Let’s do another anxiety success story! Today we have Shannon Jackson (AKA “ahealthypush” on Instagram). Shannon joins us to tell the story of her anxiety journey, her recovery, and how she went from suffering to teaching and providing hope for those currently in the thick of things. It’s a good story, and Shannon is aces!
- Shannon started experiencing panic and anxiety while in high school. Her first panic attack happened – with ALL the usual things – while getting ready to run at a track meet.
- As it happens with many people, Shannon continued to experience high anxiety and panic, leading to a fear of driving or being in any situation where panic may strike and she may feel trapped over like she may lose control.
- Therapy was part of Shannon’s equation early on. Her diagnosis of panic disorder with agoraphobia really shook her and made her wonder how she would ever overcome such a scary diagnosis.
- Anxiety and panic issues run in Shannon’s family, which added to her fear of never being able to overcome her anxiety problem. Thankfully, Shannon did get to see her mother overcoming panic attacks and agoraphobia so this provided some hope.
- Shannon’s brand – “A Healthy Push” is an acknowledgement of the help Shannon received from her mom. A healthy push toward therapy and learning how to move through anxiety and fear. Good job, Shannon’s mom! 🙂
- Shannon learned that therapy alone was not enough. There was work to do outside her therapy sessions, including building a healthier lifestyle, working on overall stress management, and learning the hard lesson that retreat was not the way out.
- Along the way, there was no shame in trying medication, and also in understanding that recovery cannot be a 24/7 full speed war on anxiety. Shannon had to learn to integrate her recovery into her life in general, which is so important!
- The conventional wisdom – “You just have to learn how to minimize it and manage it” – was something that had to be addressed. A therapist was instrumental in teaching Shannon that anxiety didn’t have to be just “managed and avoided, but also that the hard work of learning to move through it was really just a bunch of smaller steps that add up over time.
- Trying to squash it and make it go away was one error that Shannon says she made along the way. Remaining silent about her struggle was another strategy that Shannon says was not so helpful for her. Learning to talk about it proved to be VERY helpful in Shannon’s recovery.
- Shannon’s extended timeline of recovery was NOT 15 years of exposure and hard work and facing fear. Those years were full of trying different ways to manage anxiety, making mistakes, just trying to life life, and learning. Shannon cautions against demanding a specific recovery timeline or comparing your recovery to that of others.
- Inspired by the help she received from others, and with a little extra time as new stay at home mom, Shannon decided that helping others with their anxiety journeys was something she had to do. And A Healthy Push was born!
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Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)
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