I want to start to examine a new topic here and there.  “What does it take to really recover?”

Not the nuts and bolts of recovery.  Exposures and techniques and theory. I want to start looking at what it takes inside you.  The thought process.  The perception.  The decisions we make when we weigh the difficulty of recovery against living a restricted life governed by disordered anxiety and irrational fear.  What does it “TAKE” to recover?

I’ll tell you one thing that it takes.  It takes this.  Calling out our habit of choosing temporary relief and comfort when we avoid and escape and run and refuse to face the scary stuff.  This is the habit of making decisions rooted in fear and based on achieving short term comfort at the expense of long term progress and recovery. Confronting this habit and recognizing the reality of what this repeated choice means is one of the first things you can do to move yourself down the path to real recovery.

  • When we choose to cancel plans, we are choosing temporary comfort at the cost of long term restriction.
  • When we choose to not do our exposures, we are choosing temporary comfort at the cost of long term restriction.
  • When we choose to speak our fear out loud for the 10,000th time again in an effort to seek reassurance and soothing, we are choosing temporary comfort at the cost of long term restriction.

This list can be long.  But you get the idea.

This episode is all about taking stock and deciding to be honest with ourselves about the choices we are making repeatedly.  We do not have to berate ourselves, but we can be honest with ourselves.  Owning our choices and taking responsibility for what they mean in our lives is one of the most self-compassionate things we can do.  When we take responsibility for our choices and recognize the reality of our options – uncomfortable though they may be – we give ourselves the gift of power, influence, and control in the recovery process.  We go from passive victim to active self-advocate.

I can’t think of a better first recovery move.

Can you?


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






Founder and host of The Anxious Truth podcast. Graduate student and therapist-in-training. Author and educator on the topic of anxiety disorders and anxiety recovery. Former anxious and depressed person.