My book Un-Agoraphobic came out in October and has drawn a few reviews – one of them quite negative. I felt hurt at first, until I thought about it. The reviewer called it “a waste of time.” This person couldn’t have had the book long enough to even begin the recovery program I designed. Unfortunately, some people think just reading a self help book will be enough to get them over whatever they have.
If you’ve been around much you learned that doing the minimal isn’t enough to get you very far in life. You got to do more than show up; you have to get engaged. My book clearly calls for working a daily routine involving research, journaling, doing visualizations and affirmations, learning a new skill, gaining the benefits of meditation and performing regular activities in order to change neural pathways. Change like that doesn’t happen after a short time of work and certainly not from just one reading of a book.
It took me a long time to put together everything I needed to do and to change in order to get over panic disorder and end panic attacks forever. I got discouraged many times, but I had to press forward because otherwise… well, I don’t want to think about otherwise. A long history with panic attacks can hammer a person down until recovery doesn’t seem possible any longer. I’m glad I survived that dark time and dedicated myself to the hard work and courage it took to free myself from agoraphobia prison.
I’ve encountered people along the way who are looking for a quick fix. These seem to be people who haven’t learned how to take charge of their lives and expect others, so-called experts, to fix them. They want to hear a few magic words or tricks or bombastic statements that will suddenly turn everything around. You meet people like that from time to time. They’re the ones blaming everyone but themselves, the ones who are always searching but never really looking. You have to look at yourself. You have to look at the possibilities. You have to look at your recovery as something to devote yourself to.
You can recover completely from panic disorder and agoraphobia by using my book and fully engaging in all the procedures and activities I’ve put in there. You have a lot of changes to make but you’ll never make the changes without hard, steady, day after day work.