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Avoidance Got The Best Of Me

Shame Monster

I’m posting again after avoiding my blog for nearly five months. I can say my other freelance writing work got in the way. I can blame it on my family obligations, too. But, the truth is I freaked out, and practiced some major avoidance. Blogging can be a scary thing, especially if you’re throwing out your personal point of view for all to see. It’s even scarier when you’re fighting all the internal demons that say that if you share your story people will think you’re weird, stupid, or unworthy of their friendship. So I avoided this blog like the plague.

Back in October of last year, I attended a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Dalton of the from the Center For Anxiety And Behavioral Change.

Among the many enlightening things he had to say, the point that hit home for me the most was that avoidance is anxiety’s best friend. By avoiding anxiety causing situations, we are immediately rewarded with a feeling of relief, as if we had dodged one major bullet. It feels good at the time to avoid, but actually, avoidance inflicts long term damage by reinforcing the concept that if we avoid anxiety inducing situations we will be safe. Future episodes fuel more avoidance. And, more avoidance leads to more intense feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Avoidance is not the answer. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting other people who are like me along my journey through life, and only in the last year have we begun to have real dialogue about it. Talking about it helps. Finding others to relate to helps. And, if I can push past all the walls that want to hold me back, maybe my sharing will help someone else.

And so I’m back. I’m going to try and stay this time, and post regularly, sharing my everyday experience with the little anxiety monster. Some posts may be silly, some may be funny, and some may be very relatable. They will all be from a place of bare truth.

featured image courtesy of http://www.phillypsychology.com/child-social-anxiety-disorder-social-phobia/

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