Reverse Anxiety: Part VI, Calling Anxiety's Bluff

Anxiety's Tricks/Lies continued:

This is going to last forever:  

Our minds love to project us into a catastrophic future filled with doom and terror.  This part of our makeup can't help but flash images of certainty in front of us.  They typycally follow patterns like this, we imagine:  the crowd in wonder as we bomb a speech…our loved ones drained because they are stuck taking care of our disabled selves…or we envision ourselves homeless as we rummage through the crumbs of life (my mind's favorite).    

Some call this fortune-telling /overgeneralization/filtering.  I call it hogwash!  Just another illusive lie straight out of the greedy mouth of anxiety.  It craves all of your attention.  Misdirected, wants to devour your mental health.  

Lately, this Ol' bugger called anxiety has been trying to wiggle his way in-between my defenses and back into my thought life.  Partly, I imagine, because I’m bringing up a lot of my own past by writing on this subject.  This morning my mind, deserting itself, started in on me like a disappointed high school football coach about how these feelings, thoughts and behaviors would increase (catastrophizing) and again spread like wild-fire throughout my life just like the old days.  Lie! Lie! Lie!  And more lies... All you do is lie.  Like a broken time machine, anxious thinking projects a rigid unchangeable reality into our future (a fixed bleak picture of doom).  The thoughts, the feelings, the behaviors all at once (like pain hits you mid-flu) bombard you as if they'll be permanent, set in stone…forever fixed.

I must always carry anxiety MEDICATIONS with me:

I must have an addictive medication as a back up, just in case I…freak, panic, vomit, have a flashback, lose control etc...

In my own life, when I first started flying in commercial airlines again, I would always keep a K-pin (klonopin) in my pocket…just in case. If panic started to set in, I conveniently had the choice to pop that trusty sucker...anytime, anywhere.  This is not without cost though.  If fact, this was the last thread keeping me from complete freedom.

At first, why wouldn’t you stay on a medication that seems to be the only way to curtail or treat a full blown panic attack?  It makes since, right.  Or does it?  If avoidance provides the fuel to keep anxiety going, and potent addictive medications are, at their core, a way of escaping (if misused, really taking a vacation from) a tough reality, then (after you've achieved some degree of health, this is) why would you give yourself that choice?  There's a term for this kind of roundabout avoidance, been a long time since I read about it.  But I call it snaking.  We find subtle ways to avoid anxiety by sliverring around (like the handy pill) anxious feelings/situations/thoughts or coiling up into a ball so as to not be seen by anxiety. You're not outright avoiding the thing that causes you anxiety; but, rather, you're avoiding it indirectly, in a circular manner.  This, however, delays the only way to true freedom from anxiety—BECOMING COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE.

(Now, here me out here please.  I believe there's definitely a time and a place for potentially addictive meds…i.e., if you're detoxing, you have a biologically based disorder like schizophrenia, you're just learning to cope with severe anxiety, bi-polar, etc., or you're in the mist of a mental health crisis.)  

If you need psychiatric help I know of a great Psychiatrist right here in Colorado Springs, click on his name to get more info about him: 

A great book on this subject of subtle avoidance is: 

Jeff Mowery, LPC


Colorado Springs, CO 80920

(The information included on this site/article is not an attempt to provide counseling/therapy or any other form of professional treatment, not even a bit.  In no way is it intended or implied to substitute counseling/therapy or any other professional services.  Also, while the content of this site/ article could be based off real life circumstances, people (clients), names and situations have been changed to protect the identity/confidentiality of the person.  Each client has also signed a release to allow the therapist to write about their situation for educational [not therapy] purposes only.  If you need professional help, and/or have mental health questions, by golly, seek out a professional and your family deserve it! )