Don't post a lot, but I've been really challenging my health anxiety lately, because it's been really challenging me. This is just a question, for both myself and others, I guess. In trying to dig yourself out of the awful hole of anxiety, is eliminating safety behaviours the absolute, excruciatingly awful, toe-curling worst and hardest part?
For me it is. I've been told, multiple times by people that know me and know this affliction, that if you want out, you have to stop seeking reassurance - be that going to your doctor, searching the internet, or self checking.
All three pull at me like a drug. I'll feel like I'm okay, but then I'll feel/see something on my body, and I feel absolutely terrified, like I have to muster an immediate game plan. To not would be putting my health, my family, at great risk. So I research online, again...so I go to the doctors, again...so I check my skin, again... I'm always sure that THIS time, I'll get the reassurance I need, that THIS time, it will stick.
I feel like at some point, whether we're on medication, in therapy, or what have you, that to conquer health anxiety, we're all going to have to take a giant leap of faith over the massive pit that is uncertainty, and hope that we make it to the other side.
I just see SO MANY posts on here of people asking for reassurance, or to be 'talked down'. But we all know, deep in our hearts, that this is the absolute opposite of what we should actually be doing. We have to find a way to sit with our discomfort if we are going to challenge it. And that's just so hard when our mind is screaming that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG, when everyone and everything else tells us that there's not. It goes against instinct.
Ugh. Tough work, this healing process. Anyway, I just want to encourage everyone to really, really challenge themselves and try not to ask for reassurance. There's still lots of ways to encourage each other and put each other on the right path, like talking about what you did to get through a rough day, or sharing glimpses of hope and recovery.
All the best to those trying to make it through...