays out over and over in my head all day long😬 I spend a lot of time discrediting the myths my brain tells me. Trying to talk logic to myself. Me: I think I would have noticed if I didn't breath for a whole 30 seconds. I'd be gasping for air. Brain: Just keep an eye on things! Just in case. Me: I don't think that's necessary. I've been breathing unconsciously the whole of my life. Like when I was a baby, or when I'm asleep, I don't think anything will change now if I take my attention off it. In fact I think it would help! Brain: Righto, whatever. It's your funeral. I talk logic to myself and I know I'm right and my brain is wrong but because my brain is such a jerk, there's always this little shadow of doubt. So I drive around trying to ignore my breathing and the nonsense stories my brain tells me. Me: *takes a deep breath* Don't pay attention to it! Ignore it. Think of something else, anything else. Brain: Hi Me: Hello Brain: That was close. You almost panicked. Me: Yeah but I'm ok Brain: Wants some fight or flight? Too late!!! Me: Aaargh! Stop it would you! On and on all day long, trying to ignore myself. Trying to regain some self confidence and ignore the parasite. It's not just breathing, it's anything! The anxiety parasite searches for and latches onto any little thing. Me: Hmmm my back hurts, I can't wait to get out of this truck. Brain: Back Pain? OMFG IT'S A HEART ATTACK. ALERT ALERT ALERT! Me: Wait, what...why are you freaking out? Brain: *pumps out fight or flight* MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY!!! Me: Jeez I don't feel so good. A little dizzy and panicky. Brain: Wait, what...panic! I'll send more chemicals!!! Me: Wtf?!!! And then I go through the process of calming the monster down. Man it's so tiring!!! Nothing I can't handle though. Hour by hour, day by day, I keep finding ways to calm the monster. Or just flat out ignore it. Sometimes it's hard to ignore yourself when there is nothing to distract you. Being a truck driver is the worst job for anxiety because there is no escaping yourself. You're forced to sit there and listen to this parasite all day. The only plus side (apart from the pay) is it gives me time to take notes, learn new tactics or work on old ones. Brain: Remember that time you had a panic attack in this exact same spot. Me: Yeah, so? Brain: Imagine if it happened again! What if it does? You'll probably get fired. Me: Whatever brain. None of it would have happened if you didn't react to every little thing with fight or flight! Brain: It saved you. Me: No it didn't it made things awful! Brain: But did you die? *said in Asian guy from the Hangovers voice* Me: Ugh! *facepalms brain* Brain: sends more fight or flight...... Just keep driving, just keep driving.
  8. Hi Fw5 I don't believe the word cure is the right term. Here on AC we talk a lot about recovery. You can't cure anxiety. We all need a little anxiety to keep us from doing stupid stuff and planning ahead. Like right now, I'm on a yacht in gale force winds after cyclone Debbie here in Australia. I'm anxious and for good reason. But this anxiety has made me pull into a safe harbour, tie more ropes on and secure the boat more than I normally would. The anxiety is keeping me alert and watchful. This is all good stuff! I don't like feeling this way and can't wait until the gale is over but for now I have to accept the gale and my anxiety as a natural human reaction. The way I feel now is normal anxiety and we as humans need this in our lives. That's why anxiety can't be cured. You can however recover from an anxiety disorder. A disorder happens when the anxiety is out of proportion to reality and interferes with you living your best life. I have recovered so far. Sometimes I have setbacks, but mostly, my anxiety is in proportion to reality and doesn't interfere with me being happy. You can recover too. Have you ever tried cognitive behaviour therapy? This helps to teach you to challenge your thoughts and sort out fact from fiction. What I mean by that is...you can think you'll get cancer all you like...this is fiction. The cancer isn't actually diagnosed or real. The fact is right now at this moment you don't have cancer and are fine. You need to learn to separate what's actually happening right now in the present, rather than be anxious about non existant cancer or whatever else you think you have. "Think" being the key word. You can think you are a billionaire all you like but it doesn't make it true. The same way you can think you'll get cancer. Until you are sitting across from your doctor and they say the words "you have cancer" it is not a real thing. Even if your body is aching or giving you signs and symptoms, until that moment the doctor says those words, you are making yourself sick with anxiety over a non existant thing. It isn't real until a doctor says it's real. I learned to laugh at my thoughts. I would feel a cramp in my leg and my thoughts would say "omg it's a clot". Being mindful helped me to recognise the thought and just observe it rather than be carried away believing it. Then I'd laugh at my habit of jumping to the worst possible conclusion. "Of course it's a clot" I'd laugh to myself "of course brain, good work". Learn mindfulness. Learn to watch and observe your thoughts without judgement and without being carried away by them. Watch them as you would watch clouds passing in the sky. Don't become involved the narrative they tell. I'd suggest CBT therapy if you can find it. To answer your question, yes people have recovered and got on with their lives. It is totally possible.
  9. That sucks Cowboy! Hope it is suspended with pay. If you did nothing wrong, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Hard not to I guess. Hang in there bud and keep us updated.
  10. It could be anything. I once had these strange boil like things flare up in my armpits when I was a teenager. They're very very painful. Stop telling yourself the worst case scenario! There's a heap of things it could be and many of those things are harmless. Why assume the worst? Don't let anxiety do this to you. Go and see a doctor and get a definitive answer. You've already made the smart move by not googling it, now make the smart move and ask a professional. Don't ask on forums like this, we're only using guess work. Once you see a doctor you will know for sure and can ease your anxiety.
  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (yesterday? since you're in Australia?) 


    1. lonesailor14


      Thanks very much😀 half an hour left of the day. 

  12. Happy Birthday! 

    1. lonesailor14


      Thanks very much Miss LLL😀

  13. Hi bearhunter Sorry to hear you're having a hard time. All of these symptoms are normal for anxiety. The good thing is they won't and can't harm you, so try to relax and calm down as best you can. You're not dying or in any danger. I know it feels horrible and your thoughts are telling you to be afraid and alert, but you are going to be ok. Close your mouth and breathe through your nose, slowly and gently. Calm yourself. AC is a great site. If you look around you'll find some very helpful information. You'll learn a lot about anxiety here and knowing all you can about it will help you recover in the long run. Start with the post called New to Anxiety amd bewildered. Do try to calm your mind anyway you can. Your thoughts are what cause this. The self talk and negative, fearful "what if" thoughts. I hope this helps. Hang in there!
  14. Starting a new job tomorrow! It's a week on, week off where I have to stay in a mining camp 5 hours from home for the week I'm on. The good thing is free food for the week and they never really offer much that isn't healthy. It's all salads and veggies. So I always lose weight when I'm away working. I'm normally anxious when starting a new job, I guess I am a little but I've been doing that buteyko breathing for a few weeks and feel really good. It's been a godsend. Anyway, just thought I'd check in and let ya know I'm still kicking ass. Happy International Women's day for the 8th! Here's a pic of me at work😉
  15. Miss LLL I haven't read dare but he's right. Our bodies know what their doing. Breathing is automatic and when we interfere with it too much it becomes worse. That being said though, if you find yourself yawning and sighing, do the exercise. That's what I've been doing this past week. Just for a few minutes until my breathing feels light and not forced. Deep breathing is the worst advice for panic and anxiety. I say, don't worry about whether it is deep or shallow. Normal breathing is shallow and almost imperceptible. Just close your mouth, breath through your nose, pause after the out breath before breathing in but at the same time try to let your body do the breathing, not your conscious mind. I've found pausing and waiting until my body wants a breath before breathing in helps. Rather than consciously taking over and forcing my breathing, if that makes sense. Most of the day, I'm fine and don't even think about it. But any time I feel anxious or I start yawning or sighing, it reminds me to shut my mouth and do the exercise. Your counsellor maybe right. I think I breathe fine until I get even the slightest anxiety. Then, unconsciously I start breathing through my mouth and getting all stuffed up. Thankfully I found this exercise and can do it anywhere at anytime and calm things down. Jonathan is right about keeping a sense of humour. I have many stories where anxiety has made me and my friends laugh!