Friday, May 1, 2015

LIsten up, self.

Panic disorder is like an unpacified child. In my early days dealing with it, I went with the flow and cried like the cranky child projecting outward from within me. These days, I just get upset when my panic starts to activate.

My latest episodes aren't full-on panic attacks, they're just waves of panic, if that's possible. They're kind of a nuisance.

They're also trying to tell me something, and I have to listen up as annoying as they can be.

(Granted, I'm glad that panic waves can be annoying compared to living many years ago with ongoing full-blown attacks that I couldn't control...)

My therapist used to tell me that when life got stressful, my anxiety levels--and likelihood of attacks, waves, whatever you want to call them--would skyrocket too. This was novel to me at the time.

Now I recognize the signs.

Sure, these aren't horrible panic attacks, but I think they are telling me that I really need to make self-care a priority. I need to turn up the dial on Kristen time. That's so hard right now because I am slammed with work and have a number of issues going on in the lives of people close to me. Everyday, I have to weed out the things I can and cannot deal with--and I have to do it all with a demanding work schedule.

Point is, I'm still learning how to manage it all...how to balance.

It doesn't just "come" to you, learning how to balance. It's a conscious choice we have to make during the day. Too much stress? Dial up self-care. Self feeling okay? It's okay to push a little on work/personal obligations.

So...I'm going with it, consciously balancing--and re-balancing--myself.

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