I noticed something was wrong on Christmas Eve 2016. I felt strange, like I was about to faint.
I was in my car, driving home for the family dinner. I actually can’t remember how I got home.
I did all the doctor checks, nothing was wrong. They said I was healthy. Meanwhile, I was waiting for my OB results.
That didn’t go quite well. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, LUCKILY not life threatening.
I went through the surgery, which was done very well, no other treatment needed.
So back then my physical condition was great, and after I got out of the hospital I knew it was time to pay attention to my psychological condition.
I was dealing with constant negative, fearful thoughts, derealisation, depersonalization, fear that I was going to die, to faint, to go crazy.
Constant symptoms, like 24/7. I couldn’t go out of my house, I was bothered by people, noise.
I didn’t go to work, I couldn’t drive, and I just couldn’t do a thing without thinking why is GAD happened to me. To me???
I have always been the most extrovert person among my friends, the one who was hanging out, and the one who always had the time to party.
And all of a sudden I became house-bond.
As I said I was diagnosed with GAD and was given Xanax, a lot of it. I wasn’t functioning normally for 7 months.
I realized the pills didn’t work well for me, so instead of a psychiatrist, I decided to visit psychologist.
This was the time I was searching for a natural cure. And thank God I came across Barry’s program!
I started reading and started living again. I realized all the things I was doing wrong. Most importantly I was fighting my anxiety.
For a year I was constantly reading the Panic Away and the DARE program, every time I felt a symptom I would start to reread the book.
I was constantly bothering Suzane and Nikolaos for advice. I was going through the DARE steps every single day.
I was looking for answers, I was practicing, I was trying to accept and allow. At first, it didn’t go well.
My mind and body were used to me rejecting my anxiety.
But I never thought of quitting. One thing I knew for sure. I was not the quitter.
Maybe I was the pain in the neck for the Dare mods, but I knew they were the only ones who understood my condition, and the ones who can give strong advice and explanation.
My journey was long, it is still happening, but now I know what Diffusing, Accepting, Running Towards and Engaging really mean.
I also know that DARE does work, it works for every one of us.
It may be hard, challenging and confusing at the beginning, but trust me, DARE did and still does help this cancer survivor.
Dare helped me deal with all my trauma after the surgery, DARE made me realize I was the cure to all my problems.
I realized I should always do the things I planned, no matter how I feel. I realized feeling can’t do any harm to me.
I realized I am the boss, not my anxiety.
By diffusing I realized I was not in danger, by accepting and feeling the feelings I was actually getting rid of the nervous energy, by running towards I was showing my anxiety who is in charge, and by engaging, I was truly relaxing.
I just want to shout now: I finally got my life back, thanks to Barry’s program.
Now I can stay on my own at home, taking care of my cat, I can drive, I can party, I can go to work, I am a teacher by the way, I have to be the best version of myself, for my students, I can go out alone, I can travel, I can do just everything.
I just realized that after I got back from my holiday this summer, I haven’t thought of my anxiety not once… And the most amazing thing is, I feel normal again.
Let me brag now… I opened my own private school, I got engaged, and I feel like Wonder Woman for the past months.
I wouldn’t have done this without Barry’s DARE, without the constant help of Nikolaos and Suzane, and without my DARE family.
I still have a long way to go, but now I am stronger than ever, I realized what I really need, I don’t pay attention to my symptoms anymore and I earned friends for life.
You can all do this, keep pushing, and keep practicing. You are the cure!!!