Saturday, January 12, 2013

learning how to handle anxiety

Throughout this journey of healing from ppa/ppocd I have learned what I have to do to stay healthy, I have learned what I have to stay away from, & I have learned that some things are just too triggering for me. Josh jokes with me a lot about this little “bubble” that I sometimes live in where nothing bad ever happens & as much as I know this is far from the truth, I have learned that (for now anyways) I need to live like this to an extent. I am beginning to accept that, for me, it is OK if I don’t want to watch the news or want to see something that will cause too much sadness or anxiety. Maybe one day I won’t feel like this anymore but right now I know that I am still too fragile & I just can’t go there with certain things.   

The Saturday after Kennadie's dance recital Josh & I headed out for a night away for our anniversary. I felt great all day & then all of a sudden on the drive down to the hotel I started to feel some anxiety & my head started spinning with thoughts about what happened that Friday at the school in CT. Although I never watched or read anything on it- friends talked about, my best friend called me in tears, & my sister kept messaging me. My heart was aching. I tried to drown out the thoughts by turning up the radio & singing along, listening to only upbeat music. I tried talking myself out of it. Nothing worked. 
It brought me back to the time Josh & I spent the night at this same hotel a few years ago while I was going through the worst of the ppa/ppocd. I remember that night so well. While Josh was sleeping, I snuck out to the living room in the suite, sat on the couch, & started to search the Internet for anything I could find to try to figure out what was happening to me. I was freaking out inside & he had no idea what I was going through; I was always good at putting on a smile even when I was terrified inside. I didn't want this to be a repeat of that night. I have come so far & I knew that I didn’t want to let this bring me down & ruin our time away.

Once we arrived at the hotel, I knew what I needed to do- relax, take some time for me, write, & just be for a little while. Josh wanted to take a nap & that gave me the perfect opportunity to head down to the pool area where I could have time to myself.  I was able to get my thoughts together, relax in the whirlpool, read, & write. It was exactly what I needed. Whether I left the anxiety in the warm water of that whirlpool or scribbled down in my notebook, it was left behind, leaving me with a clear head & feeling great the rest of the time we were away. I was able to really enjoy our time together & we ended up having the best night.

It was probably a combination of hearing about what happened that Friday, being away from Kennadie, & a bit of PMDD, but I am learning to recognize these feelings when they come up & I am learning how to deal with the anxiety when it does happen. I am learning that what seems to be working for me is not fighting the feelings like I used to but acknowledging that they are there, that they are only thoughts & feelings, that they won't last forever, & I am learning what techniques work for me to help overcome the anxiety. I may have to push myself so freakin’ hard, change scenery, be alone for a bit, write it out, whatever it may be that I have to do to get out of it I will try my hardest & won’t let it win without a fight. 

When the moments come where I am consumed with anxiety & fear, it can be really hard to think rationally about it; I can sometimes freak myself out with thoughts like, it will last foreverI will never feel good again. But in reality I know that this is not the case & I hope to always remember that.

1 comment:

Kristin @littlemamajama said...

You are so strong, and now you know the tools for coping with all of this. So glad that you were able to take some time to just "be", alone, so that you could have a fantastic time. xo