I'm not sad. I'm not desperate. I'm not Bridget Jones.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
It's been a pretty full week.
The best part is--I took the bus to work on Tuesday!!! It made me feel very competent all day. I didn't quite get on the bus on Wednesday-I went to the bus stop, but time slipped away and I knew I would be late if I didn't take a cab, so....
I think I can keep taking the bus. And, I have a new knitting project to keep me busy on the rides.
X is playing in Boston tonight. X is my favorite band. I've been waiting for months. I'm not going.
The original plan was that two people were going to go with me: my best friend, and my boyfriend.
At the beginning of the week, my friend sent me an email-she was way to stressed with her schoolwork to consider a weekend trip to see the band. Then my boyfriend told me that his favorite band plays in New York tonight, so he'd be heading out for that.
I just can't go by myself. And I'm terribly disappointed. I feel let down by my boyfriend, and I feel frustrated that I am not the person who can go to a rock show alone.
What I would really like? For the boyfriend to plan a special date for me--not because he is responsible for me going or not going to the show, but to show that he understands my disappointment, and wants to make me feel special. But how to express that to him, without him getting mad at me for making him feel guilty? I just don't know.
I went back to work today. I took cabs both way, but I think it's because it was so cold I would have died of exposure at the bus stop. I was able to sit through a long painful meeting today without getting anxious. I usually am very anxious in meetings--my thought process is "what if I have a panic attack? I can't have a panic attack in here, I won't be able to leave." Then, of course, I am incredibly anxious and fidgety the whole time. So, overall, I am pleased with my day. I did take my 4-minute walk. The walking is definitely easier...but it's so damn cold!
Yesterday I moved up to four minutes. I wasn't cheating yesterday, but it was snowing out, and so I did walk more slowly than normal, figuring it would not help my progress to fall on my ass.* So, I only made it to the near corner.
Today was not snowing, so I crossed the street, and went to the Metro box. Journalistically, it's terrible, but I have recently become addicted to Sudoko, and they do print a daily puzzle.
On my way back, I met my mailman. It kind of makes me feel as if I live on Sesame Street. We were crossing the street in opposite directions, and as we met in the middle of the intersection, he gave me a high-five. He was just being friendly, but as I had made a good amount of progress, I felt like I really deserved the high-five. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow's walk.
I am working on my Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises. The first step is to breath with your diaphragm, through your nose, on your stomach. I started yesterday, and worked on it today too. (No, I was not lying on my stomach that whole time). It was awful at first. I felt like I couldn't get enough air, and I would get dizzy. It's quite surreal to feel dizzy while lying down. I consulted my book, and it said that this is a common reaction for chronic hyperventilators. So, I kept trying. I had a eureka moment this evening. It worked! I actually felt better while doing the breathing, and afterwards, I felt refreshed, as if I had taken a nap or a hot shower. It works!
I got back from my walk a little bit ago. I am still on three minutes, but since I didn't "cheat," but walked briskly, I made it up to the street I need to cross to get to my bus stop. Yesterday I kept walking, and crossed that street to get to the mailbox. I had no reason to cross today, but I walked so briskly that had the light been right, I would have crossed before my alarm went off. I ended up standing at the corner watching traffic until my alarm went off and it was time to turn around and go home. Waiting is harder for me that the walking, so I was a little fidgety at the corner. I started thinking about Sunday, when I will up my walk to 4 minutes. I started getting nervous about walking to the other side of the street and being at the bus stop.
I need to remind myself that it's okay, and that I can make it to the bus stop. I also need to make sure I don't fall into the trap of worrying so much about those four minutes that I let it ruin the next two days.
I took the "overbreathing test." The idea is to induce hyperventilation, then to determine if the feelings when hyperventilating mimic the feelings of a panic attack.
Mine did. This means that I am a chronic hyperventilator. It makes a lot of sense--chronic hyperventilation can cause dizziness, light-headedness, rapid pulse, tingling and numbness--all the physical feelings of a panic attack. The hyperventilating can casue panick attacks, and vice versa. CH occurs when one does nor breath "correctly." This makes sense--I've always tended to be a mouth breather--I always had sinus problems as a kid.
I noticed yesterday that I was cheating a bit-the farther away from home I got, the slower I walked, waiting for my alarm to go off. So, today, I walked at normal, brisk pace...and when my alarm went off, I walked a little farther before turning back! My goal was to put the Netflix returns in the mailbox-which is right next to my bus stop. So, I can go to my bus stop.
I am getting ready to do the "overbreathing test" from my book. Stay posted for the results.
read a self-help book. Unless it was, you know, to make fun of it.
I started reading An End to Panicyesterday. It seems pretty straightforward so far. I like a scientific approach, rather than bunnies and happy thoughts. It is a "plan," with exercises to complete. The exercise I will be working on today is making myself hyperventilate. I just need to find a paper bag!