As my journey to anxiety recover continues, I have learned that there’s always new tests and determining when I can say I have fully recovered is difficult. Reflecting on the past 2 years, the progress has been staggering as I have changed in many ways. Reflecting on progress is important as I find tracking progress and giving myself credit of where I have come from is often overlooked and taken for granted. The practice of taking a moment to reflect has brought up many emotions as I remember the dark places my anxiety and depression took me and the gratitude I have for not having constant worry anymore and being able to take part in activities that many may find simple.
My testing zone has been the Krav Maga gym I belong to, as I have mentioned in the past, we train in an environment built to drive fear and chaos, push your ability to focus, and build mental toughness. In the past two weeks there have been a couple highlights that have confirmed my progress.
We had a theme night, where one drill was to place your head in a pillowcase, the lights were then turned off, and music was blasted. This drill was meant to disorient the person and test their ability to focus. So if this wasn’t enough, the drill then started, where you were surrounded by 5 people that would attack you at random and you had to defend yourself from the attack. The drill lasted for 90 seconds, although it felt like 5 minutes.
I was very apprehensive when I saw what we were going to do and felt the familiar symptoms and thoughts of anxiety begin. I have been working up to these types of tests for the past year and had the tools to adjust my thinking and breathing to prevent a panic attack form starting. As the drill began, I felt the nervous as the pillowcase restricts your ability to see and breathe. I made a commitment to try the drill and take it one step at a time. This is the manner I approach all situations now, as thinking of the full project can be overwhelming and drives many anxious thoughts.
I completed the drill and look forward to trying it again to see how comfortable I can be in that situation. This is the key to exposure work, it’s to confirm to yourself that you can face a feared situation and work through it. Each time you expose yourself to the situation, it becomes more comfortable.
My recommendation to anyone looking to confront feared situations is:
Start in small, manageable steps, then build on it. The key to success is many small victories