When I haven't left my cocoon of safe & feel goods in a while
My friend Mr. Anxiety be like:
"Hello Darling, Nice to See Ya, ..... It's Been A Long Tiiiiiiiiiiiiime....."
When I'm talking about anxiety, in general, I include all types. Generalized, OCD, Social, and specific situational that usually involves Panic attacks. There is a pretty large range of anxiety types, some are worse than others. But all anxiety is a very real, and should not be belittled.
My anxiety is very spread out over the "spectrum" of anxiety disorders.
I have really bad social anxiety, that either comes from my eating disorder and low self-esteem and bad body image, or is tied into it. Picking these things apart is part of what I go to therapy for.
I have another anxiety problem that usually causes actual Panic attacks--- and that is Time/Planning related.
I posted before about how I use a planner to keep track of what is happening in my life. And that is a COPING MECHANISM I have decided to use to help me manage this kind of anxiety. (it also has become a hobby and fun for me, so that is a definite plus)
I have extreme trouble with people proposing last minute events on me, or surprise visits. last minute engagements.
I freak out. I really really really freak out.
I don't know how this happened, to get it so severely stuck into my concrete way of thinking. Maybe it was running on a tight schedule in school and marching band and having to be on time ALWAYS ON TIME, if you're on time you're LATE.
Whatever it was, it was become part of my core personality traits that I cannot shake off. And its causing my extreme distress in my daily life. Which is why, on most days, I do not leave the house, or I might for 30 mins to 2 hours. And if I have an appointment.
Having a set appointment and time is very important to me, it makes my anxiety so much easier to deal with. But it also makes me anxious in and of itself. Because I know the date is coming.
But I do have to say that if I had to choose between being told last minute I have an appointment and knowing a day early--- I would always pick a day early. Or even better-- two + days early. Like a week early.
Anyways. that is why I have a planner! I keep track of everything that could possibly happen.
On top of that, I have very bad memory.... so I write down what happens each day at the end of the day, even if its just I did laundry and washed dishes. its like a journal and a scrapbook at the same time.
But anyways, about the anxiety-- A few days ago one of my best friends who is fighting cancer offered to meet me somewhere so we could see each other. I haven't been able to see her in ages, because of my schedule, her schedule, and also her needing to stay away from germs and viruses.
and I was completely take off guard. Like completely. But I knew I wanted to see her not only because I haven't seen her in so long, but I had something to give her and She has gotten married since I'd seen her last (she moved her wedding up because of the diagnosis).
So it was absolutely necessary that I see her.
so I have a panic attack. I mean a full on can't breath, can't walk, can't think, soaked in sweat. passing out. and I'm getting dressed and trying to make myself look okay, but I am sweating off my make up and my clothes are drenched and my hair is wet and slop.
so I break down and take an Ativan.
I try not to take them because they make me sleepy and, and I was going to have to drive.
But I took it anyways, it it started to work just as I started my car. So then a cool calm came over me.
I have rarely taken my anxiety medication at the peak of an attack, I usually take it just to stave off an impending one. So the feeling relief was.... incredible. I don't know what I would have done. I probably would have told my friend I couldn't see her at all.
And it was the best thing, the BEST THING. I felt so good, I got to see her. I had a wonderful time.
I was just so exhausted when I got there because it felt like I had ran a marathon right before. haha.
I had missed her so much and I was so happy to see her, I was like.. it was the best feeling. Warm inside and Wonderful.
And if I hadn't taken my anxiety medication and pushed through I'd probably not have gotten to see her that day at all, and who knows when I would have gotten to see her next.... Given the fact that she is sick and has to get chemo treatments and can't be around a lot of people and germs or such.
And if I wanna look at if from another view--- I could say it's a form of "exposure therapy" for my anxiety??? I think. Maybe? Because I had the fear, I felt the fear, I faced the fear, and with a little help, I conquered the fear. Now that doesn't mean that I am completely over this kind of thing, it will take multiple "exposures" done in many, many different situations. Over a long period of time. And even then, there might be a point where my therapist has to say-- "ok, this is it, this is the best we can do. and that is ok."
Um anyways, hahaha...
while I was writing this blog entry I was watching a very good movie that is relevant to this blog post, so that was fun. haha. I have seen "Inside Out" (click the link to buy on amazon if you haven't got it already, its a good movie!) many times before, but it had been a while, and I know it is a very good example some of the inner workings of the mind. It's a movie that can help a child or a confused adult. It's also funny and makes you feel good. It really has all the good things a movie should. But this movie, if you pay attention, mentions very specific key ideas about how the mental health of a person is made up. So basically, It's a good movie to watch for fun and fluff happy stuff, and it's educational and informative too. So good on Pixar/Disney for making this movie. It needed to be made, and I'm glad it was so well done.
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