Anxiety Recovery Program – Is The Anxious Truth One Of Those???

Is The Anxious Truth an anxiety recovery program?  Does this podcast, the books I write, and all the content I create describe a program or method for recovery? Can you follow things step by step to know exactly what to do when anxious or afraid and how to feel better?  This is something I am asked all the time, so is The Anxious Truth an anxiety recovery program?

It is. And it isn’t. How’s that for a vague answer?

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Is The Anxious Truth An Anxiety Recovery Program?

If you look at this from the 20,000 foot view, where recovery is something that happens over months or a year or more, then it’s probably reasonably accurate to say that The Anxious Truth – and content that sounds like it – is in fact an anxiety recovery program. At that scale, when you’re dealing with time frames measured in days, weeks, and months, you need a program.  A method.  A plan.  The Anxious Truth can be a way to understand what’s wrong, why nothing has worked for you up to this point, and what needs to happen to move in a new direction.

In that light, is this an anxiety recovery program?  I would say it is.

Here’s the rub.  Those time scales – days, weeks, or months – are not the important time scales in your view.  I get this.  You care the most about moments where you are really anxious, really afraid, and really uncomfortable.  Those are the important moments for you, so those are the moments where you must want an anxiety recovery program that you can follow.  It’s normal and to be expected to want specific tips, tricks, steps, and techniques you can use to “get through” the scariest times.  The bad news is that when we shrink things down to the scale of seconds, minutes, and hours, the “program-ness” of what I’m talking about and writing about begins to break down.

At the smaller scale, is this an anxiety recovery program?  I would say it is not.

How does it break down?  How does this anxiety recovery program stop being an anxiety recovery program in the most “important” moments? It breaks down because when the chips are down and you must let go, fully accept, float, tolerate, or surrender, there is not much instruction that I or anyone else can give you on HOW to do those things.  We can instruct you on how to get to the point where you must surrender, but the act of surrender itself is just something you do or don’t do.  Let go or don’t let go. I just don’t have tips, tricks, detailed instructions, or steps that you can follow to accept and surrender.

If you are reading The Anxious Morning newsletter you’ll see me use the analogy of building a house (there’s a program for that), and driving nails as part of building that house (there’s no program for driving nails).  In recovery, I can give you a method or a program that gets you into those important moments and puts you face to face with those experiences you’ve been avoiding for so long, but then the program and the instructions break down and it’s time to act.  You may be really afraid to let go, but that doesn’t mean there are more instructions on how to do it.  Surrender may seem too risky for you, but there’s no way to mitigate that perceived risk by accessing more steps or tips.

At some point while following this “program” you hit a moment where the program can no longer help you. In those moments it is the actions you take – even when afraid to take them – that become the instructions you desire.  The act of doing itself provides the clarity, the steps, and the instructions. You become your own teacher in those moments.  Those are the moments where recovery really happens.

Trust me, if I could give you an anxiety recovery program that gave you specific instructions on exactly how to be brave and to things you’re afraid to do, I would give you that program.  Anyone that does what I do – and any clinician, therapist or counselor – would love to give you that.  We just don’t have that. There are certain things in life – like driving nails and being brave, that don’t come with practical detailed instructions.  For our purposes, “hit the nail” and “let go” are the same instruction.  There’s no more to be had after that.

Here’s some good news though. I know you think you must have an anxiety recovery program that teaches you exactly and specifically how to accept, float, surrender, and tolerate. But in reality, you’ve never needed that.  You know how to do those things already.  You do them in other parts of your life.  You just can’t stand how it feels when you do it in THIS part of your life.  You don’t like being afraid. You don’t want to be.  But you can be afraid and you can get through it and learn from it.  I’m certain of it, or I would not be writing show notes for this podcast episode at 11 PM on a Sunday night.



Here are some other episodes of The Anxious Truth that might be helpful:

Episode 079 – Recovery Principles Or Instructions?


These Editions Of The Anxious Morning Newsletter Talk About This Topic:

Edition 191 : Tips, Techniques, Steps and Programs For Getting Better – Part 1

Edition 192 : Tips, Techniques, Steps and Programs For Getting Better – Part 2


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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.