Facing Fears

24 Jan

As a lot of you probably know, my Packers won last night! It was such a tense game and I had to close my eyes more than a few times. My little sister also watched the game from her dorm room and her and my father were texting me the entire time. It was such a great game!

Immediately after the game, I started thinking about what I would do for the Super Bowl. I thought about how nice it would be for me to watch it with my dad since he usually watches the game alone. I jokingly texted my dad that he should fly down and watch the game with me. He responded with, “I wish” and I moved on to figuring out what to make for dinner.

As I was making dinner I kept coming back to how much fun it would be to watch the game with my dad. I got on the computer and started looking at how much it would cost me to fly up to Chicago. I checked our local airport first and it was way to expensive so I checked the Nashville airport. I could get a ticket for about $200! My first response was complete excitement and I mentioned it to Josh. He was in total agreement that I should go.

It only took a few seconds before the anxiety hit. Could I do this? Could I fly alone when I have so much travel anxiety? Before I could change my mind, we bought the tickets. This is something that I really want to do and I refuse to let my fear stop me.

This morning I woke up to nausea, shaking and dizziness. Ah, that familiar feeling! It’s still two weeks away but I’m already feeling the effects. Josh was very supportive and tried to talk with me rationally this morning and I made it through. By the time we left for work I felt better but I was still worried about how bad I already was feeling. I was starting to doubt my abilities again.

This morning, I made an appointment and talked with our life coach (she’s like a counselor that is on site at our office part-time). We developed a game plan and I’m starting to feel more optimistic. One of my main problems is I have no confidence in my ability to beat my anxiety. Once I start to feel sick it’s like I am trapped in this crazy zone and I can’t think rationally or function. I know in my mind that what I am doing to myself is silly, but I can’t believe it.

So here is my new game plan. When I am feeling anxious, the first thing I need to do is take some deep breaths. In talking with the life coach, I realized I was doing deep breathing wrong. She said that you have to take really slow breaths and that sometimes people think they are doing deep breathing, but they are still breathing too fast. She told me that when you are stressed, the body is pumped full of adrenaline and getting as much oxygen as you can waters that adrenaline down. I really liked that analogy.

The next step is to do progressive relaxation. This is basically tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups. I can identify where I carry my tension (shoulders, neck, head, jaw and stomach) so I can focus on those muscle groups. While I am doing this I need to find my “happy place.” I need to imagine a scene from my past that relaxes me. I have to not only picture it, but feel it. What do I hear, smell, taste, feel, etc? Once I am feeling a little more calm, I can start my comforting and rational self talk. The life coach told me that it is almost impossible to think rationally when you are in a state of extreme anxiety, so you first must calm yourself down a little.

After all of that, the last resort is medicine. I am going to make an appointment with my general doctor to get something to help the nausea. If I can get past that, I can deal with my anxiety. Josh isn’t crazy about me taking anything, but I will only take it as a last resort and when I am sure I am not pregnant. I don’t want to rely on medicine to get me through tough times. I need to let go of the idea that taking medicine is giving up.

So what’s running through my head now is, “I can do this! I know I can!” and it feels much better.

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6 Responses to “Facing Fears”

  1. Mari January 25, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    Sounds like a great game plan you and your life coach came up with! Also sounds like you’re going to have a great time for the superbowl 🙂

  2. jennifer January 25, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Ooooh I’m so going to try those tips when I have another anxiety attack.

  3. Stereo January 25, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    You’ve taken steps to try and overcome this and you should be extremely proud. I have problems with nausea at times and sometimes, medicating really is the only thing that works. Please make sure you let us know how you go!

  4. Jess January 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    I hope it all goes well for you Becs. How much fun you’ll have with your Dad 🙂

  5. Aba January 26, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    I hope you do visit your father! It sounds like you have a solid action plan and I really think you can do it. Taking medicine is not giving up, and I think being able to watch the Super Bowl with your father is more than worth it, if that’s what it comes down to!

  6. Gooseberried January 27, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    That sounds like a great game plan and I’m hoping that yoga will help you a little more too. You can do it! Love the new site, btw. 🙂

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