Hi, as ever sorry it has been over a week since I got your last mail. I was out of town last week so didn’t get to my laptop much! Let me start by saying that I think it is fine and normal to feel more anxiety as you recover. That is not because you are getting more anxious but because you are noticing the lesser, background tension that was present before but masked by the more severe anxiety. People, including myself, hated this low level anxiety more than the major stuff, because it’s so constant, so ever present. The good news is that when you accept it, it goes away of it’s own accord unless you need to deal with some area of your life which is keeping you tense (low self-esteem, trouble at work to home etc etc).
Definitely the relatively short time you have been suffering from anxiety goes in your favour, and body symptoms are scary to us all! Great to switch off that hypochondria! I would say that I am a bit more of an optimistic person than I used to be, but it’s not like I have made major changes to my personality. I still don’t like getting up early on a cold day, remember we are not aiming to become super heroes here, just normal folk who take life’s ups and downs in their stride.
Self trust can be a hard thing to develop, I recommend just giving yourself permission to feel how you are feeling. If you accept not trusting yourself, you will probably trust yourself much more quickly! Odd feelings are again very natural, very irritating, and totally harmless. (I blogged about them here, if you wanna read it.)
The fact that you go anywhere and do anything is inspirational. This alone could see you through anxiety, but with developing the right attitude you are unstoppable! Scar thoughts are common, I have heard of people fearing they will harm themselves or their children just by losing control. Fear of losing control and doing something “crazy” is a common symptom but like the rest it’s just a hollow shell. Nothing about anxiety will actually make you do that. If you, or anybody you know, actually ever feels like they want to harm themselves or others (as opposed to the common anxiety symptom of fearing you might) it’s obviously important to speak to someone pronto. I’m sure that isn’t the case with you, especially as your recovery is going so well!
So that leaves us with the problem of fearing panic while talking to people. Perhaps you could give me a bit more info on this…talk me through a scenario and describe exactly what happens, then let’s see if we can’t get to the bottom of it!