The past couple days have been pretty difficult. I’ve been pushing myself to do things that I normally wouldn’t do. I’m doing these things because I know that they would help my husband and mother-in-law. I know I don’t have to do these things. It’s my choice. I’m choosing to do them because I think it’s a way for me to love and support my husband and mother-in-law.
Saturday night, my husband asked me if I wanted to go play darts. I got ready and took a Valium. My husband really just needed to get out of the house. We had a good time. We met his best friend there and got to meet his new girlfriend, who we both like. The hardest part was walking into the bar and through crowds. I was okay once we got to the dart boards. There were a lot of people there. My husband was very helpful. He made sure to always hold my hand when we were moving around and he stood behind me when there were other people standing behind me.
This morning, I decided to go to church. It’s a Christian church. Again, I took a Valium because I knew this would be more than difficult. I knew it would make my mother-in-law very happy, and it did. About half of it was singing. My husband told me a few times that I could sing along (almost everyone did), but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to sing along with words that I don’t believe in. Honestly, I have no clue what I believe in. I know that there is a power greater than myself; I’m obviously not all-powerful. However, that’s really all I know and believe at this point.
Going to church today really made my mother-in-law happy. It put a huge smile on her face. She even thanked me for coming and acknowledged how difficult it must have been for me to do so. I’ve been trying to figure out why I decided to go to church. I’m not sure if this is a reason or not, but I chose to go because no one ever asked me to going. Everyone knows I have a hard time with church and God. I wasn’t pushed into doing something I didn’t want to do. I was accepted for who I am, and that’s why I went. I’m not sure if I will go again or not. Right now, I’m completely overwhelmed with life. I wish there was a way to simply pause everything.
I had a rough day yesterday. I was stressed and my anxiety level was very high. I was able to keep myself from having a panic attack, but the anxiety attack was still pretty rough. The Valium helped. I also used some breathing techniques, just simple breathing in and out, not too fast and not too slow. The breathing helps me stay calm and focusing on it also helps me forget what I’m anxious about, even if it’s just for a minute or two.
Today seems like a better day. I have a normal amount of anxiety. I’m more frustrated than anything else, and I don’t really know why. I generally don’t know why I feel the way I do. I’m going to go get a bunch of stuff done. Being productive often makes me feel better.
My husband and I went away for a day (almost a day, it was more like 20 hours). My brother-in-law stayed at our house with Achilles. The two of them had a great time together while we were gone.
We went to Flagstaff to go to part of the 2017 Flagstaff AA Roundup. The idea of going was much more exciting a few weeks ago. The closer it got to actually going to the event, the worse my anxiety got. We went Saturday night only for a couple of hours. I took Valium, and it didn’t even reduce my anxiety the slightest bit. I pushed myself and made myself stay for a couple of hours. I’m glad I did, but at the same time I know that I probably pushed myself too far because my anxiety is still hanging around.
Then on Sunday morning, we went to the Arizona Snowbowl, which is a scenic ski lift. It was beautiful. When we reached the top, it was 11,500 feet elevation. The view was amazingly beautiful. After that, we drove home. I was so happy to see Achilles when we got home. Our trip wasn’t much. It didn’t last long, but something is better than nothing. It’s important to get away every once in a while, even if it’s just for a day.
Today is a very busy day filled with anxiety. I have a Sears coming between 12pm and 2pm to deliver a new dryer because the other one broke over the weekend. I also have Goodwill coming to pick up a bunch of stuff, and of course they’re coming between 12pm and 2pm as well. That will be a lot of activity, and a lot of strangers, at once, and my husband will be at work. I will have to take a Valium, probably around 11am, so I’m ready for these people when they get here.
I’m nervous about both things happening today. I was originally told that both would be between 7am and 5pm. Of course, with my good luck, they both called and narrowed it down between 12pm and 2pm. I’m hoping they don’t come at the exact same time, but I suppose I’ll just have to go with the flow.
I’m trying to get settled into our new house, but it seems to be a never-ending job. We have a lot of stuff that we are going to donate to Goodwill. They are even going to come out and pick it up because it’s too big and too heavy for us to bring to them. Now is when my anxiety and fears kick in. Simply calling to ask them to come pick everything up is difficult for me. I can’t have them come to the house unless my husband is here, otherwise I’m simply asking for a panic attack. The idea of anyone I don’t know coming over scares me. I wish I could get over this fear. I wish I could get my heart to calm down when the doorbell rings or when someone knocks on the door. I’ll just keep trying.
Yesterday, my husband and I received our ID cards for the HOA that we live in now. This place is amazing. They have so many clubs and activities that we can use/join. There’s a pottery club that both me and my husband want to join. We met a couple of people there yesterday (I had taken a Valium) and they were really nice. We have to call this one woman who will teach us what we need to know to begin, since neither of us have any experience. Once you’ve learned how to do it, you can do the work on your own. I’ve been trying to get up the courage all day to call this woman, and I still can’t do it. There are other options like a woodworking shop, a workout room, a pool, a Pinochle club, and much more. I don’t think I’ll be able to do any of it on my own, at least for now. My husband provides me with comfort. Once I feel comfortable at the recreation center with him, maybe I’ll try going without him, but that won’t happen for a while.
I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to get the courage to do something new or different. It’s probably because of the PTSD. I’ve come a long way in regards to my PTSD, but I still have quite a way to go. Each time that I push myself to try something new or different, I grow stronger and more capable. I just have to remember not to overdo it. It’s okay to give myself a break.
Another day of ECT. I know it helps, but I really dislike the memory loss side effect. However, I would rather have some memory loss than be completely miserable, irritable, depressed, and suicidal. I am grateful that ECT helps and I hope that it continues to improve my mental health status as time goes on.
I was talking to my husband the other day about how I’ve been going to AA meetings all by myself (of course, not without taking a Valium). We discussed that I have talked to some people, spoke in some of the meetings, and I even stood up to get my sobriety chip (I had 13 years sober on April 29th). It turns out that I really missed meetings.
I have been pushing myself to do a little more each week. My husband and I even take walks each night for about 30 minutes. It’s so beautiful out with the stars shining down on us. The neighborhood is almost completely silent. During the last couple of walks, only 2 cars passed by us each night. It reminds me of where I grew up. I think the reason that I’m able and willing to push myself further is because I know that I have a safe place to come home to. I feel secure and comfortable in our new home. When living at our last house, I always felt on edge. Just leaving the house and going to the garage was a difficult task. I no longer have to worry about things like that; my anxiety while at home is less. Let’s hope it stays that way.
I brought another carload full of stuff over to my new house earlier this evening. Then, I decided to check the mail before leaving. I drove over to the mailbox, and as I was leaving, I saw a neighbor that I had not yet met. My heart began to race suddenly, but I know that I needed to do my best to be polite and introduce myself to this neighbor (good thing I had already taken some medication earlier, which helped me keep my anxiety down).
I waved to this new neighbor; he waved back and started walking towards me. I met him at the end of his driveway. He was very polite. We talked for about 10 minutes and then he invited me into his house to meet his wife. We talked for another 5 minutes or so. They are both extremely nice and easy to talk to. They leave next week, for the winter, which more than half of the neighborhood does. I look forward to them coming back because they are so easy to get along with.
These new neighbors said that most of the other neighbors are easy to get along with. My plan is that whenever I see a new neighbor, I will wave to them. If they look like they want to meet up close and talk, I will do so. I’m so grateful for Valium. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it wasn’t for my Valium.