7 June to 9 June – ‘mental panic’ and more reassurance seeking

7 Jun 2107

Hello Robin,

I know this I looking for reassurance but I mentally feel so scared this morning.  I woke up about 6 and have been in a mental panic since then.  I’ve tried to  follow my thoughts and done the downward arrow and I ‘ve tried to write my panic diary but thoughts are coming thick and fast and I can’t distract myself and they are scaring me into thinking I’m having a breakdown or that I will never get better.  Robin, I’m so scared. What shall I do?



Out at the moment

Consider that you very clearly are able to watch the thoughts and dislike them

WHO is the watcher

That is YOU

That you is neutral and totally ok

Read the part in the booklet on the observer position

Will write later

hi D

I hope reading over the Obsess Thoughts book helped

I just wish you could see it from ‘outside’ yourself

When I read your email it was so clear that YOU were trying to deal with ‘the thoughts’ that were ‘coming thick and fast’

If you could just get a glimpse of the ‘Observer Position’ this would all come to an end – honestly – I’m not saying that lightly

and that also doesnt mean that if you CAN’T easily glimpse the ‘observer position; then you cant be helped or you have some other problem

it ISN’T easy for ANYONE on the planet to glimpse this – which is why most of the world is controlled by their thoughts

Can I urge you to really try to investigate and experiment with this

read it again and again and imagine yourself doing it or imagine sitting back – or watching the thoughts – consider WHO is the one watching and is the watcher totally the thoughts

and if the observer (YOU) isn’t the thoughts then can the thoughts ACTUALLY do ‘YOU’ any harm (apart from really scaring you that is)

Its when you think you ARE the thoughts then you freak out but when you realise that there is a TOTALLY ok – neutral – sane – chilled person who feels PISSED OFF at these bloody goddamned thoughts then you will get that glimpse

but again – trust me – I know its NOT simple

I went through year of weird thinking until it struck me one day – so it’s not at ALL obvious to our mind

You can again think of the lyrics of Postman Pat

in THAT scenario you would KNOW more easily that the lyrics aren’t the fullness of who you are

You would more easily see that you just have these separate words and music stuck like a record

You wouldn’t think for a second -‘this is ME – I AM the lyrics of Postman Pat’ – that would be ludicrous

and this is no different – AT ALL – Honestly!!

you just think it is because the thoughts are all existential and deep and ‘important’ and all that jazz

You just have to PUSH yourself past that belief – its crap

just TRUST what I am saying SO much that you say NO to the thoughts that say ‘this is me’

just HOLD to the truth that these are tired thoughts in a tired mind – and unfortunately they do get stuck for a LONG time and more so the more we believe in them

Just TOTALLY let them exist

even if they are ABSOLUTELY terrifying


and hold yourself in th eposition of the OBSERVER – the ‘watcher’

the YOU that is disliking ‘the thoughts’

REALLY try to contemplate who is the YOU that watched the thoughts

and then FEEL that obviously that YOU must be ok or else it could feel that the thoughts are disturbing the ‘okness’

If it didn’t know EXACTLY what feeling ok was like it couldn’t observe thoughts that disturbed the okness

Trust me – the answer lies in this – keep focussing on this area of practice

the thoughts are no more important than the lyrics of Postman Pat

so just stop giving them importance – even if you feel terrified – just STOP adding MORE thoughts ABOUT the thought

only YOU can do this – I cant do this for you

You need to be FOCUSSED on doing this – dont do it a wee bit and then fall apart and add more thoughts

Keep pulling back

keep questioning WHO is looking at the thoughts


then HOLD yourself as the watcher and imagine the thoughts in FRONT like a swarm of very annoying bees

and then wait

you have to ALLOW fear to exist – its ok – dont deny fear

you have to ACCEPT that it will take TIME and practice

dont fall apart every time it DOES take time after being told that it WILL take time

Even just read over this email a THOUSAND times – do it EVERY time that you cant do it for yourself

Read this rather than practicing the added fear thoughts

YOU have to make a decision – do you practice THIS or do you practice the FEAR

whatever you feed grows

stop giving in to the temptation to freak out


Let go – relax all over – ACCEPT – read these emails – WAIT – wait some MORE

then get on with other stuff


9 Jun 2017

Hello Robin,

Thank you for this really well written email.  I’m sorry for not responding straight away.  That was very rude of me.  I have taken such comfort from your words and explanations and I know that you will say that’s a form of reassurance but explanation is key to recovery and sometimes explanations have to be given in a different way to help the understanding.  I’ve read your email several times and am concentrating on the observer mode. I imagine I am sitting on a picket fence and I’m watching the thoughts go away from me on a train!  (is this the right concept?). BUT the minute I watch them go, I then test myself to see if I’m still afraid of them!!!

Thank you for telling me that you suffered from weird thinking, that does make me feel a little less “odd” and a little less “different” from ordinary people and thank you for your continued support. I think this form of mental panic is the worst part of the anxiety disorder.  It’s truly horrible.

Thank you Robin.  Take care. 

Hi D

Lets say you DID have the song for Postman Pat stuck in your head and it was really distressing you

What do you think the ‘observer position’ would be in that scenario

Would you need to have a coping strategy of sitting on a white picket fence watching the song go away on a train

in this sense can you see that your ‘observer position’ is fear based – you are trying to stay in your imagination in a ‘safe place’ and watch the ‘bad thoughts’ go ‘away’

This is not the observer position that I mean

and I’m glad you told me your idea of it because that helps me see how you are seeing it – this is why it is so helpful to write things down and for me to see some of your worksheets (I take it the dog is still eating them)

anyway – ‘Observer position’ is not about creating a ‘safe’ place

It’s more about realising the ‘actuality’ of the situation

The ‘actuality’ is that there IS clearly a part of you that sees and hears the thoughts – that dislikes and hates the thoughts – that would love to be free of the thoughts

that ‘you’ is an ACTUAL reality – ALL the time – it’s not that the reality is that you ARE the thoughts in fullness but you can imagine some safe place where you can ‘get rid of the thoughts’ by seeing them go away on a train

it is this ACTUAL ‘you’ that when you experience it in an ‘ah HA!’ way then the thoughts will lose ALL their power over you

then you will be no more afraid of them than you would be of the lyrics of Postman Pat – seriously your ‘thoughts’ have absolutely no more power over you that the lyrics of Postman Pat – its just that you THINK they do and so you become afraid – thats the ONLY difference

so – keep reading over all my emails and the chapter on ‘Observer Mode’ – until you get a clearer understanding

it’s TOTALL normal that it’s not easy to ‘get’ – honestly NO ONE gets it and actually people with anxiety are lucky in a sense because they learn about this because of having anxiety – no one else cares – everyone else just thinks ‘thoughts R us’

I remember the day I ‘got it’ – I was sitting at my desk – and all of a sudden my mind was filled with horrible abstract thoughts (I’m sorry I cant remember the exact thoughts – I never thought of writing them down because when I had them I was just lost in the terror of them – it was always about me not being real or life not being real and being forever stuck in the worst feelings of weirdness for ever and ever – nothing felt normal objects became twisted and didnt seem normal – I didnt seem normal and my thoughts just seemed to get more and more abstract and terrifying)

anyway – so this day I remember ‘thinking’ – “I hate this.. why are my thoughts doing this to me..?” – and I dont know why but it just struck me that ‘I’ was ‘in there’ somewhere – as ok as usual but I was having to ENDURE all these bloody thoughts that I absolutely didn’t choose to have nor want to have!

and I just felt this sense of the ‘I’ that was ok more than the thoughts

I kind of shifted to ‘myself’ and took my attention OFF the weirdness and the thoughts

I just felt BACK to myself even though the thoughts kept rabbiting on

and I just got the feeling to STAY STEADY in that ‘sense’ of my ‘self’ and WAIT.. and wait.. and wait

and I just KNEW that if I stayed steady enough and waited long enough and DIDN’T give all my attention BACK to the thoughts – that they HAD to die down because there was NOTHING else keeping them active except me dwelling on them and getting ‘in’ to them and focussing on them and being scared of them and trying to ‘stop’ them

and so I waited and thats exactly what happened – they just died down – I was still scared because the thoughts were still swirling around but I just felt ‘ok’ because I KNEW that ‘I’ – ‘me’ the observer – was ok, neutral – untouched

and then I knew I had found the answer – it still took TIME and practice but once I had the ‘ah ha’ moment I knew the weird abstract terrifying thoughts could never be as strong ever again


To me this wasn’t about sitting in a ‘separate’ ‘safe’ place in my mind trying to ‘imagine’ away the ‘bad’ thoughts

This was about being TOTALLY secure in the realisation that there WASN’T any ‘bad’ thoughts out to get me and that I didnt need a ‘safe’ place because the ‘I’ – ‘me’ the ‘observer’ – the ‘watcher’ was clearly ok enough to be disliking the darned thoughts

It was a full realisation that yes there were the damned thoughts but NOW I saw that AS WELL as the damned thoughts there was ME watching them which meant the thoughts were in a sense ‘out there’ – I was watching THEM – so I am NOT them – they were like flies buzzing around

or – it was like being at a scary movie – the thoughts were the movie and if I get lost in the movie I am terrified – and ultimately its ME who is choosing to get lost in the movie

The other option is to REMEMBER that I am in a THEATRE – WATCHING a movie – I am ok – I can come BACK to being the me WATCHING the scary movie – and its easy – I just come back to my sense of self and WATCH the movie

If I had to go into my imagination and imagine I was sitting on a picket fence and that the terrifying story was going away on a train – that might ‘relax’ me for a while but it would be a MILLION times more helpful to just look AWAY from the movie – realise I’m ok and I’m NOT the scary story so all is fine – and I still might feel fear because I can still hear and see out the side of my eye what is going on on the screen

Or – it’s like when you are having a nightmare and you wake up and for a few minutes you still feel you are in the nightmare UNTIL you remember that you are YOU – you are ok – your in bed – you are NOT ACTUALLY in a nightmare – so you come back to YOURSELF – you come back to your senses of you

I know you then can drift into the thoughts when you wake up but again this is when you can use these analogies

it is US that gets sucked into the thoughts because they scare us so much we lose our sense of ‘self’ and then fight or flight takes over

This is when you need to take a stand and step back and stop watching the movie – stop BELIEVING in the movie 100%

Remember yourself – BECOME the watcher – shift to the OBSERVER – move from being in the thoughts (the movie) to being in yourSELF (the observer)

HOLD that position even as the thoughts try to suck you in again and again and again – which will happen – jusy be steadfast

Be prepared that it will take as long as it takes – dont decide a time limit

Just keep contemplating this – it’s not theoretical – you can prove it by just observing that you DO watch the thoughts – you DO dislike them – you DO wish they were ‘gone’ so there HAS to be a part of you that is like a person at the movies – watching but temporarily terrified because they think the movie is real and that they are IN it.

Trust me – your most incredible existential weird terrifying thoughts are no more important than the lyrics of Postman Pat

why not even experiment with singing your thoughts – play with them – ridiculize them – and at the same time get to the point of getting on with other stuff

Once you do this practice and can glimpse it a bit then get up and do the dishes or something – thats fine

and if you distract yourself or you find you keep checking ‘is it gone’ thats fine too – we dont have a choice about that stuff – what we do have a choice is how we react to that stuff – just catch it – smile – move on

Sometimes it can also help to become aware of the ‘steady’ basic normal nature of the room or a tree or something – in our mind we feel chaos is happening – so we focus on it – when you are practicing ‘observer mode’ you can also become aware that the room you are in is very ‘steady’ and not chaotic – or a tree or a cup or whatever gives you a feeling of ‘non chaos’ – like ‘grounding’ yourself

I suppose that would be again like if you were feeling terrified of a movie and in order to help remember that you were not IN the movie you felt yourself in the seat – or you felt the sense that the theatre was very steady and still and ok and that the movie was just ‘movement’ within that steady stillness

Anyway – run out of analogies for today 🙂

Hope that helps

PLEASE keep contemplating this area – the answer is in all this – but give it LOTS of time – just let it sink in slowly – if you cant seem to ‘get it’ just let go – read over it and let your subconscious work on it

There’s no rush – no urgency

You are always ok – you just dont realise that


9 Jun 2017

Oh wow Robin, bless you for all this.  Thank you.  You really have been exceptionally patient and informative with me and I’ll never be able to thank you enough. You must be so, so busy but yet you always give 110% of your time with your explanations.  If I don’t recover from this anxiety after all your help then … I’ll eat my hat!!!

I’ve absorbed everything you have said here and I’ve already read it several times.  It definitely took the sting out of my fears when I read your personal fears and experiences.  Makes you feel you are not unique or alone in this to hear other people’s experiences and it puts the word “wired” into a more comfortable perspective.

I’m now armed with the knowledge you have just given me.  THANK YOU SO DEEPLY.  I have NEVER had anyone help me this much and I am so determined to get myself right.

Worksheets will follow – when I’ve had a word with the dog!!! No seriously, I promise to send you them.  I’m just embarrassed I might not have filled them in properly and then you’ll think I’m stupid.

Thank you.  Take care.  D

You are very welcome 🙂

and don’t worry – ANY extra information will always throw up either an area to keep exploring or an area which you are looking at in the wrong way

It doesn’t matter – whatever it takes 🙂

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