Monday, August 25, 2014

Other people get mani-pedis - I get mini-panis.

12oz Soy Mocha

Can I do a 20 minute blog?  Sure!  Micro-blog!  I feel like I have described all this before, but I cannot recall ever blogging about it, so here we go...

I only learned the term "mani-pedi" fairly recently, because I am not much of a girly-girly (nor a metro-sexual, for that matter).  I've never had a manicure, nor a pedicure.  But I do get what I have come to call "mini-panis" (though, I'm not overly fond of the spelling - looks too much like... ya know...).  A mini-pani is like a junior panic attack.

It's not a full-blown panic attack, with the hyperventilating and the crying and that feeling like your chest is going to seize up like an overheated engine, unable to allow you to take in a full life-giving breath.  A mini-pani is the precursor to the big thing.  It's the agitated state where breath is getting tight, shallow, and I start getting manic.  I start clicking link after link to distract myself from the full-on freak-out floating just to the surface.  If I stop playing Tetris or Sudoku till the 2 or 3 in the morning, then I might have to look at that Thing, the Trigger that is going to set off the hysteria associated with dealing with it.  Or, I guess, not dealing with it.

Like ants.  God, I hate ants.  For whatever reason, ants are my trauma-trigger.  I don't want to diminish those dealing with severe PTSD, but all the anxiety bound up in my childhood poverty is launched forth at the sight of an ant trail.  The other day, we had an explosion of ant scouts in the apartment (seemingly, related to a recent thunderstorm), and I started manically scrubbing the kitchen, well past midnight, trying to head them off.  But they kept coming.  In the bathroom, too.  There were ants in the diaper drawer.

That was the point where the full-on panic attack broke loose.

But up until that point, while I was still in battle-mode, I was battling, too, the shaking agitation of barely holding it together.  And sometimes I do hold it together, and things calm down.  I can uncurl, uncoil the beast.  It takes a while.  It takes a conscious effort and all those good techniques years of (intermittent) therapy and introspection have taught me.  But it can be done.

So, if you are dealing with anxiety, yourself, or especially if you are helping someone who is dealing with it, understand this as the moment of divergence.  Watch yourself, or your loved one, for the signs - the agitation, the change in breathing, the wide or fixed eyes.  Know this as the moment to initiate whatever techniques work, whether it's disengaging or fully confronting whatever the fear is.  And the fear is often something hidden well behind whatever is actually taking place at present.

Dealing with anxiety is a two-fold process.  First, is trying to practice the larger picture stuff that brings down your anxiety base-line, like eating well, sleeping enough, and getting your exercise and meditation - your burn-off, and your cool-down.  The second is knowing what to do in the moment.  And, of course, trying to unravel or address underlying causes of the anxiety.  But in the moment, don't be afraid of the feelings, themselves, when they arise.  Go with it - do what needs to be done for the moment.

And most importantly, remember that the moment will end, and you will feel something else again.

Time's up!

No edits.  I'm out.

No comments:

Post a Comment