Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I was brave today

Many who know me are aware I am the coward of the county.  I am afraid of more things than you can shake a stick at.  But I try to hide fear and go on with life.  I am a diagnosed agoraphobic.  That means I fear I will have a panic attack. And I have panic attacks over things that are new, flying, driving someplace the first time, the dark, storms, and on and on.  I have had group counseling and handle things better and understand I am not the only crazy person out there.  They told me they might not be able to cure me, but they could teach me how to handle my fears. (Living with me is another reason Marty is up for sainthood.) 

Many things are still very hard to do.  One reason I volunteer is I have to leave the house.  I am not going to be housebound.  I have responsibilities so I have to show up. And I do even on days I can't find that safe spot in my head.

The new health issues ( diabetes, A-Fib, blood clots) created a whole new set of fears.  What if, is the big thing a phobic does.  We write scenes in our heads of what can go wrong.  I say we are prepared, others say we are borrowing  trouble. So I have worried what if my blood pressure goes shy high ,that one happened, call 911 and ride in the ambulance.  What if my prescription refill doesn't come in the mail?  That one I handled yesterday. What if I start feeling dizzy?   What if I am alone and pass out? What if I can't find healthy food in the restaurant?  What if my pulse is too low to take my medicine, that happens a couple times a week. What if I crack and sneak a piece of candy?  And on and on. I am a walking fear machine.

To get/stay healthy I must walk every day.  I have walked in the apartment ever since I came home from the hospital.  I have gone from zero to 30 minutes of quick walking and doing the stairs several times.  BUT I would not walk outside of the apartment.  I am terrified something would go wrong.  I could be out in the neighborhood and I wouldn't be able to get home.  A couple of friends, one a doctor, asked me if I carried my phone.  Yes, of course.  The doctor said if you are in trouble at home you would call 911. If you are out, they will still come find you sitting on the curb.

So today I faced the fear and walked outside.  Marty was still home, so he would know when to start worrying.  I set my timer for 15 minutes, so I would know I was halfway and should turn around.  I put Pandora on shuffle and took off.  I did it!  Nothing bad happened, no panic attack, I was brave!

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