Here's the thing... I'm on stress leave from work for a month. Lot's of little things piled up that just became too much. Work demands high with little direction/supports... family members sick... helping friends go through stressful times... but the scariest moment... baby brother had a heart attack that, even as I type this, the lump in the throat has returned. From his first day, I have protected my baby brother... it's what big sister's do but I couldn't protect him from this.
Welcome the return of the panic attacks in full force. I was able to manage them quite easily with deep breaths and a short walk... but not this time. It all came crashing down and thankfully, my doctor let me whimper in his office with no pressure to hurry up. And I realized this... Anxiety/panic attacks are not signs of weakness. They're signs of having tried to remain strong for too long.
Hiding has become very easy. I'm a true introvert. I'd rather curl up on the sofa and knit than be with people. Being with people all day is exhausting for me as I have to be "up" all the time. Oh, I can do it... chairing meetings/managing projects/talking to people is all part of my job and I'm reasonably good at. But because I do it all day means there are times when I want none of it on my free time. Hiding for an introvert is really easy... an introvert suffering with panic attacks and hiding becomes a coping mechanism all be it a poor one.
Not this time... oh, I will hide for a wee bit in order to restore, find by balance and strengthen my resilience but I won't retreat into myself so much so that I can't escape. Time with friends... visiting local spots... exercising (insert grimace face here) and knitting (surprise)! Lots and lots of knitting... learning new skills... conquering techniques... and knitting just for me!
Here's the hardest part I will commit to... posting three things each day that help me come out of hiding... three ordinary little things that help me come back to me.
- disclosing that I am in hiding
- having a yarn stash so I can shop from home
- date tonite with my niece at the gym
Now... if only I could retreat to my heartland...