Do One Thing A Day That Scares You

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August 2012 log

This page will serve as a log for my daily feats during the month of August!

As you may know, this month I’m personally challenging myself and any of you who are interested to take control of our fears, whatever they may be.

I currently have some things in my life that are holding me back and I’ll be working daily this month to challenge fears and negativity and make room for personal growth. To keep myself accountable, I’m logging my daily feats on this page. By the end of the month, I’ll hopefully have a log of large and small fears that I overcame. The end result is intended to build confidence, inspire new personal challenges, and remind ourselves that we are more powerful than we know.

For the full post on this challenge see: The August Challenge post.

Below is a log of how I’m doing each day. I will be blogging about some, but probably not all, of the fears I’m overcoming each day. It just depends on the nature of it and whether I want to disclose it online. Feel free to leave comments on this page and let me know how you are doing! I want to keep this conversation going all month long.

August 1: The fear I overcame today was blogging about the fear challenge, oddly enough. I always feel anxious when putting myself out there and being vulnerable in my writing, but I have to say, I was so happy that I did the post. Everyone’s comments were so supportive and I realized that so many of us struggle with this. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Thank you.

August 2: Earlier this year, I had a falling out with a family member who made some very poor choices without showing much remorse. This is something that has happened many times before and I felt so disappointed, yet again. Our relationship has been strained and disconnected for a while, but especially as of late. Today, I picked up the phone – after a few months of avoidance – and called this family member. I was very anxious about the call, but it ended up going quite well. While this family member’s actions still disappoint me a great deal, I’m hoping to try to stay in touch more even though it’s likely we’ll never have the relationship I’d hoped for. I felt proud of myself for facing my fear and calling, but I also had many mixed emotions too.

August 3: I have water in my right ear! Do you know what that means?? I went swimming – lap swimming, that is! Eric joined me. We’ve been so inspired watching all the great swimmers in the Olympics, we knew it was time to get back into the pool. Some of you might remember when we trained for our first triathlon (part 1 and part 2), it’s hard to believe that was two summers ago! Well, I can’t tell you how anxious I was before the swim tonight. A few hours beforehand, I started to feel butterflies in my stomach and I debated backing out of it. What do I fear about swimming laps? The better question is what don’t I fear. In the anxious mind, all thoughts sound rational – that’s the worst part. An hour beforehand, I almost felt sick to my stomach I was so nervous! Frustrated with myself. Thankfully, I had a commitment to go with Eric and knew I couldn’t back out. When I walked out of the shower into the main pool area I immediately wanted to leave. You know the saying “the hardest part is showing up”? well, it’s always right. The hardest part was getting to the pool and into the pool. Taking those steps toward the pool and then walking over to dip myself into the water. The water was warm and refreshing. This isn’t so bad! I started off with the breaststroke, which I’ve always found an easier stroke. First length, done. I’m alive. I did it. Second. Still alive. Nothing bad is happening. Wasn’t too busy. I eased into freestyle and took a break with the board now and then. Ten minutes passed, then 20, then 30. Still alive. Eric did fine too. After 40 minutes, we were wiped and called it a day. Success! I’m sitting here with water logged in my right ear – that was the worst thing that happened.

August 4: I have struggled with social anxiety as far back as I can remember. I don’t remember a lot from when I was super young, but this one memory sticks out in my mind and I find is so strange that I even remember it. I was just 3 or 4 years old and my family was at church one Sunday. The pastor would always call up the kids to the very front of the church for a mini lesson and all the adults would watch. Well, just before the pastor called all the kids up, what does 3 or 4 year old Angie decide to do? I crouch down on the floor and HIDE behind the pew, so the pastor doesn’t see me and I don’t have to go up on stage! In my young mind, if I was hidden I wouldn’t have to go to the front of the church. I’ve never liked being the centre of attention, even way back then. The pastor must have seen me disappear suddenly (hah) – or maybe he saw me hiding on the floor – and I remember him saying a lighthearted joke in reference to me hiding. Busted. I can’t remember what he said, but I remember feeling scared and nervous about it all. I was too young to know what social anxiety was, but I just knew I didn’t want to go on stage. I know this is a weird example, and I’m sure my mom has many better ones, but it’s one that always sticks out in my mind. My point of all of this is to illustrate that social anxiety is something I’ve dealt with my entire life. It has prevented me from doing countless things in my life and I’ve missed out on many opportunities. It’s prevented me from enjoying otherwise pleasurable situations. I’ve been on anxiety meds in the past (a couple different times during university) and I had really bad side effects on the pills and coming off them. Since then, I’ve tried to manage my anxiety medication-free. It’s very tough at times, especially when I’m not actively working on it. It’s very easy to get complacent and allow anxiety to take control. I’m going to be going back into therapy sometime this month (more on that later) when my insurance plan kicks in. One of my goals this month, is to get back into my anxiety work consistently and see some real progress. That, in conjunction with this challenge, will really pave the way for some amazing changes. All this is to say, the fear I’m overcoming today is going out with friends! I wanted to write this now because by the time I get home it will probably be 1 or 2 am. Even though I have anxiety before I go out with friends, I know I will have fun like I always do! Why can’t my brain figure that part out? Again, I’ve written too much, but it’s therapeutic in a way. I’m reading your comments everyday on this page and I’m so inspired by you all. Thanks for sharing – it really does help to know there are others going through similar things. Oh, another fear faced today – I swam again!! My anxiety was probably 2/3 LESS today than it was yesterday. It’s amazing how just doing something ONE TIME can decrease anxiety so much. Toodles for now.

August 5: Today, the fear I challenged was a work-related one! I think most of us can relate to having those work tasks that we fear for one reason or another. One of mine over the past several months has been getting a system in place to organize my cookbook photos. I’m shooting all the photos for the book which is proving to be much more difficult than I ever anticipated. Since January, I kept saying, “I really need to get my photos organized and create a system” – well, 7 months has gone by without doing this! The more time that goes by, the more fear builds. My mind thinks – well if you are avoiding it, it MUST be bad, right? I recently organized all of my recipes in a spreadsheet (and it felt great), but I need to do this for photos too. Today, I decided to just get it over with and I spent the better part of a few hours going through all my photos since January and marking ones that I will include in the book. The process wasn’t as difficult as I imagined it would be, but I must say, it was painful looking at some of the photos I shot for the book early on. My photography skills are a work in progress and I’m still experimenting with different styles and approaches to find out what I like best.  As I was going through my photos, I was disappointed with photos I took even just 4 months ago.  I will have to reshoot many of them. In addition to going through my photos and organizing them, I also made a plan of attack for my photography. I’m hopefully going to meet with Eric’s friend who is a food photographer for a one-on-one session and I also need to gather a few more photography props and tools for the shoots. Now that I have my goals set, it should be easier to make more progress in this area. Take home message – if there’s something you’ve been putting off it’s so much easier to just tackle it than to procrastinate and worry about it for weeks or months. Often, when you get into it, it’s not as hard as you thought. This was certainly true today!

August 6: Today was one of those days. I put in a 12 hour work day and had little to show for it with many frustrations and issues pop up. PMS may have been a factor. You’ll see another chocolate recipe tomorrow morning, so it wasn’t a total loss. What can you do but roll with the punches on days like this? Unfortunately no fears were faced today (unless you count facing a mountain of dishes that I wanted to run away from!!), but I’m going to get back on the horse tomorrow! Promise. Hope your week is off to a better start.

August 7: The sun will come out tomorrow and so it did today. I made up for yesterday by facing not one but two fears! I went to the dentist for my regular cleaning appointment. I have a lot of anxiety before and during dental appointments, but I feel so good after and I’m always glad I went. My teeth are simply glowing right now. ;) The hygienist gave me a tip today – drink tea with a straw! Sounds strange, I know, but I’m going to give it a shot because green tea stains my teeth a lot. The other fear I faced was speaking with a psychologist on the phone and making my first appointment. It turns out the doctor had a cancellation for tomorrow, so I’ll be going into therapy much quicker than I originally thought. No time to back out now! We spoke briefly about what I was going into therapy for and I also asked her what types of therapies she tends to use in her own practice. I was happy to hear that she uses an eclectic approach, pulling from different techniques and perspectives as shes fit for the person. Her emphasis is on CBT which has been fairly effective for me in the past when I’m actively using the strategies, however I’m open to other approaches too. I’ve been in therapy several times over the past 10 years and the first appointment is always the most difficult. Occasionally, it has been the only appointment. Rarely do we ever get so personal with someone we’ve known for 5 minutes, but in the end, I know it’s worth it. It has taken me many years to learn that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of true strength. Ditto for asking for help. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for support when you are struggling with something. Keep rocking your challenge!

I’ll leave you with a quote I enjoy:

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

August 8: Today was right up there on the anxiety “Richter” scale – I had my first therapy session with a new-to-me psychologist. I can think of only a handful things more stressful than telling a complete stranger my entire life history. On the first therapy appointment, it all comes out. Thankfully I knew this coming in. I knew not to expect it to be a happy-go-lucky appointment. Deep feelings are stirred up, ones I try not to think about in my day to day life. I’ve sugar coated things before in therapy and this time I decided I would lay it all out on the table. My throat felt dry on the way there (why didn’t I bring water??) and I was so relieved when the psychologist ( I will call her “Jamie” from here forward) offered me a glass of water before we even began. She’s done this before. At first, I took a sip and placed the glass down on the side table, but as I became more nervous I decided I felt more safe clutching it for dear life in my cold hands. I only put the glass down twice that hour to grab a tissue and sign a form. We started with a bit of small talk – our crazy humid summer. Nervous laughter. Apparently, I can talk for minutes straight about the humidity without so much as taking a breath. Who knew. Then, a quick story about us moving to our new town. My current and previous careers. She told me about herself and her approach to therapy. Then we formally delved into some intake questions, which led us so far into left field I thought we might run out of time before we finished the intake. I apologized for talking too long, but she never made me feel like I had to. Jamie frantically wrote down my story on her paper while I spoke, trying to get names, dates, relationships, and places correct. I had a hard time myself with some dates. I talk, and talk, and talk. Then all of a sudden there are no words, only kleenex. It turns out we both discover a theme during all of this today – I carry a ton of guilt, even for other’s actions that I can’t control. While not surprising, I hadn’t thought of it that way before. I used to only associate guilt with my past eating disorder, but I guess it trickles into many areas. “We’re going to work on all that guilt!”, Jamie said with a smile. Jamie is excited to show me a bunch of strategies she can work with me on the anxiety. She is filled with hope and that makes me hopeful too. Today, I felt both drained and relieved after our 68 minutes were up. She asked me how frequently I might want to come into therapy. “weekly” was my answer, at least initially. Soon the real work will begin. I have a handful of psych measures to fill out before the appointment next week. Oddly, I look forward to filling them out. The measures bring me back to grad school when I used to learn the ins and outs of each one. I’ll try not to let this bias my responses.

Thank you once again for reading & sharing.

August 9: Those measures I was looking forward to filling out? 1.5 hours later, I finished. I  never want to fill out another measure again! Just kidding…it wasn’t that bad. I secretly enjoyed it and let me tell you, it sure as hell beats doing data input for them. There were a few questions I couldn’t think of an answer for, so I will have to come back to them in a few days. Today, my fear was yet another doctor appointment. Three doctors in one week…who am I? Thankfully this challenge has given me the push to book things I’ve been putting off. Some of you might remember back in March when I injured my knee while lifting a heavy box (a box of cookbooks, of course…grrrrr) while moving. When I was bending my knees to pick up the box, I felt a sharp pain on the inside of my right knee. Sharp, sudden pains are never good! I ended up taking several weeks off running entirely. When my knee started to feel a bit better, I got into hot yoga again and also did a lot of strength training exercises as recommended by a Physical Therapist. He didn’t know what was wrong with my knee. After a lot of patience and time off running, my knee was feeling good enough to try running again and my PT encouraged me to try it out. It went pretty good for the first while, but the same knee pain came back on and off (some days were good, others not good), especially if I tried to run more than 1-2 miles. I got into spinning here and there for a different form of cardio. Months have passed now and my right knee still feels off and on. After complaining to Eric about it yet again, he finally said to me, “Ange. Book an appointment with a Sports Doctor. You need to find out what’s wrong…this has been going on for too long.” Tough love. And he’s right. I guess I was afraid what I might find out. So, today was the day of my appointment and I was nervous as hell beforehand. After telling him my knee history over the past 4-5 months, he did a series of mobility tests on my knees. “It’s hard to tell for sure until you have an MRI, but I have a feeling you may have injured your meniscus. It’s a form of cartilage in the knee and if there’s a bad tear, it often requires surgery. Sometimes it’s minor and it will heal on its own with time.” My anxiety shot through the roof at the mention of the S word. Breathe. He showed me the knee anatomy and talked more about the different parts. “We won’t jump to conclusions though. I’m sending you for a MRI. It will take 4-6 weeks to get an appointment for the MRI. Then we’ll have some answers and meet again to discuss.” Four to Six weeks, worrying about my knee….great!! I’m trying to think positively and keep the faith that I can get through any challenge that comes my way. This is what life is all about…overcoming challenges and embracing gratitude for what you have. It could always be worse…always. He encouraged me to continue activity (swimming, spinning, hot yoga, walking, strength, are all fine) so I’m just going to keep truckin’ on and waiting for that MRI test. As they say, knowledge is power! PS- I’m reading your comments everyday…thank you a million for making this challenge so meaningful!

August 10: Some techy talk today. I’m notorious for putting off tasks if they involve learning a new tech gadget or computer program. Somehow, I managed to resist the whole smart phone craze until mid-2012 when I acquired a used Samsung Galaxy II. The rest was history. I recently purchased a 15-foot cable for tethered shooting and it has been sitting in the corner of the office for ages. Of course, I assumed it would be complicated to set up so I continued to shoot in “comfortable” mode while it sat ignored in the box. Finally, on Friday I decided to give it a shot (pun intended) and it was so easy to hook up. Ridiculously easy. I did a quick Google search to figure out where I could find the tethered setting in Lightroom and boom, I was now shooting tethered. Something I had been putting off for ages was now done in less than 10 minutes. Remind me to read this entry frequently…

August 11: Yesterday I had the pleasure of celebrating Eric’s big 3-0 with him and about 50 of our family and friends. It was a magical, beautiful day – and of course, all about the birthday boy. We’ve been through so much over the past 12 years and I’m so incredibly proud of the person he is today and always was.

August 12: Today I called an old friend who I haven’t talked to in a couple years. As I get older it’s easier to fall out of touch with people and the more time that passes, the more anxious I feel about reaching out. Plus, the phone has always made me anxious for some weird reason. As it turned out, she was home and quite happy to hear from me (although I bet surprised too!). I had it in my mind that she was going to be mad at me since we haven’t spoken in so long, but it turned out she felt just as bad about it as I did. We had a lovely catch up and now have plans to get together for lunch sometime this fall. I hate to think that I could have lost this friendship because I was afraid to make that call and I’m so glad I did. I have a few other friends and family I want to reach out to and hope to do so over the next month.

August 13: Today, a couple “smaller” fears were tackled, but tackled nonetheless. First off, as you may have read in today’s post, I tackled my long-time fear of making a balsamic reduction. I felt like a culinary goddess. ‘Nough said. Secondly, I faced a fear while on a walk last night. Eric and I were walking on a very dark trail in the woods when all of a sudden a few animals ran out just a few feet ahead of us. I literally couldn’t see anything – it was pitch black. Normally, I would’ve wanted to turn around in the opposite direction, but I continued on even though I was scared of not seeing where the animals were. As it turned out on our way back, the scary “predators” were 3 of the cutest bunny rabbits you’ve ever seen. bahaha. My bravery clearly has no bounds.

August 14: Lunch dates with new friends – you can bet I’m anxious beforehand, but I always seem to have a wonderful time. Today, I met up with a colleague in the publishing industry I’ve gotten to know over the past several months. As always, I was super nervous beforehand, but the meeting went very well. We chatted away the better part of 2.5 hours and I just completely lost myself in the conversation. It felt so good to really enjoy myself without worrying or feeling nervous and it renewed my hope that I can accomplish all my goals even in spite of feeling anxious. As many of you have mentioned in the comments, it’s OK to allow oneself to feel the fear and do it anyways. Instead of trying to resist my fear like I’ve done for so long, I’m trying my best to recognize it for what it is and then do it anyways. Actually, on the drive there I said to myself, “I feel nervous and that’s ok..I’m going anyways!” quite liberating to say. I also drove through downtown Toronto in rush hour traffic – another thing I fear, but I survived. ;)

Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing!

August 15: Today I said yes to a social/business opportunity that I normally would have declined due to anxiety of meeting a whole group of new people.  When I thought about it more, I realized wanting to decline was even more reason to say YES. This month, I’m monitoring the things I’m resisting and then trying to do them anyways. So far, nothing bad has happened! This opportunity is exactly something that I need to do. Even though the thought of it really scares me, I have to believe that it will go well and I will probably be so glad that I went. Plus, it’s only for a few hours. I can get through anything that is only a few hours. Next time you find yourself resisting something you fear, ask yourself why you are resisting it. Once I confronted my anxious thoughts, I was able to realize that even despite them, I could still do it. Feel the fear and do it anyways – it’s becoming a new motto this month, thanks to your comments!

August 16: It’s getting pretty annoying to scroll down this list, sorry about that guys. Next time, I’ll know to set this up better! Who knew I was going to write a book on this challenge. hah. Anyway! Today. I saw the psychologist again for appointment no 2. Naturally, I was anxious beforehand and a bit during. She asked me how things are going and what my biggest struggle is lately. That was easy – aside from the anxiety stuff – I’ve really been struggling with balancing my work/personal life. The cookbook has basically consumed my life this spring/summer and I’m not close to where I wanted to be at this point in the year. We came up with a few strategies to help – one of which is setting more frequent deadlines. I love this idea and hadn’t done that yet. It’s much easier to break things into small chunks than have one huge looming deadline, right? As soon as I got home, I got to work on a plan. I pinned down a handful of summer recipes to finish by the end of August. It’s a bit of a lofty goal, but a goal nevertheless. After that, we went over some of the measures I filled out and talked about my anxiety more. She described anxiety as being “wave-like”, which I found very helpful to visualize. Picture anxiety as a huge wave – as anxiety builds in your body/mind, the wave grows and grows until the anxiety is very intense and nearing the peak. This is when I – and many of you who suffer from anxiety – BAIL, run, freak out, cancel, feel nauseous….throw in whatever word you want for avoiding the situation! However, if you can learn to just push through the build up of of anxiety (or in a sense, “ride the wave!”) eventually the wave will peak and your wave and anxiety will be on its way down. The body can only stay in that state of “flight or fight” for so long physically until it has to return to a calmer state. It’s similar to when someone is super angry and then cries to release all the emotion and calm down. The goal is to push through that wave of anxiety – ride the wave – and know that the anxiety will reduce on the other side. I find this to be so true with my own experiences. Before a social situation I often have this intense build up of anxiety that can start a week or longer in advance and gets worse as it gets closer. If I do manage to push through and go anyway, I often find my anxiety lessens as I’m exposed to the anxiety-provoking situation. Of course, there might be blips on the graph here and there (such as an awkward convo with someone that makes you anxious!), but for the most part getting over that initial hurdle is often the hardest part. As they say, (sometimes) the hardest part is showing up. All in all, a good appointment. I’m also working on breathing from my stomach area instead of my chest. It’s hard to relearn…I’m such a “crappy” breather. I think yoga is calling my name, wondering where I’ve been…

August 17: Did some yoga before bed last night. Felt sooo good, but man have I lost flexibility. My muscles have been super tight lately, which I wouldn’t expect since I haven’t had much time to workout lately. Along with breathing better, I’m going to try to do a bit of yoga daily – even just 10 minutes will help a lot. Back to Friday though! What a whirlwind yesterday was. As I mentioned, I finally made a plan of attack for the last two weeks of August. It consists of about 15 cookbook recipes in addition to blog recipes and photography, so needless to say, I’m going to be working my tail off 7 days a week to try and get my summer recipes complete. Once the summer produce is out of season, it’s out of season. Yesterday I started in the kitchen around 6:30am and I worked straight until about 9pm when I cleaned the last dish.  If you saw my crazy kitchen picture on instagram yesterday, you feel my pain. It felt so good to sit down last night. The upside is that I got 3 cookbook recipes plus the photography done and the first trail for a 4th recipe. I’m getting sooooo excited to share the recipes with you. After yesterday’s successes, I am already feeling much better about things. Six recipes are planned for this weekend and I’m hoping those go well too. Organization is not my strong suit, but I’m hoping to keep working on it. While organizing often makes me feel more anxious initially to see everything that needs to be done, it does help reduce anxiety overall. There’s something to be said for having a PLAN with many small goals to keep ya going!

August 18: It appears that I fell off the face of the earth for a few days! This weekend was so busy I didn’t have a chance to update this page. On Saturday, I invited new friends over. We met briefly last month at a party and said that we should get together sometime. Well, all too often that never happens! I called them up earlier this week and invited them over on the weekend. We had a great time and now have plans to get together in September. If my anxiety had its way, I probably wouldn’t have taken the leap and called them, but I’m really glad I did. Plus, they got to taste test a bunch of cookbook appetizers!

August 19: On Sunday morning Eric and I went to a huge antique market in Guelph. I’m usually always anxious when it comes to negotiating a deal, but today I decided the fear I would overcome would be just this. I bought a handful of things for my blog photography and I negotiated the price with each vendor. It wasn’t that hard and sometimes it was actually fun (if the vendor was playful about it). I ended up saving over $25 dollars overall….so all in all, a success! PS- Can I just tell you about this amazing vintage Le Creuset pot I scored? It’s white with a pouring spout & has a lovely wooden handle with Le Creuset inscribed on it. major swoon. Hopefully you’ll see it in a soup post this fall!

August 20: Today I was asked to host an event in September at a festival. I’ll admit this sends my anxiety through the roof (!) but instead of flat out rejecting the idea, I thought about all the positives that could come out of it. I asked for more info and if it’s a good fit, I’m hoping to move forward with it!

August 21: Hot yoga was accomplished tonight. I haven’t been great for keeping up with yoga lately, so today my goal was to take a hot yoga class. It always helps with anxiety. I’ve been avoiding one of the studios near me because the rooms are really small and you are literally on top of the people around you.  The first time I tried this studio it was during a 30 day challenge, so the studio was literally PACKED with people. If I stuck out my arm or leg too far I would nearly hit someone if I wasn’t careful. Needless to say, it was difficult to “zone out” in this class with someone’s head up your rear. hah. I didn’t try many classes at the studio after that. My goal for today was to go back to that same studio that made me uncomfortable and do it anyways. As it turned out, the studio wasn’t busy at all this time. I guess with it being summer and not having a challenge going on, things calm down a lot. I had a great class and will certainly be back!

August 22: Today I had my 3rd therapy appointment. The session went so, so well. I feel like I hit my groove and lightbulb moments were happening left and right. Natural conversation flowed, we laughed, and I had so many insights throughout the hour. The first two appointments were a bit heavy, but this session was so uplifting and encouraging. My therapist wants me to set an alarm on my phone to go off every half hour or hour to remind me to stop work and do some deep breathing. I really like this idea because so far I’m not remembering to breathe properly on my own and I rarely take breaks throughout the work day. I also downloaded a free breathing app called “Breathe2Relax” that guides you through breathing exercises. This brings my lifetime app count to 3? I’m on a roll. Breathe2Relax is a pretty basic concept, but hopefully I will get some use out of it. If any of you reading have any fun apps to share, pass them along! (edited to add a week later: I can’t seem to remember to use this breathing app!)

PS- How is it August 22nd already??

August 23: In every relationship, there’s usually a messy person and a tidy person. Am I right? Eric has always been the tidy one in the relationship (bless his soul…) and for some reason he puts up with me ploughing through rooms like a tornado. In the spirit of this, today’s fear was tackling my closet! Well, we share the closet and Eric’s side is always so tidy and organized while mine has clothes strung about, on the floor, stuff thrown on the top shelf. From time to time, he’ll look over at my side and shake his head saying, “Maybe you’d be able to find something to wear if you didn’t throw your clothes on the floor…” He does have a point! Tonight, I got to business and spent a couple hours getting things organized again. It now looks better than Eric’s side – score! How long will this last? We shall see. Tomorrow, I’m targeting my dish cabinet. And soon, the kitchen cupboards. It’s bad. Real bad.

August 24: Tonight we were on our way to a friend’s house and we drove by our old house for the first time since we moved in March. Even though we both think the move was great for us and love our new area, there are many things we miss about our old place of course. I avoided driving by because I didn’t want to feel sad when I saw someone else living there. I imagined it would feel a bit like seeing an ex boyfriend with a new girlfriend – you kinda want to see them together, but then again you don’t. Anyway, Eric suggested that we drive by and I reluctantly agreed. I’m not sure what we were expecting, but what we saw was nothing like we hoped. The house looked run down really showing its age and the lawn was unkempt with huge weeds everywhere. My heart sank. That wasn’t the same house that we left. Well, it was, but now it was theirs to take care of. Maybe it’s easier to let go of this way. I’ll have to drive by again at the peak of fall. There’s no way that house can look anything but magical during that time of the year.

August 25: I’m not sure if I did anything that scared me today (or maybe my anxiety is decreasing?), but it was a fun day. I went to the St Jacob’s farmer’s market for the first time in YEARS (since I was probably 12!) and it was a lot of fun. I bought zucchini and a huge bag of beets. I also went out with Ange to celebrate her birthday at a nice restaurant nearby. It was so nice to catch up and visit with a dear friend. Edited to add: I just remembered I organized my dish cabinet today!

August 26: We got some sad news last week – a close family member’s cancer has come back and will have to undergo chemo for 3 months starting in early September. :( It’s hard to believe as we get older how many of our loved ones have been impacted by this horrible disease. I know he will get through it though. He is an amazing person and has such a positive outlook on things. Today we went to visit them at their new house in Toronto. It was so good to see him in great spirits despite everything going on. Eric is going to go over to help with the renos they’ve been working on, so hopefully that will help alleviate some stress.

August 27: I contacted a non-profit food organization that I’ve been hoping to get involved with, but have put it off because I was nervous about the social aspect of it all. The organizer was so helpful and welcoming and I was instantly at ease as I found out how it all worked. Unfortunately, they are all booked up in 2012, but I hope to organize an event in 2013. I’ll be sure to post info on the blog if any of you are interested in finding out more or attending! It will probably be in Burlington.

August 28: My goal today was to dine solo. Anxiety is a funny thing – I get nervous in social situations, but I also get nervous when I’m all alone and have no one to lean on for support. Go figure. I think I’ve been out to eat by myself only a couple times in my entire life, so today I set a goal to go out for a meal by myself. No friend, no Eric, no phone, no work to distract me. Just me enjoying a meal and my own company. At first I felt really strange sitting at the table alone – almost as if I was being stood up. I was the only person in the restaurant solo. After 15 minutes, I felt more comfortable and really just focused on enjoying my meal and taking time to take in my surroundings. I ended up having a great time…it was empowering in a weird way!

August 29: Today I had my annual OB/GYN appointment. I always manage to work myself up and feel majorly anxious beforehand, but it’s always a breeze! Why can’t I remember this? It takes all of 2 mins and then it’s over. Another appointment to check off the list. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I tackle something that’s been on my mind for a while.

August 30: My goal today was to introduce myself to one of our neighbours. We have only said a quick hello in passing, so I figured a good challenge was to head over and strike up a convo complete with some desserts in tote! It wasn’t as scary as I imagined and they were so so nice and welcoming. We spoke for about 10 minutes and I was on my way! Easy as pie.

August 31: The last day of the challenge! I can’t believe how fast this month went. Looking back on each day feels good and I have definitely noticed an improvement in my anxiety. I am doing so many things that I normally would avoid out of fear. It’s amazing how things get easier even after just doing it once or twice. I hope to continue this challenge into the fall. While I might not do something every single day, I think 1-2 weekly goals might be a good way to go about it. Anyway, today was our 4th year anniversary and Eric surprised me with a trip to BC mid-Sept! I haven’t been before and we’ve been talking about going all summer long, but just didn’t have time to go. I had completely forgotten about it and was so shocked when he surprised me. The catch was that I had to agree to going ZIPLINING in Whistler AND walk a crazy high suspension bridge! He’s cruel!!! After some hesitation, I figured it would be a great way to end the Aug challenge. So you’ll have to wait and see if I do it, but I will report back 3rd week of Sept…

Omg, I just Googled it and I may hurl. Times two. Edit: Now he tells me he wants to do a cliff walk too!!!

I may come back a new woman.

Thank you to all of you for your amazing comments & support over the month of August. You never cease to amaze me and be a constant inspiration in my life. Congrats for all the fears you challenged! Whether it was 1 or 31, every fear overcome is a huge step in the right direction.

One of my biggest lessons this month:

I don’t have to resist fear or push it away. It’s ok to FEEL the fear for what it is, but do it anyways! Sometimes addressing the fear rather than trying to ignore it is more beneficial in the long run.

What did you learn?

{ 199 comments… read them below or add one }

1 leatitia August 2, 2012

August 1: Call and visit a daycare for my son. I’ve been putting it off, and putting it off because I’m scared of the unknown of it all. I always feel like I have to know everything about something before acting, instead of feeling vulnerable and asking questions. There’s no shame in asking questions!
August 2: Again, brave my fear and called two daycares and visited one of them. I was exhausted came nighttime, it drained a lot of energy out of me! Despite the tiredness, I feel proud and accomplished.

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2 Robin August 2, 2012

Today I am not going out for a run to reclaim some of my time at home. The undue burden I place on myself to do something out of compulsion or requirement. While I know the run will do me good, the fear comes from if I don’t run. I will be okay tending to my house. The pressures I place on myself need to be examined more closely. I have a weekend filled with exercise activities. I am meeting a friend this evening soon. So filling the space with busy activities leads me to feel overspent. I will live to run another day. Namaste-peace is filling me in this moment!

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3 Robin August 4, 2012

Today I let my cats roam more free. I was worried about my leather couch and chairs but realize their happiness is more important than my selfishnish to keep a pristine couch. They had more fun during the day running around beyond the bedroom and occasional full roam while I was home routine. The house has become more for them too today. The things I worry about are silly sometimes. I can educate more how to keep them off the furniture and get another tree stand for them. My fear of scratches is real but I am overcoming that today. :)

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4 Tricia August 2, 2012

August 1: i posted my blog on facebook–i’m kind of afraid of exposure. August 2: i went to the dr’s- doctor’s offices sometimes scare me lol

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5 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2012

I can relate to both! When I started my blog, it took me about 3 months to tell family about it! and probably the better part of a year to post it on Facebook. hah. Once I did though it was very freeing.

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6 Keri August 6, 2012

I’m still scared to post on facebook…..Maybe that’s one to add to the challenge for me!

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7 Ariel Scheirer August 12, 2012

For what it’s worth, you can can try sending it to someone via FB first, just to see how it goes. I some of them are hits, some aren’t. But if you hit on a good topic, and someone REPOSTS it on their page, wow, such a great feeling. . . you’ll never know until you try. Good luck!!

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8 Emily Cooks Vegan August 3, 2012

Today I ate cereal and milk for breakfast and didn’t measure it or count any calories – I have anorexia so this made me really anxious, but I’m glad I did it!

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9 Sara August 3, 2012

I’m glad you did it too, Emily. I fought anorexia (and won!) ten years ago and reading this brought tears to my eyes. <3 I know just how hard it can be and how huge a step this was for you. Hugs!

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10 Natalie August 9, 2012

that’s awesome!!! I’m suffering from anorexia as well, and I talked to my eating disorder therapist about the ‘do one thing a day that scares you’ challenge, so a lot of my challenges have been about food/anxiety. it’s good to have a reason to really challenge yourself, right? keep it up, we can both beat this :)

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11 Keri August 4, 2012

Oy! That’s huge. I still remember how scary it was to not measure the first meal in my recovery. And to be reminded of it is inspiring–thanks for sharing!

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12 Lauren August 5, 2012

Yay!!! I’m in recovery too and it is scary! I have been in recovery since December and every day it does get easier. I am startinggg to eat more freely- without so many rigid rules and restrictions. Even though it is scary, I feel like every step I make in the right direction makes the ED voice a little weaker. Ch-yeahhhhh ;)

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13 Laura August 8, 2012

I guess I’ve been a non-specific disordered eater my whole life. Decades. Though I haven’t really harmed myself for many years, I am still “in recovery.” Every single day. It might always be that way. Small steps. Not “counting” and then maybe not worrying, and some days true freedom and enjoyment. And then sometimes anxiety again. One day at a time.

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14 Erica August 10, 2012

Its comforting to hear this. I’ve suffered from of variety of eating disorders. Although I’ve come far I still wake up feeling anxious to start another day. If I get of my eating schedule that was set in place to help me or eat something that’s not typical I feel very upset. Its a daily battle. Some days when im busy it seems easier but some times the opposite happens and the busier i am the more overwhelmed i feel. I wish someone could get in my brain and erase all of the nonsense I’ve put in my head. Like the memory reading device in men in black :D I guess all things we face have been put there for a reason. Can’t wait to find out what the reason is.

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15 Traci August 10, 2012

Way to go Emily! I don’t know you but I know your struggle and I’m proud of you!

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16 Jennifer August 3, 2012

I just found out about the August challenge, but I’m so excited for it. And I already have a great daily feat. On August 1 I defended my master’s thesis. I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified in my entire life. After two years of research, I had to present my 150+ page thesis and defend it in an oral exam. And I passed! I graduate in two weeks with my master’s degree. Such a feeling of relief!!

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17 Diana August 10, 2012

I’m an MA student, as well, and you should be ridiculously proud of yourself. Between the research process, the writing, the editing, and the defense itself, the entire process can be absurdly scary and very daunting, and not only are you in the clear, but you have a beautiful piece of original research under your belt that you can do stuff with! :-) Congratulations!

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18 Jennifer August 12, 2012

Diana – Thank you! It’s a lot of hard work, but very worth it in the end. I think when you’re in the process it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But being where I am now, I’m so glad I pushed through. And having guilt-free free time back is such a wonderful feeling. It’s reward enough for being done. Good luck to you in your studies! I hope your graduate studies are going well!

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19 Sanna August 3, 2012

Congratulations! (I was so glad you answered my email the other day, I feel more and more inspired.)

Yesterday I made some spicy tofu and cashew wok, and put extra much cashews and didn’t even measure anything or count calories. It was scary as hell and I’m close to hyperventilating even thinking about it, but I’m still so glad I did it. And today I went to see my psychologist for the first time after a bit of a break, and actually opened up about how I feel about ~stuff.

Yay for doing scary things.

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20 Jane August 6, 2012

Today I was bitten by a dog while riding my bike on a daily 20 km ride. It wasn’t a bad bite more of a pinch. I have always been afraid of dogs. Now I feel like I have faced my fear and realized it is not as bad as I thought. Take the courage to face your fears you might be surprised. Good luck!

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21 cassie August 3, 2012

Yesterday I went running and fell. Bruised my face and knees, got bloody. Today, I went running again, even though it was dark and sidewalks were uneven:)

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22 Lacey August 3, 2012

Last night I had a rough time while shopping at the mall, and then I *finally* let it out, I just cried and told my mom that no, the thoughts haven’t gone away (I am recovering from an ED and have been slowly, yet secretly, relapsing since I ‘graduated’ from outpatient in april), and that its still so hard and scary to just let go. This morning I woke up and *didn’t* feel the need to secretly weigh myself, and I let myself have a normal breakfast instead of a small amount of grains and amping up the fruits, vegs, and water to make it look bigger. I am making my august challenge to allow myself to heal, and to finally be done, because I am so ready to be done.

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23 Lauren August 5, 2012

So happy that you made the choice to nourish your body, Lacey!!! I too am in recovery and eating more and the weight gain can seem like the end of the world sometimes. I too have been recently thinking about ‘secretly’ relapsing….Can’t believe I’m saying this!! Who plans something like that?! “Self-destruction will begin tomorrow.” Gahh, it doesn’t make sense. Thank you so much for being brave and admitting to this. Just reading this is pushing me forward. I have taken so long to get here, only to backwards? Nothankyou.

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24 Grace (My Spare Oom) August 6, 2012

Wow, both of y’all are so brave and so inspirational – thank you so much for sharing your struggles and decisions to rise above them! Love and prayers to you girls!!

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25 Lynne August 3, 2012

I had a job interview today, that I was sooo nervous about. I feel so relieved that it’s over – whatever the outcome. I’m going to make a list of fears that I want to conquer this month now. You are all inspiring me!

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26 Emma August 3, 2012

Hi Angela,
Emma from Orange County, California. I have been following your blog for the last 4-5 months, and I just want to say “thank you” for all you do. My husband, mother, and I have been vegetarian for a year now and your blog/recipes have helped us become vegan and switch to using vegan products that are not tested on animals. Also, the last couple of days me and my husband have been making our “I am grateful for” lists AND I have started running and hiking again. Amazing! My conscience feels so much more at peace.
Re: August 1 challenge: I’m sure it makes you feel vulnerable letting all us strangers into your life because so often it is a one way conversation for you. Please know that you inspire me and so many other women every single day. I know you have to be cautious with sharing things that are personal, which is understandable/prudent. I hope you realize though that this is not just a “fun” or “cool” blog – it is helping me and many others become healthier and happier with every post. For this and your willingness to share, I am grateful.
My fear – posting a comment on a blog/FB. BAM – nailed it! :o)

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27 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 3, 2012

Hey Emma, Thank you so much for your comment, you don’t know how much that means to me.
I’m thrilled to hear about all the changes you are making. Please keep me posted!

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28 Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) August 3, 2012

August 3rd – today I faced the fear of not getting enough work done (lots on my plate to do before the long weekend), and instead honoured myself by going to a lunchtime yoga class rather than work straight through. It felt so great to do something I needed to do for ME, and the class left me feeling calm and centred.

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29 Sarah August 3, 2012

The same day I read your blog, I read a quote…”when is the last time you did something for the first time?”. We are on vacation this week and my kids and husband we way out in the deep jumping off the water tramp. I am terrified of swimming in lakes, but decided I ws sick of the sidelines so I ran out, swam out to them and jumped. It was fun :)

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30 Kelly August 3, 2012

This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time! My kids are going back to school in a few weeks and for the first time in almost 10 years I am not working. I have a lot of time to accomplish great things, but usually I just let my fear get the better of me and sit static so I can protect myself from failing I guess. This challenge has inspired me to kick my fears in the butt!
Some of my goals for the month are to keep going on my healthy eating and exercising. I had fallen off the wagon during a particularly stressful past 2 years. I am making great progress and want to stop telling myself I can’t do it. I also made a huge step forward by gathering more information on getting re-cerified as a personal trainer. I’ve told myself I can’t for so long that just making a few phone calls was so scary for me. But I did it anyway! :)

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31 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 3, 2012

I’m reading through all your comments and I’m SO inspired! It feels good not to feel alone with this and I know I’ll think of your stories when beating my own fears this month. Keep the stories coming!

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32 Jennifer August 3, 2012

I went to my first Al-Anon last week and today I faced my fear of being needy/ out of control and called a member who gave me her number. It was so scary to reach out but I felt so much lighter talking to someone who shares my experiences!

This was just something I was thinking about doing until I saw your challenge! Thank you for your encouragement!

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33 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 3, 2012

Jennifer, that is SO great! Congrats to you, I wish you all the best :)

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34 Jennifer August 3, 2012

I went to my first Al-Anon meeting last week and today I called someone from the meeting. I fear being needy and perceived as out-of-control. When I was done with the call, I felt so much lighter! It is a relief after hiding so much grief to find someone who knows what I am dealing with and is like minded in striving for balance and health.

Thank you for encouraging me through your challenge. This call was just a thought until your challenge helped me see how I let fear limit my peace. Thanks again!

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35 Alicia August 3, 2012

Day:1
Actually making a commitment to this challenge was in and of itself a little scary for me. I hope I can keep it up!

Day:2 Drove myself and my four children three and half hours away to go to the beach. I have a fear of going on day trips without the hubby to give me backup. We all made it back alive with no scares and we had fun!

Day:3 I finally ventured into tons of school work and papers from the past three years that had been piling up. I went through every piece made by my children and organized it.
It weighed heavily on me the past year and was starting to get out of control. I beat this mess and it feels good!!

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36 Sarah August 3, 2012

I registered to rappel the highest building in my city for charity. I don’t know why, I just really like the charity. I’m afraid of heights. Like, scared of ferris wheels, looking outside the airplane window, no roller coasters kind of fear. I have no idea how I’m going to do it, but I think the feat of letting down a charity will overshadow the fear of heights.

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37 Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) August 7, 2012

Sarah, that’s fantastic! Good for you! Sometimes we just need to jump in with both feet and go for it! Very inspiring.

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38 Linda August 3, 2012

I left my job, had been doing the same thing for over twenty years and wasn’t happy, in November to focus on my IIN studies and last month I moved to another town, without knowing anyone, where people are more open to healthy lifestyles. I have many ideas about how I want to use the knowledge I have gained. I am pushing myself to get out and meet people as well as find my niche. I have a job interview this Wednesday that, if I get it, should help to open up doors for me and the direction I want my practice to go. I need to keep in mind that I can do this and I am a good health coach. However, I must admit, it is daunting and I get overwhelmed…

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39 Keri August 4, 2012

Agh! I did the same thing–only I graduated from IIN and then moved to a new city, and spent the whole last year being afraid to do anything toward my business. I am just now making the first steps to start again here. Best to you!

And also, how inspiring to see how many people who are facing their fears. Thank you Angela for facing yours and sending that first blog out into the world. So grateful for the strength it gives!

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40 Rosemarie August 4, 2012

Linda – you just did what i have been thinking about for the past year or so – i have been a paralegal for 27 years in NJ and HATE it. I am also looking to be a health coach and study with IIN. I have been thinking about leaving jersey, changing my life style and start enjoying some of the things really like to do. I am looking to cut the stress and financial burdens and am looking to relocate to NC – Charlotte area. I too will be going to a place where I do not know anyone. I have been dragging my feet a bit on change and leaving what is familiar. Good luck to you.

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41 Sarah August 3, 2012

What a great idea! I have been following your blog for quite some time now – and it’s been such an inspiration. I have had a very challenging few years coming off of meds for anxiety – now 1 year med free! I still battle the anxiety but life is becoming easier. One of the ways I have dealt with anxiety med-free is through the food I eat…and your recipes have been a HUGE part of my success. I’m a day late on the challenge, but on Aug. 2, I called Ikea to speak to a sales rep about returning our new sofa – I will do anything to avoid confrontation (which includes returning items to stores…I LOATHE it). I shook like crazy, but got through the call and there is no issue returning the couch! Aug. 3…woke up and had a panic attack which I haven’t had in ages. But hopped in the shower while I cried away the attack and still went out and faced the day – whereas the old me would have hidden in the house. Thanks again…what a great way to bring so many of us together and share our new-found strength!

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42 Jessica August 3, 2012

August 1-3: I finally started planning for our wedding. I’ve been too scared to contact vendors because I honestly have no idea what I’m doing and whether we can afford it. These past few days, I finally bit the bullet – I reached out and finally contacted a few places and people I’ve had my eye on since we became engaged (last year!). Everyone I’ve contacted has been so supportive and patient with all my constant questions, it’s now such a relief off my shoulders.

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43 Florence August 3, 2012

Just found this post, though I LOVE your blog-this is such a GREAT idea and you all are so inspiring! We are moving in 10 days…and I am procrastinator extraordinaire…but today I finally got some boxes and packed the first 5, not a lot but I’m hoping my little start on this and this challenge will help me be more organized and ahead of the game instead of behind and scrambling like crazy on days 8, 9, and 10- Thank you:)

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44 Rebecca August 3, 2012

Submitted my application and made an appointment with an admissions counselor to go back to school for my Master’s Degree. Now that I took that first scary step, the excitement is taking over the fear :)

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45 frederike August 4, 2012

This is so great! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and find it so incredible motivating and inspiring. i can – in some ways – connect to your story of studying at university, being ‘successful’ in academic terms but still not feeling happy or satisfied with your life.
Even though I’m only 22 I’m sort of in a similar position, i graduated from high school two years ago (we do so very late here in germany) and started uni one and a half year ago. Sort of pushed by my family, because with a very good leaving certificate from high school one HAS to study, right? … its all going pretty successful, the grades are always good or very good, I’m praised by the professors etc etc etc but I actually hate it. Here, I said it. It feels nothing like myself, the course, the people (apart from a few), the whole system of being taught something without doubting or questioning its background but rather monotonously and even lethargically accepting it. Really, I hate it.
I know theres more to myself, another talent I luckily have been able to embrace a little for some months now and that is modeling. The joy it brings me and the satisfaction is just immense. However, even though I feel this is what I really want to do, what I could be successful in because the work doesn’t feel like work at all, Im still being held back by something. I can’t quite put my finger on it yet, I guess its a mixture of standing on my own feet, defending this choice of profession to my family (and society, actually) and having the will-power to stand up against expectations and common paths of high school-studying-job-finished. Deep down I know I can do this, I am strong enough and I will succeed, it just won’t quite surface yet and shine trough. But it will in time, I hope.
So this might actually be a bit more than an august challenge for me and I’m sorry for writing such an essay here but as you said it just feels good to know that ones not alone with these feeling.
Thank you for your blog and posts, they mean a lot to me !

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46 Antonia August 5, 2012

Hey Frederike,

guess what, I’m (almost) 22, studying in Germany and hating it, too! (May I ask where you go to university?) Well, I don’t really hate studying itself, I just can’t imagine working in my field for the next 50 years. I also don’t like the town I’m studying in b/c of a lot the other students (a lot of them are so very arrogant, it’s unbelievable).. And I also have a Plan B ready (I want to be an opera singer), but it is SO daunting to give up a seemingly safe career option to do something so many people want to do, too and only very few actually succeed at. I’m not even sure if I’m going to apply to music school after I finished my degree because what if they would take me? Then I would have to put myself through another 4 years of studying which would be a financial strain and in the end there’s a good chance of not getting a job.
But also, what if they didn’t accept me, then I would have to face the fact that I’m not good enough and that would also be really rough. But I REALLY want/need to work in an artistic field and my current studies don’t seem to allow that. Gah!
So as you can see, you’re not alone in this :) But I know you can do this! Other people made it work before, so why shouldn’t we.

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47 frederike August 6, 2012

Oh hello, sorry for replying only now, I have just discovered your post! Thank you so much for your kind words! What a coincidence, its a small world after all, right? I am studying in Berlin, which probably makes it easier since its such a big city and you have many opportunities to distract yourself from all the uni stuff but still, while thinking of how in 8 weeks it’ll start all over again I truly feel sick.
And wow, an opera singer! That is such a great thing to do! I love everything to do with music and I think every little talent in that field is such a precious gift, you have to embrace it. Even if it might not work out perfectly – and the same goes for modeling – imagine sitting on your terrace in 20 years always being like “I wish I would have tried…” But I know exactly that this is so much easier said than done. I feel like I am on some sort of crossroad right now, modeling doesn’t go too badly but having in my mind that I will have to go back to uni in 8 weeks makes me so incredibly impatient, that I literally just want to sell all my stuff, sublet the apt and move to Paris. It’s crazy I know but with all the routine of Gymnasiums, than Abitur, than university, than (somewhere near) Bachelor, than Master… It just drives me crazy thinking of it alone!

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48 krystin August 4, 2012

I applied for university!

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49 Lisa August 4, 2012

After not running for several months, signed up for a 5k taking place at the end of the month and began training august 1st. It’s 80’s themed so I really had to do it!

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50 Emily August 4, 2012

August 2nd: Rode my horse in the woods by myself. I usually go out with another person because I’m always nervous about going out alone and having my horse spook, but it was a great success!
August 3rd: Taught a private riding lesson. I’m a quiet girl so teaching someone tends to freak me out a bit, but the little girl was so happy, and I actually had fun!

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51 Traci August 4, 2012

I’m entering the final days of my divorce and today our house hit the market. I’ve had such anxiety throughout this past year but everyday I’m stepping out and taking the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other while trying to always look on the bright side no mattter how very heart breaking this is. Clinging to the saying.. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger…

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52 Sam August 4, 2012

Angela, I can relate so much to your post. I have struggled with social anxiety for my entire life. I did some therapy my first year of university, but am now dealing with many additional anxieties as I prepare for graduate school in a few weeks. One of my promises to myself was to resume therapy as soon as I return to school. I also want to reconquer the anxieties that have been building up for quite some tim

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, everything you do is so inspirational.

One fear I conquered today: I dyed my hair for the first time! Red! I needed a new look, a fresh start, and I’m so glad I followed through.

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53 Laura August 4, 2012

The August 4th challenge resignations with me so much Angela! Struggling with social anxiety can be so frustrating because you know what you should be doing or how you want to feel but you can’t help but want to back out or simply avoid the situation. For me I think it comes down to confidence. When I started to feel more confident and excited even about who I was I was less scared joining in and be social.
Even a little bit of doubt or fear of being awkward, uncomfortable, or out of place scares you into thinking you are not good enough or shouldn’t try for something.
I too have memories of when I was a kid and did “strange” things like that. Sometimes it makes me sad to think of the things I missed out on too. But meditation and therapy has really helped me learn to stay in the present moment and not let my thoughts race ahead or talk me out of things.
Anyway, long comment but thanks for sharing and good luck! Therapy sounds like a wonderful idea! :D

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54 Dottie Wagner August 4, 2012

Hi. I just discovered this challenge today on Facebook and can’t wait to get started tomorrow! This is such a great idea and I loved reading all that has been written so far. I am going to go for a run tomorrow, which I haven’t done in a long time. My fear is that I will be gasping for breath and won’t be able to go very far. I just need to remind myself that it is ok to walk, and I can’t expect myself to run far or smoothly after such a long break. I will let you know how it goes. All of these posts have really been inspiring!

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55 Emily August 4, 2012

A while back you wrote a post about your anxiety and how you overcame it one night (I think for a party but I could be remembering it wrong) and it was so comforting and inspiring for me to read. Your wellness and fitness goals have always inspired me to try my best and improve my life but there’s only so much you can know about someone’s life from their blog. I always thought you had something more, something special that I didn’t have (you’re married; I’m single, etc.), which is not to say that you don’t . . . you’re one of a kind and you have many gift to offer this world . . . but there was something about learning that you struggled with anxiety that made me feel so much less alone. My social anxiety had gotten to a point where I really noticed it holding me back and just like knowing you aree one soul out in the world striving to run and eat in a way that nourishes your body, knowing that you are out in the world and working on feeling at ease in the same ways I am, is a real comfort.

Anyways, that’s just a long way of saying thank you for your honesty in sharing your challenge this month. It inspires and encourages me to keep on keeping on the work I’ve been doing to ease my anxiety. Thank you.

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56 Sarina @ Earthgiven August 4, 2012

You are brave, lady! Thanks for the inspiration. Sometimes the actions that appear insignificant on the surface are the ones that took the most courage.

Today I added an email address to my blog, something that might not sound like a big deal, but was out of my comfort zone. I let the hope for positive connection outweigh the fear of negative comments.

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57 Katie @ Fun Fearful Female August 4, 2012

I’m loving these posts so much, Angela! I think it’s really courageous of you to talk about your fears and anxieties in such an honest way. As someone who has suffered from lifelong bouts of anxiety, it certainly helps to know that I’m not alone in my feelings. Keep up the great work!

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58 Ruby @ Focus, Woman! August 5, 2012

Oh I’ve gone back into therapy as well!! It is so helpful:) Caitlin’s (HTP) post inspired me. It’s been awesome. Tough, but awesome. Good luck to you!

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59 Jessica August 5, 2012

The children were always called up at my church too, and I think I went as far as to pretend I was sleeping when my family was leaving for church a few times, to avoid being called up. And you really hit the nail on the head about how we know our anxieties are silly, but there’s no reasoning with yourself when you’re feeling anxious. Another thing I still did up until a couple of years ago was drive all the way to the place I was supposed to meet friends, and then sit in the car for up to 30 minutes trying to coax myself in. I never liked walking in to a new place alone because I wouldn’t know where to go when I got inside. Oh and speech class? Forget about it. That was pure torture. I find it comforting to know that you’ve had similar experiences. I wish you the best of luck with your therapy!

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60 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2012

Hey Jessica, sleeping – I’ve probably done that! hah. I can relate a lot to how you feel before entering a social situation, that’s me every time. Not knowing where to go is scary to me as well. I also tend to arrive very early to things for fear of being late and the centre of attention. Thanks for sharing, it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one.

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61 Julie August 5, 2012

Hi Angela,

I just wanted to let you know that I know how hard it is to overcome social anxiety. It is something I’ve struggled with also. It would be to the point that I would become ill before a social event. It helps sometimes to know that others have gone through the same thing and can relate to how it can make you feel ashamed and isolated. For me, it’s gotten much easier as I get older, it’s really something that hardly impacts my life today. From speaking to a lot of people about this subject, what I’ve realized is that most people at some point will feel social anxiety to a varying degree. It is therefore something we’ve all felt to an extent. Anyway, I’m sure these are all things you’ve already told yourself, but I just felt compelled to comment on this post because it really spoke to me.

Thanks for sharing,

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62 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2012

Thank you Julie, that is comforting to hear! I’m glad that your social anxiety has improved over the years. I hope to be in that place too.

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63 Marta August 5, 2012

Have you heard of rescue remedy? Its a natural alternative (made of flower essence, how cute) to prescription anxiety meds that an MD suggested to me. I’m sorry I can’t say for sure if it works for acute anxiety as it’s summer break and (luckily) my anxiety is under control in general but returning to school inspired some serious stress around busy times and exams. I asked her a million times if the stuff could actually have the same calming effect during a panic attack as the prescription pills that I rely on to get me through and she assured me it would. I’m definitely going to try it next semester, I’ll let you know if it works!

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64 Hannah August 13, 2012

I’ve tried the Rescue Remedy lozenges (not the spray) but sadly, they didn’t do a thing for me. They taste pretty good, so my husband and I finished up the tin like candies.

I also have an old bottle of prescription pills to help with anxiety. I try not to take them and no longer go to the Dr to get new prescriptions.

I’ve found Valerian tea probably works the best for me. I’ve tried tinctures of Valerian too, but don’t see any difference from that like I do from the tea. Tea has a general calming effect, so that must play into it. It’s not close to what prescription pills do, but it is nice in its own calming way.

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65 Kelsey August 5, 2012

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The things I have been doing each day may not seem scary to most people. Emailing a professor. Applying to a job. Checking my bank account balance. Breaking from my routine. Going to a fitness class at a new facility.

I just moved home after graduating with my Master’s degree and I have still not found a job. Change alone to me is terrifying. But this season of change is shadowed by my fear of failure and of never finding a job. Your challenge could not have come at a better time. I just wanted to let you know that your honesty and openness is such a powerful inspiration to me by itself. And then I read the comments, and I can’t help but be even more inspired by how many women are using your challenge to overcome fears and anxieties in their own lives. Now I don’t feel so alone. Thanks, Angela:)

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66 Jennifer August 5, 2012

Oh my gosh,, Angela, thank you so much for posting that! I thought I was the only person who felt anxiety at the thought of hanging out with my friends, even though I really love them and always have a great time. But you are definitely not alone in feeling that way–and I hope y’all had fun! :) Yesterday I ran 5 miles, which I know isn’t a lot, but it was farther than I’d run before and I was super scared, but I finished! Anyway, thanks again for being you and for sharing it with us! :)

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67 Kate August 5, 2012

I found an interesting article in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/opinion/sunday/the-positive-power-of-negative-thinking.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

My favourite section had to do with one of the benefits of negative thinking:

“…The Stoics recommended “the premeditation of evils,” or deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario. This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope. Besides, they noted, imagining that you might lose the relationships and possessions you currently enjoy increases your gratitude for having them now. Positive thinking, by contrast, always leans into the future, ignoring present pleasures.”

Enjoy!

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68 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 6, 2012

Hey Kate, Thanks for passing along the article! I quickly skimmed it over, but will have to read it again when I get a chance. I agree with some points, however when I think of the worst case scenario, it usually increases my anxiety and makes me less likely to want to do it. Instead of thinking “oh I could get through that if it happened!” I tend to think I couldn’t cope in many situations (and of course, that’s anxiety talking, not reality) and I push away from it. I do think some negativity is beneficial, but it’s finding the right balance for the individual and their own unique mental struggles.

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69 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 6, 2012

I also wanted to say that learning to be ok with negative emotions – e.g., accepting the fear when it’s there instead of trying to bury it – is something I’m trying to do as well.

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70 Shundara August 5, 2012

I have finally found the courage to tell my grandma that I would not be able to go home next month to see her like we have been planning. I have been putting it off for about a two months. I know she really wanted to see me its been almost two years. I will try to make it up to her but I just don’t know how. I am happy that I had the courage to tell her and not hold back. I usually come up with an excuse. This challenge has really helped me stick up for myself as well I usually keep things bottled up and never express my feelings. I am getting better at expressing how I feel thanks Angela! :)

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71 Lauren August 5, 2012

Wow.Wow.Wow. This challenge is exactly what I need. I struggle with anxiety (have my whole life & am currently on medication). I’ve been in and out of therapy since the age of 11. I have been in recovery also from anorexia since December (when it was necessary to start the medication). Going back to University and applying to medical school and grad-school, I can feel my anxiety building. That, in addition to having gained a necessary 20 pounds in recovery is all definitely adding to my anxiety. This is MY life. I choose how I want each day to be. I think that I’ve missed out on enough, due to the stupid gremlins in my head. You are an inspiration Angela, as always.

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72 Denise August 5, 2012

This month, I am beginning to date again at the age of 40.
My adult life has consisted of a string of abusive relationships. The last one lasted for 14 years and was, quite literally, nearly the death of me. But I did get out.
That was almost six years ago. Once I got out of that last relationship, I realized that I would much rather spend the rest of my life alone, than spend one more day with any man who mistreats me. I also decided that it was time to break the pattern, and to spend however long it took, trying to find myself, discover who I am, why I choose the wrong men and get to the root of exactly why I somehow think it’s acceptable to stay with someone who treats me as less than human. It’s been a long haul, but it’s the best choice I’ve ever made.
I’m exhilirated, I’m hopeful….
But mostly, I’m just terrified.

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73 Foodforthoughtlinds August 5, 2012

Years ago, I told a colleague I didn’t want to go swimming with her because I “couldn’t swim”. She told me she didn’t know how either and encouraged me to sign up sign up for lessons with her. I responded that I could, in fact, swim. I’d been on the swim team as a child for years and could probably cross a lake still, if need be. But I hadn’t gone swimming in 15 years. What I meant by “I can’t swim” was, “I’m no longer a fantastic swimmer like I used to be”. I realized that I shouldn’t be describing myself as a non-swimmer at all. I decided to tackle my fear and took up swimming again. Which couldn’t have come at a better time, as I severely injured my tailbone a few months later and had to give up long-distance running and going to the gym, which were my main forms of exercise at the time. Since then, I try to keep this experience in mind and try to force myself on a regular basis to try activities that are daunting to me. It’s never as bad as you make it out to be in your own head! Love this challenge Angela :)

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74 Dottie Wagner August 5, 2012

Jennifer (previous post), 5 miles is a lot! Congratulations! The fear I faced today was trying to start running again. It was harder than I thought it would be. I went at 7:30 AM and it was only 78 degrees, but it was 84% humidity (I live in Austin, TX). I was soaking wet when I got home. I only went 2 miles and walked more than I ran, but just getting out the door was huge. I still have a headache from it this evening, but am so glad I did it! Thank you, Angela, for this amazing challenge!

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75 Jennifer August 5, 2012

Dottie, thanks for the encouragement, too, and congratulations to you for getting back to running! Yay!!! We can do it! :)

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76 Emily August 5, 2012

Angela,
I must admit that when I saw your first post concerning the August challenge, I wrote it off as another self-help, short-term thing that I didn’t need. I have been following your progress, though, and today I realized that the reason I disregarded your challenge was because I couldn’t face my ultimate fear: that I have been steadily regressing back into my disordered eating habits. I was recently diagnosed with lymes disease, and I finally acknowledged that i have been using “the Lyme diet” as a vehicle for restrictive eating and obsession. Facing this fear was and is terrifying, but I now have spoken to my mother about finding an ED counselor after all this time. Thank you, Angela, for illuminating the shadows from fear in our lives! I am adopting your challenge as of today.

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77 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 6, 2012

Thanks for your comment Emily. I appreciate your honesty & wish you all the best with your recovery! Keep me posted.

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78 Tonette (@SmileNglow) August 5, 2012

I’ve thought of launching a business of wholesome treats (spreads, desserts, etc) made from whole foods and wholesome ingredients since I dreaded my job. It’s already been weeks since I quit my job and I’m really scared now. I’ve done some adventurous things in the past but somehow putting myself out there and finally deciding to be independent is just really, well, scary. I’m afraid of criticism, much more, of failing. I guess, fearing it gives all the more reason to just do it. Yes? Wish me luck!! *cross fingers*

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79 Marta August 6, 2012

Thank you Angela for such an inspiring blog, you never cease to amaze me:) I’ve been facing alot of my fears head-on for the past couple months, and it definitely hasn’t been easy. There are alot of naysayers out there, but you need to have faith in yourself, and know that you ARE a strong person, and that everything is within your reach if you want it.

Linda/Keri/Rosemarie: Like you, I’m moving to a brand new city (without knowing anyone), & changing careers. (I sold my house and gave my notice at work already. I just wasn’t happy anymore at my job, and needed to challenge myself, and KNOW that I can do it!!)

Rosemarie: I’ll be moving to the Charlotte/Huntersville area this October, so if you need a buddy/pen-pal:)

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80 Emily August 6, 2012

This past weekend was FULL of social gatherings. I had been dreading Saturday night all week because there was going to be a huge family party for my visiting cousin who is in the Air Force, and his entire flight crew. A lot of the family I rarely see so I was fearing all of the questions I knew I would have to answer about myself (I really don’t enjoy talking about myself) and most of all I was completely freaked about meeting the guys in the flight crew (new people, all men around my age…ahhh!), trying to talk to them and not sound like an idiot, or, which is usually the more likely case, avoiding them at all costs and sitting scared in a corner…
When I got to the party with my immediate family, the flight crew and my cousin had yet to arrive so I dealt with the questions from other family first. After a bit of a shaky start, I decided that I should be proud of the things I have done and accomplished in school, and tried to exude confidence in my conversations. I think I was successful in that, and I felt pretty proud of myself.
When the flight crew arrived, I felt a major pang of fear, BUT, I forced myself to get out of my chair, stood alongside my brother, mustered my strength, and introduced myself and shook hands with every one of them. That was a pretty big step for me. Then, later, I surprised myself by striking up a conversation with one of the crew who had been standing next to me for a few minutes. He ended up being just a regular guy and super easy to talk to. Who knew!
I went through the rest of the night feeling pretty confident talking to the rest of the guys, laughing at their jokes and stories, and really, really enjoying myself!
With Sunday came another social engagement with the flight crew and my cousin at an air show (the reason they were in the area). Again, I felt confident shaking their hands and I when the pilot asked me about myself, I took a deep breath, didn’t totally clam up, and actually found that we had things in common. It ended up being another good day, and I feel a little self esteem boost.

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81 frederike August 6, 2012

I would say that my current calling is not to compensate being alone with (over)eating. Probably the first time I’ve ever admitted it. I don’t make friends easily, I just have a very small circle of close ones who happen to live all over the country (my best friend even on another continent at the moment) so Im often a bit lonesome. Usually I like being by myself but after a while it can just make you pretty sad and leaves you feeling bait empty so I tend to eat whenever that feeling arises. It might numb the feeling for a while but of course, I doesn’t make it disappear, plus I would rather face the feeling than avoiding it since it always creeps back in. So today was one of these days, I felt lonely but I didn’t turn to cakes & co but rather took a long walk, thought about it and let the feeling arrive properly. Still not easy, of course, but I feel like admitting it is a step towards the right direction.

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82 Lorraine Crespo August 6, 2012

I told myself at the end of July that enough is enough. Fear will no longer hold me back!

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83 Rosie August 6, 2012

I need to make a dentist appt… I haven’t been in over 10 years because I am phobic :(

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84 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 8, 2012

You can do it Rosie!! Maybe you can call and let them know you have a phobia about going. I’m sure they can make things extra calming and sensitive for you. I’m sure they deal with it all the time. Goodluck!

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85 Shana August 6, 2012

I LOVE this feature on your blog! I, too, suffer with an anxiety disorder – mine being OCD. So I totally get how scary it is to face your fears! Thank you for opening up this side of yourself to your readers. I think it’s amazing when people all over the world can connect with others who understand their struggles – it’s awesome to feel like we’re not alone. Your experiences so far are encouraging, and I can’t wait to read more. Good job facing your fears!

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86 Ivy August 7, 2012

Today I jumped the curb with my bike. I’m always so scared to do that. I often get off and walk my bike but today I faced that fear, stayed on the bike and JUMPED! I managed to not sustain any injury! How empowering! Thanks for your inspiration to face fears this month. I’ll keep reading.

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87 Kelly August 7, 2012

I discovered your blog a few months ago when I switched to a mostly vegan diet, and I love your recipes – they’ve made the transition so much easier (thank you for creamy avocado pesto and VOO!) – but I just noticed your August challenge section. It was fitting because a week ago I decided to take the plunge and get a pixie haircut, something I’ve been thinking about for years but haven’t done for fear of looking like a boy and calling too much attention to myself (I too hate being the centre of attention). But I did it, and I love it…I feel much more myself, actually. My husband loves it too, and I’ve gotten really positive reactions from my friends and colleagues (one even said it was “the idea of the century” :-) ). Seeing your blog, maybe I will try to make it a daily thing this month (overcoming fears, not cutting all my hair off – I’ve only got so much left!).

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88 Brooke August 7, 2012

I read several of your followers talking about being brave enough to put their blog’s out on Facebook for the world to see. I was wondering if you might consider doing an entry on how you started getting your blog followed. Also how you went about creating your website? Any tips would be awesome. I love to write, but have a constant fear of going about this whole blog thing wrong! Thanks!

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89 Jessica August 7, 2012

i love the idea of logging the fears i’ve overcome. you’ve motivated me to keep track so i keep myself working! this week, i’ve started training for a new job (which always gives me major anxiety because i know i won’t be able to do everything right the first day). on the 2nd, i took a big leap and instead of training, i jumped right into the job. i was terrified and it’s the first time i’ve really jumped into something like that head-first, but it turned out great! i’ve also had a really personal conversation with a family member – scary to be vulnerable! today, i rsvp-ed to a small social get-together where i know NO ONE. my social anxiety can get high even when i know the people i’m with so this one is massive for me. but i said yes. which scared my pants off. now i just have to actually GO! i know it’ll be a good thing despite my fear. life is always more full when i say “yes” and open myself up.

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90 Mikki August 7, 2012

So proud of you for making that first step to call about seeing someone. It was so terrifying for me. I actually went to my first session tonight and we did not click at all, I was so disappointed. I had totally talked myself into not trying to find someone else on the walk home but reading that you were brave enough to make that first step makes me want to try again, August has just started! Why did I just give up? Because it was so much easier, safer, less scary to try again and put myself out there. Being brave one moment at a time.

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91 Ruby @ Focus, Woman! August 8, 2012

Oh I’m so sorry you didn’t have that click! But you know what, it can happen. it doesn’t mean you won’t find someone better! Keep looking. here’s the link to my post about finding someone who matched what i was looking for: http://www.focuswoman.com/2012/06/15/focus-woman-project-life-coaching-signing-up/ maybe it can help you :)

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92 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 8, 2012

Hey Mikki, I’m sorry you didn’t click with your therapist. This has happened to me in the past and I was quite discouraged about it (because it’s often so hard to get to the first appointment alone). I like to think of it like dating – sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince! Goodluck if you try again!

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93 Iryna August 7, 2012

I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes with you: “Courage is not a lack of fear, but acting despite of it” (Mark Twain). You should call August a Month of Courage ;)

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94 Kate @ Quasi-Veg August 7, 2012

You know, I’ve only recently started calling the anxiety I feel in many of my interpersonal relations (both personal and professional) as “social anxiety”. But it’s completely fitting, and completely true. I guess I have just had other much larger battles with other types of anxiety in the past that I somehow overlooked this one.

But I do in fact worry much more than other people about “disappointing” others, to the paralyzing point where it has affected my actions in the past quite a bit. Today I took courage from your August challenge and pushed myself to assert myself and what I needed. Maybe it will backfire, maybe it won’t. Even if it backfires–who cares? I need to assert what I want and the other party needs to assert what they want, and if we don’t match up, that’s truly ok. It will just mean it’s time for me to move on professionally–it doesn’t reflect poorly on anyone! It just simply wasn’t a good match.

I feel kind of nauseous having asserted myself like this, but I know it is the right path. I am also keeping in mind the wise words of an old acquaintance who was once asked how quitting smoking was going for him: “Every time I say ‘no’ [to the urge to smoke], it gets easier.” I feel like this is directly applicable to me learning to say ‘no’ to my fears about disappointing others. It will get easier each time.

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95 Ruby @ Focus, Woman! August 8, 2012

One thing I did today? Told a coworker about my plans post-graduation, which include becoming a freelance writer & setting up my own consultancy business. Wootwoot!

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96 Jo-Anne August 8, 2012

I jumped a huge fear hurdle yesterday. I have a terrible debilitating fear of the dentist. I had not gone for over 17 yrs. A few yrs ago I decided that for my own personal oral health I needed to start going again. I was on a mission to find the kindest, gentlest dentist. Having been slapped in the face and yelled at by a military dentist when I was younger started all this anxiety. I am proud of myself that I go every 3 months for a cleaning. Huge step for me as I needed to have this done as I am diabetic.
Yesterday I had an appointment in Toronto to see a specialist for sores in my mouth that just don’t go away. I was given a choice to have a biopsy done or I could just go ahead with a treatment and hope that it would be the correct one. My head said don’t do the biopsy but my husband said it was up to me. I chose to do it. I explained my fear and asked if she could tell me step by step so I would know what to expect. I DID it. I felt like such relief and pride once it was over. I had that “I am woman hear me roar” moment. Even though my knees were shaky when I got up. I faced a fear I thought I would never do. With the hour and a half drive home my husband was so encouraging and proud of me. I think that helps so much when we have a cheerleader on the sidelines.
Thank you Angela for your blog. I find it such a blessing to read your recipes and almost have made every gluten free one. I even bought glass straws the other month ;)
Jo-Anne

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97 Lucy August 8, 2012

This is so inspiring! I also suffer from anxiety disorders, and will do anything to avoid going back on medication. I’ve set myself the same challenge on my blog – I hope a lot of people, including you, manage to overcome both small and larger fears this month. We all deserve it :D

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98 frederike August 8, 2012

Ugh today was a day to forget about, really. I should have stayed in bed. Ive overeaten out of boredom and frustration, the I got some bad news from work and its just really not my day today. Im in a sort of change from studying to modeling (which probably is THE most unpredictable profession ever) and being the impatient person I am, its just all way too slow and too much wait-and-see. Ugh, frustration overload. Thank god its a new day tomorrow.

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99 Lynne August 8, 2012

Wishing you all the very best with the therapy. This is such a courageous step to take. Thank you for your honesty in sharing this – I look forward to reading about your experiences with this, if you choose to share these.

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100 Christina August 8, 2012

Challenge, accepted: Today I emailed an psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders to make an appointment.

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101 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Congrats Christina! Goodluck with everything.

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102 Nicole August 8, 2012

Today I got up the courage to call a Dog Therapist. I know it sounds crazy, but it was something that my husband and I have been avoiding. Our lovely sweetheart of a dog, has some anxiety issues of her own. We have been struggling with her in certain settings, and are unsure of what to do with her about it. So I did some research and put in a call today. My husband doesn’t know about it yet though. So my next act of courage is telling him that I did and what it is going to cost! It is hard coming to the realization that we need help, but hopefully by recognizing and making decisions it will bring about a change that must occur.

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103 Danielle August 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing this post!!!! I needed this today. I will be facing my greatest fear on Friday, defending my MSc thesis. It is nice to read about the sun that comes out after facing a fear, as I cannot wait for this accomplishment to be completed.

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104 Sarina @ Earthgiven August 8, 2012

Re: August 8th: Sending you a (((hug)))!

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105 Aleesha August 8, 2012

Hi Angela,

I struggle with anxiety too, and I can totally relate to your fears and worries. The things I worry about seem so petty sometimes, but knowing that doesn’t stop my brain from running in high gear and analyzing everything.

I haven’t been following this challenge faithfully, but today I applied for a Master’s program, which I’ve been putting off and worrying a lot about. I cut my hair about a week ago – I’ve wanted a pixie forever and finally just did it! My hair had been shoulder-length for years. Those are small victories when I consider that my grandmother passed away last Sunday and tomorrow is her wake. I have been facing fears every day just trying to realize she is gone. She was one of the most important, most influential people in my life. I’m scared to live without her, but I have to face that reality.

Thank you, Angela, and all of you who commented, for inspiring me to be the strongest person I can be!

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106 Lauren Deck August 8, 2012

I think you are an amazing person. Thank you so much for sharing these personal fears!!

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107 Patricia August 8, 2012

You are so amazing, you are being so incredibly raw with this challenge!!! I am blown away at your honesty and openness – you are helping so many people, even more than you will ever know who will read but not comment. Personally I am so inspired by this idea, and I want to replicate it in my own life, and even share it on my private blog that no one knows about ;)

I also struggle so much every day with conquering these small-seeming fears. For example, I’ve been fearing looking up numbers in a phone book for the non-profit I volunteer for for almost two weeks! I also realized recently that although I have always thought of myself as the life of the party I am secretly an introvert! I have social anxiety also but I truly believe I can work hard to grow and change and continually improve upon myself. I’ve been following you for over a year and I’m so humbled at how you are so openly sharing your own self-doubt – it is crazy to me because you are AWESOME and such a role model!!! Please please know inside that you kick serious ass. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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108 Jennifer August 8, 2012

Thanks Angela for starting this challenge. It is helpful to know that im not alone in feeling this way. I have been struggling immensely with anxiety, depression and panic attacks for the past few years. I too just found a new therapist and am very excited, I really feel like she can help me. Anyways, I know it will be a long road and everyday is a huge challenge, but I can do this. I just need to change my thought processes and have more confidence in myself.

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109 Amber August 8, 2012

Well I went on a four mile walk/jog this morning (which felt great), but I then proceeded to start running errands on nothing but a kale/banana smoothie plus a VERY strong coffee. Around 11:30 my blood sugar bottomed out which made me EXTREMELY anxious. I was shaking, my heart was pounding, and I felt as though I couldn’t think straight. This hadn’t happened to me in years!. I felt better after I ate but my anxiety was at an all time high all day.I had plans to do something with some coworkers tonight, but the thought of going made me extremely anxious. Then I thought about your previous social anxiety post and facing fears, so I went. I ended up having a great time. Thanks so much for opening yourself up and for helping me face my fears!

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110 Amanda August 8, 2012

I have a lot of fears to tackle this month. Today I am going to a marriage counseling session. My marriage of 8 years is crumbling and we are at the final stages of fixing it or moving on. It is hard to face certain deceptions and brave trusting again or believing things can turn around. I left my job in order to be home with my kids and that is a fear of not having a job to support myself, plus we are in Germany with the military so it’s not so easy for things to fall apart when I am so far from family. I haven’t been blogging (which used to keep me accountable and on top of my goals). I have gained 8 pounds in the past year and feel ashamed to post about being healthy since I’ve spent time suffering with my binge satin disorder. My plan is: open up completely in counseling today and lay it all on the table without the fear of being judged or fear of not getting help. Write a blog post about this very challenge to help me get back into it. Make a list of fears I want to overcome. Thank you, Angela!!!!

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111 Laura August 9, 2012

So happy for you Angela! A lot of people struggle with anxiety and don’t realize that they don’t have to. I feel it is often an overlooked issue because at some point EVERYONE experiences anxiety at a certain level. But there are some who struggle with it on a daily basis.
What keeps me going is thinking how much better I will feel after getting help or as the appointments go by. Everyday you are getting closer to a happier you!

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112 katie August 9, 2012

Hi Angela!
I have had a eating disorder on and off for some time now. I am also extremely anxious in public. I have never even thought to go talk to someone about it! I also live in Ontario, (Niagara Region) and was wondering how you went about finding a therapist? I don’t even know where to begin. Also, are they expensive? Covered by benefits? I have no idea! Thank you so much! And THANK YOU for posting this August challenge:)

Katie

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113 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2012

Hi Katie, I did a search on Google in my area “Therapist + [your town name]” Then I clicked on the websites that came up and read bios to find someone I thought I would mesh well with. Of course, you don’t know fully til you meet, but Ive had good luck in the past mostly. Yes it is expensive unfortunately. I recently signed up for personal health insurance to help cover the costs. Make sure you look into what type of therapist your insurance will cover too. Mine covers strictly psychologists. Also, some therapists have a sliding scale payment system so be sure to ask about that. Best of luck!!

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114 frederike August 9, 2012

Angeloa, you can be so proud of yourself! They way you seem to handle everything is so remarkable and I wish I would have to courage to really ‘dig deep’ – even though Im also seeing a therapist once a week my eating disorder hasn’t been a subject yet.
I want to do this on my own, I do think I can do it, don’t know whether it is naive or not but at the moment I just don’t want it to have too much space in my life. Not more than it already has.
Anyway, heads off to you, you really are someone to look up to!

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115 Sara August 9, 2012

I have always had some kind of anxiety, which I have been told comes from fear. After I got married, that anxiety spiraled into panic attacks that lasted for about 1.5 years. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with and try to overcome. After a lot of research, I was able to weaken the feelings of anxiety and panic by accepting that “uncomfortable” feeling and allowing it to pass through me without fighting it, which actually worked. I also quit drinking coffee and stopped eating processed foods as well as foods including chemicals like aspartame and msg. Practicing deep breathing and keeping up a daily workout has also helped tremendously.
I wish you luck with finding what works for you, I know you’ll overcome it!

I’m also trying to do one thing that scares me a day. On Sunday, I rode my bike 22km in a relay sprint triathlon. My husband did the 400m swim and my sister did the 5km run. I’ve never entered a race or competed in any kind of sport, so this was very scary for me to do! I’m so happy I did it though…what a great feeling!

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116 Kathleen August 9, 2012

Angela, Thank you for sharing your story so openly here. It’s inspirational to hear how you are tackling issues, and it’s comforting to know that others have social anxieties too. It seems like you are helping a lot of people from these comments, and a lot of others who may not comment too. Keep on rocking!

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117 Megan Wall August 9, 2012

August 9th, 2012
Today I broke a 4 day water fast that I began on Sunday, August 5th in effort to cleanse my body, my mind, and once again, shake off the claws of my daemon: Bulimia.
I am ever struggling to suppress familiar fears of losing control, the subsequent self loathing, and the perpetuation of a ruthless cycle.
Today, I feel healthy and filled more with hope, than the ever diresome cloud.
Over the past few days I have been researching on the best diet (diet as in daily food consumption, not weight loss fad) for a person of my size and shape.
I’m a very petite, pear shaped girl. Apparently pear shapes are supposed to eat like “Farmers”: lots of healthy grains and complex carbs, lean proteins, and moderate good fats- 5-6 small meals a day, every 2-3 hours.
I used to eat this way a few years ago, before the latest diet fads and media brainwashed me into thinking I should adopt a high protein, high fat diet like the Paleo, Atkins diets etc. I cut off all breads, grains and starches, deprived myself, obsessed about my butt, hips and thighs, and flung myself into a practice of consant mental, emotional self-flagellation.
Binge eating deepened these lacerations, and purging manifested them physically.

Today, I am going to love food (well, drink a lot of smoothies, and V8 to be gentle to my system after fasting), I am going to love my body, and get excited about starting a flexible vegan/vegetarian diet (probably still some chicken and eggs here and there) with many bowls of your delicious recipes, Angela, that I’ve been avidly studying and printing off for the past few years!

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118 Kathryn August 9, 2012

Have you seen Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability? Amazing. She talks about how it makes us stronger. It is so beautiful to see you really put yourself out there. The more we can connect and share the better we feel. We share these kinds of stories, stories that makes us think that others will think we are insane, and then find out not only are we not insane, but so many people feel the exact same way.

I used to (and sometimes still do) plan out all of my interactions with people so that I would be totally prepared and know what to say so that I wouldn’t look dumb. It took up a lot of my time. A LOT. Always living in the future was exhausting. When I shared this at a yoga teacher training so many heads nodded like “oh yeah, I know what you mean.” It made me feel so much better and I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to.

Thank you for sharing, for putting your heart out there for us all to see, for making us all feel a little bit more normal with our percieved abnormalities. I had a yoga teacher tell me once that when you feel depression you are living in the past and when you feel anxiety you are living in the future. The present moment is the sweet one. Sending you love.

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119 mc August 9, 2012

I love the idea of this challenge, although doing something daily is a challenge in itself. But so far this month I have:
1. Sprayed and killed a wasps nest in my backyard (and I am TERRIFIED of wasps)
2. Gone swimming in a lake with my daughter (I hate being wet, but surprisingly swimming in a lake was somehow tolerable, maybe it was the company )
3. Booked an outing with mom as part of my goal of getting out at least once a month for some adult time. My mom and I haven’t been out together with just the two of us in years!
4. Bought a new mattress – even though it was super expensive (spending large sums of money makes me anxious), I just can’t take the back pain anymore.
5. Worn shorts. In Public. Despite the fact that I have varicous veins and bigger legs than I want.
6. Gave up pop. This one is REALLY hard, but I’m on day 4 now, so hopefully the caffine denial headaches will start to die off soon.

So 9 days, 6 things that are mostly substanial achievments (at least to me). Now if I could only find time to finish writing that book I started last year…..THAT would really be something!

Thanks for the idea Angela!!!

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120 Erika August 9, 2012

Thank you for writing about your first appointment at therapy. I have been before, after a traumatic experience but felt like I didn’t get to work through all the issues. 5 years later, I am considering going back since it’s available from my college for free and I know that I will always have the residual effects of that experience to deal with. You’ve inspired me to make my first appointment!

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121 Lynne August 9, 2012

Thanks for writing about your therapy appointment. It is so helpful to hear what it is like. Although I’m not tackling a fear each day, I have been tackling my social anxiety by getting in touch with friends and arranging to meet up. It’s crazy the anxious thoughts that go through my head, and then when I actually do something, I feel so much better. Logically, I know this is pretty much always the case, but I always get myself worked up and imagine the worst things happening. It’s so comforting to know that we’re not alone, but actually share our struggles with some amazing women.

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122 Ariel @ WestWithFlight August 9, 2012

This is a great challenge. I started back with my flight lessons this week. Wow. It has been an interesting week, but at least I’m back at it. It’s odd how so many emotions get tangled up with something that really should be straight-forward.

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123 Emily August 9, 2012

I have been meaning to try going to a yoga class for a while, but trying new things makes me incredibly nervous, so I just kept saying, “I’ll do it another day…” Well, yesterday, my gal pal, who has been going to yoga for a few months, asked me to join her and, of course, I hesitated. But I forced myself to say yes. Before meeting her, I was on the verge of getting physically sick from the nerves. When I got there, I felt shaky and jittery, but once the class got started, I tried to settle in. Well…I LOVED it. Let me just say that I was pretty bad at it, and I like to be good at everything, but I’m going to make yoga class a weekly event.

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124 Betty August 9, 2012

Riding my bike alone out on rural roads.
I live in the country. I want to ride my bike
for the joy of it and, the exercise.

I fear a crazy person more than getting hit
by a car.

I told my husband about your challenge. He seemed
very interested. He then asked, “So what is your fear?”
I said, “Riding my bike alone.” He said “Well, that IS something
to be afraid of!”
So, no. I didn’t do it. :(
I feel like a mouse in a cage while I walk on my treadmill.

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125 Stacey August 17, 2012

I used to live in the country and rode my bike all over by myself for years. Now I live in the suburbs and do the same. As long as you take reasonable precautions (let someone know where you’re going, about how long you’ll be, wear a helmet and bring a cell phone), there should be no reason you can’t go for a nice bike ride by yourself.

My husband has a lot of anxiety about my safety too, but as long as I take reasonable precautions, I’ve let him know that it’s important that I don’t feel caged up. His anxiety has decreased over time since I’ve been better staying aware of my surroundings and keeping him generally informed when I’m out and about by myself. Go for a bike ride, honey! :) We’re heading into some really nice autumnal weather. Go enjoy the fresh air and the wind in your face!

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126 Chelsey August 9, 2012

Hi Angela,

Thanks so much for the truly extraordinary website. I am in the process of overhauling my diet to become fully vegan, and your website is making that transition as painless as possible — thanks!

I also wanted to say how grateful I am that you’ve brought up social anxiety. I have always had it, was probably born with it, and it will most likely always hover over my life. Such a debilitating thing, especially when it seems everyone around you is untouched by it. It makes me feel far less alone that someone so obviously successful and high-functioning as yourself has experienced this struggle. I hope that going vegan may help lessen mine so it’s at least more controllable!

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127 Traci August 10, 2012

Loving this August challenge! I don’t always leave comments but it’s comforting to know that we in some way all struggle with either the same things or struggle with something. I too have and still from time to time struggle with social anxiety and have felt like it was only me struggling with it. It’s not always present but when it is it can be scary. So thankful for everyones comments and your website!

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128 Ashley @ This Is The Place August 10, 2012

Ok, had to comment. Just reading your Aug. 9 entry reminded me of when I tore my meniscus a year or so ago. DEEP BREATHS. I caught mine early and went to a sports doc. I ended up with a brace, chiropractic treatments for a few months (to fix the stride that was rubbing on the cartilage which caused the tear), and ultrasound therapy. I trained for a marathon THROUGH the treatment. No surgery.

Lots of people say that the meniscus can’t heal itself b/c it is avascular (no blood vessels in it to promote healing). This isn’t true – there are blood vessels, but they super tiny and so it’s hard to heal. Ultrasound worked for me. It expands the blood vessels to promote healing.

Just hang in there and try not to worry. Yes, surgery is an option but it’s only ONE option.

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129 Erica August 10, 2012

Where to begin? I think I’ll make a list.

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130 Bronwyn August 10, 2012

I think what I’m enjoying most about this series is seeing the range of fears and anxieties that exist. Sometimes I find I get caught up in beating myself up about my anxieties being “pathetic” and things I should just “get over”… but seeing that so many others have fears/anxieties similar to mine and that they can count facing them as an achievement is really great and reassuring. Thanks Angela for this challenge.

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131 Ang W August 10, 2012

Oh Ange! I can SO relate to putting off an appointment like this because you just don’t want to hear the outcome. I’ve done it many times. And that sounds just like my hubby too, “Honey, just go get it checked out and stop stressing about it!” Men always have the solutions don’t they, even when we just want some sympathy and a big hug hehe. Actually, believe I have a slight meniscal tear myself. My husband is a Physiotherapist, and when he was in school, he was practicing all these tests on me for a big practical exam… he was doing this weird twisty test on my knee and suddenly was like “Oh! That’s a positive test, I think you have a meniscal tear!” Probably from a bad wipeout skiing YEARS ago. It hasn’t hindered me too much, though it flares up from time to time. Usually movements like going down stairs or squats bother it when it’s flared up, but otherwise I can do pretty much anything :) I am really inspired by you, Ange! What a great challenge for August, I just found out about it yesterday and am battling with my own anxiety over committing to actually join in… Keep it up, girl – you are inspiring soooo many people and have more of a positive impact than you could know! Bless you!

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132 Lindsey August 10, 2012

I cannot tell you how awesome this is. I am dealing with peak anxiety right now and this is so inspiring for me to read. Thanks!

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133 Gwen August 10, 2012

When I first read about this challenge I was anxious and then I became anxious as to why I was anxious, so my first challenge was to just let my thoughts of anxiety and fear go through my mind without passing judgement on them and why I would feel that way. It seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world since it is my mind, but I felt really vulnerable. And then my second challenge was kinda unbelievable, but I never really like to be visible when the UPS guy or garbage man etc comes to my house because I want to avoid all social contact with a stranger. Today I actually stayed in plain sight and continued reading even though my anxiety was sky-rocketing at the thought of that stranger right out there getting my garbage. All he did was get my garbage though and even if he had chatted with me I think things would have been okay afterall. Thanks soooo much for this challenge :)

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134 Megan Wall August 10, 2012

August 10th
I woke up early this morning for my first hour long morning workout- Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior. I despise morning workouts (I’m a late night burner), and I’ve never pushed myself through an hour long DVD session. Last night I couldn’t fall asleep because I was so scared/excited. It was fantastic, especially with my new green Jade Yoga mat!
Good Morning body! I’m going to start being nice to you!
Topped ‘er off with a big yummy bowl of Carrot Cake & Maple Apple overnight oats.

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135 Laura August 10, 2012

Sounds like a GREAT start to the day!

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136 meg August 10, 2012

i just found this and I LOVE THIS CHALLENGE!!!!!! it’s so nice to know that other people share my different fears and anxieties, i’m not a freak after all! my fear for the day is leaving comment on a blog (or writing a review, etc) because someone may not like it or take it in some way that reflects negatively on me. not that i at all am worried about what people think of me (i’m working on that)

i’ve had some crazy knee problems and doctor’s have done xrays and MRIs just to tell me that there is nothing wrong. the thing that i found worked for me was acupuncture and oriental medicine. i never really held much stock in eastern medicine but i have a friend who is licensed in it and has her own practice and i had no idea where to turn so i finally gave it a go. and have been kicking myself for not doing it earlier. with acupuncture and other techniques i can now run without pain (other than my currently sprained ankle) and she has fixed other things that i had assumed would just always be unfixable. it’s really amazing how many different things in the body are connected. so in the nice 4-6 weeks until you get an MRI and hopefully a diagnosis it may be worth seeing if that could help you. also she’s said that there are different things they can do to help with non-physical problems so maybe there is something acupuncture/oriental medicine could do to help with your anxiety.

also, had overnight oats for breakfast today and LOVED them :)

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137 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 10, 2012

Hey Meg, Thanks for sharing your story! Acupuncture isn’t something I have tried before. Did you notice an improvement from the first session or did it take a while? How often do you go?

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138 meg August 24, 2012

I noticed an improvement pretty much right away. i try to go once a week and things just keep getting better. I’ve also learned better ways to take care of myself. while i’ve been a habitual icer, since we are always told to ice an injury, i’ve found that heat works much better on most of my pains. i have a hot corn bag thing that i’ll toss on my knee the night after a long run and it works so much better than ice ever did. i hurt my ankle more after my post and i’m now going through the frustrating process of waiting for it to heel. needles in the foot/ankle are pretty uncomfortable but when the swelling went down and i could move my ankle again it was well worth it. now i just need to force myself to bike instead of run and hope i’m ready for the mud run i’m doing on the 9th.
a fear i faced over the past 2 weeks: getting blood work done (6 vials) AND calling the doctor for the results. All is good, the whole process just gets me really worked up.

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139 Jennifer August 10, 2012

Hi Ange, I had a knee injury that sounds similar last year. It started with acute pain and I couldn’t lift the leg with the knees bent. Of course, as it was in the morning before work, I didn’t think much of it and just rode to work. By that afternoon I could barely move and had to get my partner to drive in and pick me up from work. Another week and there wasn’t much change so I went to the Physio. She thought it was meniscial irritation and a hamstring tear so I continued seeing her and treating that for about 6 weeks. The hamstring felt better but the knee was still sore so she referred me to a sports doctor who also thought it could be a cartilage tear and sent me for an MRI. After another months wait I had the MRI but in that month my knee had started improving. And by the time I got the MRI it didn’t show anything. To end my story the knee continued to improve and probably about 6-7 months after the injury was finally 100% again! So don’t stress too much – i was so worried that i would need surgery etc etc and it turned out ok. Even if it hadn’t worrying about it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. So my lesson learnt was control what you can (I very diligently did all my Physio exercises) and don’t worry about what you can’t! Easier said than done right?!

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140 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 12, 2012

Hey Jennifer, You are so right. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so glad to hear that your knee got better on its own. I’m just focusing on what I can do and being grateful for that. :)

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141 Carolyn August 10, 2012

Ange, you are an amazing woman. Everyone should be as brave as you are — taking on fears is no small thing!

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142 Jenna August 10, 2012

Hi Angela!
I think your challenge this month is very brave and inspiring! I’ve been trying to challenge myself to push out of my comfort zone to get through some fears.
Maybe to help ease some of your anxiety I will tell you if you do need meniscus repair surgery it is very non-invasive and done very regularly by orthopaedic surgeons. It usually involves only a couple incisions, small instruments with a camera on one and scissor like objects on another are inserted to complete the procedure – its very quick. I’ve had a meniscus injury myself and work in a hospital so try not to worry!
Hope it all goes well :)

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143 Jenna August 10, 2012

P.S – Congrats on making The Kind Life’s webpage for the national s’mores day recipe! Amazing!

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144 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 10, 2012

Thank you Jenna! My stepdad said the same as you – he’s had 3 surgeries for the meniscus. Im relieved to hear that it’s fairly routine.

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145 Naomi Casiro (Health Here Help There) August 10, 2012

Hey Angela,

Im a soon to be PT and am glad to hear you got your knee checked out after it causing you problems for so long, try not to fret about your meniscus, surgery or not, with some good strengthening and lots of less “knee heavy” activity options you will continue to be your wonderful active self! Also I happen to have been a competitive swimmer for years so I know how much fun swimming can be, I hope you get to enjoy the calm of the water as much as I do! let me know if you or Eric ever need swim tips! Thanks for the wonderful challenge and congrats to everyone who has commented on their super awesome successes, what an inspiring bunch!

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146 Caitlin August 11, 2012

I’ve been keeping up with August’s challenge for the past week, taking on daily fears like going to networking events or going out on a limb at work and with personal relationships. One of the wonderful benefits? After I started doing one thing that scared me, I started realizing that I didn’t have to limit myself to just one a day. I kinda feel like I can take on the world right now! Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey this month; reading your story and your readers’ comments; I’m really feeling (and acting) so much more outgoing and brave. :)

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147 Lauren August 12, 2012

Angela,

My fear was typing my website url! Done!
My next fear to conquer is going to therapy for PTSD from a car accident I was in several years ago. I am terrified of being the passenger in a car now. I manage to avoid this by ALWAYS offering to drive. If I am the passenger I am constantly on edge and feel exhausted by the end of the trip. Sometimes I lie down and cover my eyes.

I was also nervous about surgery. I know it would be better to not have to have surgery on your knee BUT you may feel so much better. I had surgery on my collarbone from the car accident I mentioned earlier. I was dead set against having surgery because I had already been in the hospital for a week and wanted to move on to “recovery” even if that meant I would never fully regain the strength in my right arm (dominant hand! also I teach piano!). I confess I was “fine” until after meeting with the anesthesiologist in pre-op then the anxiety kicked in. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. I INSTANTLY felt better since my arm was supported by the plate and screws. I truly was able to begin my path to physical recovery. Now to start the other recovery…

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148 Lynne August 13, 2012

Well done on reaching out to your friend. I can totally relate to thinking that someone will be mad with me. Ok – something else to add to the list. :)

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149 Vanessa August 14, 2012

August 12 – I get totally anxious around phones too! My heart nearly always skips a bit when the phone rings and I won’t answer it if I don’t recognize the number. I think it’s really just disconcerting for me that people can get a hold of me whenever and wherever regardless of what I’m doing. Making phone calls makes me equally as anxious. It’s totally irrational, I know.

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150 Alison August 14, 2012

I HATE talking on the phone. I hate the awkward pauses, I hate not being able to see a person’s face and reactions, and I hate it when I can’t understand a person because of static or mumbling. I’m planning my wedding right now, and I’ve actually made my fiance call all the vendors because of the anxiety I feel at the thought of calling all those people I don’t know. Guess that’s the next fear I need to face. . . .

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151 Anouk August 14, 2012

Last Friday I emailed three people (two strangers, one whom I had meet very briefly in person) asking if I could meet with each one for an informational interview. Two have responded and are willing! I typically hate asking people for things, so I usually work myself up into a state before doing so. This time I just drafted the email text, came back to it a few hours later, made edits, and sent them off. All three!

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152 Allison August 14, 2012

Yesterday I conquered not one but two fears! Two years ago I was training for a marathon when I was injured. Since then I have been through physical therapy, tried many different shoes and finally got inspired to run again. So, my best friend and I planned to get back into running……I woke up with such anxiety about it that I almost cancelled plans. I was fearful that it was too hot at 5 AM (live in AZ, its still 90 degrees at 5 AM). Pulled myself out of bed and decided to stop making excuses and just get out there and give it my best shot. It felt AMAZING to be running again. It reminded me how much fun I had 2 years ago and what I was missing in my life lately! The second fear was overcome later in the day. I met a long lost friend later in the day for tea. It was silly for me to think we would not have anything to say to each other and find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. We have plans to get together very soon and I could not be happier! Anxiety – you have got to go! Life is better without you! Make it a great day!

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153 Maria August 14, 2012

Haha. I’m so glad that I’m not the only person who fears of driving in traffic or in highly congested areas. Every time I have to drive in San Francisco, I freak out, but conquered that fear last week (and got lost, but that’s beside the point!). :)

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154 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 14, 2012

hah I always say thank goodness for our GPS, even though I still manage to get lost with it sometimes…

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155 Heather August 14, 2012

I have always thought of myself as weak and uptight for getting myself anxious and “worked up” over things. “Why can’t you just relax?” my ex would say to me and I have come to realize that yes I do get worked up and anxious over things but I work through my fears and that is SOOOO much better than sweeping it under the rug and pretending it doesn’t bother you. I realized that even with anxiety and fears I am SO much better off then those people who ignore what is going on and pretend it doesn’t bother them. I have been so lucky to find an amazing counselor to help me through all this and one of the best things I have learned from her is when you hold anxiety in it gives it power. Talking about it and dealing with it takes its power away. So ladies, here is to taking away anxiety’s power by telling the world our fears!! I have had the biggest fear of driving long distances with just me and my son and this summer has helped me overcome that, we have taken many trips and ended up having the best summer ever!! Angela and all the fellow blog readers and people who commented, keep up the great work!!

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156 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 14, 2012

“when you hold anxiety in it gives it power. Talking about it and dealing with it takes its power away.”

So so true!! I have totally experienced the same thing when doing this challenge. Thanks for sharing. :)

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157 Robin August 14, 2012

Yesterday I called somebody to come clear out my yard. I have been putting off doing the yard work because I have always felt like I should be doing the work or I will look as if incompetent, a deeply rooted lie I carry and have labeled before but still use in practice. I finally broke down and researched yard workers. I found a local person who ended up being able to come out this week. I am happy I was able to get over the fear of having somebody help me. After all, I will be paying them. I already know that I know how to take care of a yard because I did it for 2-3 years. Looking forward to seeing results this week.

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158 Sarah August 14, 2012

I am a fellow “phone anxiety sufferer”. Although I’m working through it, I often find it very difficult to call friends and/or take calls. So not only did I tackle booking an appointment (by phone) w/ my family doctor…I also got TO the doctor today to have my moles checked (something I am strict about). Although I felt my stomach rumble w/ nerves while waiting for the doctor to come in, I was instantly relaxed when she arrived. Now off to a dermatologist for a further check up…but I know I’ll be just fine. I am really enjoying these posts as well as all the comments from fellow “Fear Fighters”. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

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159 Andrea August 14, 2012

Thank you SO much for this challenge! Although I can’t say I’ve done one every day, I’ve done many and yours are such an inspiration! Many of your fears are mine too, and you’ve reminded me of all the things I need to do. In a positive way, though, not an overwhelming way. Thank you again.

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160 Jessica August 14, 2012

I got contacts again. I haven’t worn them since high school and I sort of fell out of wearing them because I didn’t have a benefits plan until recently. I’ve been hiding behind my glasses for the last few years and I was scared of how I would look in contacts and if people would treat me differently because I look different. So far, I’ve conquered the hurdle that was purchasing them, but now I have to face my fear of wearing them in public without feeling ugly or different. Wish me luck! :)

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161 Kris August 14, 2012

Today I reached out to a good friend who has recently distanced herself. It has been on my mind for about a month or so and I finally decided to reach out abd send her an email. Although I am not sure either of us can really feel secure or confident in this friendship, I feel we were close enough for me to make the effort. It is always so hard to put yourself out there for further hurt, but at the same time I can’t live with not giving it one last shot. My biggest fear will be to meet her in person and to see if we can both recognize our faults and part in bringing us to where we are today.

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162 Laura August 14, 2012

Today I am in a foreign city. It is only an hour and a half from where I live, but I’ve never been here. I get nervous traveling alone, but there is a class I want to take tomorrow, and I thought why not? Booked a hotel and hopped a train. The hotel is icky. The location is weird. But I enjoyed a fancy solo vegan dinner, and I’m trying to just be happy I got out and did something, just because.

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163 Danica August 14, 2012

Oh man the fear of the animals in the trails is totally crippling me! One time we went for a hike up by our home and there were about 20 deer….of course Branko wanted to get
closer and I just wanted to turn around and go home…he said why deer won’t do anything to us….but i was worried what if there was a coyote lurking around….now he always teases me and says “oh watch out for the killer deer” we also just bought 50 acres of land which is all woods and trails….i have to work hard to get over this fear….the thought of just the 2 of us hiking/mountain biking back there alone terrifies me….

My other fear was my blog…..i started it for 3 months and did not tell anybody….one day Branko came across it on the computer and was like what is this?? he loved it!!! he encouraged me to share it with more people and slowly i came around….haha i still think on most days it isn’t the greatest blog but have to remind myself that i’m writing for us to have a memory of everything we accomplished…

thanks for starting this challenge! i love reading your blog

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164 Kristin August 15, 2012

Your challenge has been so helpful and inspiring ot me this month. I had a work trip (my first!) and was terrified to drive to the airport and fly twice in one day. It was a quick up and back trip. At first I was trying to get dropped off/picked up. Then I thought about your challenge and decided to conquer my fear. I drove the Fast Park lot (in rush hour) got on the shuttle to the airport by myself, went through security,etc.Then I flew back home, got back on the shuttle and drove home (again through rush hour). I didn’t get lost and I did it!! Thank you so much Angela!!

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165 Lynne August 15, 2012

I realised today that something that used to give me anxiety no longer does, just because I’ve forced myself to do it every day. I used to get anxious about eating with people I don’t know well. In my new job, everyone takes their breaks together in the staff canteen (there is nowhere else to go!). Because of this, I’ve got used to sharing my breaks with a variety of different people and you know what? I’m actually starting to enjoy it! :)

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166 Lynn August 15, 2012

I LOVE this challenge! Today I’m going to a counselling session (like, immediately after I write this comment!) which is much needed! I also said yes to a lunch out with my colleagues which I never voluntarily do because I tend to stress out about food and eating out. However, I plan on enjoying my meal and eating some ice cream that I’ve been craving for dessert. This is scary to me, as I tend to obsess about unhealthy ingredients, calories, etc. but it’s necessary for my own healing. My goal is to not binge (which, I seem to have been doing a lot of lately, that terrible restrict, binge, restrict, binge cycle). However, I will bring up the binges to my counsellor which is something I’ve never done before due to fear and shame. Okay, off I go!

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167 Jodie August 15, 2012

I finally scheduled and actually went to an appointment I’d been putting off, and have done a few more little things I’d been worried about, thanks to this challenge and thanks to you, Angela. :-)
Loving everyone’s comments too!

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168 Robin August 15, 2012

So I had to get over my fear of supposed confrontatio by following up with a pbone call to my new gardener. I shirk from confrontation but called because my pomegranate tree was really wacked down a lot and certain areas of the yard were semi-cleared. The work complete was great because of the backlog but I have a hard time asserting my position. Kudos to me for working through this fear AND taking action. It was a productive call. Happy.:)

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169 Teen Health Nut August 15, 2012

I conquered my greatest fear: driving! I incorporated yoga breathing when I did it to calm myself down, and now I actually kind of like it!

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170 Anna August 16, 2012

I have tried to get past my fears but I’ve become stuck. Maybe I can move on by conquering another fear (posting here and rambling about something personal) and letting it all out.

I have so many fears about getting a new glasses prescription but I decided to suck it up and made an appointment. The short version of what happened is, I failed the pressure test (which is typical), so I required additional testing involving numbing eye drops and a device that touches my eye. I’ve had it done before but I’m squeamish and skittish so I still became nervous, but I was overcoming my fears and I was proud of remaining calm.

Well, even though I gave no indication I was nervous, the eye doctor thought it would be a good idea to suddenly grab my hair and hold me down for the eye drops, which sent me into hysterics. I was proud of myself for pushing through the eye-touching test, but then he forced me down for another set of eye drops. He then brought out a pointed pen-shaped device I’d never seen before, said nothing about it or what he was going to do, and held me down and came at my eye with it. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I screamed and ended up leaving shortly after, traumatized and with no new glasses.

I’m trying hard to convince myself that I tried, I took the initiative, I got through it, it’s over, and I technically conquered my fear. Only now I have worse fears and I begin shaking whenever I think of the experience. It seems everyone is having positive results with this challenge and it’s wonderful, but what about when it doesn’t work out so well? I feel so lost right now… I feel as if I’m the only one who’s having trouble and I feel awful for bringing negativity here but I really want to get back to being positive and I’m not sure what to do.

I still love the challenge, Angela, and I love reading everyone’s comments. It gives me hope that I can keep going. :)

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171 Stacey August 20, 2012

Oh Anna! That sounds awful! I could totally feel your trauma as you described what happened. It sounds to me like you should get a different doctor. Maybe my story will help…

I had never been afraid of the dentist. Did I look forward to it? No, but I was never AFRAID. Well, I’d always gone to the same dentist as a child and had never really had any dental issues to speak of besides pulling wisdom teeth, so when I chose a new dentist when I moved away from home, I didn’t know how to go about choosing a good one. I picked one who seemed nice and knowledgeable, but then I needed some crown work done. I won’t go into detail, but it was AWFUL. He didn’t do it right the first time, so then I finally worked up the courage and went in AGAIN to have him try to repair it. He seemed like he knew what he was doing, so I just thought it was going to be like that with ANY dentist. (Turns out, he was just a bad dentist! I just didn’t have any frame of reference.)

Like you, I was traumatized – only I didn’t realize it. I never went back and avoided the dentist for YEARS afterwards (even though I couldn’t chew on the left side of my mouth). I just told myself I was procrastinating about going in. Well, I finally had to face the truth when I couldn’t ignore my crown issues anymore and I had to get emergency help. I’m usually a pretty strong person and can face most things if I put my mind to it, but I soon realized I was petrified. I was in tears about even making the phone call. Since this was really unlike me, my husband took pity on me and took charge of the situation – setting up an appointment with a NEW dentist that we had a friend refer us to (the friend also has dentist-anxiety). My husband came with and literally held my hand as I waited in the chair.

As soon as I saw the hygienist, I burst into tears and was shaking so badly the whole chair was vibrating. I felt so silly, but I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face and my whole body was shaking. The dentist and hygienist were SO kind. They kept handing me kleenex and patiently listened as I explained my whole past traumatic experience. (He tried to tell me I didn’t need to explain, but I KNEW I had to tell him just to get it out of my system.) This was the first time I had truly experienced the effects of a past trauma – it was something that was beyond my control. But once I told him, dried the tears and then experienced what it is like to have a competent (and very understanding!) doctor work on me, I didn’t mind going back in nearly as much. I had 3 appointments for that particular issue and it got easier every time. (and it didn’t even hurt! My jaw actually dropped when I realized he’d already put my crown in. I didn’t even feel it!) It’s now 6 months later and now my crown is just another tooth – I have a cleaning scheduled for this Friday, and I’m not scared at all!

So basically, my point is, you’re not alone. I (and I’m sure others) know what it’s like to suffer the trauma of a bad experience at the doctor. I would strongly suggest asking around your friends for a understanding doctor, and relaying your anxiety about the visit to the doctor before she/he begins. It made ALL the difference in the world for me. :)

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172 Tammy August 18, 2012

This is the first time I have EVER posted on anything (other than a status update on Facebook once every couple of months), but I absolutely felt the need to. I think it is extremely brave and admirable to discuss your challenges and fears, especially with anxiety. I have always been an outgoing person- cheerleader in HS, fitness instructor and trainer, had alot of friends, but deep down I have always been an anxious person. My anxiety became pretty bad once in my 20’s and it’s been pretty interesting to say the least especially when panic attacks started. Every now and then I tried counseling but would feel weak and ashamed and not go back. On the outside, I look like I have it all together because I have a good job and take care of myself but it is constantly a work in progress to get past the social anxiety I get just going out with my friends. Obviously there are so many people on this blog that have posted and you all know what I am talking about…it just makes me feel exponentially better when I know I am not the only one. It takes a lot of courage to be open and I am so grateful I have been able to read your story. I found this blog after recently following a vegan diet and am so happy I stumbled upon this- awesome recipes and a realistic take on life. Thank you for sharing.

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173 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 19, 2012

Hi Tammy, Thank you so much for your comment! I am so happy that you decided to leave a note here & share your story. I’m so glad that you are finding this helpful and I wish you all the best with overcoming your own challenges with anxiety. Keep me posted!

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174 Carey August 18, 2012

Hi Angela,

I’m thinking about going into therapy for anxiety, as well, but I have no idea where to start! There are so many different titles and they all seem similar. Are you seeing a psychologist? How is that different from a therapist? I’ve found someone called a “registered professional psychotherapist.” Would she be able to help? If you could tell me a bit about your search, I’d really appreciate it!

Carey

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175 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 19, 2012

Hey Carey, I’m seeing a psychologist because that’s what my insurance covers (it doesn’t cover a social worker or counsellor). Social workers and counsellors tend to have 1-2 years training post undergrad, but this can vary from what I understand. Psychologists have their phd in clinical psychology. I would suggest looking online in your own area, and narrowing it down from there. They often have websites with info on their training and approach. Then you can call a few and get an idea for their rates, how long they’ve been in practice, and whether you might click in person. Goodluck!

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176 Laura August 19, 2012

The wave concept is so true with anxiety! I always feel nervous before new social situations and it just builds. Lately, I have been reminding myself that this feeling will not last. Plus, I know that once I actually get there and start talking most of my anxiety fades away. I try to channel that feeling before hand now.

Keep going Angela!

Although, I am finding it a bit difficult to think of a challenge a day. Do you plan a challenge to tackle or just go along with your day and naturally confront challenges?

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177 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 19, 2012

Hey Laura, I usually try to think of something the night before, but not always. Sometimes it’s hard! I find it I can plan something when I don’t have anything in mind it helps push me a bit. Goodluck!

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178 Lucy August 19, 2012

Well done for the cookbook progress – I can’t wait for it to be finished! Also, thanks for the “riding the wave” analogy. As I suffer badly from anxiety, I’m sure that it will come in useful. In my own August challenge, I’ve faced my social anxiety alongside fears of crowds and rats; I’m very glad I’m joining you in this.

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179 meghan August 19, 2012

I’m so thankful that you write about anxiety because it makes me feel less alone in mine. I have ALWAYS had anxiety but it just seems to change form throughout my life. Right now I’m having health anxiety where I worry that every little symptom I experience means I have cancer. The ridiculous part is I work as a therapist. CBT thought challenging techniques don’t seem to work for me personally so I need to tackle it from another direction. I get so frustrated that it is a problem that keeps rearing its head in my life. The cycle of worrying exhausts me. Good luck with your new psychologist!

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180 Stacey August 20, 2012

I just came across your blog a few weeks ago and love it! I found a past posting you wrote about anxiety and it really helped to know there was someone else struggling with similar issues (and writing about her experiences)! Thank you for sharing. :)

My fear I’m currently facing is going back to school. I went back to school part time to pursue a degree in electrical engineering a few years ago. It’s going really well, but I always get a big knot in my stomach before school starts. I realized today that it’s because I like to “fly under the radar” until I really get my bearings on something, but that’s not really possible in my last few classes because I’m usually the only female. I kind of stick out – you know? Plus, I usually just fumble along while I’m learning something new, until one day something just clicks in my brain and then I take off flying. It’s the fumbling part that gets me – I’m already the only female. I don’t want to live down to people’s stereotypes and be thought of as the “dumb blonde” in class. I know I shouldn’t let it worry me. Sigh – I figured admitting my fears by writing this post might be a good step in getting over it already! It helps to feel like I’m part of a group. :)

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181 Ariel August 27, 2012

I work almost exclusively with engineers (aeronautics). You guessed — the only woman in the room most of the time. And the youngest. It IS challenging. I have asked some stupid questions, and kind of agonized over it after technical interchange meetings. I tend to learn the same way (takes some time to get my bearings). . . the benefit is to keep in mind that most men (and other women) won’t stereotype you. Some will, but most won’t. And the ones that do — _@#!_ them!

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182 Lynne August 21, 2012

I plan to tackle my fear of running tomorrow! I am scared of falling over (I am so clumsy) and also scared that I won’t be able to do it! I really want to get into running though, so am going to give the Couch to 5k programme a go. :)

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183 Danica August 21, 2012

Ummmm were you at Aberfoyle Antique Market on Sunday??? We went there for the first time. I actually blogged about my purchases :) Who knows we may have crossed paths!!

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184 Foodforthoughtlinds August 23, 2012

Yesterday, I left my 10 month old daughter for her first full day in daycare. This shouldn’t be scary for me, as she’s not my first baby. Yet, I somehow still found it incredibly difficult to leave her. When my appointment ended earlier than anticipated, I immediately thought that I should go pick her up. But I also needed some time to myself. Some downtime before I start work in a month. Some time to get organized. And some time to just rest and recharge. Putting myself first has been something I have always struggled with. But you know what?? My daughter did just fine on her first full day and I survived it too ;) Nothing is ever as scary as what you make it out to be in your own head!

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185 Leah August 24, 2012

I remember my daughters first full day at nursery. She was 6 months old and I was terrified. I called twice just to make sure she was ok and the staff were more than happy to talk to me about how she was. We both survived! She is now just over two and still attends the same nursery two days per week. We both love it. I am on summer holidays right now (teacher) and some weeks I really struggle to take her to nursery because I am not working. I usually take her at least one day a week though because I know it is good for her AND me. She loves the social time with her friends and it gives me a chance to get things done, recharge and a little time apart is not a bad thing. I think it is hard as moms to remember that we need time too. We don’t have to be “supermom” all the time. The more we work on us and find that balance, the better we are for our kids!

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186 Sarah August 26, 2012

I decided I couldn’t do a thing a day, but I’ve kept it on my mind. This month I’ve started a new job and tried very hard to make friends and be outgoing there (I’m ridiculously shy), with the job I’ve had to face a lot of fears about being the “best” mom and just letting some stuff go, I’ve actually told my boyfriend how I was feeling about some things in my life instead of my usual “everything is fine” mantra, and after literally years of not spending money on myself because I was afraid I’d need every cent for an emergency I bought myself some new clothes. Actually now that I think about it there’s more – including sharing all this on a post! Thanks for the kick in the butt Angela! I always love this blog and it’s really the only one I read.

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187 Ariel August 27, 2012

It has been amazing how many things I have tackled in the month of August. I got back into flight lessons; had very difficult negotiations over my work scope with my boss (including taking over 2 other colleagues work efforts, and supervising additional contractors), finally decided to step down from a board position (though I have to wait until after Sept 6 to inform the the Chair); started back up with running; decided to stop writing my on-again-off-again blog; took on the task of painting all of the laundry and kitchen (including wood cabinets, hardware, counter, and appliances!); and on and on. The very hardest thing was deciding to formally say “no” to both aspects of work and the board position (because I hate admitting I can’t do it all, and I am horribly afraid of being judged for prioritizing family time over work). But it is very relieving to know that is off my plate. I should have kept a log, but here is a little record! A challenging and GOOD month. Even if I still don’t have the stove out of my living room yet.

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188 Aubrey August 28, 2012

Thank you for starting this challenge! It got me thinking, often, about whether fear was holding me back from an opportunity and pushed me to feel it, face it, and do it anyway! The highlights of my fearless August were: registering for my first 10K race (I’ve been running recently for the fun and fitness of it, but have NEVER been a runner until now, so it’s scary as well as amazing and new), and starting a blog of my own (sharing my writing with “the public” just makes me feel so vulnerable, which I think is ironically a byproduct of being a graduate student and staring down the barrel of a written dissertation). Gonna push myself to keep it going and have a fearless September! xo

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189 Sarah L. September 4, 2012

You are so wonderful, thank you for sharing your fears with us during the August challenge. As for your BC trip – you are going to have a BLAST! I lived in Vancouver for two years. I took a look at the picture of the Capilano bridge and it looks TERRIFYING in that picture! I promise, I’ve been on it and I’m afraid of heights, and it isn’t so bad. The worst part is waiting behind people taking pictures (wait, that may be you! ;)) I’ve been ziplining in Mexico, and the first one is REALLY scary, then you get good at it and it’s a lot of fun. You should definitely make Eric do the Grouse Grind for making you do all that scary stuff. :)

I’m sitting here nervously waiting to speak to my committee member regarding my new PhD project…reading about you tackling your fears is helping me to remember to BREATHE!!

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190 Steph at Im Still Learning September 4, 2012

Go you! I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks my whole life. Next week, I’m getting a tooth pulled and I”m already freaking out about it. I try to keep positive thoughts, but it’s very hard to manage anxiety. But I believe it can be done. I am proud of you (and I don’t even know you). It’s such a hard thing to do… to face one’s own demons.

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191 @yogimommi September 4, 2012

I’m a little late tuning in for this but I just read through the whole month through and have to extend a wholehearted thank you so much for sharing! I can relate (as I’m sure so many can) to SO MUCH of the same. You’ve really inspired me to tackle my “list” that I’ve been feeling super overwhelmed by. I’m suddenly feeling tremendously motivated to get tons of stuff done, including some “techy” stuff that will no doubt take me 5 minutes, as well as a lot of reaching out I’ve been “meaning to do”.. INCLUDING actually making comments on blog entries I really love :) As I write this I’m like, “Seriously, what’s up with that anyways..??? This is so easy!” haha, check that one off the list! I also should let you know that I mention you quite a bit in my own blog at yogimommi.com. You’ve been such an inspiration on my very gradual move towards a vegan diet and I can’t tell you how many people I have got onto your veggie burger recipe alone. A gigantic thank you for that from all of us!

p.s. Oh and the breathing and 10 minutes of yoga a day thing… LOVE IT! Works like a charm… if we do it of course ;)

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192 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2012

Thank you so much for your comment! It means a lot to me. :)
Goodluck with your own goals!

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193 Lynne September 4, 2012

Thanks for this Angela. I agree with the sentiment to feel the fear and do it anyway! It is always the anticipation that is far worse than the actual thing I’m dreading. You are so right about things getting so much easier to deal with even after the first attempt. This has been a great challenge. I’m sure you’ll go from strength to strength. :)

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194 Ali September 4, 2012

I am seriously seriously seriously afraid of heights, and its something I’m working on overcoming. Last year, I went to the Capilano Bridge AND did the Whistler ziplining for a bachelorette party. I didn’t want to do either, but decided to suck it up and do it. It was AMAZING. The bridge is pretty cool (honestly, I just walked across it quickly). The zip-lining was so much fun and incredibly empowering. I had no idea that I would enjoy it that much, given how terrified I am of heights. You’ll have a blast I promise!

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195 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2012

yay!! Congrats. Thanks for the reassurance. I’ve committed myself so I have a couple weeks to pump myself up! hah

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196 Julie Boyer September 4, 2012

Congratulations to you Angela! You have opened yourself up to your blog world – some friends, some strangers. That’s never easy. I am so impressed with your commitment to feel the fear and face it anyhow!!

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197 Jaime September 4, 2012

Congrats! I just got back from a trip out to BC. It was the best trip ever! Enjoy yourselves :)

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198 Martine September 7, 2012

Great work Angela! It’s interesting that in tackling your fears you did a lot of things that you’ve been putting off. I’m the same way – deep down I avoid things because there’s a fear (I won’t know how to do it right), even though I justify it with other reasons (not enough time). It almost reminds me of a month-long challenge I did last year which was “tackle a to do”. At the beginning of the month I made a list of things that needed to be done, many that I’d put off for a long time (or even years). Every day, I scratched one off the list. It was energizing and inspiring to see how much I could get done in one month! I just finished a month-long challenge to do yoga every day, and I made a “bucket list” of challenges I’d like to do one day – you should check it out and see if you get inspiration for October’s challenge! I love the idea of having a community do it together.

(http://nourishandpreserve.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/end-of-yogust-revelations-and-a-30-day-challenge-bucket-list/)

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199 Lucía January 9, 2014

You are an awesome, brave person. Thank you for sharing this. It is really inspiring to me! :)

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