I’ve not left the house since Saturday, as Friday is when I started really feeling the effects of not being on the klonopin anymore. I was physically ill for a while, and then just mentally sick. Dealing with this increased anxiety is difficult for me.
I’ve cancelled things on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to stay home and rest and recuperate, but that also makes it harder to get out– if I haven’t been out in a while, it is just that much harder to leave the house.
But today I had therapy, and Brad wouldn’t let me cancel, so out we went! I haven’t taken a shower or changed my clothes since Monday, and I was also feeling pretty anxious. So I walk into the therapy room and first thing my tdoc (therapist) says is how wonderful I look LOL! I told her I just fake it well.
During therapy my feet were going nonstop, I was anxious, Hestia was on my chest, and I had to take off her vest so I could really feel her fur for grounding. Basically I was two steps away from a panic attack. But my therapist kept saying how “animated” I was, and that I was being “spontaneous” and so on like this was a good thing. I’m not sure she really gets me 🙁 She said if I could be mindful I could take anxious energy and turn it into positive energy. I am to do that by going on walks and taking showers and being mindful.
After therapy we had to do 4 errands. The first two were easy, drop a book off at the library, and drop a package off at UPS. But on the way to the UPS store, Hestia was in the back of the van (safer to ride back there) and I was in the front. I guess the whole therapy time I was holding onto sanity with her help. With her in the backseat and me up front, I had a full blown panic attack. I had to undo my seatbelt at a red light and move quickly to the back seat so she could help me.
When we got to the UPS store, I was still quite anxious, so I held Hestia while we were in there. There were some nice people ahead of me in line, but I guess I hide my anxiety well, because they didn’t seem to notice that anything was wrong, and I was bopping in and out of a panic attack, holding onto Hestia for dear life! I managed to make polite conversation until I could give the person my package.
Next we went to Earth Fare. I really really wanted to go home. But I’ve been out of yogurt for a week, and the UPS store is right next to Earth Fare. So I sucked it up and went in. I would rather have pouched Hestia so she could help me, but it’s been a while since we’ve trained, so I put her on the floor and worked on her heeling. It was really hard for me.
Hestia did fairly well with heeling, but a very bad job of ignoring stuff on the floor. I think she sensed my anxiety and wanted to be helping me, so she wasn’t as well behaved as usual. Or maybe it’s just that we hadn’t been out in so long. Brad got a heeling video for my heeling buddies group. I accidentally got some of the treat goo on her nose when I was at the far end of the aisle, so you can watch her licking herself trying to get the goo off even when we are down at Brad’s end of the aisle!
Brad got a few pictures, too. An interesting series. The first picture is of me how I was really feeling. The second picture I am in the process of putting my “face” on. The third one my “face” is on and I’ve hidden the anxiety. Brad also got a picture of me talking with Hestia.
Near the end of our time in the store I accidentally yelled at Brad. He kept asking me to get stuff off high shelves for him, and I was getting really flustered because I couldn’t train and get things at the same time. So I kinda yelled at him that I was just there to train, I didn’t want to get things, why didn’t he get things. He pointed at the wheelchair and shrugged. Then I felt bad. I was just so caught up in my anxiety that I couldn’t see his limitations.
I really really wanted to go home after that, but Ollie is almost out of food. So we had to go to the pet store to get him food. Luckily that went OK, and I held Hestia the whole time to my chest and she was just leaning in and helping me.
I was so relieved to finally get home! After not going out for nearly a whole week, it was a big outing! And no klonopin to help the anxiety! One good thing that did come of therapy today is that without relying on klonopin to always be there to dull the anxiety, I need to get back in the habit of taking care of my diet more.
I know sugar gives me panic attacks. So I am going to try to cut sugar out of my diet. And gluten helps a little with the anxiety, so I am going to be gluten free all the time now instead of just at home. Big sigh. I will miss candy and everything, but I think that since I am trying to manage the anxiety without meds, I need to go back to my previous diet when I was not on meds and dealing with my mental illness.
Somehow I survived all the errands, and besides the full blown panic attack I had in the car when Hestia was in the back, I managed to hold myself together enough to fake it for everyone around me.