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okay. i am alone in the office with two boys. i thought i would be… 
12th-Jan-2006 10:50 am
okay. i am alone in the office with two boys. i thought i would be okay, but now i'm feeling ucky. tense. fearful. breathing shallow and weird. jumpy.
i did the "hold your finger" thing that the councelor lady said to do. i don't remember which finger she said to hold for what feeling, but i tried the thumb. it worked a little. i just went to the bathroom and i stayed in there for a little while. i couldn't get myself to open the door for a few minutes.
it's not really effecting my work or outward appearance, but i feel... scared?
i mean, i'm not scared of these boys, i know them and have worked with them before. but, this time boss-lady isn't in the office with me. i don't know why i feel like this but i feel like i'm hyperventalataing. breathe - breathe - breathe!
i cannot continue like this. it isn't healthy. i HAVE to be able to work with boys if needed. oh gawd, what do i do? this cannot continue.
everything looks kinda black round the edges - no, not really, it just feels that way. my eyes are going wonky. back muscles are tense and hurty. my heart's going a mile a minute.
i can't seem to breathe or relax.
they're just boys. they're harmless and wouldn't even *touch* me with a pinky finger. i have GOT to calm down.

just sharing, i suppose. gotta get it all out. any advice on how to calm down and get back to reality - logical reality - that i can do in the office?

12th-Jan-2006 11:13 am (UTC)
::hugs:: It's good to get it out, and it's good that your logic knows that you are pretty safe with these boys. Emotions sometimes will do their own thing regardless of logic (after all, emotions by their very nature ignore all common sense and logic - they're there to feel)

Doing the grounding tactics that your counselor suggested is good - touch *anything* that you can, feel the fabric of your office chair, say in your head the colors of everything around you - knowing where you are can help remind our bodies that we are not back in a situation in which we've been attacked (here's hoping you weren't attacked at work!).

If the thought of the boss lady being with you calms you, try to imagine she's there - or try to imagine that some of us are there with you. Find a good picture of a Big Momma Black bear and put it up in your office - so you can see the big protective me watching out for you. Put some music on in your office (at office level volume, of course) that reminds you of people who you feel safe with. Take a walk to the outside air for a minute and get some good, fresh air, sometimes that, too, can be grounding.

And I've found that nothing grounds me and centers me more than drinking a lot of water - a few sips every couple minutes gets me very focused on myself, how my body feels, etc. and can help flush out all my panic chemicals a bit faster.

::big hugs:: See the grizzly momma in my icon? She's sitting on your shoulder, with the same "Oh, just fucking try it" face. Even if the boys turned out to be weird alien versions of them and tried to hurt you... that momma bear would so *totally* kick their butts ;)
12th-Jan-2006 11:47 am (UTC)
Picure of bear (in my head) - CHECK
Music playing - CHECK
Breathing slowly - CHECK
Touching things that are real around me to bring me back into focus - CHECK

This post helped me to get into focus a little, too. Just to think about how I was feeling and try to gather myself.

The boys went out for lunch and I'm leaving the office in about 2hrs for a doc appointment, so I think I'll be okay. Just 2 more hours and I'll be okay. I'll be okay.
12th-Jan-2006 02:35 pm (UTC)
::big hugs::
12th-Jan-2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
Panic is one of the hardest things; it defies our logical attempts to sooth and reassure, no matter how okay we know we are intellectually. Anything your councilers have given you that works for you is great, but additionally I'll share some things I found that help me.

First off, I breath. Taking deep breaths, focusing on feeling my diaphram expand and contract. Progressive relaxation can be easy to do in an office: one group of muscles at a time tighten and relax. Start and your toes and work to your head. I once had someone tell me that anxiety can't live in a relaxed body, and I think it's true. Our emotions are tied to our physical beings, so we can skip the logic sometimes if it refuses to listen and cheat the panic by having our bodies relax. This also helps when I feel floaty, it's a ritual that brings me back into my body and the present moment. I origionally learned this in an acting class as a tecnique to help us be "present" on stage.

sistaraven had great suggestions on visualizations and some good logic. Anything you can do to ground and center will be helpful. I like to eat nuts or chocolate or bread, or drink tea. I look for patterns in my work so I can stay connected to what I'm trying to do; the rhythm of typing or my tone of voice on the phone. Anything to take me out of how dangerous the entire world feels right now and back into how to do what I'm supposed to be doing. I imagine that the person I'm talking to (because I have to field a lot of phone calls somedays) is as scared as I am and present myself as a pillar of strength using just my voice.

Live journal always helps me on the bad days. I'll post, or refresh continously, because reading about other people's days help give me that little added perspective. It reminds me (because I forget) that there are people in the world who aren't scary strangers or scary coworkers or scary patients.

I hope that you can find an anchor. It does get easier as you find things that work for you. Self-calming is a skill. Just like any other it can be learned and will improve with practice. I know that may not help today, but it can be a hopeful thought.

Be safe,
16th-Jan-2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
I had anxiety problems for quite some time, generalized that tended to fixate on various and sundry. Then I'd obsess over the various and sundry, and have ongoing panic attacks.

What started them was real enough. However, for me, helping to end them came from some pretty surprising sources:

1-I eliminated caffeine over a two week period, gradually lessening my daily dose, and switching out caffeinated for non- one daily drink at a time. For the more generalized form of anxiety, I think that this was really the most helpful thing I did. I hadn't realized that I was downing five or six cups of coffee or the equivalent a day, but I sure could feel the difference when I stopped. It was frankly the next thing to a miracle.

2-I make very sure to properly medicate all possible strep infections, including sore throats. I tend toward them, and these HAVE been found to adversely affect the brain in some cases, possibly leading to obsessive compulsive behaviours and the anxiety that can go with this. Looking back, I have noted correlations between very bad sore throats, and the beginning of various episodes. Since taking better care of myself, I've not had a major problem.

3-Yogic breathing techniques. Take a very good yoga class that includes breathing exercises. These can help you get panic feelings under control.

4-Reminding myself that fear is transitory, as are problems. Often, the fear of whatever it is is worse than the event itself.

5-Facing my fears in empowering ways. My major form of PTSD and anxiety was actually based in driving, from a very real accident, and a number of events that occurred around it, and put me in the position to be in it, including having been sexually assaulted. (It was a mess.). I drove every day. I drove safely, and well. I kept driving, until the fear ended. I rode with people I knew to be safe drivers, and refused to get in the car with people I knew not to be. Don't ever put yourself in danger, but you can face the irrational portion of your fears in ways that will empower you, and the more familiar you become with what is really a safe situation, the more the fear will fade. Also, try not to fear the fear itself, or the attacks. It's not the end of the world if someone notes that you seem on edge.

8th-Feb-2006 10:55 am (UTC)
Thank you.

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