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I stopped doing what I loved

Hi, I’m Charlie and I’d like to tell you about my experience using Dare.

I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was around 9 years old.

I started having major panic attacks when I was in my late teens. I probably developed a full-fledged anxiety disorder when I first went away to college at age 21.

I come from an overly anxious overbearing New York Italian family so that probably rubbed off ha.

I never really knew what anxiety was when I was a little kid, I just knew that I felt nervous all the time.

I thought it was normal. Despite that, I was a natural comedian always making everyone laugh. I did that to make up for how scared I really felt all the time.

I was also competitive with sports, mainly martial arts. I always felt that something was physically wrong, but I wasn’t exactly sure what.

I felt very alone with my anxiety and I never really talked much about it. I had the occasional panic attack here and there but despite this I was still very outgoing.

I had my first major panic attack driving on the highway on a Friday home from college 2 hours away from where I lived.

I felt so out of control as if I was being smothered, my heart beating out of my chest, gasping for air and I felt as if I was literally going to die driving on the highway. In 10 minutes time or so it subsided.

Since then panic attacks have been a standard part of my life through different jobs, friendships, etc.

I just turned 37 now and for the past 7 or 8 months have done a complete 180 in how I deal with panic and anxiety. This is thanks to a program called DARE.

A year ago, I stopped doing a lot of things after I was involved in an auto accident which luckily left me and the other driver physically unharmed, but it sent my anxiety out of control.

I stopped doing what I loved which is working out at the gym and training because the slightest increase in adrenaline or heartbeat sent me into a panic mode and I had to leave.

I became so fed up with how I let anxiety rob me of enjoyment and having a life.

I searched and searched for something that would help me. A psychologist I was seeing at the time told me about a book called DARE.

I looked it up and bought it right away. When I read it, it was like I was reading something specifically tailored to deal with the panic situation I’d had my whole life.

Every sensation I feared, situation I avoided, and scary thought that nagged at me, was described in detail. The book was offering a sound strong way to deal with all of it by facing it head on instead of running away from it.

I had never tried this approach of welcoming the anxiety and panic and demanding that it do its worst and was kind of scared of trying it at first.

I spent my life trying to avoid feeling anxiety now I’m told to chase it!? I said I would try it even though I was skeptical and the first time I implemented it correctly, something happened. It worked! It worked 150%.

I faced into the panic attack instead of running away from it and it worked. I felt an amazing amount of hope then. Hope that I could be completely free from anxiety and panic attacks.

I hoped that I would be in charge totally of my anxiety and fight or flight response and would never again run away from a panic state or let it dictate where I go or stop me from doing something I want to do in life again.

I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be and this program takes commitment and practice. The past few months, I have been so much happier and freer than I’ve been in many years.

I’m in the gym twice a day training competitively again! I’m getting comfortable driving and starting to really enjoy it again.

Most importantly I finally feel like I can really live my life the way I want to again.

Traveling, flying, driving, and living life to the fullest. Dare is the real deal. Barry McDonough has created a tremendous program that has already helped so many people including me.

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks do yourself a favor and DARE!

There you have them, more powerful stories of courage and hope, proof positive that if you do the work, you can get the results!

What are you waiting for? Join us!

9 Comments

  1. Michaela Maljcov says:

    Hi Charlie

    THANKYOU for sharing your inspiring journey .

    Like you DARE changed my approach to my anxiety. Running towards it and total acceptance was tough st first, but as you say with practice & time DARE works .

    Keep enjoying life ?

  2. steven rice says:

    anxiety is a very bad surprise coming on suddenly and leaves most people absolutely helpless to the point of not even leaving the house for prolonged periods and wrecking everything in life. I have seen many who have been given the compeletely wrong treatment filled to the gills with neurleptic drugs and antidepressants that were unsuitable. a good programme like DARE plus medication e.g. as a fallback do use xanax or ativan by all means after having it all reviewed by a qualified doctor plus a well tolerated anti depressant but its got to be the right one for the job – e.g. you dont give ones that may up the anxiety level by causing more adrenallevels in the brain using the new ssri s is something that only a trained professional shoul do. e.g. they are supposed to up the serotonin levels the object of this is to have some supportive medication, some fallback medication when necessary plus a supportive envoronment that not everyone can just pull out of a hat. a trained psychotherapist is essential for learning cognivite behavious therapy, which is greatly useful:

  3. Dominick says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is amazing how far you have come in such a short time. Loved hearing how daring is working for your panic attacks.

  4. Claire Page says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Charlie. Dare has really changed my life and I’m so grateful for it and i don’t know how I managed without it. It really is a life changer!

  5. Christy says:

    Thanks for sharing Charlie. I wish you a beautiful life journey from now on, free from any anxiety and panic, as you so deserve it.

  6. Mojo says:

    So many of the things you dealt with I have dealt with as well. Glad you are better.

  7. Shawn says:

    Thanks for sharing, Charlie. I’ve read through these stories and never saw myself in them until this one! I’m currently in college and just recently had the exact same problems (panic attack while driving, troubles while working out). I’ve noticed a slight change, but haven’t fully gotten to where I wanted and was beginning to doubt this method. Your story just changed my whole mindset and reminded me that I have to work through this process, the ups and downs, and keep grinding!

  8. Colin Dalton says:

    Great story Charlie. Good to hear that some medication helps and obviously great determination and practice. I’m hugely encouraged by the success stories. Although I have been daring for a year now with no success, I do believe in the program, which is what keeps me going so hopefully soon I will have a succes to post.. A year is a long time so hopefully a breakthrough is around the corner. Best wishes and may your success continue. Colin

  9. Anna Brown says:

    Thank you for your inspiring story. I can relate to the Italian family and their anxiety levels rubbing off, same here and still happening as i still cant get my head around visiting my parents and need to be in a far better place than i am now to do so, but i am only a month and a half into DARE and can feel that i have progressed a bit so i am sticking with it, even though the thoughts are still bugging me no end especially if i haven’t had enough sleep, But i have armed myself with the new app that i can play wherever i am, which is a god send as i don’t tend to carry the book with me everywhere i go and now i don’t have to. Wishing you all the very best in whatever you do.

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