Sorry to be so out of touch lately. The driving issue has become worse…and it is almost all I can think about when I am not distracted by work, exercise or family (so, when I am likely to be blogging)…and I really don’t want to talk or even write about it at this point. Here are some brief point form updates though, because I want to keep my loved ones in the know, and help anyone who googles “driving panic” or something like that:
1. It is getting worse. It started out only on busy highways or when I felt I was being tailed. Now it is pretty well always on the highway, even on the toll highway (407 for the GTA readers) that I felt safe on as recently as last week.
2. I decided Monday to try something new and not fight a panic attack….instead I let myself get it and go through it while driving. I have heard this is good because when I get away from it, I am reiterating in my head that I should be scared, panic and escape…and when I go through it I am teaching my mind that it is all okay on the other side. That was a bad idea. It was terrifying and I have no idea if it is a result of the attack or a progression that would have happened anyways, but it has been much worse since then.
3. I decided a few days ago to find a new therapist. All the one I was using does is say (in various ways to fill up the sessions, which are getting shorter and shorter since she has nothing to say and I have said all I can) “you are doing all the right things, it will get better, be patient and keep doing what you are doing” with no new ideas. Clearly, not working. I have found a local therapist who does combined CBT and Hypnotherapy which I have read can be very, very effective. I spoke to her on the phone, see her next week, and feel good about her…even though currently the thought of ever driving any distance on the highway again is pretty much impossible she promises I can do it and this is both common and treatable…so I hope she is right.
4. This has been very hard for me. Besides the practical implications of having a job that has me on the road a lot, there is the emotional impact. I learned to drive on the highways when I was 30 years old…before that I was scared (No reason, I just never did it and it built up into this big scary thing). I have spent the last 8 years being very proud of myself for overcoming that fear, so losing something that has been an accomplishment and source of pride for me just sucks. I am also dealing with some work stuff (nothing that is my fault at all…but stuff that is hard to overcome due to bureaucracy, etc) so I am in generally feeling pretty down about myself these days. I have always (well for the past 10 years or more anyways) considered myself a highly functional person…so this feels pretty bad.
On the bright side:
1. I am coping. I am doing what I need to at work and with my family. Non-highways can take me almost anywhere I need to go, with a little patience. Although I certainly am committed to overcoming this, if I cannot, it is not the worst thing in the world. I will adjust and do what I need to as I always have.
2. Yoga and running are my saviors. Adam and my kids too. I am loved and lucky to still have my family and my health and things I love to do and can still do!
3. Although this is depressing, I am not depressed (I easily could be) and am still enjoying all the good things in my life. Especially sushi. Lots of Sushi. I deserve it!
4. GLEE is back on tonight!