The more it hurts. The weaker you feel yourself getting. Stress from running isn't doing damage and it doesn't stop a lot of us from ever running again. If we run all of the time, it doesn't hurt that bad, it makes us stronger, and we enjoy it more. The first time you went to a gym was probably really stressful and, within a short period of time, you were in pain and your body said you were ready to go home. Again, that stress makes you stronger. If you work out 5 days a week, you probably find the stress fun and therapeutic. We expand our mind, body, capabilities, energy, comfort zone, and ourselves through stress. We grow by pushing until we're stressed. When the stress sets in, we push a little more and then we rest and recover. Once we've recovered, we do it again. Without stress, we wouldn't push our limits. We wouldn't reach. We wouldn't strive. We wouldn't try harder. We wouldn't fight for what we deserve. We wouldn't learn. We wouldn't grow. We wouldn't become better. We wouldn't get stronger.

When you feel stress, it's a sign you're coming to the end of your comfort zone, arriving at a weak area, and you need to push past it and use it to learn, grow, and become stronger. Next time you're stressed, instead of running away and letting it victimize you, think, "Good. I'm reaching a limit. I'm reaching the edge of my comfort zone. This is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become better." Harry Stack Sullivan, MD (1892-1949), was a highly innovative American psychiatrist. His particular interest was in working with people with serious mental illnesses, particularly psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. He was, as well, one of the first proponents of using people with histories of illness who were in recovery to assist in the treatment of those whose conditions had not yet stabilized or improved. His work exemplified similia similibus curantur. Around the time that Dr. Sullivan was advancing "like cures like," there came along--also in the United States--Alcoholics Anonymous. In Ohio, in 1935, two severe alcoholics, Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Akron surgeon, met and began what has become a lasting fellowship across the world. Fundamental to AA is not just its spiritual element but that others suffering from the same condition are integral to recovery. As the story goes, Bill W. had sought help from a friend, "Roland H.," who had consulted with the legendary Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. So began the theme of spirituality in AA. Jung emphasized the necessity of spirituality as a powerful foil against alcohol (spirits). Jung is even mentioned in AA's Big Book. When Roland H. asked Jung if there was any way for a chronic alcoholic to fully recover, Jung reportedly replied: The first step is there waiting to be taken.

Keep in mind the Samuel Butler principle, and remember that panic attacks may scare you, but they can never hurt you. Panic does not have the power to change reality. Your emotions will not bring on the terrible things that you fear, and simply worrying about something does not make it so. Having frightening ideas in your mind is a terrifying thing at times, but they are still only that - they are pictures in your head, not real things in the world with the power to harm you. The world is an open place. There is no way of knowing the future fully, and while we have seen that this can be a source of anxiety, it can also be a source of hope. You are not doomed to your anxiety, and you are not condemned by the past. You can have your full life back. It is out there waiting for you. Truth be told, there are still times when I am approaching an unfamiliar task that I may feel some degree of apprehension. However, the difference between then-and-now is like the difference between night-and-day, because today I don't allow feelings of fear or anxiety to get the better of me. During my transformation from procrastinator into "do"-er, I began to find a new sense of balance, and as the process continued, I noticed myself feeling a bit more comfortable in my own skin. If you work at overcoming your own habitual procrastination you'll start overcoming the fear that has interfered with your ability to deal with the tasks and projects that you've learned to automatically shy away from. You'll discover that you are far more capable than you thought possible, and your new definitions of yourself will be based upon newer self-beliefs garnered from positive experiences. Actively procrastinating is like stumbling through life like an ill-prepared actor. When I was a practicing procrastinator I sometimes wondered, if I were miraculously transformed into what I would have called a regular person, how I would look back on my earlier life? Would I hate myself for all the opportunities I'd lost, and if so, what would I do with all the anger that I imagined would come? Having bridged that gap, I now find myself at peace with those times. All I can say is that I simply did not know any other way of living. It's important to keep your energy levels up so you have the energy to get things done and be productive.

It's equally important to learn how to increase your energy throughout the day and throughout time. This doesn't mean temporary energy sources like cocaine, energy drinks, coffee, and caffeine. This means eating, drinking, and doing things that naturally give you energy instead of taking it. It means your lifestyle. The most obvious way is getting enough sleep and resting your body. It takes a lot of energy to process unhealthy foods like pizza, cake, fast food, alcohol, soda, etc. They make you feel tired and worthless. Greatist.com says it's good to drink water and green tea and to eat chia seeds, bananas, quinoa, oatmeal, almonds, beans, and to avoid junk food, white bread, candy, and anything that's hard for your body to process. Personally, I eat lots of vegetables, salads, and fish. When I eat McDonald's and drink soda, I want to sleep all day, I'm unfocused, and don't get anything done. When I eat light and healthy foods, I have more energy, I'm more focused, and I get more done. Exercise increases energy. Physically working out, running, jump roping, and anything that creates good stress on your mind and body increases your stamina and energy. You can go longer and longer periods of time without losing focus or energy. The more you do it, the more your mind and body adapts to the stress and provides more energy. When doing anything that requires a lot of focus and placing stress on yourself, when you want to take a break, push yourself to go just a little bit longer. Push yourself to go just a little bit further. Push yourself to make it a little bit harder. Over time, you massively increase your "energy reservoir" because your mind and body adapt to it. When the pain is setting in and you want to stop, do just a few more reps than usual.

Yes, there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals the methods which I employed are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description. A record exists of a letter Dr. Jung sent to Bill W., many years later, emphasizing the transformative power of the spirit and, as well, of human connectedness, both of which gave rise to AA and its development. Part of the letter is reproduced below: You see, Alcohol in Latin is "spiritus" and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is spiritus contra spiritum. In AA, NA, or one of the other 12-step programs that grew up around them, a core principle of addiction care for many is active engagement in a community of other recovering individuals. For many people, spirituality is an internal and necessary experience, and fellowship with others who are addicts is mutative--just as it was for Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Roland H. Families have also become part of this movement, for example with Al-Anon, a group designed for family members and friends of people with addictions, who are often the first to see signs of relapse and can be the most important and enduring sources of support for a person in recovery. We hear this all the time: Unless clinicians understand the beliefs, values, history, and language of those they treat, how can they succeed? This principle, however, needs to lean into the concept let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. The use of translators, interpreters, is one way to bridge the gap, as is having nonprofessional workers native to their communities assist in treating people with all chronic diseases, including the addictions. Asking what people think, prefer, and value goes a long way, as well, to helping those who have a different background than we do.