As I run into anxiety head-on at Krav Maga, having the support of the instructors and students is critical, I feel safe to push myself because I have the control to stop a drill if necessary. In the past 7 months of training there has been significant improvement. In the beginning, I would avoid class and try convincing myself that I had other stuff that was more important than going. Then I began going regularly, but was still very anxious and thought about the drills that brought on panic attacks. It was frustrating going to class and seeing the other students performing the drills without worry or panic, I was furious that I could not go through a class like a “normal” person. The anger I felt became directed at my panic and I began to investigate the enemy. I discovered my attacks were caused by stressful scenarios, especially when I was physically exhausted, and felt that I wasn’t able to defend myself. I spoke with Danny and told him the scenario that triggered most of the attacks. He explained that Krav Maga training is a test, you are supposed to be exhausted as you must focus on defending yourself when surrounded by chaos and your body feels like quitting.
At that point I decided that I was not going to be a slave to my mind any more and allow it to limit what I can do. The panic attacks only have power when I refused to confront them as I had done for many years. I wrote down a list outlining the ways panic attacks have limited my life and prevented me from doing what I wanted. The list gave me a lot of anger, anger that pushes me to continue my anxiety recovery. Whenever I feel a bit anxious, I remember what I have avoided in life and it gives me strength to push through the drill and succeed. The anxious feelings still do appear, but I don’t get down on myself because every time I walk into the gym, I have already won just by showing up and being willing to confront my anxiety challenge. The positive feedback has allowed me to believe in myself and believe that panic attacks will not limit what I can do. I have taken what once was a scary monster and by confronting it head on, have reduced it’s intensity
Update: Since starting, I have been accepted into the advanced program at Krav Maga. Previously I was fearful of being accepted because I saw the intensity the program brings, but now am ready to accept the challenge. The invitation is based on 3 criteria, but the Attitude what I resonated with most. It is “the mental position that one can accomplish anything envisioned in the mind.” I now take the nervous energy and am able to convert it to excitement for pushing myself and to see how well I can perform. I feel like I have broken the shackles and am now able to do anything.
I wish you all the best on your journey and hope you receive inspiration to fight back against your own anxiety.