On new years eve we were preparing a feast and my daughter moved my desk chair to the kitchen table, my anxiety started to spike. I started feeling really overwhelmed and wanted to quit the whole celebration and go crawl into bed. I stopped myself and started talking it through. It turned out that what had me so anxious was I was in pain from standing so long and that going to my computer to sit and relax is sort of like a sanctuary for me. I can always go and sit comfortably and rest my body and calm my mind by doing something on the computer. So by her taking my chair I felt my sanctuary was gone.
I decided that it would be a good idea to take some ibuprophen and told myself if the pain got worse or if I got more overwhelmed I could always go lay down on my bed. And to my surprise my anxiety went back down and with 30 minutes my pain was back under control.
Later that evening the little neighbor girl came to visit and I stopped her at the door and told her I had too much going on and we would have to visit another time. She had such a sad look on her face when I turned her away. I felt guilty and immediately my anxiety spiked. I stopped and talked it through. It turned out that I felt that I was a bad person for turning her away.
I calmly told myself that I am not bad for setting healthy boundaries and knowing when something is going to overwhelm me. I am not bad for wanting to spend that special time with my daughter. And the little neighbor girl was just fine. My anxiety level went down and I carried on with the rest of my evening.
I am just learning how reframing my thoughts can affect my anxiety and so far I can’t believe how well it’s working. If any of you are struggling with anxiety the way I do I want you to know there’s hope. I’m working with a Psychologist who’s teaching me about cognitive distortions and reframing your thoughts. I’m excited that I got through a holiday without taking an Ativan.