Anxiety Made Me Terrified ….

to go to my own place of business, that’s only a few miles from my house.  Anxiety made it really difficult for me to go there or stay there for any length of time. This is the second in a series of podcast episodes where I’ll take you to places that anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia used to tell me I should never go.

This week we’re at my old office where I’ll share what that experience was like, and how I conceptualize it today as a fully recovered person.

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  • I promised that I would do a series of podcasts where I re-visit places that were scary for me or almost impossible to get to when I was at my worst.  This is the second in that series, visiting my old office building.  Come join me for a walk down not-so-good memory lane.
  • The building is only 3-4 miles from my house.  The drive takes maybe 10-11 minutes even with traffic lights, but back in those days I would struggle to make that drive, often experiencing panic along the way and taking hours on some days to “psyche myself up” to get out the door to drive to the office.
  • When I did go to my office, it was often in “hit and run” fashion.  I would leave as quickly as I could and hurry back home to my “safe” space. I would often make promises about returning later in the day or the next day … promises that anxiety and fear convinced me to break.
  • I would engage in all kinds of escape and safety rituals while at the office during my worst days. I would retreat to the mens room or into the parking lot to sit in my car to try to calm down. I would think about how there was an ambulance station and hospital nearby and try to use that fact to convince me that I would be OK and safe. I would run out of the building if I was there at the end of the workday because I did not want to be the only one left there by myself (monophobia rearing its ugly head).
  • I would often have to come to the building after hours based on the nature of the business.  Being there alone, isolated in the datacenter in the lower level with no phone service, triggered innumerable panic attacks. I spent hours upon hours struggling to convince myself to stay and complete the work that needed to be done. Sometimes I would leave and sit at the hospital or the ambulance station to try to feel safer.
  • Going back to this building to share these stories was a more emotional experience that I would have expected. I felt a bit of low level anxiety but I also experienced feelings of embarrassment and even shame when talking about the things I would do simply because I was afraid of something I know that I did not have to be afraid of. In some ways, returning to that place to tell the stories on camera was somewhat therapeutic. I didn’t know I needed anything therapeutic.  Maybe I did!
  • When I was struggling and always afraid and anxious, everything felt so urgent and real and dangerous and strong. Now … as a fully recovered person … I see those days as ridiculous and absurd. I can see so clearly that I was following and being dragged around by fear that was very real, but also very baseless. If you are struggling now like I was then, know that one day you may see these experiences in a very different way too.
  • Next time I think I’ll set up shop at a Long Island Railroad train station to talk about how those were places I would simply refuse to go.
  • Thank you for listening and watching. I hope you find it helpful in some small way.


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Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)


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Founder and host of The Anxious Truth Podcast. Former anxiety disorder sufferer. Now fully recovered and dedicated to providing no-nonsense, straight-forward, actionable advice on how to overcome anxiety problems.