Control the Panic, ERP

I did my first try at the exposure therapy (ERP) today and drove to my church and parked outside. My anxiety was through the roof and my chest hurt pretty much immediately.

I started controlled breathing and then engaged my “touch” sense (?), which is the first time I’ve gone this route. I had worn a very textured glass pendant and thus gripped that and slowly rubbed the texture. I also did have my music quite loud, which provided vibrations for my other hand resting on my car.

I think those things stopped a full out attack but my anxiety remained uncomfortably high and my chest was still tight. I then did my color mindfulness technique, and I remember starting with looking for 12 green items. Then pink, which posed a challenge due to my surroundings and seemed to help a bit.

Things got a bit manageable but not…acceptable. I decided to pull up the Christian EDM list I had found the night before, since music means so much to me. I ended up finding a couple of songs that I “felt”. As shallow as it sounds, many times it’s more about the beat and rhythm than the words, because many songs say the same thing. I think certain beats soothe my anxiety/meet my need much better, or at least… my compulsion doesn’t feel fulfilled if it’s not the right type of music that I “feel”.

I sat out front for perhaps 45 minutes, maybe more. I left because several other people started arriving and I kinda freaked out. I did what I could, for as long as I could.

Aftermath

Afterwards, I came home and did spend a couple hours with my son. But it was like walking through quick sand. I felt like I was hit with a freight train of exhaustion. Even though I had plans to spend time with him and also get some work done, I ended up laying down for a nap and sleeping for many hours.

Until my husband got home at 6:30pm and said “(Son) said you’ve been sleeping since this afternoon, what you don’t want to sleep at night?” Hmm, how about asking how I’m feeling and why I slept for so many hours in the middle of the day, when it’s not my norm.

It’s either that my anxiety wiped me out, or my thyroid is indeed off. Well, or my fibromyalgia is wanting to kick up the fatigue, but honestly it’s normally manageable and I don’t fall asleep. My bipolar usually has me able to push through the fatigue and I go like an energizer bunny.

I’m going to try to sleep 8 hours tonight and take my thyroid pills exactly on time tomorrow. Let’s hope my Hashimotos isn’t progressing, as I don’t really need my physical health to get worse when my mental health isn’t stable.

Pray, think good thoughts, cross your fingers, whatever you believe helps.

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