Friday, June 15, 2007

Level 3 Panic Today

photo by Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha
Even though I had some weird dreams last night and I am pretty tired today, I am in a pretty good mood. Last night I was debating whether I would come in to work today and this morning I knew I was fine and capable of going. Its Friday after all and that almost seems like enough to get through anything. So everything was peachy and then my sister wanted to meet for lunch somewhere so she could give me some money from a project we worked on together. My stomach sank instantly. I haven’t this high a level of anxiety for a good week or two so it was scary to feel that way. Luckily I have been able to manage any anxiety to stay around a 2 or under which is pretty nice. (See blog: Anxiety Scale to understand more about the different degrees of [my] anxiety). So I am writing this now as a way to prepare myself to go and meet her.

Personally, I am not hungry right now. So I am thinking that I will meet her and get food to bring back here to the office for later. That means I will have to struggle with doing that, and trying not to care what she or her husband think about it. Its so weird, I was able to down 2 pieces of pizza at their home last night with no butterflies, but eating out somewhere suddenly makes me all nervous.

I immediately thought of telling her to just mail me the money so I wouldn’t have to be in the situation, but I knew that would be avoidance and I can’t reward my fear. So I will talk it out:

Ok so what am I telling myself to make me feel this way?

What if I can’t eat very much and they will judge me?

What if I tell them I don’t want to eat right now and they judge me for taking it with me?

Positive Affirmations:

  • She has been very supportive lately of my eating habits and hasn’t judged me for them.
  • It’s my life and I can live it the way I want

Taken from previous blog entries but still apply:

  • “I am learning that I don’t have to eat to please others. I only need to eat to please myself.”
  • “There’s no need to push myself.”
  • If someone comments that I am not eating enough or taking enough food, so what! I can tell them that I am not very hungry and not worry about what their reaction might be. If they pass judgment on me what’s the worst that could happen? People are going to not like me or think ill of me no matter how “perfect” I might try to be. So I should stop trying to please them and do what I want, because I’m the one that has to eat it. And it might sound awkward but what’s the worst that could happen? They could again pass judgment on me but I have to learn that it’s their problem if they think ill of me, not mine and that I am being me which is the most important thing!” “If I feel sick and I don’t want to eat, than don’t eat. My body will tell me when it is hungry and there is no need to push myself.”

Ok so that brought the anxiety down at least one notch but its not gone completely. So I will take a Clonozapam to ease the nerves.

When I started this blog things were so bad I had to take one of these just to get through breakfast by myself. I haven’t taken one in about a week or so, so I shouldn’t feel guilty at all about taking one for this. This is a big step whether I eat with them or not, because either way I am facing a fear of being judged and learning to love myself the way I am now.

Alright so I have almost 2 hours before I have to meet them at the mall food court. Maybe by then I will be more hungry, but if not I need to not care. I will post later to let you know how I handled it.

*** *** ***

Well it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. It turned out they were about 15-20 minutes late which meant I couldn't stay much longer anyway. So I was just going to get food to bring back to work and they decided to go to a restaurant. So we only ended up seeing each other for a few minutes and there was no eating involved.

I feel guilty however because as I was waiting for them I went to a jewelery store and thought, "I should be rewarding myself for doing this scary thing. I've read that by rewarding yourself often, that will keep you motivated." So I bought myself a fun ring that I thought I could use as a reminder of how I can handle any situation. So now I have this fun ring that I don't really deserve cause I wiggled my way out of the scary situation. But I can still reward myself for the progress I've made this past week, and for going in the first place and not avoiding it altogether I guess. I am the queen of rationalizing purchases. :)


Unknown said...

I am a big believer in shopping for stress relief! You have my permission to buy whatever you want, no rationalizing necessary!--krista

AshleyZ said...

Aimee, in this blog you said, " I wouldn’t have to be in the situation, but I knew that would be avoidance and I can’t reward my fear."

This is an interesting concept I havent thought about before, rewarding your fear. Can you talk about that a little more? I think that would help me have a new perspective on handling my fear. Usually at this point I just feel so intimidated by my fear that I feel victim to how it tells me to respond and am really bothered by it as if a bully (fear) is telling me to do the things I dont want to miss out on just because I'm' so fearful. I mourn the fact that I am missing out on things because of my responses to fear when I dont have to but it just feels so strong. If there's any different way to look at it, such as not 'rewarding my fear' like you said might be helpful!

Thanks :)
Also I look at this blog and that its from 2007 - I see myself at this stage of just realizing and learning at the very minimal stages how to recognize and work through my anxiety and thoughts. Three years later now in 2011 would you say youve grown much stronger than this and am in a different place?

Aimée said...

Hi Ashley Z,

I posted about the importance of not avoiding your fears here:
which you may find better explains the rewarding your fears comment I had made in this post.

3 years later I find myself in a much stronger place. I have overcome some fears, but also new ones have developed. But my ability to handle them has increased tremendously. Anxiety no longer cripples my daily life. I still deal with it but I feel that even with the anxiety I can live a happy life.

Thanks for the comment!

Take Care,

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