It’s nice to hear of your progress. Nice to hear you’re able to get back to living life without the weight of this keeping you back from everything.
I’d like to say good job, congratulations. You deserve the credit. Yes, Dr. Richards made a program which helps us all, helped me, too. Without that I don’t want to imagine where I’d be. But, even with that, it was you that did the work. It was you that put in the daily effort. It was you that got back on the horse to continue on even when you got bucked off or felt like giving up.
I hope others reading this gain some motivation from Lotus. You might feel down. You might think this may work for someone else, but not for me. But - it’s not rocket science here. I’m not a genius. I’m not smarter than your, nor gifted in some peculiar way that allows me to benefit from this therapy and not you. That is not the case. All I did was follow along with what someone told me to do. I had stops and starts too along the way. Ups and downs, but eventually I followed along. The doing is the process. And you won’t feel it straight away. But then you will
It’s like when I was learning to swim. I can move around, float, tread water - sure. But I wanted to learn how to do strokes properly for exercise. I’ve never been on a swim team, nor did I do swimming in school. So, I took a class. It was me, at that time I was around 24 years old. Me and about 7 elementary school girls. The teacher was a university student home on her summer holiday. Summer job for her. She had me over in another lane slowly working on the strokes. She’d point out where I was not really using my arm in a more natural motion. She’d tell me how to think to try to use my feet more in tune with the rest of my movement. She’d tell me how to practice breathing. None of it felt natural. But slowly it came together. I could feel with each of her tips how it was coming together, how it made sense. I didn’t study for long, 3 weeks I think the class was. And then I kept up a swim habit for a short time before my life got too busy - at least I had an excuse it was too busy. But in the time I was swimming, it was gradually becoming more natural. Finally I was getting to the point where I wasn’t consciously having to think about my strokes or my breath. Finally I was getting to the point where the swimming itself was becoming more automatic, so that I could actually focus on getting a good workout. The pieces were becoming more automatic.
That’s what this therapy is. No single part is “hard”. You can do each and every part of this individually. Then the point is the actual doing of those points, daily, consistently. That is the challenge for you to do this therapy habit. That is what it takes to overcome social anxiety. It will feel like work at first, and not natural. Practicing these small pieces, but still not feeling the whole come together… until it starts to.
And if you’ve gotten to that point like Lotus, you deserve a huge pat on the back because it was through your effort and your persistence that made it happen.
I bet Lotus still would say, “I’ve got plenty to work on… I’m not anxiety-free.” But, look at the changes already. And to keep moving forward is no longer the huge mountain of impossible fear. It’s still the step by step approach, but it’s one Lotus can imagine doing in a practical, real way.
I’m so happy to hear about your progress.