I had the privilege of spending an hour with my friend and some-time collaborator Lily Bloomberg. Lily is a school psychologist and anxiety coach that has lived her own struggles with anxiety disorders and other mental health challenges. Today Lily speaks about her anxiety struggles and the time she spent trying to find solutions to her anxiety, panic, and other mental health issues through the years.
This is part 1 of 2. Next week Lily returns to talk about her anxiety recovery story, so come back for that one too!
- Lily has always been prone to anxiety and anxious responses. As an anxious child, she found herself strongly impacted by anything that triggered strong thoughts or triggers.
- Lily grew up largely believing that if she had a thought, it would come true.
- Lily developed rituals and compulsions designed to seek safety from an early age.
- As is normal for most humans, Lily’s anxiety created strong physical responses and sensations.
- In her high school and college years, Lily often turned to smoking and alcohol to “turn off her brain” and escape her anxiety.
- Lily’s mental health journey has included anxiety and panic, body and food issues, intrusive thoughts, an ADHD diagnosis, and battles with intrusive thoughts and OCD tendencies.
- Lily is open about her propensity to be highly suggestible. Some of her struggles with extreme healthy lifestyles and food were direct outgrowths of being exposed to strong messaging about food, health, and fitness.
- Lily made her life very small at the worst of her anxiety by trying every possible thing she could think of to control every possible variable in order to stop her anxiety and prevent panic. The list of things she tried is … to put it mildly … long. Many of them may be familiar to you.
- More than just trying many different things, Lily tried them HARD. When something didn’t work, she would double down on it and assume that she needed to do it better or harder so it would work. She was literally driving herself deeper in the hole by searching and searching for solutions where none were needed. She was just teaching her body and brain that anxiety and panic were dangerous and had to be prevented and stopped at all costs. We all know how this goes in the end.
- I will freely admit that I am not in any way a fan of the Three Principles, but for Lily, the Three Principles gave her the break from all the “doing” that she was engaged in to stop her anxiety. Come back next week to hear how this all worked for her!
About Lily Bloomberg
Lily is a school psychologist and an anxiety coach in California. You can find her online here:
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Podcast Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)