Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Going Through Hell

"If you're going through Hell, keep going." Winston Churchill.

Often when something makes us uncomfortable or anxious, our first response is to retreat. It's a natural response, but often not a helpful one. Sometimes you really do have to face that fear. This is especially true for people with anxiety disorders, because what has us worked up is usually not jumping out of an airplane or staring down a man-eating shark. It's more likely to be something like driving during rush-hour traffic, standing in a long line at the grocery store, meeting someone new, or speaking in front of a group.

If we allow ourselves to retreat from these everyday things because they make us anxious or even stir a panic attack, we allow our world to shrink. We avoid going out for fear of facing these things. The real problem is that the anxiety is within us. It is not out there in the cold cruel world that we are retreating from. So when we hide at home or avoid stressful places, eventually we find that the anxiety is still right there with us. It still finds a way to come out. Then we begin finding new triggers and new things to avoid. Our worlds continue to shrink, and this viscious cycle can cause more stress and more anxiety.

This is where old Mr. Churchill's words of wisdom come into play. We've seen that freedom from anxiety does not lie in retreating. You're going through Hell so the last thing that you want to do is stop and just stay where you are. So you're left with one option, keep going. Move forward until you're out of the flames.


  1. Hi Aaron,

    It's been awhile since I have visited. Then again, I've been experiencing anxiety from outside negative forces. Yet I know that the anxiety this causes within, must not be given the power to overwhelm my life.

    I think one of the keys is to try and get out of our uncomfortable comfort zones. Thus, like you, my friend, we keep moving forward and focus on that positive vision.

    With respect, Gary

  2. I like that, "uncomfortable comfort zones". So fitting!

    And I totally get where you are coming from. I have been finding some difficulty getting words on the screen sometimes lately as I am going through some very stressful times lately. I do find that writing helps a lot more than the alternatives though, even in this depressing time for me.

    Thanks for responding,