This is part 2 of my conversation with my friend and social media collaborator Lily Bloomberg. In this episode Lily talks about the process of her recovery. There are twists in Lily’s story that I found fascinating, and I hope you will too.
- Lily learned from that she did not have to do all the things that she was doing to try to get better. Lily also learned that what she was doing to try to get better was actually keeping her from getting better!
- Not resisting thoughts, but allowing them to flow, turned out to be a major turning point for Lily. Her natural tendency was to fight her anxious thoughts and prove them wrong, but that was making things worse for her.
- Another major boost to Lily’s recovery was that she did not have to keep planning for panic and anxiety. Recognizing that she was always handling panic and anxiety already was very important.
- I am unabashed in my slant AGAINST The 3 Principles. I have seen that worldview do more harm than good in recovery. But Lily actually took what she learned within that framework and put it into ACTION. The insights alone were not enough. She put the concepts into action and used them to inform new BEHAVIORS.
- Lily realized that panic attacks are really designed by nature to be 10-15 minute events, but that her special evasive actions and constant scanning for them was stretching them into undulating waves of panic lasting much longer.
- Avoidance was teaching Lily the wrong lessons. She had to realize that panic would end naturally even when she stopped tapping, “emergency meditating”, running, and fighting.
- Lily was able to turn down her excessive health, diet, and exercise habits that were so focused on stopping or preventing anxiety and panic.
- When her anxiety and fear levels began to drop, all the relationships in Lily’s life began to improve. Her relationship with food and exercise, her intimate relationships, and her relationships with her children all went back into a more “normal” state.
- While we always describe recovery as so hard, Lily actually feels like productive recovery was EASIER than all the fighting she was doing!
- Along the path of recovery, Lily learned to temper and use her “achiever” and “doer” traits more productively and without fueling anxiety.
- Lily describes having lower stress tolerance now. This is a good thing because she can now use stress in a healthier way as an indicator that it’s time to take a break rather than pressing on to the point of exhaustion.
Many thanks to Lily for taking the time to share her story with us!
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)