My back is feeling better from yesterday’s ECT treatment, which I’m very grateful for. I decided I could go on with my day of doing errands, cleaning up the house, and working out. I started with short Zumba video. They’re pretty fun and they work very well. My husband called while I was in the middle of the video to tell me about an estate sale just up the road that he really wanted me to go to. We’re looking for some bedroom furniture, especially nightstands. Some of our stuff broke during the move.
I felt pressured into going, so I told him I wasn’t sure if I could make it. To be honest, I was saying that so I had out. I was terrified at the thought of going. There were going to be so many people in one small house (a house and people who I don’t even know at all), I just wasn’t sure if I could do it. I took a Valium and did some stuff around the house, waiting for it to kick in. Finally, it started working. I drove over to the estate sale and parked out-of-the-way. I stayed in my car for a while, but eventually I went in.
I looked around everywhere and tried to be polite to the people I passed. This whole situation was overwhelming, especially since I didn’t end up buying anything. However, I did it, I went by myself. That’s a huge step for me. I thought my heart was going to explode the entire time, but I made it through!
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.
As we all now, Halloween is tonight, and I have a lot of anxiety because of that. I don’t think there are kids that trick or treat on my street, but I will keep the lights out on my house. My husband works tonight, so it will be just me and my dog until about 9pm. I just hope my dog doesn’t bark all night. I’ll probably put his Thundershirt on him to help keep him calm. I can’t remember how other Halloween nights have been, so this all feels like new to me.
At 5pm, I get to see my granddaughter all dressed up.That gives me something to look forward to today. I think that it will help me get through the day today and minimize my anxiety attacks. I will let you know tomorrow how well I handle Halloween night. Hopefully, I can keep the anxiety and panic attacks to a minimum.
I hate solicitation. It makes me uncomfortable and full of fear. My husband’s idea is to get a “No Solicitation” sign to put in the front yard, I think that’s a great idea. Normally, our dog scares people away (he’s an 88 pound Pitbull mix), but not this time. Our dog is a sweetheart, but his size and bark tends to frighten people. When I’m home alone, I freak out any time the doorbell rings or when the dog starts to bark. It’s extremely scary for me. Even when my husband is home, I still get nervous, just not as much. I used to keep a baseball bat by the door to make me feel more comfortable. Sometimes I carry a knife with me to help me feel secure.
Yesterday, some guy came by the house trying to sell Tupperware. I told the guy at the door that I didn’t have time, but he kept talking. I told him my husband would be home shortly (which was a lie), so the salesman said he’ll come back in a little bit when my husband gets home. I told him we don’t have time. He said he’ll try coming back next week. I told him I’m not interested, but he still wants to come by again. I have a hard time being direct with people in these types of situations, it feels like confrontation. I wish I could just tell solicitors that I don’t want whatever they are selling and not to come back.
My anxiety seems to be getting a little worse lately. I’ve been using more Valium than I normally do. I’m fearful of anything new, anything that I don’t know. For example, I haven’t gotten my hair cut in over a year because I don’t remember where I used to go. Anywhere I go would be new. Having someone behind me terrifies me no matter what they’re doing. I live close to a high school and an elementary school. At the end of the school day, there are always a few teenagers waiting for their rides by my front lawn. When that happens, I can’t go outside to get to my car. No matter what my plans are, I have to wait because I’m too afraid and anxious.
Crowds are a problem because people are all around and behind you. My husband makes it possible for me to do some things such as go to hockey games. I never lose sight of him, he stands behind me in lines so I feel safe, and holds my hand through the crowds. We have a system that works for us in any crowded situation, and he is wonderful about helping me. I’ve been pushing myself to do more such as going to a support group and going to stores I’ve never been to before. I just have to be careful not to overdo things.
Many people who have bipolar disorder or other mental health disorders tend to struggle with isolation. My husband and family think that I struggle with isolation. Technically, they may be right, but I would rather be by myself than with others. Being social, whether with friends or family, is almost always a challenge. I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing, and I’m fearful of people or things I don’t know. I’m afraid of a lot of things.
I prefer isolation because it’s easier for me to handle. I have fewer panic/anxiety attacks when I stay home. I don’t get bored; I tend to keep myself company. I find things to do during the day to keep myself busy. Many people get bored and struggle when they have to stay home by themselves. I know that my family is just trying to help me by getting me out of the house. Just because some people struggle to stay home alone, doesn’t mean I struggle as well. It’s healthy and important get out sometimes, but I also know my own boundaries. For me, sometimes it’s better for me to stay home. I guess I just have to find a happy medium, some sort of balance between isolation and socialization.
My husband and I went to the Coyotes game last night (for those of you who don’t know, it is pro hockey) and we had a great time. We won in overtime! It was a lot more crowded than it normally is; the arena was sold out. Trying to walk anywhere was almost impossible; you just had to push your way through the massive crowds. I had to take more Valium for my anxiety, which I didn’t want to do, so I decided to take half of a pill. It worked perfectly. Plus, my husband either held my hand or had is arm around me the entire time to help me stay calm. He’s so great about doing that. I wouldn’t have been able to go to the game without him.
My face was painted with the Coyotes symbol at the state fair yesterday, and it stayed perfectly all day for the game. The next game won’t be as crowded. Last nights game was the busiest of the year because it was the home opener. I can’t wait for the next game we go to, which is in a couple of weeks on November 1st.