Anxiety support Message Board › Where do we go from here?

Where do we go from here?

user 6990857
Group Organizer
Lisle, IL
Hi Group,

As the Anxiety Support Group enters its fourth year, it is a good time to ask ourselves where we would like to take this group in 2012. I got the sense last year that the group was moving more towards being a fun/activity group. I just wanted to check in and get everybody's opinion on what they want from the group. We used to hold bi-monthly supportive meetings as well as fun events. I think everybody's voice should be heard. It's our group and we can mold it any way we like. Some things to be thinking about are would we like to have supportive meetings and any other meetup ideas. If you value this group I would encourage you to email me or post on the discussion board your thoughts on how we can best serve ourselves and others.

This group belongs to all of us. We would gain from everyone's participation. I would encourage anyone to put on a meetup anywhere at any time. It's very simple- on the home page click on "suggest a new meetup" and post your idea. We would all appreciate your contributions.

Thanks Scott­

A former member
Post #: 1

I have only attented one meet-up for coffee just after New Years. I really like the concept of the group,
and I think it could be really helpful for a lot of people with anxiety issues like myself. Since I've only been to the one meet-up, I can't speak as to how the meetings were organized in the past. What caught my attention though was Scott mentioning that there used to be bi-monthly support meetings. I would imagine these were meetings where members were given the opportunity talk about their anxiety issues and how they were dealing with them. While the coffee meet-up was fun, there were people there that I didn't even get to talk to, and no discussion of our anxiety issues. Of course I realize that a public coffee shop is not the best place to to reveal your personal issues, and it was just for fun. My suggestion would be that we hold the occasional formal meeting, i.e: we get together, introduce ourselves, and talk openly about our issues. Then we could get feedback from the group. Now I know I HATE to have to speak in public! But as a group of people dealing with the same issues it may be much easier to open up. It would be up to you if you want to participate or just listen. I think that would allow the group members to get to know each other better, and even help us deal with our anxiety better. And then we go out to dinner or bowling! I can even offer a place for these meetings. My mom owns a daycare center, Hometown Child Care, and has a lot of open space and chairs. Of course it empties out by 6pm, and she would be happy to let us use the space after hours for our meetings. It's in the Hometown subdivision in Aurora. I live in Naperville and it's only a 10 minute drive from me on Rt 59 and Deihl rd. It's located right off Ogden ave and Montgomery road. I am going to try and attend the dinner this Saturday, and maybe we can talk about it more. Just thinking out loud! Have a great week everyone :)

Don Macarus
user 9731636
Evanston, IL
Post #: 4
Wow, Don - what an awesome offer! Even though my own attendance would be sporadic, I definitely think that place sounds pretty darn ideal for a bimonthly support group. Scott, you'd still let us come over for holidays, right? :- P

Regarding my general thoughts about this wonderful group, I'll add my opinion to the email conversation soon. (And by "soon" I mean "eventually.")
A former member
Post #: 2
I agree with Don that it would be beneficial to arrange a regularly-scheduled support meeting to discuss anxiety issues and the like. Perhaps once a month? I cannot guarantee that I myself would be comfortable going (the idea kind of stresses me out a bit; I'm not big on talking to groups or about such personal issues), but I think it would be an excellent resource for those who are comfortable enough to go.
Dan M.
Carol Stream, IL
Post #: 1
Warning: I can be verbose.

The quick version of everything below is: I like what we've been doing. It's helped me tremendously and motivated me to try many things I should have done a long time ago. I see myself attending for a long time.

I was initially drawn to this group because I've always been pretty shy and never handled large groups of people very well. Instead of spending weekends playing more World of Warcraft or picking up random contract jobs, I figured going out to restaurants or back yard barbeques and becoming more social would help. At the time, I really had no idea what type of meetups regularly occurred. My very first meetup was a simple lunch and I liked the fact I could be pretty damn awkward and be accepted.

The 4th of July party at Scotts sealed the deal for me. I had only met two before, but I felt incredibly welcome and never felt out of place or unwanted. I ended up having a blast playing badminton for several hours. I thought people were crazy for not wanting crystal light with the water I brought, but I'm okay with that. It's so damn delicious.

Since then, I've had a blast at so many events. Laser tag, miniature golf, bowling, rock climbing (yay Channing), the box game (you know who you are), pictionary, crazy movies with half naked, swearing drunks (long story), and comedy show have all been fantastic. Even when we have horrible service or it's too loud to talk more than 4 feet away, I've always enjoyed the various restaurants we've been to. Overall, I would consider many of you friends, not simply "a meetup member".

I can only speak to what I enjoy and how it affects my own situation. For me, I'm simply not a fan of addressing large groups of people all at once (I do it easily online, but in person is different!). That whole idea seems incredibly nerve racking to me. I guess I'm the type to talk about "normal" stuff for a while, and then bring up comments like: "Ever think about a time you messed up a long time ago? Then you realize it happened many years ago. Then you feel like an idiot for still thinking about some stupid mistake." Like, I still feel like an idiot for saying, "Nice to meet you" to someone I had met a little while earlier. But I digress. My point is: I'm better with "unofficially" bringing up certain topics with smaller groups of people, where it feels like a conversation more than a soap box. There are no topics you could possibly bring up in this group during activities that people will look down on you for bringing up. Unless the topic involves harming a dog. That would not end well.

Finally, you new people or those thinking about attending an event. Please know this group does incredibly well with new people! If you introduce yourself others will respond positively. If I saw someone being rude I would go out of my way to tell them so. I think others wouldn't stand for it either. I hope to never prove myself right!
user 6990857
Group Organizer
Lisle, IL
Post #: 20
Wow! I'm blow and humbled with all your comments. This group has had a profound effect on the quality of my life and I want thank all are members for making this group special. We have posted many ideas and I look forward in going forward with this knowledge into the new year. Please keep the idea's flowing and for those going to Giordano's tomorrow we can talk about our discussion.


user 13397860
Chicago, IL
Post #: 2
Hi Scott,

It seems like you put a lot of effort into maintaining the group. I hope there is or will be a venue for discussing our experiences with anxiety and offering support. That's actually why I joined this group. I live in the NW burbs, so the frequency of my attendance will depend on the meet-up's location... but I am so motivated to get better. smile

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