Panic - anxiety - fear
I was doing okay, and then the anxious thoughts flooded my mind. Honestly, it's not so much of a thought as it is a feeling, mainly triggered by my work schedule and having to drive to work. It seems to be cyclical. I deep breathe, I change/ reframe my thoughts, and do my best to relax, but sometimes the fear gets ahead of me, and the overwhelm comes. I keep talking to myself and God, relying on His strength to help me stay composed and not panic.
I don't like being in the car, I don't like driving, and I don't like when other people drive me around. When the anxiety is high, I almost feel claustrophobic. I feel restricted. In those moments, I am truly trying to talk myself down. No one knows it. I am calm as a clam on the outside but feel as though I'm coming unglued on the inside. I do my best to hold it all together, to stay rational, and to drive safely.
There have been times when I felt my limbs (arms) were going to turn into jelly and go limp. This sensation happened over ten years ago before I started feeling anxious about driving, but as I'm going through this program, I'm asking myself if it could have been anxiety, and I didn't know it. There have also been times more recently when I feel disoriented on the road, especially while the car is at a standstill, where I feel like my car is moving forward, but it's not. This terrifies me because I feel like I will hit the car in front of me even though my foot is hard-pressing the break. As I have been reading the material, I understand why people want to avoid these fearful situations because of the fear of being out of control. I totally get it!
Ashley, or anyone else for that matter, have you ever heard of anyone feeling this way or describing these symptoms? How do I cope? How do I conquer this? I keep pushing myself because I refuse to be a victim of this. I have to overcome, so off to the reading material I go.