It’s been a while since I’ve written about this mainly because I wanted to see what I have found helpful in case it might be of help to others. I’m aware this isn’t a one size fits all and what has helped me might not help you. I almost scream when I’m told to go for a walk – been there, done that and to be honest it just makes me think more.
I’m doing OK though, ticking along. This wouldn’t be the case if it wasn’t for my wonderful family, I thank my lucky stars every day for them. I am so blessed. I think the medication is working too, I’m not as jittery as I was. There are good days and bad days but I have found a few things that are helping me deal with it.
A few weeks ago I went to CBT, this was just for an assessment. In the same week I went for counselling. It was suggested that I just stick to one because they can be conflicting. At the moment I’ve decided to carry on with the counselling, I feel this is helping me more at the moment. That’s not to say I won’t go back to the CBT but at the moment I’m not in the right frame of mind.
I can’t praise the lady who I went to counselling for enough, in the space of an hour she got me. She suggested I read a book ‘When Panic Attacks’ by Aine Tubridy. Right after our session I went to the library and there was the book staring me in the face. I read it in a couple of days and my goodness did it tick all the boxes! I realised I wasn’t going mad! I would recommend the book if you are having anxiety, it’s so well worth reading and it’s helped me get my head around how I’m feeling.
The counselling I’m going to is at St. Michael’s in Sligo. I’m still waiting for a HSE appointment but I was lucky to get in at St. Michael’s. The sessions are an hour once a week and you donate what you can afford which is fantastic. I couldn’t afford to go private so this is perfect for me. I also find the sessions so helpful, they make me think about what could have caused this and how to deal with it. St. Michael’s was suggested by my lovely friend who read one of my first blogs – I’m so grateful to hear.
Another thing I’ve started is drama therapy, I’ve just had my first session and found it very interesting. It’s a much more hands on way of dealing with feelings and I love the way that you can ‘leave’ the worries in the room. I’m looking forward to my next session already.
My biggest problem was my lack of sleep. I tried the breathing exercises which several people have recommended but the minute I start thinking about breathing I panic! Then I start gasping for breath so that isn’t helping. I do need to work on this and I will. The thing that does help me sleep though, and this probably sounds odd, is that I name places that begin with each letter of the alphabet. For instance A = Armagh, B = Boyle and so on. I can only get to M and I’m asleep so that’s brilliant.
I’ve also started thinking about the alphabet when I’m in a queue as this is very stressful for me and thinking about something else really helps. So thank you to the lady on my blog who suggested this. I also pinch between my thumb and my finger which apparently is a reflexology point for anxiety, thanks to my friend at work for suggesting this.
So those are a few things that have helped me and I hope they might help others. I’ve also had some lovely messages from people that have also been really appreciated because I am starting to feel like a bit of a loner. The silence can be deafening at times. Anyway mind yourselves and don’t be afraid to speak up – if only to one person. You’ll be surprised at how many people are going through a similar thing…oh and don’t mind the people who tell you to cop on or cheer up. They clearly have never felt like this. I’ll keep you updated.