I just got done with my therapy appointment and I want to type this while it’s fresh in my mind. I do love going to see her because she makes me feel like I’m not crazy. I was nervous about going there, considering I still have this fear about going out and getting sick, but I pushed through and went. I told her what I’ve been going through and she told me that it’s a bit of the anxiety and a bit of the medicine withdrawals (which I had suspected and glad she confirmed). We talked a bit of what was going on in my life, what was making me nervous, what the medicine was doing, etc.
So we made a chart. We made a chart of what happens when I have a panic attack. It’s nausea, hot flashes, pacing, burping, sometimes some lightheadedness, getting sick. We drew a line of where the point of no return is aka where I feel I can’t calm myself down and the anxiety gets really bad. My job is to recognize that these symptoms are anxiety and that it’s nothing to get nervous about. Kind of like I’ve learned how to deal with the tingling. When it shows up, I know what it is. I say, “Hi anxiety. You’re visiting, I guess that’s cool. Just try not to crash the place while you’re staying with me.” I have to do that with the nausea, the upset stomach, he lump in the throat, the burping, the pacing, etc.
It’s going to take a bit, considering these symptoms haven’t appeared in a long time, but that’s what I have to do. I’m not giving up and I’m going to make it a habit to go out somewhere each day. I’m not sure where, but I’m going to do it. Maybe go visit my friends (old-coworkers) at the library more like I did before my anxiety came into my life, go to Barnes and Noble to just look at what they have, go get a doughnut at Dukin Donuts, something of the sort. Then maybe push it to where it’s going to the mall, just so I know I can go that far. Then maybe to the beach (even though it’s going to be cold). I know I can do this, and I know I can’t be that hard on myself (like I am), and I know it’s going to take some time.
I made an appointment with her next month, just in case. She told me that I was doing good and she told me that it’s just going to take time and I can do it, she didn’t say I had to go back on my medicine, and she told me she was proud to hear that I wasn’t staying home and forcing myself to go out. I think she can see that I am using what I have learned from her and she’s proud of that.
She also gave me a few things to read. She let me read this one page of a book she had, comparing anxiety to a rip tide. If you were ever stuck in a rip tide, you want to let it flow and not fight it in order to survive. That’s what you have to do with anxiety. I have to learn how to do that, considering I like to fight it and think I’ve learned so much that I can fight it. Once I learn to not fight it and just let that wave take me, things will be easier.