Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Burn it to the Ground
I had a rough morning/afternoon.
My anxiety was bad - the worst attack I've had in about a year. Heart racing and pounding through my chest, restlessness, nausea, feelings of helplessness ... I had to struggle to fight the urge to vomit - that's a path I'm not going down again.
I knew what it was ... for the past five or six years my birthday has always made me anxious. It's not about getting older - not at all. I've never had a problem with the whole age thing. I'm perfectly fine with turning 35 tomorrow.
The anxiety lies elsewhere -- it's all attached to painful memories ... bad experiences that surrounded my birthday in the recent past ...
I understand the powerful consequences of trauma - but I don't want to be that girl who is anxious over various events that happened years ago. Why should I be a prisoner to distant memories - events that are no longer relevant in my life. Sure they happened. Sure they had an impact ... but should they affect me now? Today? Ever? I don't want it to be that way.
I got my stuff together and decided to head to the gym ... on my drive over my heart was racing and I was having second thoughts. Going to the gym in the early evening meant it would be crowded - my friends would be there - I'd have to socialize and I didn't know if I could handle it. It sounds silly, doesn't it ... but if you've had anxiety/panic attacks (and went through a really bad 2-year spell of social anxiety) then you know what I'm talking about.
I had a non-stop internal monologue going during the 2o-minute drive.
You can do this.
Do not be a prisoner to your fear.
You are stronger than that.
What happened in the past is in the past -- no good can come from rehashing those memories.
You define who you are at this moment.
I got to the gym and went upstairs to where my locker is. The room was empty - thank goodness. I had some editing to do so I sat down and worked for a solid 45 minutes ... just trying to focus my concentration on my work ... and keep convincing myself that I had nothing to worry about. Everything was fine.
At 5:45 I took a deep breath and headed up to the spinning studio. It had been a while since I had been to RPM class - but I knew M&D would be there and I was trying to tell myself to look forward to being around my friends versus feeling anxious.
Then the music started ... and I started to feel better.
I pedaled faster.
I increased the intensity.
Sweat was pouring - my heart was racing - but this time in a good way.
Track 3 was exhausting; luckily D chose a great track for recovery -- track 5 and I was ready to go - my legs burning, but my adrenalin soaring ... and track 7 - one of my all time favorites - Burn it to the Ground by Nickelback. YES!!!
"No fear, no doubt. All in, balls out!"
I gave it everything I had. Everything.
Tracks 8 & 9 were cool down and I felt like a new person.
As I showered and got dressed I felt good. I was proud of myself for not letting the anxiety get to such a point where I felt like the most I could do was just lie in bed and hide from the world. This may not seem like a big deal ... but for me it is.
The demons are not gone. There are still issues that need to be dealt with. There is still a lot of anxiety -- but for the first time, when facing an attack as bad as it was earlier today, I stood up to myself and said - No. This is NOT good for you. You CAN get through this ... and I did.