Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Anxiety Ripple

Ripple on water by Sergiu Bacioiu
A funny thing happens to me when I have a panic attack and haven't had one in a while (a while being relative to how often I'm having them lately). I call this 'funny' thing the Anxiety Ripple, as of today. The attack sets it off like a reminder that yes, I do indeed still have anxiety. For the next few days, I think about anxiety a ton, which causes me more, usually ever-decreasing, anxiety. That's the ripple. The ripple is a bitch.

I'll explain to you my latest ripple to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. I know I'm not a precious snowflake in a sea of anxiety sufferers, so I'm sure a bunch of you already know what I'm getting at. A few days ago, my husband and I arranged to take my nieces (2 and 7) overnight for the first time in about a year. It had been so long because I had a relapse of my anxiety symptoms that set me back a bit. I knew I would be anxious, but I went into an anxiety attack between a 6 and a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 before they got to our house for the night. Bummer.

I managed the panic attack pretty well, had the girls over for the night and the majority of the following day. That following day, I kept thinking about the panic attack I'd had and how it meant I could have another one any time. I imagined it setting me all the way back again, being in a very dark place, not being able to sleep and so on. This morning, I woke up with similar thoughts, had limited symptom attacks and tried to get on with my day.

I think I fear panic so much that it becomes my obsession. I'm trying to learn to let go of my attachment to being calm, so I can be anxious without suffering so much. In many ways, it's working. Other times, my mind isn't very clear, which makes sorting my thoughts difficult. Still, on I truck. I hope everyone else who ripples keeps trucking too.