Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do You Have Anxiety While Driving?

On Saturday I went on a road trip. I drove all by myself to Moab and back in one day. That's about 9 hours on different highways, freeways, state routes, whatever you call them. Big multiple lane roads moving at very fast speeds. For most people this is nothing special, but for someone who gets anxious and has fears associated with driving, its a huge accomplishment. One speeding ticket and one potential dead deer later, I rolled into my garage at 10:30 at night ready for bed.

I am generally okay when driving around in my comfort zone, but I do not like driving somewhere I have never been before. I especially don't like driving with other people in the car with me. I used to be really scared on the freeways but a daily 2 hour commute for a couple years has helped me to overcome it. That said, I am okay on freeways that I am familiar with. Once I start having to merge onto other unfamiliar freeways, things get tense for me.

The trip was to visit an old friend and take pictures of her newborn baby. I had a GPS telling me exactly where I needed to go so that took a lot of the fear of the unknown out of the equation. I was enjoying my tunes and making progress. I like to listen to music when I drive. It helps to calm my nerves. Then I got pulled over. Argh! I had been trying so hard not to speed the entire time. But the road slowed as I drove through a small town and I got careless. That put me in a bad mood. After that, the only music that was helping me was anything really mellow.

I made it to Moab and had a great photoshoot. It was so nice to visit with my friend and it made me glad that I didn't back out or cancel at the last minute.

On the trip back, I stayed in the slow lane and set my cruise control to the exact speed limit posted. I wasn't taking any chances. As dusk hit, I noticed several "Warning: Deer Crossing" signs. Sure enough, a deer jumped onto the road right in front of my car. I slammed on my brakes but still managed to take the deer out by his back legs with the driver side of the car. The deer was down for a minute or so, got up, stumbled, fell, and eventually jumped off the other side of the road. I had pulled over, and was shaking. I didn't know what to do at that point.

The sky got really dark and driving out in the desert, there was hardly any light anywhere. I was really jumpy. Anything that looked out of the ordinary I was sure was another deer. I was thinking what else could happen on this trip? Only to see a Warning: Falling Rocks sign.

I was done with driving. I just wanted to get get home. I wanted to get pulled over so I could ask the cop for an escort home. I was really scared that I was losing all control.

I eventually made it home all in one piece. In the future I don't think I will take on such big road trips all alone. Having a friend there to support me would have been really nice.

Have you had any scares while driving?


Monday, April 26, 2010

Great Song- I'm Moving On by Rascal Flats

I was on a road trip this past weekend, more details on that adventure coming soon, when this song came on my iPod and I remembered just how much I love it. It really is a feel good song, and makes me realize that I don't have to pity myself or stay stuck with my anxiety. I can do something about it, and so can you. Today.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Do We Shut People Out when We Need Them the Most?

In our society it is widely known one should wait until after their first trimester before breaking the good news of pregnancy to friends and family. This is because after the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage significantly decreases. The idea is that if you tell people you are pregnant and then miscarry, that it would be painful to have to tell everyone that you lost the baby. It's a way to protect yourself from pain. After spending the day in the ER with the suspicion of having a miscarriage I realized doing this may prevent additional pain but it also shuts out the opportunity to feel love and support.

With my first pregnancy, everything was flawless. So when I found out I was pregnant again, I hoped and even assumed things would be very similar and I wouldn't have any problems. Although we only told a few, the news spread in Mr. T's family like wildfire. I told my mother and three of my sisters on Easter that we were "egg"specting, and two of my closest co-workers and a best friend.

Feeling Ashamed for Breaking Social Norms

As the symptoms started on Sunday, I decided for various reasons to wait to go into the doctor's office on Monday as opposed to the hopsital. All afternoon and evening I mourned what I was sure had to be a miscarriage. I felt stupid, embarrassed, and ashamed that I had told so many people. Not because it would be painful to tell them the latest news, but rather because I was worried they would judge me for not following social norms. "She should have known better" they would think.

I just stopped my medication two weeks ago. Do I stay off of it or get back on and go through another horrible two weeks of side effects?

Even worse, we were supposed to go to a family get together and I didn't want to see anyone. Mr. T eventually had to make an appearance so he went later on to let everyone know what was going on and why I wouldn't be coming. I was grateful he did the talking for me. He unfortunately had to leave that night for a business trip.

The Pros of Letting Others Into Your Life


But then a wonderful thing happened. The next morning I got a call from my sister-in-law (who has had 5 miscarriages) and she offered to go with me to the hospital. My mother-in-law offered to watch my toddler. Flowers and dinner were brought over. I received phone calls throughout the day to check up on me . I received so much unexpected love and support that I never would have gotten had I kept this all to myself. What a horrible secret that would have been to keep. I would have had to go through it literally all alone. Suffering, all alone. Instead, I really feel loved and encouraged by those around me.

I understand there are limits and everyone is different. I agree that its best to wait to share the exciting news with your boss at work or all over Facebook for example.  For me, I now see the importance of letting those that are closest to me in on my life, both the good and the bad, and letting them give me all the support and love that I need. I've decided not to feel bad for being different or for not acting the way others may think that I should.

It turns out that I have a SCH (a hemorrhage) which is not a miscarriage. It will be a week or two before I know for sure whether there is a fetus since the ultrasounds can't pick one up yet. I haven't miscarried yet, but it's still a possibility and I just need to take it easy. Thanks to everyone for the kind words of support and encouragement.

How This Can Apply To You


Maybe you aren't in this exact situation, but maybe you hide other hardships from your friends or family because you want to appear happy. It may be worth rethinking who you let in and shut out of your life.


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