So I get out of the shower not feeling any better about any of it. My husband is out of town so I am all alone trying to take care of my baby and get ready to go and not lose all control. I really had a hard time. My stomach hurt, but most of all, I was really just sad that it was happening again.
Its been so long since I have had this kind of panic, and I think the longer you go without an attack, the harder emotionally the next set back is. So I was doing the "Why Me?" "I hate this" pity party for myself all alone which only made it worse. So all morning I am crying and really struggling because I don't get it. I eat around these people all the time. They are my family and they love me. So why am I freaking out?
So I logged onto The Reality of Anxiety as I always do when I feel I am losing it and clicked on the post here to try to calm myself down. It calmed me down enough to where I could at least function and get ready to go.
Although I almost didn't go. I thought "it would be so much easier to just stay home and not deal with this today. I am already stressed out enough." I played around with that thought for awhile, thinking of how I would tell them I wasn't coming afterall.
But I know better. I know that if I would chicken out and not go because of the panic, then the next time they invite me out it would be that much harder to say yes. When we give into our fears, it only makes them bigger and scarier.
So I worked out a gameplan, cut out a little card with some affirmations from here, and said a prayer.
First off, I called my sister in law and told her I would be driving separate. That way, if I really needed an escape I could leave if I needed to. Just knowing that I wouldn't be trapped having to wait for someone else to take me home made me feel so much better. So I knew worse case scenario, I could leave.
Then I decided if we got to the restaraunt and I was too anxious, I just wouldn't eat anything. I can enjoy people's company and eat later when I am hungry.
So the moment I met up with my family the anxiety subsided a little. They are nice people who love me and I enjoy being around them. I ordered something light and was having a nice time. The food arrived and I took a bite and BAM! My neck started burning which is a 4- Marked Anxiety on my anxiety scale from 1-10. So I waited for our waiter to come and asked for a box and I put my food away so I wouldn't have to smell it. My sister in law asked if everything was ok and I was just really honest about it, made it seem like it wasn't a big deal by just saying, "My anxiety is up today for some reason and I don't feel like eating it right now. I am going to box it up so I can eat it later." And that was the end of the story. After a few minutes I was able to calm down and enjoy the conversation again. The anxiety was there the whole time but much lower.
So what have I learned or found valuable from today's lesson?
- You never know when anxiety will hit you. Its like a roller coaster. You can be cruising along doing just fine and it just takes the right trigger to set you off. So its good to always be prepared, or know how to get prepared. “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”
- I remembered that being honest is still so much easier than trying to hide it. If people know what is wrong then they aren't so suspiscious and they are understanding. Its a little embarrassing, but much less than it would be if I was puking all afternoon.
- Setbacks are inevitable. Faisal left a comment on the last post saying:
"hey, i just started following this blog when i found out i have social anxiety. I'm trying to move past it but i dont know if it will go away. Will it?"There are a lot of programs out there that say they can cure you. However it is my personal belief that anxiety is something that you will live with your whole life and you have to learn how to manage it so that its not as life consuming as it may feel. But as I mentioned above setbacks are lessons to me. There is always something to learn from a setback and that is where you do the most growing as a person. So try to learn from it and let it teach you, but not control you.
Today I had a really bad, crappy morning. And that sucks. But two years ago, every morning was a bad morning. So there are was to make your life better. Meditation, medication, and deep reflective thought into what you are telling yourself to make you feel anxious are a few things you could look into. But cureable? I am not so sure.