Practice

Do you ever feel like you’re on a ferris wheel? Like you are constantly spinning around not accomplishing anything? That’s the phase I’m currently in.  I know I haven’t posted in a while, mainly since I haven’t quite figured out how to be a blogger and also since I can barely make it through the kid’s bedtime without falling asleep tucked up next to their soft blankies and stuffed-animals.

My sweet friend Kristen, who just launched her own blog (here is where I would insert a link to her blog if knew anything about blogging) sent me a tutorial, which I am yet to read, and I still can’t manage to drag myself down to my desktop in the basement without being intercepted by my couch and a blanket. I am currently accepting laptop donations to fix this issue. So there is my explanation on lack of blogging.

But a lot is going on for sure. Hit a rough patch of anxiety which peaked and resulted in adding to my current anti-depressant, which I have since decided to go back to my original dose. Playing ping-pong with the old brain again. Poor thing. Have dabbled with paleo dieting and possibly changing medications all together as advised by friends/doctors/health coaches. Lots of possibility brewing. But my favorite little tool in my anxiety tool kit at the moment is my current book, Panic Attack Workbook, by David Carbonell, Ph.D.

A brief synopsis of the book…it basically says that to truly beat “the panic trick”, you have to practice the exposure theory. Which is pretty much letting yourself panic in phobic situations and working with the panic instead of fighting it. Which personally, I’ve known about for years but have never really been ready to face. After 12 years with this mess, however, you start to say enough is enough. 

It’s a great, practical, pro-active read. I’m pretty sure he named every single panic situation/thought I’ve ever had, along with offering non-complicated advice. Well, non-complicated until you actually start practicing with panic. Easier said than done. And bless you, Dr. Carbonell, I would love to practice for your recommended hour a day/five days a week, but I have two small children and a husband that is gone half the month usually. I’m practicing most days keeping little people alive and functional. Finding time to go to the bathroom, let alone “practice” with my anxiety, is a luxury. So I would have maybe added a chapter, like: Panic and the Tired Mom. Or, Practicing with Panic While Your Kids are Screaming in the Background. But hey, maybe in the next edition.

Just to illustrate my point, here’s a brief overview of my evening. Hubby is out of town (for 10 days!!!) and I’ve just finished miraculously putting some kind of food on the table. My kids start yelling at each other because Allie’s chair is touching Jack’s and she won’t move it and then she bumped it hard “on purpose”. So we flee the crime scene and start the bath/shower process, where Allie is fussing because she has her arm stuck in the shirt she is taking off by herself because “she can do it”, meanwhile Jack has clogged the toilet because he uses about half the roll to wipe himself. So, I help Allie with her shirt and then go into the bathroom to find poop ON THE WALL. It’s a trace amount, mind you. But no amount of poop on a wall is acceptable. So I clean that up while the dog starts going crazy at the door because the TruGreen guy is here to ask if I need lawn services even though somehow they have missed that they have been treating our lawn for 2 years. All is quiet momentarily so I go to clean up from dinner when I hear screaming from the bathroom because Allie has splashed Jack because “Jack was being mean” and he is splashing back because “she splashed me first”.  But man, are they sweet when they’re sleeping.

I love my children dearly, I do. My mom bought me a sweet little sign that says, “Being a mom makes me so tired and so happy”. I love that. Being a mom is a labor of love, and being a mom with panic disorder adds a hint of spice to the dish. Which makes me think, maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for relying on medication for anxiety in these early childhood years. Maybe that book was meant for moms with kids off to college. Certainly they don’t want you to do it during the teenage years either. So when is the right time to suck it up and start exposure therapy? I’ll sleep on that one.

Seriously, I do want to start soon. I have so much hope in my fearful little heart. I think once you loose hope, you’re in a far tougher spot. So I’m thankful for hope. I can’t say I’m thankful for anxiety, but I am accepting of it and it’s the journey I’ve been given. My hope is to overcome it and to help others on their journey as well. So cheers to starting practice… one of these days.


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