Journal Entry January 7, 2013
Dr. F enrolled me in a six-week program at the hospital to help me learn how to cope and deal with my life. I didn’t want to do it, but I figured if I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, I couldn’t say I was doing my best to help myself. I don’t know why I want to help myself. I don’t feel like I deserve to have help. I am enormously embarrassed at the thought that I need help, and yet I would be the first to say how hopeless I am at the art of living life well. At the art of living life at all. I just want to curl up and go away forever.
After we finished a session this afternoon and we were on another break, I began to panic. Thoughts flew through my mind. What should I be working on…thinking about? What are other people working on…thinking about? What did I just learn? Words swirled around in my head in a smoky haze that left my throat and mouth dry. I couldn’t think through the fog. I strove to clear the cloudiness that surrounded my brain, but instead of dissipating, it intensified. With it came a pounding sensation that threatened to split my head apart. I could feel my blood pulsing, as my heart began to race. I felt like I was suffocating and the sweat began to trickle down my forehead and at the back of my neck. Suddenly I knew I had to leave the room, so I exploded from my seat, flung open two sets of doors and flew to the bitter cold outside. The wind rushed to greet me and I breathed deeply in, saturating my lungs with icy cold air. I stood out there breathing for awhile, opening and closing my eyes until my breath regulated and my heart slowed down. When I finally went in I felt more calm, and all thoughts had vacated my head.
I feel far removed from the people in my group. They talk about friends; jobs; relationships. About how they are changing themselves. About how they are using the tools the program has taught them in their lives today. And I was in bed the entire weekend. How to break this pattern? Do as N says and just, “DO!”? But I lack the physical energy. I am exhausted just having to get out of bed or off of the couch to let my dog S out and then back inside again. They talk about setting boundaries in relationships…I don’t even know what my own boundaries are! And the only relationships I am a part of right now are within my immediate family. “Boundaries,” they parrot. “Boundaries accompanied with assertion”
Daily life is overwhelming for me. Daily life IS overwhelming me. I get increasingly lost in the everyday activities that other people move through with apparent ease. Why am I unable to cope? Why do I need sessions to assist me in this area? Why am I not moving forward with the cohorts in my group? I seem to be missing the point of the program. I seem to be missing the point, period.
December 22, 2016
Asking for help has never been an area that I excelled in. To this day, I struggle with putting myself first in order to get my needs met. But I believe that the ability to look after myself adequately depends greatly on knowing that I deserve to be happy and that I have the right to live a full and rewarding life. I am growing more comfortable with these thoughts at present, and I feel that I am moving ahead.
Anxious times occur less and less, and when I do experience them, I am usually able to work through them until they are dispelled. Deep breathing, positive affirmations, and meditative moments all help to relieve me of my anxiety. It is a terrible thing to be incapacitated by fear and angst. These emotions have crippled me until I have been rendered incapable of forward action. They have strangled the life out of me on countless occasions, leaving me prone and unable to function. My goal is to live free of fear, which is a massive undertaking on my part, as fear has paralyzed me in every area of my life in the past. I could even say I have been afraid of fear itself. I am determined, however, to come to terms with it so I can own my life in its entirety.
I now understand I am worthy of a good life…a great life. I am terrifically lucky to have been born in a place where this is a possibility. And I am forever grateful for the help I have received along the way.