Below is a small sample audio clip from our Program written and narrated by David Johnson.
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Before I found the programme I used to visit doctors constantly thinking I had cancer, or was about to have a heart attack, or some terminal disease of one sort or another. I saw psychiatric nurses, behavioural therapists, on and off for years and years.
I was full of fear, frightened to do the smallest thing imaginable, barely functioning, trying to put on an act so I wasn't seen to be falling apart, but inside was a fragile mess.
I used to avoid places that had previously triggered panic attacks; I got very clever at deceiving myself and others as to why I couldn't do anything, in fact I avoided anything that put me out of my comfort zone. I felt I needed to control all aspects of my life, or work things out by constantly thinking about them, until I didn't know what to do, it was as if the thoughts were on a loop system that wouldn't stop.
After the worst panic attack I had ever experienced, I had reached the point of suicide, a thought that had entered my head many times in the twenty or so years I suffered, this time I really meant it.
In my desperation I trawled the internet looking for someone, or something that could help me.
This is when I found the programme that totally changed my life.
Once I got the programme and started to listen and practice what it says, I started to understand where I had been going wrong, and bit by bit the 'penny' began to drop and my life began to change for the better.
I have managed to do so much now I would never have considered possible before, I am much happier and peaceful inside, and much more fulfilled, simple things can bring great joy when you are contented and living a life that is not full of fear.
I have done a fire walk, walked on broken glass, walked 500 miles across Spain in just under six weeks, (not knowing whether there was anywhere to sleep at the end of each day), travelled round Great Britain for five months, started my own business, and many smaller things along the way that aren't difficult for a lot of people but for a sufferer is immensely challenging.
I fell into the anxiety state trough too much exam pressure, I hit a brick wall!I spent days fretting because I had convinced myself I was destined for the psychiatric ward! When I found this program I began to understand this was not the case,i was in fact suffering from severe anxiety, scary but not serious! The program has brought me through and I am now preparing to sit my exams a feat that did not seem possible a few megre months back. The program is basically a 24/7 lifeline and I would whole heartedly recommend it to you the anxiety or to a family member or friend. The results may take some time and this is not a magic pill you too must commit but persistence pays off.
When asked about my journey to recovery I have one word to describe it...gratitude. I am grateful to the FFF program for showing me the way back into my life. Anxiety hit me hard and fast two years ago. It started with a panic attack and from that moment on my life was a living hell. I had almost every symptom that a sufferer can have, body shakes, upset stomach, sleeplessness, light headedness, frightening and scary thoughts just to name a few. I thought that I had a horrible disease or that I was going crazy. I would cry all day long and not leave my house. I was seeing a counselor who was a anxiety 'specialist'. He diagnosed me but he did not help me.
I remember the day that I stumbled upon the FFF website. It looked interesting but I was very skeptical as I had tried other internet programs but they did not help me. But, the program was dedicated to Dr. Claire Weekes and having read her book, I felt that she was the only one that seemed to understand this condition. That day my recovery began. I finally understood what was happening to me, why my body was responding the way it was and what I could DO ABOUT IT. David Johnson, the author of the FFF program had a way of explaining this condition as only a sufferer could. This program has not only guided me to recovery but even more importantly it has shown me how to deal with the upheavals in my life so that I never go back to that state again.
I am near recovery. So close I can taste it. My life has been full of many challenges since I started the program including closing our family business, bankruptcy and some challenging times in my marriage. But, I feel that I have been able to get through all of it because of my understanding of how my body reacts to stress. I am fully engaged with my three children and enjoy being at all of their school and sport functions. I work full time and have many demands on my life. But, what a blessing to be living my life rather than sheltered in a cloud of fear. I am immensely grateful for this program. I not only have my life back but I have a better life back.
I have been a Nervous Illness sufferer for as long as I can remember. I am 47 years old. I don't ever remember a time that I felt the peace that I feel now. I had nothing to compare to with my anxiety state. I just knew I felt very different from anyone else around me. I was so nervous all the time. The only time I had any respite was when I was with my pets, by myself. I tried to be 'normal', pretending to be OK all my life and ended up burning myself out at around the age of 30 years old. From that point on I slowly went from a very active young woman to a socially awkward and inactive woman. I didn't know what was happening to me. Even though I never felt normal, this was different. I started having panic attacks almost daily. Anxiety attacks were the norm as well. I was crying at the drop of a hat. I'd talk with my friends, trying to figure out what was wrong with me, only to feel even more isolated. My husband was at a loss as to how to help me. I cried on his shoulder every night feeling so alone and lost. I tear up just remembering how horrible it was at that time of my life. I went to many, many different kinds of doctors. (Natural and Traditional) I traveled many miles to be treated by Homeopathic specialists. I spent thousands of thousands of dollars only to be severely disappointed every time. I'd get my hopes up only to repeatedly get them crushed.
I had reached an all-time low 2 years ago and became practically agoraphobic, for all intents and purposes. I was afraid to leave my own bedroom, let alone my house. I had given up on ever having a life again. I had everything going for me. A great husband, family, friends, financial security, horses and pets, and nothing made me happy, NOTHING. I couldn't figure myself out, but I had stopped trying. Then one day, I was bored, and on my iPhone in bed, Googling. I decided to Google - fear. I just knew that was ultimately the source of all my problems, FEAR. I barely had to scroll down when I found the website - Freedom From Fear. It really stuck out to me. I went to the site and started reading. I felt excitement building in me for the first time in a very long time. This website was describing ME! I had never seen myself described so well. I started crying. I felt understood for the first time in 46 years. I called my husband and asked him what he thought about it. He said Go for it! I called my sister and asked her what she thought. She was moved as well. (She suffers too) So I put down the phone and bought the program. So my journey began.
I am not 100% recovered at this point in time, but I no longer care or worry about that. I am happy for the first time in my life. Even on my wedding day 23½ years ago, I was troubled with anxiety. It interfered with every event of my life up to this point. Now I can go anywhere without worrying whether I can 'handle it' or not. I no longer have fear that escalates and debilitates me. I no longer have my 17 year insomnia problems. I no longer have panic attacks daily or anxiety attacks. I have a deep sense of peace that carries me thru even very difficult events, such as the death of my father. The peace has not left me in many months. I really am amazed at the reality of this. I never thought it was possible to not feel this sense of doom hanging over me every minute of every day. It was like a big heavy black hole in my chest. But not only is it possible, it's happening for me now. That black hole is just a small indentation that I barely notice. I may be almost a half a century old but I'm living the second half of my life the way I always dreamed it could be. This program is the only answer to all of our plaguing questions. It not only answers them, but it gives us the way out. It's very easy to understand and follow. It may not be an easy fix, like taking a pill, but it's the ONLY thing that has worked for me. I am confident that I will make a full recovery. Also, the friends we make on the forum are such a blessing. They have pulled me thru some very difficult moments and have cheered me on. Their friendship is invaluable to me. I will forever remember and care for each one of them in my heart. My husband also, feels ever so grateful to have his wife back. He talks about how powerful the program is to others even now. Life is beautiful for the first time in my life.
It's difficult to write a genuine and heartfelt testimonial without sounding like every other online advert, but I'll give it a shot.
One the day that I found this programme, I had suffered from anxiety and depression from several years. From flat and grey depression to 'terrifying' panic attacks, from a racing mind to feelings of unreality, from a fear of the hairdressers to questioning the meaning of everything. Life was a battle and the days or weeks of respite were ones I treasured, because I always knew it wouldn't last and that there would be more hell to come later. The questions I wanted an answer to were "Why do I feel like this, what is this?" and "What on earth do I have to go to escape this and be like everybody else – one of those people sitting in a cafe with their friends and laughing."
The reason I recommend this programme to anybody is because it answers those questions. It explains what anxiety and depression is in a straightforward and eye-opening way. As I listened to the programme for the first time, I felt like I'd been given a puzzle piece that I'd been missing my whole life : a vital one which suddenly joined up everything in my head. Finally I'd caught a glimpse of who I used to be and realized that I could be that person again.
This programme isn't an overnight cure - over the coming months it took time, patience and setbacks for me to get to the point where I knew I had recovered. But those moments when I walked into a hairdressers again for the first time, those moments where I really genuinely laughed again for the first time, the moments when I felt like one-of-the-crowd again for the first time, and finally the moment when I knew that no matter what, I can say "I used to suffer from anxiety and depression" instead of "I suffer", those moments were worth everything.
This programme gave me my life bac - I went from a terrified lonely overly analytical lost girl to being 'myself' again, and whoever that is it's someone I really like being.
I have been an anxiety sufferer on and off for 15 years now. My first two episodes were very scarey and bewildering, as I didn't know what was happening to me and no one could tell me. I saw my medical doctor, a psychiatrist, councellors, etc and no one gave me any answers. After a lot of searching on my own, I discovered what I had was anxiety. Thank goodness I came across the Freedom from Fear program. This is the only program I have ever seen that describes anxiety in a way that I understand, and a method that helps me. The reason for this is because it was developed by two ex-sufferers who have been through the anxiety state---not a psychologist or psychiatrist who has only studied it! The program takes a lot of fear out of anxiety, and gives much hope for total recovery. I am currently in remission and working towards recovery, and with patience and time I know I will get there!!
To say simply, the Freedom From Fear program has saved my life. Before I found this program I had been suffering for over 10 years. I would go through the episodes of intense suffering with some respite in between, and those episodes were becoming more and more intense. I was on antidepressant drugs for the most part of those 10 years and while seemingly helping at first they have completely stopped working. When the last episode hit it in the beginning of 2009 it would not quit. I lost 30 pounds of weight in a matter of few weeks, I had to force myself to eat and my digestive system was in disarray. It was very exhausting to just carry through the day and yet no matter how tired I was I could not get any rest during the night. I would wake up many times during the night sweating and in complete sense of dread. I was so mentally fatigued that even simple tasks at work were impossible to perform. I was in total despair and it seemed pointless to continue living with this burden of suffering.
I thought I knew everything there is to know about anxiety disorder. I read many books and articles about it and I was following news on everything related to anxiety/depression disorders. I saw clinical psychologists and went through a course of neurofeedback treatment. I found meditation, and while I enjoyed it (and still do) it did not help me. In April of 2009 I went to a famous clinic in Los Angeles were they took scans of my brain and their verdict was that my brain was damaged beyond repair and that in addition to increasing antidepressant drug dose I will also need to take anticonvulsant drugs. I was taken aback by their suggestions and refused to take anticonvulsant drugs. I however did increase antidepressant dose but I still continued suffering.
This is when I found this program. Right after the I finished listening to it for the first time it made big impact on me. Some of the things I already knew but I was finally able to connect all the dots and nature of the nervous disorder was completely explained to me. It wasn't all smooth sailing afterward though. It took few weeks of practicing the method before I could see some changes in myself that were undeniable. Each time I would go through a difficult moment I would gain more and more confidence. The forum was wonderful supporting me through the hard moments and it was also very helpful being able to follow other people's journeys to recovery.
Where I am at now? I haven't completely recovered yet but its only a question of time. I am completely drug free now and I am at peace most of the time. The rare moments that come don't have much affect on me. I have the confidence to go through any moment that comes my way and I know that I will never ever go back into the state I was before. I have seen the bluff that nervous illness is and I lost my fear of it.
Hi, I'm Jeni and have suffered from anxiety since my early teens, I am now 36. Throughout this time I have had 'good' and 'bad' patches. When things were really bad I would be completely avoiding situations and had a general feeling of missing out on life at times. I have now been with the Freedom from Fear programme for about 9 months and things are slowly but surely improving.
I can't pinpoint where my suffering began, I was always a bright and confident child. I never had issues with public speaking and was even MC for my Year 8 Dinner and Dance. I then had a school camp that was incredibly miserable where I got my second ever menstrual cycle and a teacher who I had been a star pupil for was incredibly nasty and not supportive, this was followed by a Y12 camp where I was fine until the very end where we met 1/2 our group again only to find out there had been a nasty gas cannister explosion and some of that group had been hiked back down and to hospital in the middle of the night (a bit of a shock). This was followed by a school ball for a very 'hoighty toighty' school where I just didnt fit in and I got so nervous I threw up at the group table (I'm still not sure anyone even noticed, my date definitely didn't) but this is something I still am shamed to admit today. All these things particularly the last just built up to the point where social anxiety became a problem for me. I avoided if I possibly could, any formal situation was really tough and I still regret not being confident enough to be bridesmaid for two of my very best friends. I have also never felt confident enough to travel overseas and in general anxiety has limited my life experiences.
I met my husband in my early twenties and for a time anxiety took a back seat and everything was great - amazing what being in love can do! We had two beautiful children and bought and built 3 homes, each time making ourselves a more comfortable life. However anxiety has always been in the background, 5 burglaries, car accidents, finances and just general life issues all built up and I found myself having patches where things weren't so rosy. My family Doctor is wonderfully understanding and I have been on loxamine for several years with a recent switch to Citalopram which I hope to start decreasing soon. I have done counselling and several CBT sessions which helped initially but seemed to plateau.
Then last August my mother suggested I see what Freedom from Fear was all about. I ordered the programme and havent looked back. What a wonderful thing to find people that knew what I was going through so well and knew it was going to get better. The programme and forum have been invaluable I have even been lucky enough to recently meet some of the forum members in person, and discovered that we are all lovely caring completely normal people who just overthink things. The biggest hurdle and help to me has been facing my fears instead of running. I have had wonderful successes in being able to go on my kids school trips with enjoyment instead of dread, and hopefully in the near future will be able to travel with my family.
If you are wondering if this really works...
It has been sometime since I was last on the forum ( I think about a year ago). Lucy recently contacted me via email to see how I was doing and after corresponding a bit, she encouraged me to share where I am with the group. I appreciate her encouragement to do so.
I recall when I was first on the FFF forum, I often wondered aloud (on the forum) if there really was such a thing as successful recoveries and if so where were they and what do they look like? I am sure many of you are who are reading this, are also somewhat dubious, especially when you are in the midst of a difficult moment and life feels so overwhelming. Well please allow me to share my story.
I joined the FFF forum and started listening to the program in November 2008. Previous to finding the program (actually I think God was just answering my cries for help), I had just started back to my job as a coatings chemist one month prior. Before that I had been off work for two months after going thru a time of getting off of Klonopin. I had gotten off anti-depressants earlier in 2008. After being on the program for awhile, I often said to myself and others, how much I wished I had heard of FFF before getting off of them. Because I really worked myself into a terrible frenzy, which just made it all the harder. So for those of you currently on meds and scared about the being on them or getting off of them, just follow the program. Be patient in the process, you will know when to make a change.
So when I went back to work, I was a basket case. I even told my manager that I was going to give work a try, but wasn't sure I could do so. Fortunately not long after starting work I started the program and joined the forum. Pretty soon I was learning the "lingo" such as FAFLing, RIV, etc. I shared my setbacks and my successes. One of the hard things was to learn what a success was. I thought it meant "no symptoms". Nope. What it meant was that I kept moving forward in whatever I was facing. Anytime that I kept living life and going to work , I was succeeding. In the beginning and even throughout the recovery process I experienced sleepless nites and periods of setback and severe anxiety symptoms. Trust me, I had the "Full Monty" as far as anxiety goes. Of course I even considered mine worse then everyone else's also. FFF might work for others, but not mine.
I am so thankful for the many times others kept encouraging me to keep listening and walking out the program. I recall during one time period that my work was getting more intense and it just felt that I was going to implode. I realize now looking back that it was the continual process of facing and not fleeing the anxiety and the difficulties that sped me onto recovery. Oh yes, there were vicous setbacks at times and I questioned it all. But slowly and steadily I learned to not "fear the fear", "to not care about it being present".
For me, my faith and faith community were also an important component to my recovery, because they both reinforced what I was learning on FFF. No that did not "understand" like a fellow sufferer, but they gave me a safe place to share. Along with the FFF forum I kept pursuing community and openly sharing where I was at in the process and learning how to acknowledge "successes" rather than seeing them as failures. Within a year after starting I was doing things that I did not think I could do. In 2010 I saw my work responsibilities increasing and I found myself suprised at how I just kept facing it all. More and more the truths of what the program teaches were becoming evident in my thinking and actions.
Then this past fall (2010) there began to be changes in my workplace and my managers approached me to let me know they were considering me for a supervisory position. I was stunned. One of the reasons they approached me is because they knew of my recovery and were concerned about me taking on more responsibility. My response was, "you saw where I was two years ago, and how I have come to this point, I am sure that I will just continue to be able to accept greater challenges".
So in January I received a promotion and guess what? At times it has been difficult, but there is a foundation in me that allows me to not fear the difficulties. As I shared with Lucy, "There are still challenges, but I do not fear them like I used to. Neither do I worry about having a relapse or falling back into it all". It is not on my radar. It is hard to explain, but in just the last few months, after saying Yes to the new promotion, something just switched in me and I am a different person. Just this morning my manager called me in to tell me that he and higher ups are very please with my progress and that they are have the utmost confidence in my ability to handle the job. Wow! That is a long ways from November 2008.