My Anxiety Story, An Introduction to the Book: The “Anxiety…I’m So Done with You!” Podcast

Welcome to “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” with Dr. Jodi. This episode goes with the Introduction of the book and in it, I share my anxiety story.

In this episode, you will learn 

  • The benefits you’ll get from reading this book
  • Who I am and what I’m all about
  • My anxiety story
  • The five steps to curing anxiety 
  • Why you deserve help and how to ask for it
  • The four reasons you still have anxiety
  • My formula for happiness.

Your Anxiety is Curable

The good news is that your anxiety is curable. I will take you through the five steps I used to overcome my own anxiety, that not only saved my life but helped thousands of my clients get rid of their anxiety. 

You will go through all five steps in the book’s five chapters. You might wonder, “What if it doesn’t work for me?” Yes, it will work for you! There are four reasons why people keep anxiety, and in this episode, I explain them and how you can avoid them. This episode encourages practical tips for your brain, body, and spirit that are safe, doable, tried, and true. If you are ready to heal, you are where you are supposed to be. 

“It’s your fear of the anxiety that causes the anxiety. When you are afraid of anxiety, it stays in your life. (That’s a hard one because it’s so awful, of course, you’re afraid of it.) I will teach you how not to be afraid of it so that you can get rid of it.” – Dr. Jodi Aman.

Resources that go with this episode:

Why You think Anxiety is NOT curable

How I got anxiety – (first time telling)

diamond confidence ecourse

Transcription of the Podcast Episode

Hey, you’re here with Dr. Jodi, and this is “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” 

I am so excited about this podcast. It accompanies my book by the same name, “Anxiety… I’m So Done With You!” It’s a teen’s guide to ditching toxic stress and hardwiring your brain for happiness, because that is what we’re going to do in the series: We’re ditching that freaking toxic stress and hardwiring your brain to generate happiness every day. 

This is what you do: You read or listen to a section of the book. Then come on over here and listen to an episode where we’re going to go a little bit deeper, give more examples, and tell more stories. I want to provide you with everything you need to be sure that you find your way out of this horrible anxiety cycle so that you no longer have to suffer. Please leave me a five-star review on Apple podcasts. That’ll help me get in the ears of more people who need this series. Mental health problems are skyrocketing, especially among teenagers, and this series will change the tide.

Introduction to the Book

Welcome to the beginning of our journey together. We’re discussing the introduction section of the book Anxiety…I’m So Done With You. So grab your notebook and pen or your book to write in the margins. In this episode, you’ll hear about the benefits you’ll get from reading this book. You’ll know who I am and what I’m all about, including my anxiety story. I’ll share the five steps to curing anxiety that not only saved me but helped thousands of my clients get rid of it too. I’ll give you an earful of why you deserve help and tell you how to ask for it. And then we’re going to go over the real reasons you still have anxiety, and you’ll finally learn my formula for happiness. Let’s get started.

Buy the Book on Teen Anxiety Audio E-Book Paperback (1)

Here’s what you’ll get from this book

You’re going to get practical skills for your brain, body, and spirit that will help you have the life you want to be comfortable in your body, understand the world, and find a fulfilling life purpose. You will feel trust and connection to good people. You will sleep better and wake up hopeful and confident in the morning. I know those sound like lofty goals, but they are doable because, despite what you think or what you’ve heard, anxiety is highly treatable. Even if you’ve had it forever, you can still get rid of it. 

This is what I’ve come to understand in my 25 years of practice. There are two kinds of people with anxiety. The first person gets anxious and is like:

“I am not living like this. I don’t like this at all. I’m going to figure out what I have to do, and I’m going to get rid of this. I am not doing it.” 

And the second person’s like: “I guess I am just wired this way. This sucks. This is me. I’m different than other people! Why can’t I figure this out? I just have to learn to live with it.” 

Do you “just have to live with anxiety”?

What am I going to say about these two people? Person one who decides that they’re going to get rid of it and they’re not going to keep it; they do what they have to do and they get rid of it and better. Person two, who thinks that this is how they’re just going to have to live, keep it. What’s the difference? The difference is believing that you can change. It changes the whole game. It makes me think of my favorite quotation from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Let me say it again. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. 

Statement of Positionality

Next, let me tell you a little bit about my personal and social identifiers. Because you are probably like, Who is this person giving you all this advice? Plus, I want to be transparent about who I am. My name is Jodi. I go by she/her. I’m a White, heterosexual, cisgendered mom. And aside from some dyslexia, I have no visible or invisible disabilities. I am totally aware that those identities reek of unearned privilege. In addition, I have more things in my life that give me privilege, like being married to the same person for 20 years and having three healthy children. I am being transparent because I don’t want to take any of that for granted.

Another thing about me is that I have been a social worker for 26 years. A social worker is like a psychologist, but a social worker thinks about people in their environment, and they understand problems in their contexts. So we care about social justice issues and how they affect our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. I also call myself a psychotherapist, which just means that I use talk therapy. That is the kind of therapy you think about when you think about going to therapy. 

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Energy Shield Training for Empaths Video

Now, how about you? Who are you? Every podcast episode has a blog post that goes with it where I put the transcription of the show and then more resources that go along with the episode. The link is in the show notes. Come on over there and share with me your social identifiers, a little bit about yourself, and the context of your life. And tell me about an accomplishment that has made you proud. One of my professors did this on the first day of class, and it was really powerful. I’ll go first. One of my greatest accomplishments is my close relationship with my kids. A close second is publishing five books, even though I have dyslexia and getting a doctorate. When I was little, I always saw myself as a bad reader and a bad writer, so these accomplishments feel really, really good. 

Positionality and Perspective Your Anxiety Story

I’m telling you all about me and my social identifiers because it affects perspective. And when I’m not aware that my identities affect my perspective, they risk rendering other people’s perspectives invisible. This, unfortunately, is endemic in our society, and I don’t want to do that. I’m sharing my positionality to acknowledge my privilege so that it can be dismantled. You and I may be different in some ways or the same in some ways, and I may never meet you. But that doesn’t matter. I want you to know that I see you anyway, and I am speaking to you. Y

I am going to tell you over and over in this series that anxiety comes out of a context. Social identities cause the context of power differences, and that power differential and intersectional and marginalized identities cause oppression, trauma, and inaccessibility. And as a social worker and as a psychotherapist, I’ve witnessed the effects of this for over two decades, and I know we have to speak about this in order to heal it. 

 And to that end, if you hear anything in this series that makes you feel excluded or invalidated, I am really sorry. I am open to and appreciate any feedback that you want to give me. 

Parenting Teens Video

Before I tell you my anxiety story, you may have already noticed. I am lumping anxiety and depression and anger and sadness and worries and irritability all together. I’m not making light of these by doing that because they’re all horrible––all of them are horrible; however, all of these act on you in similar ways, and I’m lumping them together on purpose in order to minimize the power that they have over you. Does that sound good?

Let me tell you about my anxiety story,

It started when I was just five years old. So back then, my father, my sister, and I was at this father-daughter event and we were learning about the presidents, President Lincoln, and President Washington, because it was February, and that was the time of the year that we all learn about them in school. On the way home from this event, I remember thinking about the lesson and what we were learning about, and I was like, Huh, I don’t see those guys around anymore.

So I asked my dad, “Where are the presidents now, Daddy?”

My dad’s face got really pale, and his neck got really long, and he said, “They’re dead.”

And I was like, “What?!”

I mean because I knew; I could read the energy in his face, his coloring, and his voice: There was something really wrong with being dead. I also read about his fear of how to explain it to me as a five-year-old. And so I said: “What’s dead?” 

And he said:

“You sleep. You don’t wake up, or you’re gone forever.”

“What’s dead?”

I don’t exactly know what he said, but it was something like that. But I was so overwhelmed and startled by this concept that we could leave each other, that this is not something that will last forever, and that there is suffering in this world. And, of course, I was so lucky as a five-year-old not to experience something that drastic or that traumatic up until that point. And so I hadn’t known suffering, but this was my introduction to anxiety and my introduction to understanding that there was suffering in this world. I was overcome and cried and cried and cried. I guess as that five-year-old, I really got this concept of, Oh my gosh, something could go wrong. And I have no control over that. 

Over the next 20 years, my anxiety story was that it came and went at different times in my life. Sometimes it was so intense that I lost tons of weight because I couldn’t eat. I really withdrew. I couldn’t go out. But I couldn’t be alone, either. I could go to sleep alone. My mom had to stay with me all the time. Back then, it was the 70’s and 80’s; people didn’t really know what it was. I never even called it “anxiety” back then. I only knew about that. It’s anxiety as I got older, and I could look back, and I knew what was going on, but back then, I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t really understand it, and neither did any of the adults in my life.


My Anxiety Story

So over the next 20 years, I would go into episodes of anxiety, and then I’d come out not really knowing my participation in when I was anxiety-free, and when I had really intense anxiety, I thought I was a passive recipient of this happening to me. And that didn’t change until I was in my twenties and I was already a social worker. I was in a meeting as a therapist, and we were talking about our hardest cases. One of my coworkers was talking about their client who had anxiety. They were talking about what this person was going through and how much they were struggling. And I just started to panic. I remember thinking, I’m a social worker. I’m supposed to be helping people, and I can’t even help myself. 

I started to have this huge panic attack right there in that meeting

Trying to keep myself in the here and now, I was losing it. I had to get up because I couldn’t sit there any longer; I had to get out of there. I wanted to leave so bad. If you have ever experienced anything like that, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

I’m always running away from anxiety because anxiety was this big scary monster that was constantly chasing me. And I just ran. Little did I know that that gave it power because when I ran, I was covering and afraid of it. Anxiety needs you to be scared of it. I booked out of that room, went down the hall, flew down those stairs, and into my car. I put the car in reverse, I looked in the rearview mirror, and guess what I saw? My face was pale, and my neck was long. And I took a breath, and I looked at my eyes again and I took another breath and I thought, I look just like my dadI learned this. And if I learned this thing called anxiety, then maybe I could unlearn it. 

I was that Person 1

So I committed to doing just that. I was that Person 1. I said, I’m not living like this. I’m not putting my family through thisnot putting my husband through this. I’m going to commit myself and do whatever I need to do and figure out how to get rid of it. 

Over the next couple of years, I figured it out, and I figured it out, and I figured it out until I completely got rid of my anxiety for good. It has been such a relief not to live like that because it is the worst suffering that you could feel. And you don’t even have to imagine because I know you’re listening to this podcast because you’ve been there and you’ve experienced it. But lucky for you, you don’t have to wait a couple of years to figure it out, because I did the work for you. Now, I am just delivering it to your door (or to your ears). All you have to do is pick up my book, pick up this podcast, and get better. 

Here are the five stages that I use to get myself better. In the last 20 years, through my anxiety story and the five steps I have helped thousands of my clients get better, too.

develop your intuition for teens

My Anxiety Story Ends in An Anxiety Cure

Here are the five steps to cure anxiety

1. Understand it biologically. 

2. Learn the lies that it tells. 

3. Cultivate your control.

4. Make peace with yourself. 

5. Practice happiness habits.

Let me say those again. Understand the biology, learn the lies that it tells. Cultivate your control. Make peace with yourself and practice happiness habits. Easy peasy, right? Not so coincidentally, these are the five chapters of this book. And each of the book’s five chapters has seven different sections. So there will be 35 more episodes of this series because you read a section of the book and come on over here, and I’m going to give you a little bit more to help you integrate it into your brain and body, and spirit to get you better faster. 

These steps are safe; they’re practical, and they are doable. And don’t think of it as work because there’s effort and there are practices, but you are making an effort anyway. You’re probably on a hamster wheel doing all this efforting but not getting anywhere. And these practices in this book will be easier than having anxiety.

Nothing is harder than having anxiety. So don’t balk at the practices or the work that you’ll have to do to get better because I’ll tell you, it’s worth it—no more excuses. Anxiety wants you to make excuses, but excuses don’t serve you. And remember, you deserve to get help. You deserve it because this anxiety, this depression, this anger or irritability or whatever you have, is not your fault. In the first chapter, you will learn that anxiety comes out of the context of our modern world, not because you’re weak or inadequate. It comes from a context. 

Please seek help for yourself

Also, I want you to know this series is not a replacement for getting help for yourself. I just read a statistic that, on average, people wait 11 years before getting mental health help. Eleven years! That means half of them wait longer than 11 years! Don’t let that be you. A lot of suffering could happen in 11-plus years. A lot of life and opportunities in good joyful times that you could have in those 11 years. You deserve to have those. So get help.

Now, I know people enough to be guessing here that you may have been hurt. And that might make you wanna isolate yourself or pull back or not try to get help from other people. Maybe you think you’re unworthy, or perhaps you think you are bothering them. Please don’t do that. You are not bothering them. I know you’re trying to protect yourself, or you’re trying to protect them, but you are making yourself hurt so much more–– exponentially more. And you are probably hurting other people because they are worried about you or missing you, or they think you don’t like them.

When you are looking for help, look for the good people. They’re there. Don’t go to someone untrustworthy and say, See, everyone hurts me. Look for the good people. Mr. Rogers says, “Find the nice people. There are always nice people.” And you know what? You have skills and observation. I know you do because you’re sensitive. You have a sensitive heart. Use those skills in observation to find the good people. 

Now, when you’re trying to get rid of anxiety with all the practices that you are learning, and it’s not going away, you may start to convince yourself that it won’t work for you–– that you’re different somehow and you just don’t get it. When people feel that way, I’ve noticed four reasons why they have not gotten rid of anxiety. I made a video on it that I will put in the blog post. The link is in the show notes. 

One: They are still scared of it. 

Here are the four reasons why people keep their anxiety story. 

Anxiety needs you to be scared. We’ll go more into that later, so you really understand that one. It feeds itself off. It’s your fear of the anxiety that causes the anxiety. So you have anxiety about anxiety. If you are afraid of anxiety, it will stay in your life. And that’s a hard one because it’s so awful, of course, you’re afraid of it. In chapter one, I’m going to explain to you how not to be afraid of it or how to navigate around being afraid of it so that you can get rid of it. 

The second reason is they don’t like themselves. 

You can’t NOT like yourself and get rid of anxiety because, if you don’t like yourself, then you don’t trust yourself. Then you don’t think you could handle anything. And, of course, you feel incredibly vulnerable when you think you can’t handle anything. So it’s a playground for anxiety. 

The third reason is that you’re staying still. 

When you stay still, you’re giving all of your brain space to the anxiety to wreak havoc on you, to take you down into the rabbit hole of negative thinking. You need to do something that’s engaging enough that takes up your mind space so that anxiety does not have that space anymore. 

And the last reason is they don’t believe they can get rid of it. 

You have to believe that you can get over anxiety to get over anxiety. If you don’t believe you can get rid of it, you keep it. And this is the thing, in this book and in this series, it is my job to convince you that it is possible because I know that to be true. I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again. These steps are repeatable. And they work. 

Let me tell you. This will work for you. 

You’ll find that in the book and in the series that, I repeat myself a lot. Yep. I’m going to repeat myself; I’m going to repeat myself; I’m going to repeat myself, a lot. That’s because anxiety repeats itself, and negative thoughts repeat themselves. They’re like a broken record, so I’m going to dish it back with the truth over and over. 

Finally, I am ready to tell you about my formula for happiness. You’re probably thinking, What is that? What is a formula for happiness? And why do I have to learn about it? When I was trying to help myself heal from anxiety, I did all the self-help books and retreats and classes that I could find because I wanted to get better and I wanted all of the information. I started to notice a pattern in the content of all of these books and classes. This is it: 

Formula for Happiness

1st you have to get rid of the things in your life that make you suffer 

2nd you have to bring into your life what gives you joy, and 

3rd you have to practice those two things every day.

So I started to understand that as the formula for happiness. 

So first, you get rid of the things in your life that make you suffer.  

We live in this world with lots of things happening that feel out of control. They keep coming in, and we’re energetically affected by those things. This means that you have to continually release them. You don’t heal, and then you’re healed forever. Even if you’ve healed certain things from your past, there are more things coming in all the time. The bonus is if you make this a daily practice, these heavy energies won’t even root into you. You’ll release them before they’ve even had a chance to affect you for too long. 

Don’t worry; I’m not going to turn you into a callous and cold person. This practice will give you the coherence and capacity to be even more compassionate and more helpful, and generous to others without depleting you.

Next, you bring into your life what brings you joy.

This is what people often are confused about. Some people who are sad or anxious feel very different. They see the people around them, look happy and confident, and think they’re born that way. Then, you feel different; you have this problem. You think, if I wanted to be happy, I’d have to work, really, really hard on being happy, and that just doesn’t seem fair. That thought process hurts you, and it is not true. 

People who are happy? They generate their happiness every day. Nobody’s just happy by accident. No one’s just born happy. They don’t have to do anything. Everybody has to work at it. And I do understand that it is more effort when you have anxiety, when you have sadness or when you have other problems or experiences in your life that have pushed you down. It is more effort, and also, the brain is very efficient. So if you have one way, one familiar way of being – going to the negative or going to thinking bad stuff about yourself or something. Then your brain makes a groove in that direction, so it can get to that more efficiently. It’s not permanent. You can change it.

While you’re trying to change the pattern to a happier groove, it does take extra effort, but with repetition, it changes, and soon, the happier pattern is easier. Our brain is malleable, but we just don’t know it is, and so that’s why I am telling you. That need for repetition will get help the third step in the formula for happiness makes more sense.

The third step is to practice. 

You got to keep practicing and keep the self-care up. Practice the happiness habits that we’re going to talk about in chapter five. You deserve to take care of yourself in that kind of way. You don’t have to do this because “you have a problem, and you’re different than other people and you have to do these extra things.” We all have to take care of ourselves. This world is crazy, and we have to take care of ourselves. You are not different and strange. You’re part of this human family, and we all must practice these things to care for ourselves. 

Parenting combo pack

Pray with Your Legs

Practice means that things don’t just come when we have an intention. We have to put action behind it. I love this quotation by Frederick Douglas. “I prayed every day, and nothing happened until I prayed with my legs.” When you set an intention and have expectations that you’ll meet that intention, you will take the next right action to realize it. 

Thank you so much for listening to this episode that accompanies the Introduction of “Anxiety… I’m So Done with You!” with me, Dr. Jodi. In this episode, I shared my anxiety story, and then, you heard the five steps I developed for getting rid of it. Then I told you why anxiety sticks around for some people, and finally, I shared my formula for happiness. 

Please leave me a five-star review on Apple podcasts. Like, share, subscribe, and grab a copy of the book if you don’t have it yet. Next, in chapter one, you will learn the neurological response to what is going on and the context of our world. Coming up next is Chapter 1, Section 1. Read it, and I’ll meet you there.

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