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Feel the fear and...

We all know how much I enjoy my beloved Brewberry's don't we? I was really excited to get back to school and be able to go to coffee on my own again. But honestly, I'm scared to do it. Last time I tried, my pain went way up, and my nausea and heart rate followed.

Walking to Brewberry's isn't as easy as last year, since I have to walk nearly the entire campus to get to the street I walk along to get to Brewberry's. There's only one entrance to the campus which feels safe to walk through for me, and because I choose to go with what is safest, I end up backtracking when I get to the street. If there was a safe way to go straight from my dorm through the campus onto the sidewalk, it might cut some walking out of the route.

I don't want to experience a day like the one time I attempted the walk, either. I got to Brewberry's got my food and coffee and sat down. I could feel my heart going crazy (later measurements had it at 143 beats per minute), and even my attempts to decrease the pain weren't working. I came back to a dorm with few people actually there for the weekend. I didn't feel I could tell anyone what was going on. If I don't know what to do with my complex issues, I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect others to know what to do.

What I knew I didn't want was someone feeling obligated to take me to a doctor. I see the Kidney Specialist on Thursday, and will hopefully get an idea of what to do about those elevated hormone levels, and that should help with the heart rate issues. Since my heart rate has been much higher, I knew logically that this wasn't a big deal. But others might not interpret things that way.

Things worked out that weekend. But I'm still scared to walk that far, because I don't really know how my pain will respond (except for going up), or what my heart rate will do. But I'm also not a person who wants to let fear guide my choices.

I don't know whether I will try the walk, but I'm leaning toward giving it a try today. If things do get crazy again, I'll listen for someone I know, and ask their opinion of what I should do. I'm always in control. I will take the precaution of getting a baseline heart rate and blood pressure before I go and taking one when I get back. I'll also bring my Stream, so I have a relaxation exercise with me.

It's helpful when dealing with fear to have a "what if" plan. It turns "what if" into "if this happens I will..." and thus helps to put the fear into perspective. It moves thoughts toward having solutions if something scary does happen.

And, hey, I might get my coffee, which is a very important inscentive! So my question for you is, what helps you deal with fear?


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Sep. 23rd, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
I deal with fear by rationalizing it out. Unlike your fears, mine are usually completely irrational. When I do get a real, rational bout of anxiety I tend to talk to myself. Out loud. Often in a public venue. I'm certain people are convinced I am a crazy person.

I like your idea to have a contingency plan better. I think if you try it, and something does happen, your plan will work. Then next time you will know that plan works, and you won't be worried at all. Good luck!
Sep. 23rd, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
Fear & Relaxation
I have a lot of fear and anxiety that crops up in certain situations and one of the most helpful things I've found to do is to just slow down and focus on my puppy. Pet him, love him, praise him, even physically watch him for a little while. If that doesn't help calm me down, I'll find someplace to sit (even the ground if I have to) and cuddle with him and have him get on my lap. He's 100 lbs., so even part of him laying on me or laying against me, with my fingers working through his fur and loving him, is superbly calming for me.

Courageous Heart
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