What If The Anxiety Comes Back?

I can’t stop thinking, “What if the anxiety comes back?”

This is one of the most common issues I hear almost daily from people traveling along the path toward anxiety recovery. This week on the podcast we look at why we often overlook a very important aspect of the recovery process that renders this question almost irrelevant. The important part is that YOU change in recovery. Anxiety doesn’t change at all, and that makes your fear of it “coming back” far less important and worthy of attention.

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  • When you see recovery as a process based on changing your anxiety, stopping it, making it go away, or wrestling it to the ground so you can’t attack you any more, then it makes perfect sense that you might worry and even obsess over the idea that it might “come back”.
  • This is one of the most common recovery concerns I hear among members of the community surrounding this podcast so you are not alone if you are stuck on this thought or fear.
  • When you go through the process of recovery, YOU change.  The anxiety does not change. It remains the same.
  • My anxiety – when it does appear – looks and feels exactly like it did when I was stuck in my house, afraid of everything, riddled with repetitive irrational thoughts, and hiding from life.  So why doesn’t it pin me down any more?  Why does it play zero role in determining how I live or what I do?
  • The answer is that I am different now, so the anxiety didn’t have to change. I changed.
  • When you go through the process of recovery and learn the lessons you need to learn to get better, you grow.  You improve.  You get stronger. You get more capable and confident.  You begin to have a wide array of choices and options when it comes to navigating through anxiety and fear.
  • YOU CHANGE IN RECOVERY.  You get wider, more experienced, and more adept at moving through experiences that at present, you may only run from.
  • When you begin to understand that you are changing, not the anxiety, you realize that worrying about anxiety “coming back” is not really the concern you once feared it was.
  • You no longer thing about it coming back.  You begin to see that you just might feel it in the future, but you begin to understand that for future you, that’s not nearly the major issue that it is for present or past you.

If you find yourself stuck on the thought that it could come back … keep moving forward and bring that worry and that fear with you.  Do not let it stop you or make you retreat.  The best way to protect yourself against anxiety coming back is to keep coming better so that you no longer worry about it coming back … because you won’t fear it any more.


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


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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.