Getting back in my feet- I need a reality input


Hi guys
I am in a middle of a difficult setback that lasts longer then expected. All this kinda messed up my perception of therapy.

I have some health problems again and they are caused mostly by stress. Since I moved to Ireland, 6 months ago, I am sick almost all of the time. Now I had some stomach problems and I runn to the bathroom every hour.

The thing I forgot to mention is, I moved apartment with 2 new housemates. I was trying to show how easy it is to live with me. Again great pressure. Everyone in Dublin knows how hard it is to get proper accommodation. And I ended up waking everyone up trough the night by going to toilet 15 times.

I was just waiting for them to talk to me how I need to go as they can’t live with me any more. Nobady said anything so far. These ANTs are killing me.

Besides that, I was writing before about my problems at work. Latelly, I started doing therapy again and things got better. I stsrted chatting with my team and it was easier to greet people when I arrive.

Untill last week when my team was deployed. And suddenly, I don’t really know anyone in the company.

My team will be back as they are just doing opposite shift and I was prepared for difficult 2 weeks but I believed it can’t be that bad. But this setback is tough. Again, I went in saying nothing to anyone. Few people that started chatting with me, I just finished very quickly. Later, they just ignored my tries to talk.

I wanted to ask you, do you think they will forget how I acted and talk normally with me in a few days…? Not same exact people but human rase in general? I thought I got over al that and now it hit me back.

It lasts over a week and I just need a bit of help understanding what is going on. I know it is stupid but I am kinda desperate.

From experience I know that things are not as bad as they look now. But, I don’t see any way out and everything I worked on seams useless. I tried reading Setbacks handout but I don’t feel any better. For now, I plan to surive the evening and go home to bed. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Does anyone has exoerience with simmilar setbacks? How did it end?

Thank you


Everyone has similar experiences with setbacks. That’s how everyone’s brain works. Thus, none of us that are working to retrain our brains can avoid having setbacks. So, again, everyone here has had or will have setbacks with all the same emotions you’re describing.

Then what happens? I suppose one of two options, as Dr. Richards mentions in the therapy. You could quit rational thought training and let irrational thought steadily keep you back. Or, you could be reminded that the work you have done is still real and that you have made physical changes to your brain - those changes are still there. You can get back in touch with rationality after the emotions of a setback subside. You can remind yourself of this in session 6 materials, session 8, session 11, and session 15.

I’m currently on session 22 for my own reasons. I read your post and over the past sessions there are so many relevant things to your feelings and questions. I think parts of session 21 about “Poisonous Thoughts” and “Worry”, and session 22 “Feelings…” are worth your time, also.

The thoughts and worries you describe feel real. We’ve all had them. Rationally you state that you know after some time, you’ll feel better. The less time you allow yourself to focus on any of these negative emotions, the better. The Q&A in the first handout of session 22 supports that. For example, you had ANTs about reactions of other people about you being sick - ANTs that didn’t come true, were irrational. I know why you go there in your mind, but the solution, or the question to ask yourself is “Why go there?”. Why do that to yourself? ANTs stoppage, and then, Turn the Tables on ANTs. ANTs are killing you, that’s right - just like they killed us all up to now. Don’t choose to continue letting them kill you. Same goes for your question about what other people are thinking of you at your workplace. The question, the line of thought - all of it offers no road to a solution. I could state the rational perspective as I see it. It’s helpful that we all get rational feedback for others. That’s also what this board is for. But also, I know you know enough therapy to be rational for other people and for yourself. So, what would you say? What would you recommend to someone if they asked the same questions as you have asked? You’re going to come up with the right answers and they’ll be more powerful and helpful if you do. You are doing this therapy to strengthen your ability to help yourself. It all seems lost at such moments, but it’s not, not if you choose to pick yourself up. Not if you choose to turn the tables and to stop such lines of worries.

I’d like to hear what you have to say. Hopefully after you survived (which you always will), calmed down, gained some distance and perspective… after reading perhaps the session handouts I’ve suggested, or ones of your own choosing, what do you think?


How are you now, Miron?

I thought of you while reading “Keep the Momentum Going and Do Not Give Up” in session 25.


And setbacks do happen to us all… it is how we handle the setbacks that makes all the difference.


It is your brain – your thinking habits, patterns, and beliefs – that must be permanently changed.

Do not give up when times get difficult. They get difficult for all of us. Keep going even when you feel you are not making progress.


These quotes here are very motivational!!
I know how bad setbacks feel and by reading these quotes give me even more inspiration to overcome SA!


Thanks very much, Mateo. Hopefully things get better soon.


Hi Miron,

Without going into the therapy reasons, here’s another idea for future situations with roommates. If you’re concerned or worried about some issue, here it’s worrying about making a lot of noise during the night and possibly waking up friends/roommates, talk to them. Meet the situation head on, apologize - which is fine for any reason. “Sorry, guys, about last night, if I woke you. I didn’t feel well and I hope I didn’t disturb you too much.” That’s it. See what they say.

I would imagine that your roommates would answer in such a way that dispels all this worrying and over-analyzing. The ANTs put us into a nightmare fantasy of untruths. We’re working on stopping, catching our ANTs, turning them around. Another way of doing that is by confronting that fantasy in a positive way. Destroy it by not letting it have time to fester. I imagine the feedback we get from others will blow all our nonsense ANTs out of the water. See if reality matches all this internal dialogue.


Hey Mateo,

Thanks a lot on your responses.

I am more or less sure that shouldn’t be a reason to make me any problems.

I did speak to one of them and asked if I wake him and he said no. Then he said he has a headache and I thought he is hiding something from me and this could be a subtle message.

It is hard to go clean with this. I was looking for a room closer to work for 6 months and really suffered along the way. It was a big strugle to get it and it costed me a lot of money. More then 10 people were on the interview for the room. So, when I finally got it, I asumed the ANTs will hit me in that way somehow.

I am just generally in bad shape with all the moving and being sick all the time. Now I try not show my paranoia to people around me and how crazy I am. :slight_smile: I decided to ignore those thoughts as ANTs and hope for the best. If something bad happens, I will figure it out.

Sorry to bother you guys with my nonsense but this is the only place I can be honest about my fears.


Hi Miron,
I can relate to what you are saying. I will give a few examples.
I have been doing the therapy for about 16 months now and thankfully I can now usually squash the negative thoughts but have the occasional setback.
My brother rents a room off me. I work different shifts as a chef and don’t always see him. But I used to get paranoid at times that he thought I wasn’t doing the cleaning, washing up or my fair share of house hold chores. That when I spoke to him, he was mad at me.
Now I see this rationally, the Negative thoughts, exaggerated and blew things out of proportion.
I work in a private members club. I have to deal with a lot of chefs, front of house staff, office staff, suppliers and members/customers. Sometimes in pressure situations, taking control with limited time frames. I am now in a situation where I feel relaxed and confident.
But I recently took a few weeks off, I hadn’t planned much and thought I would read my therapy. I withdrew, wasn’t very social and the old thoughts started to come back stronger.
But now I can see through the therapy that this is how the old thoughts and neural pathways work. This helps me to calm down and rationalize. I tell myself how far I have come, how well I am doing, to stop beating myself up and that I deserve to be happy and enjoy life.
It may seem difficult for a while but keep moving forward and you will succeed and enjoy a happy life :),
All the best,