I had therapy this morning and it went well, as it always does. It felt like a productive session. We talked a lot about my panic about being outside of my house, and I’m glad we did.
I think there’s a combination of factors that make it so I don’t want to (or simply don’t care to) leave my house. One is I’m very introverted and don’t enjoy being around strangers in general. Another is my paranoia and voices telling me that other people are dangerous and might hurt me, also that I’m being watched constantly. I’m also quite comfortable in my home, and I’ve adapted to not going many places in the last few months due to covid-19. I’ve grown to become a serious homebody – which is fine. I think being a lot more of a homebody these days may be making my paranoia worse, in a way, but I’m not certain of that.
I have been reading and doing exercises from my DBT workbook, to help with mindfulness and grounding myself in the moment. I learned an acronym called RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture. I don’t have a problem with recognizing and investigating, or even the nurturing part, but it’s the allow that I have a hard time with. The feelings in my body, the emotions in my head, the sheer panic, all make me feel like my mind is going to just break and give up if I allow. All of the things together make allowing the feelings to wash over me seem like an impossible, and terrifying, task. So, naturally, I don’t. I hold it in, bottle it up, save it for a safer place. For some reason it is inappropriate for an adult to cry in public, so I do my best not to. Crying in public has inevitably happened to me in the past, and I hated every millisecond of it.
I brought my concerns about the allow part of RAIN to my therapist’s attention. I told her about how if I allow the feelings, emotions, thoughts, wash over me I genuinely feel like it might break my brain. She assured me that this won’t happen. She said our brains are wired to deal with extreme stress, and panic, and our minds can handle stress and anxiety such as what I experience. She told me that in such situations, like being in a grocery store, our bodies are usually very safe moment by moment in time. If our minds are in panic mode, our bodies are still safe even if we feel unsafe. I agree with this. Basically every shopping experience I’ve had, my body has been safe even though my brain felt like it was melting from anxiety and panic.
Our bodies and our minds work together, or even against each other at times. My therapist suggested that next time I am faced with panic, I try to calm my body. There is evidence that through calming the body, the mind will also calm at least a bit. The same is true for calming the body, if the mind is more calm. I can say both of these are true for me, as someone who practices meditation and breathing exercises frequently. Perhaps if I adjust my posture, relax my shoulders, loosen my death grip on the shopping cart, turn my gaze more upward (instead of at the floor in front of the cart), breathe a little more evenly, try some grounding, maybe that will instill a little more calm in my mind. Suppose I’ll have to find out.
Today is another rather calm day, which is nice because therapy usually wears me out. It doesn’t wear me out in a bad way, it is just a lot of mental work. I have gotten most of my chores finished today, and will probably do some fun activities in a little while. I may need a nap first, though. It’s a hot, muggy day today and will probably stay like this all day and evening. I am determined to hoop dance today and play more with my new fans. I’ll probably need to flow indoors, in my small space, but that’s ok. My husband is probably coming home from work a little early today because his stomach has been bothering him. I’ll be glad to see him earlier, but it sucks he isn’t feeling well.
Tomorrow I should be getting my new set of green alcohol ink in the mail, and I’m excited. I’m planning on doing a resin pour after they come in. I am looking forward to having greens that actually look green, instead of my “rainforest green” that is essentially my third shade of blue. I’ll be pouring coaster sets only. I have enough jewelry available on my shop and I need to chill it with the pendant-making. I’m glad I now have two sets of coaster molds so I can do two sets in the same sitting. My mom asked me if I can reserve a new coaster set as a thank-you gift for someone. There’s a woman who works for a great company that brings three meals per day to people who need it. One of those people is my grandma. They provide breakfast and lunch in the morning, then arrive again later in the afternoon to bring dinner. An amazing service for the best old lady I am proud to call Grandma. I said I am more than happy to make a thank-you gift for the woman who brings my grandmother meals daily.
Hope y’all are having a good day.