mind

Anxiety rears it’s head again…

I don’t know what’s going on but I’m not responding well to the structure of this anxiety desensitization. It seems the only reward for driving is having to drive farther in the future. That’s not working well. I went from having minimal anxiety about driving to the store to now being worried for the entire day before having to drive tomorrow. I know that driving a mile is not a big deal and I can cognitive restructure all I want but I’m not having thoughts that aren’t true. I need a different reward structure like if I drive all week I can have my weekend free to relax. I swear my therapist must get so frustrated, I’m always changing the homework. I think the problem is that the caveman part of my brain already knows I’ve reached the lowest possible state of anxiety and doesn’t want to do anything to increase it at all. Rationally I know it’s not sustainable but that caveman part just isn’t rational. So I’m gonna have a lot to talk about with T next time.

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mind

Amazon knows…

So today I realized that amazon knows more about my mental health than most people. I just ordered a book on agoraphobia my latest diagnosis along with GAD, social anxiety and bipolar. The list keeps growing. I mean the basics are that I’ll always have some type of anxiety along with bipolar.

Apparently not wanting to drive longer distances than to the grocery has to do with this as much as anything. I mentioned to the doc I never have issues driving home and this lead to the fact that I’m afraid of what will happen if I get too far from home. It’s not like I can’t leave the house at all otherwise I wouldn’t have beautiful pictures to show you but usually I have a friend along. That mitigates things. In fact using a support person is a recommended part of therapy.

The other part of all this is just kinda leaving into the anxiety and dealing. I was kinda surprised by this. The first part of anxiety the butterflies 🦋 are beyond modern psychology…they are a remnant of our days in caves and can’t be effectively treated. The part where that spirals though can.

So the book I bought on amazon is from Claire Weekes called agoraphobia. I bought it because of an excerpt from a later book of hers in the anxiety and phobia workbook my therapist uses. The idea is to again kinda realize that it’s going to sting for a bit but it won’t last forever. Anxiety isn’t the best feeling but it’s not permanent so you can ride it out and continue your activity. It’s kinda like pulling off a band aid.

Thing is there are some tricks that let you ride it out a little easier. The first is breathing slowly and into your belly. Then changing your thoughts so they don’t spiral. There’s a whole section of calming thoughts in the anxiety and phobia workbook.

Here are a few of my favorites…

I can be anxious and still deal with this situation.

This isn’t an emergency. It’s okay to think slowly about what I need to do.

I don’t need these thoughts —I can choose to think differently.

At least one of these is going to be taped on the dashboard of my car for my driving adventures.