Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Trapped in a Basement with Anxiety

Sunday I had a bad day. It was my first really bad day in awhile. I don't really think it had anything to do with anything really. It's just like my therapist anxiety is my biology. A lot of the time it just shows up for no known reason. It's just there. I just have learned to deal with it--most of the time. 

For some reason, Sunday was a hard day. I don't know if was on account of the ridiculous and dangerous weather that was taking place around us. I didn't feel anxious about that. I mean, it could have been a lot of things. I've learned to stop trying to figure out what makes me anxious and just get myself to calm down. Trying to figure out the root of the problem can just get me in an OCD-loop that can be never-ending. It's pointless.

After the threat of tornadoes had passed on Sunday night, Bjorn and I headed to see a taping of the Doug Loves Movies podcast at Go Bananas in Montgomery. We love listening to it and had tickets for the show. Bjorn was so looking forward to going. 

Doug Benson from Doug Loves Movies (picture:

On the way to get ready to leave, my anxiety began to rise. I tried to do what I usually do to calm myself down, but nothing was working. When I'm anxious, I choreograph dances in my head to songs on the radio. It takes my mind off what's in my head. It didn't work. I tried to visualize my beach story in my head--my dad grilling and laughing, Bjorn paddle boarding in the water, me and Rachael yelling at my dad not to burn the burgers. It didn't work. 

I thought that maybe once we got out of the car and into Go Bananas I might feel better. Well, I was wrong. Walking into the comedy club I was about a 5 on a scale of 1-10 with my anxiety. Once I saw where we were going to sit and watch the show, my anxiety shot up to about an 8 and quickly then to a 9.

When we walked in, the show was close to starting. We ended up having to sit in a back corner, which was fine except for the room we were in looked like a huge basement with people crammed inside wall to wall like sardines in a can. I knew it was going to be a bumpy anxiety ride. 

View inside Go Bananas

Once we sat down, I felt trapped in this room with low ceilings and tight walls. I was surrounded by people and noise. I couldn't hear myself in my own brain. None of my strategies were working. I finally decided to close my eyes and cover my ears, no matter how crazy I looked, just to hear my own thoughts and picture my beach scene. It worked in the moment with my hands covering my ears and blocking out the noise, but once I let the chaos in again, I couldn't control my anxiety. My heart started racing, and I got teary-eyed. I hadn't felt like this in a long time. 

Thank god for shows starting on time! Once the show started, I couldn't control my own laughter at the humor of the jokes and the games played. Everything that was said was so funny, I forgot about anxiety and enjoyed an hour of laughter. Thank god for the power of laughter. It got me through Sunday night. Thank you, Bjorn, for taking me out and getting me to laugh.

I have a lot of good days now, so it's hard when I have a day like this. I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm going to brush it off and move on. I know this won't be my last bad day, but I'll just do my best with the tools that I have to get through it. And now that I'm not sick anymore and I can breath, I will be going back to Zumba (so happy!). Working out is such a stress relief for me; I need to dance!!! Here's to getting through Sunday and moving on with the week.

Love and happiness <3 Holly

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