Our fight or flight response keeps us safe, protects us from danger, but for some of us, perhaps it keeps us too safe. It makes us not want to go anywhere or do anything for the fear of having deal with the anxiety. In the last few years, my anxiety levels have been quite stable. Over the years, I have been on and off medication. When I have not been well, it has forced me to live in survival mode. I literally trim down my life only down to the essentials. During my roughest patch, basic hygiene was all I could accomplish. As I got therapy, I was able to slowly get back to work, but I was literally still working at a bare minimum.
Over the last year, I think I am finally reached a stage where I want to resume some activities I had given up due to my illness. I am not sure if this is even the right thing to do. Should I have pushed myself earlier or is this a better time now since I feel quite stable? To be honest, I don’t even know what the right timing means? I just felt like feeling like the “old me” again and I think that looks different for everyone.
Part of my job entails me to present to groups of people. I decided not to jump in and do a ton of public speaking. I decided to just pick one situation where I had a bit of confidence in and that was presenting at a general meeting. With anxiety, sometimes you want to be over-prepared so you feel that nothing bad will happen. However, I think in order to get better and face your fears, you have to be prepared enough but not break down every second of a 5 minute presentation. So I had a vague idea of what I wanted to say and just prepped it a few times in my head. I honestly thought I would be super nervous, and I was, but I thought I would just do it. Of course, it was fine. Unfortunately, recovery sometimes will push you out of your comfort zone, but believe me, it feels amazing to make a little dent into that fear.