I have often been told people can’t let an attack or the anxiety happen because other people may see it happening. So what if they do. Why are we giving our mental health away to everyone else? We can spend all day trying to hide our symptoms from employers, work colleagues, family and friends. The extraordinary energy and control we use to hide our symptoms only makes us more anxious and exhausted. The more anxious we become the more we have to hide it.

Taking the power back means we cannot let the fear of what other people think get in our way of full recovery. If our hands and legs shake, let them shake. If our face turns bright red, then our face turns bright red. If we feel faint, then sit down on a chair, on the floor, on the footpath, if need be. If we vomit or have an attack of diarrhoea, then we vomit or have an attack of diarrhoea. Let it happen. When we let it happen, we turn off the adrenalin and it will be over as quick as it starts. We will not have to waste all of our energy trying to keep it under control and thereby turning on more adrenalin. Our mental health needs to be more important than other peoples’ opinions. The feelings of embarrassment are created by our thoughts. We have to move from ‘what if to the all powerful attitude of ‘so what’. ‘So what’ if we have an attack, ‘so what’ if we are feeling anxious, ‘so what’ if people see. So what.

Depending on how high our anxiety level is, the anxiety may not disappear as quickly. Learning to manage the anxiety by being aware of our thoughts, letting them go and by letting the anxiety be there, is part of the recovery process. As we work through the process of recovery our anxiety level diminishes, until we are anxiety-free.

We will reach the point where we will have a choice in how we respond, either with fear or by letting it happen. This choice will always be there. After recovery in times of extreme stress we may experience further attacks. We can choose how we respond: either with fear, ‘what if, or by letting go and letting it happen. So what.

The working through process can at times be very frustrating, but the final result is worth every step. Everything which has been taken away from us by the disorder will be given back to us through the clarity of thought and freedom wbich recovery brings.


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