The question sometimes arises about how much we need to practise a CBT program in order to reduce our avoidance behaviour. Having to confront various situations and places we have avoided does initially place us under more stress. We need to learn to walk a fine line. There are going to be times when we feel we want to give up and we begin to despair of ever recovering. There may be times when we feel this way, but we continually push ourselves without being aware of how much more anxiety is being generated. Then we do give up through exhaustion and despair.

Working with our avoidance behaviour, and the whole process of recovery, means we need to learn to care of ourselves. We need to learn when it is appropriate to pull back and take a break, as long as the break doesn’t go on for weeks. After the break, begin again.

Begin again. These two words can mean so much in the working-through process. If we feel that we are not making progress, if we feel that some of our attempts didn’t quite work out the way we would have liked, let them go and begin again.

Our ultra-sensitivity also increases the sense of guilt we feel towards our families because we can’t do everything we would like to do. We need to be aware of the extra stress caused by this. We can spend a week worrying and feeling guilty over one small incident which we think of as a failure. Guilt only increases our anxiety. It keep us locked into the cycle. We need to let it go, so we can move forward to recovery and to the time when we will be able to do everything we haven’t been able to do.


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