Friday, March 11, 2016

One step closer to the edge

** I talk about a recent anxiety attack in this post, and that may be a trigger for those of you out there who are also suffering from anxiety. Sorry about that. I'm just trying to get it out.

It's been a rough week for my anxiety -- I kind of know why, it's hormonal, period kind of stuff -- but knowing why doesn't make it any easier. I've been practicing a mental exercise of sorts the last few weeks when the panic starts to surge, and that seems to help ... most of the time.

So it's a little alarming when it doesn't.

Anyway, I see my anxiety as an ill-behaved ferret. This thing likes to knock stuff off the table and cause as much havoc as possible. I'm almost fond of the dumb thing, I'm so used to it.

Looks cute, right?

Well, it's NOT.

The exercise: When AF ("anxiety ferret") pokes her head out to play, I'm all, hey there, I see you. My acupuncturist suggested that -- because there isn't always a reason for an anxiety attack, and just acknowledging that it exists, without trying to figure out why, can be helpful in stopping the rampage.

And that generally is all it takes.

But when AF starts a ruckus, I imagine calmly step over her. I used to do that when my kids were in that insane 3-year-old stage and they'd throw a fit. Step over those flailing little bodies, like, hey, I know you're upset, but I am not dealing with you when you're like this.

My acupuncturist was kind of pleased with me when we discussed my anxiety at my last appointment, just that I was able to make this connection and put it into place so quickly -- it had only been two weeks since we'd talked about it -- and honestly, I was feeling kind of proud of myself, too. I enjoy a good coping strategy. Especially when it seems to work so well.

After a perfectly lovely weekend, filled with naps and books and absolutely no stress, I headed back into the world on Monday, ready to face the week, cheered further by the reflexology appointment I had scheduled for 2 p.m.

I love reflexology! It's all the benefits of a massage without having to get undressed. ;)

My stomach had been acting up all morning -- yay fertility (I guess) -- and I was hoping that it would settle down by the time my appointment rolled around, but it didn't. I even took half of an Imodium Multi-symptom (those things are gold), and that sort of helped ... but not really.

So there I am, talking to my darling reflexologist and just trying to enjoy my foot massage, when AF peeks out with that stupid little head of hers.

And I'm like, hey there, not right now, please, this is my monthly treat and you are NOT going to ruin it.

And AF was like, you can't tell me what to do!

I actually thought about just getting up off that table, putting on my shoes and getting the hell out of there. It was torture to have to fight the panic while pretending nothing was wrong. AF didn't care if I acknowledged her; she didn't care if I stepped over her as she started throwing her fit. I breathed deeply. I went through my usual litany of, I am in no physical danger, I have control of my body, I have control of my mind. I clenched my teeth and bit my tongue and just concentrated on NOT GETTING UP OFF THAT TABLE.

And I didn't. But, as I said, it was torture.

And that totally bums me out. I've been getting reflexology monthly since the fall, and it has been so good for my general health. Just because it IS so relaxing. I get to lay on a heating pad with a cozy blanket for an hour and it's totally selfish and accomplishes nothing!

So basically it's just awesome.

Having an attack there, in what is usually a safe place, is discouraging. It means that next month I'm going to be thinking about it when my appointment rolls around, and then trying NOT to think about it when I'm back on the table.

And it also means I'm not really doing as well as I thought I was.

Well, whatever. Needs must and so on. (Life After Life? Anyone?)

The end? I'm not really sure how to end this, except with a sigh of relief that the week is over and I can start fresh tomorrow.

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