We are all different, but so similar in our suffering, the main difference can be how long we have suffered, as the person who has suffered many years may have built up more habits of avoidence, safety behaviors that they find harder to break then someone who has suffered a few months. Also the person who has suffered longer may have more memory of suffering and they may have fallen into a life where they have forgotten what it was like to feel normal, where the person who has suffered a few months, still has these feelings of normality close to them.
YOU just need to reverse the procedure. This takes you on to reversing habits, You certainly had developed many avoidence and safety behaviors and You have to go against your instincts and change these habits, not run away when you fell overwhelmed, not shy away from meeting new people, not putting off going places and let anxiety rule what you did and did not do.
Don’t wait to feel better to live your life and go places, live your life with anxiety present and all that goes with it, this is when you will begin to feel a shift. You are living a normal life and not hiding and shying away from how you feel, the more normal life you pack in the more normal you will begin to feel. Nothing is gained through safety behaviors or avoidence as you are saying ‘I don’t want to feel that way’ I will avoid, this attitude will always make a feeling the enemy, something to run away from, your body and mind will always go along with the message you send it.
You will find that you feel so far away from recovery one day and so near the next, again this is down to memory of past suffering. The smallest thing may have you feeling anxious or down again, the problem is when you feel anxious again it can hit us harder than before, mainly as we had felt some freedom, we thought this damn thing had gone forever, we may try and fight and scramble to how we felt the day before, if not then we must find out why we felt great yesterday and damn awful now, there must be a reason, what have you done wrong? Well nothing at all, you must go through this up and down process, no one can expect to suffer for so long and not have bad days, it is your mind and body going through a process of recovery. At one time you may have felt no good days, so just feeling moments of normality should tell you that you are on your way, a change is happening, but don’t expect that change to be plain sailing, it is an up and down affair, the doubts will resurface, the willpower may weaken, you may feel as bad as ever at times, but be o.k with this, remember your body and mind is just going through a process of reversal.
In time you will have more good days than bad, memory of past suffering is not as raw and memory of feeling normal starts to surface, new habits begin to surface, going here and there and not avoiding becomes second nature, you no longer have to try. Not worrying daily about how you feel becomes second nature, not analyzing how you feel becomes your new habit, living your life alongside anxiety becomes easier, at first you may have had to drag yourself there as the old you wanted you to hide away, not now, it’s become your new habit to live alongside how you feel and not let anxiety make decisions for you.
You need to get the point across that symptoms need not to viewed as a problem anymore, something to avoid, pull away from, the enemy, with this attitude they will always be something to get rid off, to pull away from, they will have you thinking ‘How do I get rid of this or that?’ It is the same with someone who struggles with anxious thoughts, these maybe scary, question our existence, etc, the thought is not important, they are anxiety based and rely on your hate and belief that they are real of them to stay in the cycle. ‘I must not think that’ , ‘Oh I think it therefore it must be real’ , ‘Am I going crazy?’ you may pull away from a thought, try and forget it only to find it sticks, this is because you are anxious about that thought, paying it all the respect it needs, this may end in ‘Oh how do I stop thinking this way?’ The far easier way is to no longer see them as a problem, let them shout loud, but understand they are not real and just anxiety based,
Start to go for a long run, you would come back having burnt off all your excess adrenaline and you would feel great with a clear mind and in this short time you could view reality.
The whole point like any symptom is to stop seeing them as a problem, you will always have anxious thoughts, whilst your are anxious about them. You will always struggle with talking with others if you keep avoiding eye contact or make excuses to run away, you will always struggle with going places if you give in to how you feel and make excuses not to go. You need to stop seeing how you feel or think as a problem, see it as normal in the circumstances, which it is for now. If you view your thinking with this new attitude, then the next anxiety thought will not hold such importance, it will just be something you move on from, knowing it is just anxiety based and not important in the slightest, you wont need reassurance about your sanity, you will understand they are not real and wont feel the need to not think this way. The shift in attitude is not to care what you think or how you feel at any given time, I don’t mean you have to like it, but begin to be o.k with it, take the stress and anxiety out of how you think and feel. It is only when start to do the opposite that changes came about.
It really is a process you cannot rush and the answer to the Question ‘How long does it take to recover from anxiety?’ There is no time limit, it can depend on how long we have suffered, how we deal with bad days, our new attitude to how we feel, how much we are willing to go towards how we feel, not letting anxiety rule what we do and do not do. Putting a time limit on recovery just leads to you watching your progress, time limits lead to disappointment, time limits lead to impatience. Recovery time depends on a few factors and the only thing that is important is to give your body and mind as much time and space as it needs to recover. The less pressure you put on recovery the better, don’t see it as important, that is when recovery will just creep up on you.
Full recovery for is not one day feeling great and never having a bad day. It is a process,and you will start to have more good than bad days, your mind will start to be clear and clear.
You could still have an awful week, you just go with them and they soon pass.
Your mind would have the odd day where thoughts are labored, but nothing like before.