Having lived with severe anxiety for most of her life, 32-year-old Mary Stubbert went to her doctor looking for medication. Instead, he recommended the Strongest Families’ ICAN program for adult anxiety and depression. It took Mary a month to call and sign up for the free sessions – just the thought of doing so made her very anxious. Fast forward eight weeks, and Mary is living a much happier life – one in which she controls her inner dialogue and pulls herself out of anxiety-inducing problems. Here are Mary’s thoughts about her ICAN experience:
What made you come to our program?
I was so tired of living my daily life with severe anxiety. I was anxious about going to work, and taking phone calls. You name it. I’ve dealt with anxiety from a very young age, and it would affect me physically.
I was at a point where I couldn’t do anything and would avoid all situations that would cause me anxiety. I had hoped that my doctor would prescribe me anxiety medication to help me, but he suggested the ICAN program.
At first, I didn’t think this would help, and the thought of having weekly phone calls with a Coach made my anxiety soar. I put off calling for a month or so and finally decided that I would give it a try.
What successes have you experienced in using the skills from the program?
Before this program, I had a negative outlook on everything. I was the meanest person to myself, the hardest on myself. My inner dialogue was horrible.
Now, with the help of my Coach, I am nicer to myself. I have the right to be happy. I don’t allow the damaging thoughts to enter my mind. I’ve learned that the negative thought doesn’t help me. It keeps me in the thick of anxiety. If I had said that to myself three months ago, I would have rolled my eyes!
Having said all that, I still experience anxiety-inducing problems. However, now, I can pull myself out of it and for the first time in 32 years, I can say, I am proud of myself. That is my greatest success.
What was the most helpful part of the ICAN program?
My Coach. I needed someone I could relate to and trust. I knew she understood what I was saying and feeling and that meant the world to me. After every call, I felt like I was recharged and ready for the week. I can sing her praises all day long. There was something she said to me that stuck, and that was, “I’m behind you.” I’ll always carry that with me.
What has changed for you for the better since starting the program?
My quality of life. I’m happier. I don’t sit and anticipate the next dreadful thing that will happen. I feel confident knowing that I have the tools to get through a stressful situation.
Would you recommend the ICAN program to others?
I’ve dealt with severe anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’ve been through a lot in my life. For the longest time, I’ve just survived. I would look at people and wonder how they were able to be happy.
This program has allowed me not to wonder but to be happy. My only regret with this program is not calling my Coach outside of our scheduled calls. They are there to help and, most importantly, listen.
Take advantage of this help. You deserve it.
Learn more about our adult anxiety and depression program: https://strongestfamilies.com/ican/