FYI- i hope this makes sense because I\'m writing it in between caring for my 2 year old and she likes to ask me for something about every 2 minutes so it\'s taken me awhile to get this all down. Lol
So, since I\'ve had more issues with making it to the end of my street lately during the day with my husband gone at work to meet my kids when school is out- (Wow that was a long run on sentence lol) I\'ve started taking my dog for a walk every night.
My goal is to by the end of this school year to be ok with walking up to the school and meeting my kids and walking home with them without anxiety rearing it\'s ulgly head. My street is not terribly long. we are the 5th house from the end with about 12 houses in the direction i need to walk (the houses are on the small side). After you round the corner, the school is 3 blocks away from there.
The past few weeks I\'ve been doing really good trying to walk as far as I can during the day to meet the kids. Which I usually make it about the 8-10 house away from mine range. Any further and I get seriously dizzy and start freaking out about the dizzy and I have to start in with coping strategies so I don\'t have a fu lown attack in the middle of the street. Anyway- at night when I take the dog on a walk I can get further. Don\'t know if it\'s because my husband is home and I know he can make a run for it if he needs to or not…
I started with just walking him to the end of my street and back, then the next day a square of sidewalk further, and everyday I make myself just go a tad bit further. I\'ve gotten as far as all the way down my street, rounding the corner, crossing the first street and halfway down that block. I was doing a really good job too with this new exposure therapy until this other dog came out of nowhere from a neighbors garage and freaked the ever loving sh!t out of me. It was a pit bull, and though it was on a chain in the garage, it still barked and charged at us. This house is the first house that you see when you round the corner on my street. I was so scared I got as far away as I could and called my husband because I forgot my mase at the house. I couldn\'t make myself go any further than crossing the first street, but at the same time I couldn\'t walk my "safe" path I have made for myself back home because of the dog. So I went completely out of my comfort zone and crossed to the other side of the main street I was on- and the dog did the same thing again but I was on the other side of the street this time, and crossed back over when I got to my corner. I made it home just fine without any signs of anxiety at all. I was so proud of myself.
The next day, as I walked down the street to get the kids the anxiety hit way sooner- like 3-4 houses down from mine. But I made myself keep going. I made it all the way to the end of the street but as soon as I turned around to walk back with them, I got really dizzy, really fast, I tried my coping strategies and having my kids talk to me, but I still didn\'t think I would make it back to the house so I had to call my husband so he could talk me home. That night, I made myself walk the dog, and I made it to the end of the street and back with some anxiety but it was manageable. The next day I walked him past the house with the dog. I really really didn\'t want to, but I did it anyway. It really was a bad idea. Anyway a not so terrible (I\'ve had worse) attack happened. But I tried calling my husband on the phone and he didn\'t answer which made things worse because my head went into overdrive about how he didn\'t know I needed him and the panic just ran away with me. At that point, I just started crying and pushing myself to walk to the house because I didn\'t know what else to do…. He finally answered the second time I called and came to meet me and help me walk the rest of the way home.
Anyway, after it happened I was pretty down on myself because I had worked so hard, and this stupid dog comes along and messes everything up by scaring me.
But then my husband made me remember how far I have come. 8 months ago-When I herniated my esophagus and I couldn\'t eat anything, and had such terrible spasms in my throat that they would make me start to black out- I wouldn\'t let him leave my side. At all. When the panic and anxiety came out from that and I didn\'t feel safe doing anything on my own- I had to call people to come over and hang out with me so my husband could go to work. I only have someone come over on Thursday\' now because my oldest daughter goes to a different school that day and I don\'t trust the younger one to walk home on her own yet. So I have someone come and walk with me on those days. No one comes over during the week otherwise, now. I can now drive to the Dollar General that is 6 blocks away from my house (with my husband in the car but still), Sometimes I even drive on the street (for short distances like maybe a block) where I had my first esophageal spasm and almost blacked out and wrecked my car and then proceeded to also have my first panic attack because of it. I can now make it thru the grocery store without major anxiety and while my husband waits outside. I can make it thru Walmart without major anxiety, I can go thrift store shopping and sometimes even places I have never been to before without major anxiety and without my husband constantly at my side.
I have come so far in such a short time…. even though it feels like it\'s gone on forever and what\'s happening to me will never truly ever be done with me; I am so lucky to have a husband who reminds me of these things when I\'m feeling down on myself.
Anyway- My hope for today is that I have no anxiety as I walk. I make it to the end of the street so I can look around the corner and give that dog the middle finger (without my kids seeing of course). He can\'t stop me from my recovery! Lol!
Also I have roughly—-39 days to reach my goal. Even if I only do it the one time. Once is better than none. right?