Me vs. Grocery I win!

So, remember when I said I've had a challenging couple of years that I hoped to reveal to you by bits and pieces over time? Yes, well, today I am offering a piece to you. Several years ago I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which I currently take prescription medicine for and go to therapy to help deal with it. The anxiety I struggle with is debilitating, and it has been for many, many years. I am happy to say that the medicine and therapy combined has helped me a great deal. Why am I talking about this right now? Because I made a progressive step today. It's a big deal for me and I wanted to share it. The biggest problem for me with my anxiety has been the fact that I am overwhelmed extremely easily. By the very smallest thing. One of my biggest triggers is shopping. Mainly grocery shopping, that's the worst one. I have had many, many panic attacks before, during, and after grocery shopping. I have had to leave a full shopping cart in the store before, without buying a single thing because I couldn't be in that building one more minute. I've experienced nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, fear, hot and cold flashes, physical shaking in the aisles of the grocery store. Due to this problem, I've had to plan grocery shopping out very carefully and cautiously. I dread going. I have to go at a particular time of day. Usually late morning while Becca is in school. Becca absolutely cannot go with me, it doubles my stress levels having her there. I have to plan a certain day when I am going to go so I give myself days to emotionally and mentally prepare that I'm going. I have to bring a list with me and never steer away from it while I shop. This has all been discussed in therapy as well. In the past, a trip to the grocery store would ruin me for the entire day. I would have to lay on the couch for the remainder of the night because it was such an ordeal to me I couldn't deal with anything else or go anywhere else. Only one outing per day. One store. One errand. Anything more than that was too much. Also, I do everything in one store. If it's not there, then we go without it until the next time I go grocery shopping. If it's for a recipe, then I don't make that recipe and I put the rest of those ingredients back, because the thought of having to go to another store for something is too overwhelming, it would make me want to go home and take a nap. The reason I am telling you all of this is to help you understand the step I made today. Today I had to go grocery shopping. I made my list last night and I was ready to go. I went to the store and calmly went through the aisles and stuck to my list. It was not busy there, which is important. There can not be a lot of people when I grocery shop. When I finished and was ready to check out, I knew there were 6 items that they didn't have that I needed. Normally, I just would go home because I couldn't wait to get out of there. I went to the checkout and paid for my things. Put it all in the car and I decided that I was going to go to another store on the way home to get those six things. And I did. With no stress or anxiety or panic. I did it! I am so proud of myself. For keeping calm and doing what I needed to do and not letting my worry and over-analyzing and control issues get the better of me. I didn't even have to go home and prepare myself before going back out again! So, I just wanted to share my little happy news of the day. I am thankful for these little baby steps. That's how I'm where I am today. So, so thankful. I never thought I would be here. When you're in that overwhelmed and stressed out place in your mind, it's hard to see the other side. It feels like it will always be that way and there is no coming out of it. So, feeling that heaviness for so many years, I am thankful when I don't feel that. Because the dark, heavy, fearful feeling is most familiar to me. Happiness, joy, peace, calm....those are very unfamiliar to me, those are my goals to feel again, even just for a moment. So each time I get one, it's like a gift. Don't take those for granted. I don't.


dolls220 said...

Awww Lain.....I am so excited for you. These baby steps are like milestones for you and I share in your joy. You're getting better every day. Stay strong..Stay positive. I love you

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