It has been a struggle for me lately, and I have to remind myself of all the things I have managed to cope with during the past few weeks despite of everything.
- Today was the first whole day in weeks that I didn’t feel the need to take additional medication to cope with my anxiety. I’ve been worried about becoming addicted to them (benzodiazepines), although I have stuck with the lowest possible dosage and even cut that in half. But during my worst days I really have felt like the meds are the only thing that keep me going, because they help block out the most extreme symptoms of anxiety and make my body more relaxed. Noticing that I forgot to even think whether I should take one of those pills today is a good sign.
- I have answered the phone at work. For someone with severe phone fobia, it is a huge thing. The fact that I’ve survived those phone calls, and especially that I have not felt like giving up on my job because of the fear and embarrassment is something to feel proud of. For those that don’t understand why answering the phone can be such a big deal, it’s easy to say there is nothing to be afraid of. But when the reality is that I can hardly remember how to spell my name because of how nervous I get when talking to someone on the phone it is very difficult for me to believe that I could ever get used to handling phone calls, and avoiding them whenever possible. But actually I could have ignored the phone calls at work and just not done that part of the job, so I need to tell myself I have in fact taken some important steps and achieved something.
- I have had actual real conversations with my colleagues recently, and I have felt like I can be a ‘normal’ person who can socialize and not be so freaking awkward all the time.
- I have also dragged myself outside and have not stayed in bed all day. Although I have cried, instead of crying in bed I have cried behind my sunglasses, sitting in the park eating my lunch. I have felt sad, and at breaking point at times, but I have gathered myself together and told myself those tears aren’t a sign of weakness, they are a way to release my anxiety and are a part of my recovery.