A new (or such) beginning

Not quitting Paroxetine and starting Xanax were not the only resolutions I made that day.

365.282 - it gets better by Michael Verhoef

I tried to shake off the image that I had of myself as an ill person, or at least, I made my first attempt at it. My bedroom, as well as part of the rest of the house, was filled with all the stuff I had been using for my many problems: antacids, milk enzymes, anti-spasm meds, melatonin, tons of paper tissues and medical prescriptions were everywhere. I carefully removed every trace of my sufferings from my sight. The only remaining boxes were Paroxetine in my kitchen and Xanax in my bedroom.

The second relevant resolution was to start practicing some physical activities, something that I could practice at home and that didn’t require too intense physical effort. I picked yoga, a practice I knew nothing about. I searched for some videos on Youtube and committed to a 30 to 60 minutes practice every morning.

In case you’re curious, here’s the very first video I used for my absolute beginner sessions.

In few days, I started collecting – very subtly – the first benefits of my daily practice. At the beginning it was all about enjoying muscular relaxation during and right after each session. The effects of that relax state didn’t last for very long after the practice, but, little by little, they allowed me to:

  • Reduce the muscular tension that was both causing and being caused by my never ending anxiety
  • Go to lunch feeling a little better than the rest of the day and start eating more and more effortlessly every day
  • Stop thinking about the drama I was going through at least for the duration of the practice itself
  • Realize that feeling well wasn’t something I had lost forever

As time went by, my trend started to slightly reverse. I gained a little appetite, started sleeping a little longer, started feeling a little better.

I still had a lot of fears filling up my head: I was scared at the idea of getting back to work, for example, I couldn’t imagine when I was going to see my friends again, I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone out of my house without any other member of my family going along with me. But for the first time in months I was able to see something finally changing in my life, my body was showing some very small signs of a positive reaction.

One of the most important things I learned in this phase, and I learnt it on my skin, was that exactly like my mind had an influence on my behavior, the opposite was true as well: my behavior was starting to have an influence (and this time, finally a positive one) on my mind.

There’s an episode that’s very significant to me: during the days in which I started to feel a little better – it was someday around mid April – I developed the habit of going out in the afternoon with one of my parents, just to have a walk or to go for groceries, nothing too fancy, but still enough to avoid staying at home, laying on my bed and rolling in my misery.

One afternoon I was out with my mum for a walk. On our way back we entered a supermarket for some shopping. It was something like 5 PM and while my mum was busy searching for something among the aisles, I winded up in front of the take-away food department. I thought to myself “If I weren’t feeling like this and I were feeling normal today, I would be so hungry right now, I would buy a slice of ham-and-mushrooms pizza and I would rush home to eat it”.

But I wasn’t feeling well, I wasn’t feeling normal, I wasn’t hungry at all, I was even feeling a bit sick looking at all that food. I grabbed a calzone anyway and brought it home. I zapped it and started eating it, fighting nausea at every bite. Believe it or not, after that day, having something to eat every afternoon became a must. Every afternoon, around 4 or 5 PM, I started getting hungry and craving for some pizza.

For some strange reason, my behavior was starting to affect my mind. And this time I liked it.


If you’ve stumbled upon this page and reached the bottom of it, you’ve just made me happy, but if you really wish to make me thrilled and proud, please feel free to leave a comment here below. I’d love to read your feedback, suggestions, opinions of any kind (and I’d love to reply to them too). Come on, just scroll down a little bit… 🙂


  1. I have found this post very helpful and uplifting. thank you.

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