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Anxiety Management – Anxiety Schmanxiety

Preparing for a vacation can be particularly anxiety-inducing for me. There is so much to get done, many things to worry about, and, in my case, two little kids and a giant dog to care for on top of everything else. It is hard to stay motivated and get everything done without feeling brain fog and nausea. Below are six ways I handle my anxiety and vacation preparation in the summer months.
I have anxiety while driving, despite my previously being a confident driver. I never worried about anything terrible happening while driving, but then I had kids, and my problems with anxiety and driving appeared. Suddenly, the precious cargo I was carrying weighed heavy on my mind. I saw potential accidents and danger everywhere.
There's so much expectation on everyone during the holidays; to spend money, eat food, make food, drink, be festive, be jolly, be happy, want to be happy, and so on. Being such a chaotic time of year, it's no surprise that people get anxious before, during, and after the holidays. Keeping a gratitude journal helps keep me grounded, especially during the holidays.
Symptoms of dissociation can be terrifying. One night, I had horrific acute, prolonged panic symptoms, and in an out-of-body utter state of confusion, I looked at my husband and asked, "Are you going to have me committed?"
Growing up, I left the room when my parents turned on the nightly news. I had no interest. Besides, it was all bad news, or so it seemed: wars, fires, shootings, murders, robberies, injustices, bickering politicians, and so on. No, thank you, I had anxiety around the news.
Nobody likes cleaning. Wait. That's not right, because I've known people who enjoy cleaning as it provides a sense of accomplishment or something else I can't comprehend. Not me. I hate cleaning. I especially hate the big jobs. They give me anxiety. Of course, I procrastinate, the job gets bigger, and my anxiety increases. So, I procrastinate some more. And I do it again and again. It is a circle of procrastination and anxiety that eventually must be tackled.
I wrote many blog posts this past year about my struggles late last summer with weeks of acute panic and anxiety that left me traumatized. I attended weekly therapy and worked hard for almost a year to get to a point where I could finally revisit the place where the worst of the trauma occurred, which I did, successfully. With that said, I'm wondering if therapy still makes sense for me.
For almost a year, I have been going to therapy to work through the trauma associated with the debilitating episodes of acute panic and anxiety I suffered late in the summer of 2021. In recent weeks, I have been practicing my anxiety-mitigation strategies and testing my resilience to anxiety triggers in preparation for a return to the location where the apex of the episodes occurred. With extreme gratitude, I'm happy to say that revisiting the place was a tremendous success.
I've considered suicide in the past, several years ago. More recently, I've had disturbing intrusive thoughts. Having experienced—and survived—both, I know how intrusive thoughts can easily bleed into thoughts of suicide. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
On August 10, 2022, I wrote about how I reached a milestone in my trauma recovery, specifically, how I managed through a potentially high-triggering event without incident. The most significant milestone will arrive this weekend when I return to where the worst part of the trauma occurred. I'm trying to be proactive in my preparations by taking stock of the panic- and anxiety-mitigation tools I have at my disposal.