Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Final Anxiety Fear Challenge: Darkness.

Today I attempted to deal with a challenge I'd put off for my entire 20's. While I have gone outside with other people including my son, I've never gone outside by myself or just with my son after the sun has completely set. I have unrealistic thoughts and worries that overflow my noggin. It's frustrating, upsetting, complicated, and just down right annoying. Which is why I wanted to take on this challenge in particular. I wanted to shut up the pestering thoughts and show them I would be just fine after dark with my son!

My mind won this round.

My son and I had done a few errands, finishing off with some Ichiban sushi during happy hour - half priced sushi! I had decided to go home, eat, and prepare to take my son out for ice cream after the sun had fully set. No it isn't a HUGE outing, but for me it was a start. Now, I hadn't told my son about our potential ice cream date, because I knew this one would be extremely hard for me to tackle. I didn't want to let him down.

When the sky fully darkened and I realized it was the perfect time to set out, I panicked. I felt as if someone had taken a corset, placed it over my entire body, and tightened the strings ti'll I was only bones. I started to shake, sweat, stutter, and get really dizzy. My breathing quickened and I wanted nothing more than the elephant on my chest to get off. I was paralyzed. 

I calmly excused myself to the restroom, where I threw cold water on my face to calm down. I sat on the floor and started my grounding. While I knew I had to go forth and at least try to beat this, I just couldn't put my son at risk. If I was panicking this severely without even stepping foot outside, there was no way I could get my son into a car and comfortably drive him to the ice cream shop. 

We ended up finishing off the box of Trader Joe's chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. My son was happy and I was happy the panicking subsided, but I wasn't happy about the defeat. I was kicking myself for not even being able to put my shoes on before an episode hit. 

I don't know if it was because I've had a rough few days, or if I was just really tired that the anxiety was overwhelming, or if I simply couldn't do it. I know one day I will and I know that I will force myself to try again until I can, but for today it's a loss.

I know you're probably thinking, "Seriously, you couldn't go outside to get ice cream just because it was dark?" Yes, seriously

Photo Found HERE.
Something you should know is that I have agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that includes an intense fear of not being able to get out of danger or have assistance available. Being outside alone is one of the fears pertaining to agoraphobia. My mind absolutely races with the thought of going out at all, but being alone with my son after dark is the one that often causes my heart to palpitate. 

Attempting this anxiety will be a huge goal of mine and I will of course talk about it on my blog, but I won't be doing a weekly challenge anymore. I was recently told that pushing myself is a healthy way to go about overcoming certain obstacles in my life, to not be so "stuck", but the idea of a weekly challenge isn't necessarily the way for me. I was starting to get more anxiety with the thought of having to constantly fight every week and it was putting a strain on my mental health. I was starting to have severe insomnia with an increase in panic attacks, simply because I was pushing myself too hard too fast. I will continue to try and have small triumphs whenever I can, but I can't do the severe ones all at once. The amount of "life" on my plate right now and the true severity of my anxiety, just doesn't allow for it. Not to worry though, I have a new challenge coming up soon that I think will be much better suited, as it's a fun challenge! An A-Z cooking challenge every Friday! I'm hoping it will give me a positive thing to look forward to each week and will give me an opportunity to be creative with the food choices! Especially since my son has a specific preference for certain items. 

Until tomorrow you beautiful people!

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