I think one of the most frustrating parts of coping with depression and anxiety/panic is that I continually try to make sense of it all. I try to figure out what situations, which people, which circumstances serve as triggers and them avoid them. Though as time goes on, my world becomes smaller and smaller and before I know it the illness consumes me. And the symptoms of my anxiety are sometimes very standard, but other times are abnormal and not as common. Cue more panic.
This is no way to live. And I know that. It doesn't make the recovery process any easier to partake in, but it does make the process more essential. So I push myself to do what I need to do in order to get on the road to being my new and improved self. And I allow myself to relinquish control when it's necessary, rather than worrying about and trying to control every little thing. And I allow myself to fail. And celebrate the small victories (today's being a trip to the Post Office).
I also have to remind myself that what I can control I need to develop confidence in. For example, if I know I turned off the stove, I need to have confidence in knowing that rather than checking 20 times to verify what I already know to be true.
This journey is teaching me that I really am safe and competent - a big aspect of suffering through anxiety and panic attacks is that one does not feel safe or in control of her environment. That feeling of being out of control is terrifying. I am learning what I can control and what I can't (the thoughts and actions of others, the environment, etc.) This doesn't mean I've mastered what I can control but it does provide me with a starting point for what I need to work on.
It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm slowly learning to let a little bit of sun in.