Bump in the Road

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Yesterday was a tough day for me. You may have thought you made progress in one aspect of your life and then it comes back to bite you harder than ever. Sometimes you wonder why you keep letting yourself get hurt this way. It feels like no matter what you do, you are doing it wrong.

I will not let this stop me. I will not ever stop fighting for my life back, even if others don’t support me I have to support myself.

Staci

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The Holidays.

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My beautiful daughter!

 

How were your holidays? Did the Holidays stir panic or anxiety for any of you? For me the thought of driving out to my parents made me cringe, and sick at the same time. So my family came in town to us. It was slightly less convenient bc they always have waaaaay more presents than us so to haul all that in was kind of annoying BUT they did it for me. I have a great family! Other than that, I had no crazy panic attacks or anything which I am so thankful for! 

I just had another appointment with my psychologist yesterday. He was pleased to hear that I had been doing so well, especially since I hadn’t been able to see him for two weeks. (Christmas week he was scheduled full and then the next week my grandma passed and I had no way of getting to the appointment) So we were picking up where we left off before Christmas. Which reminds me I need to bring you all up to speed on the whole hypnosis thing. 

HYPNOSIS: as defined by the American Psychological Association Division of Psychological Hypnosis, is “a procedure during which a health professional or researcher suggests that a client, patient, or experimental participant experience changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, or behavior.”

I like to think of it more as Guided Meditation. My psychologist has me turn my chair away from him and recline it. I then listen to him speak to me in a soothing voice for approximately 10-15 minutes. He will start with number 10 and slowly count down to 1. In between each number he suggests to me to relax my body from the tensions of the morning, the day, and the week and to go to a scene of tranquility that we spoke about before starting. In my case I chose the beach, in autumn, with the sun shining, alone. He helps me create that scene in my mind. When he finally reaches 1 he then stays quiet for approximately a minute for me to relax myself even further and just enjoy the feeling. I do not feel “out of it” in anyway. i just feel relaxed. This week was my third time doing this and it gets easier to relax myself each time. The first time I was anxious and could not get relaxed. After the 1 minute of quiet time he will then suggest to me that it will get easier and easier for me to reach this state and sometimes he gives me scenarios of only slightly uncomfortable situations. Such as a crowded waiting room. If i feel anxious I shake my head yes. He then tells me to go back to my beach scene and relax. Then he takes me back to the waiting room until it no longer gives me anxiety. Then he counts from 1 to 5 in about 1 minutes time and arouses me from the relaxed feeling. When he reaches 5 I turn my seat back around and we discussed how I felt. How relaxed I was, if there was any tension. How quickly I was able to feel relaxed. I do think it is very helpful. This will help me to release tensions when I am faced with the actual situations we discuss. Slowly we will work our way through all situations that upset me until I feel no anxiety about them at all. 

i am still taking the 20mg of lexapro. I stopped taking the xanax but have the prescription just in case I need it. I feel like upping the lexapro from 10mg to 20mg has REALLY helped me. Side effects: I do feel hungry a lot but I watch what I eat so I can try not to gain any weight. I have had trouble wanting to have sex but I do know that this feeling will pass soon, as it did when I was just on 10mg before I took myself off lexapro. Other than that I feel pretty good right now! Soon I want to try to start driving around town with my husband or mom with me as my safe person. I cannot wait to get my life and my freedom back! 

Please leave comments, concerns, and questions for me as I do enjoy reading other people’s journey. If I can help just one person on their journey with Panic and Anxiety then my blog has served it’s purpose!!! 

Staci 

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Hypnosis?

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Once in High School we had a man come in and hypnotize several of the students in our gymnasium because our class had done so well on some sort of state testing. My friend was one of these students that was hypnotized and he really seemed like he was under some sort of trance. The kids were doing all kinds of funny things and certain key words or phrases would trigger each student to jump, or shout, or think they were being pinched (like in my friend’s case.) It was very funny but it makes me a little nervous that someone could have that power over my mind.
My next psychologist appointment is Thursday and he said he would be trying hypnosis on me then. He said this would be a large part of my therapy. I am a little nervous about it since I am not really sure what to expect. Have you ever been hypnotized? What was your experience like? If you haven’t would you ever consider trying it? Do you think it is safe?

Thursday I will let you all know what my experience was like. I am excited and nervous all at the same time!

 

Staci

Every Journey Begins With A Single Step

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I believe everyone in their lives have something they struggle with. Whether it be weight, alcohol or drug abuse, their relationships, anger problems, and so on. For me, my main struggle in life is anxiety and panic attacks. I wake up wondering if today is going to be a good or bad day. Will I have a panic attack? Will I be able to make that drive across town without freaking out? Will my husband get mad if I have a panic attack out on our date tonight? Well six years, hundreds of panic attacks, and countless missed opportunities later I have finally had enough. I am taking back control over my life and I am taking the plunge into full on counseling from a psychologist and the supervision of medicine from a psychiatrist.

I met my psychiatrist last Tuesday. Dr. Matisi. She is wonderful. She helped me put a plan in place for medicine. I will be taking 20mg of Lexapro. I was on 10mg earlier this year but it stopped working so I weaned myself off…which took forever. She however suggested I wasn’t taking enough so here I go back on. She also gave me Xanax for those moments when panic strikes and I can’t handle it, however I am trying to refrain from taking that as it can be very addictive. It is nice to know though, that I have a backup medicine.

Yesterday I met with my psychologist for the first time. His name is Dr. Lee. We talked about my issues. I cried like a baby recalling all of the time that anxiety and panic has stolen from my life. My quality of life has diminished drastically, it takes a toll on my relationship with my husband, it makes me feel worthless and I wonder “what did I do to deserve this?” He spent half the time listening to my problems, my fears, my triggers, and my life in general. The rest of the time I spent listening to him. He gave me some great tips, advice, and assured me I WILL get better — and for the first time I really feel like I will beat this. And when I do I am going to get a tattoo. I don’t know what of yet…but something that is special to me and will always be a reminder that I am strong, brave, and I beat this hand-cap (as he called it)

One thing he told me I would like to share with you. This at first made no sense…the first few minutes he was talking I was kind of letting my mind wander and I was starting to get bored….then it all finally clicked. He said:

We all have a part of us – and this part is not FOR us..it is AGAINST us. This part of us likes to cut us down, make us feel stupid, inadequate, and it tells us we will NEVER be good enough. This part is AGAINST us and yet we seek it’s approval. We will NEVER get it’s approval. Ever. — Say you get into an argument with a friend, or co-worker. This part of you will say “You need to go talk to that person.” and if you do, that part of you will start chiming in “you idiot, you should have never opened your mouth!” Or maybe you didn’t go talk to them? That part of you chimes in with “You spineless, good for nothing loser! Are you always going to let people walk all over you?” This part of you is not FOR you. It is AGAINST you. And in extreme cases this part of you will tell you that you are so worthless that you should end your life. Why would you listen to something that is AGAINST you? It tells you that you are fat. It tells you that you are no good. It tells you that you are a bad mom or dad, that you don’t deserve what you have…so what do you do? You become depressed, anxious, nervous…We need to deflect this. How? Start telling yourself that you ARE a great mom. That you ARE a FABULOUS cook; That you deserved that promotion you got at work because you are a hard-worker. Remind yourself of all the things you do in a day. Remind yourself of all the people you positively influence in your life. Talk nicely to yourself. Forgive yourself. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself. And when that part of you chimes in do not listen. As if someone is throwing stones at you and you just walk away. This part of you creates anxiety and panic. This part of you wants you to think you are in danger, it wants to scare you. Don’t let it. Do not listen. Do not give in to it. Continue telling yourself that you are the perfect you. I am the perfect Staci. God made me this way and He doesn’t want me to listen to the part of me that is AGAINST me.

So if you are struggling with panic, anxiety, depression, or whatever it may be I invite you to do this with me:

  1.  Everyday tell yourself what you like about yourself. Remind yourself of all your positive attributes.
  2. Treat yourself daily to something you want. Whether it be a new purse or just some very deserved alone time with a book. You deserve it!
  3. Don’t listen to the voice that is against you. Anytime it chimes in, walk away from it. Don’t give it a second thought.

Every journey begins with a single step. You will never finish the journey if you never start.

Please leave your comments below. Click on the leave a comment link up at the top left of the page in teal. I would love to hear about your journey.

Staci

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