Saturday, 7 July 2012

Apparent Competence Vs Unrelenting Crisis

 So much has been going on over the last few weeks. I have been earnestly applying for internship posts, which finally paid off as I got the precious news that I have been accepted to a great service here in Dublin. 

I am still riding the wave of progress and have realized that if I allow myself to just go with the crashing, foaming tides of negative emotions that sooner or later the tempestuous waters become calm and bearable again.

Anxiety is my constant companion once again, making simple everyday tasks extremely difficult. I was startled by the stunning resident robin in my garden yesterday. He sings a morning tune to me most days yet as he fluttered up to graze on the crumbs I left for him on the window sill, I saw a black ghostly shadow then screamed aloud and scared my poor feathered friend away. Then on the bus into town this morning I felt the all too familiar experience of an oncoming panic attack. I froze. I couldn’t move from the spot I was invisibly glued to, which would have been fine if it were towards the back of the bus, out of the way, but no, I froze right in the entrance passage way staring ahead like I was witnessing a murder! Grumbles and rants from tarde commuters finally brought me to my senses and I ran off the bus and into the quite street around the corner. I burst out crying, snots and all, at the realization that my emotions are starting to control me again rather than me controlling them.

But being the borderline that I am…. my apparent competence shines through whist the unrelenting crisis’s fester away under the surface threatening to assault my passive attempt at creating a life worth living. 

You see, when I find myself amidst of fog of fear, it tends to stay with me for much longer than would be expected in those without an emotional vulnerability, making the next onslaught even more unbearable. Slow return to emotional baseline is the problematic cornerstone for me. Typically, a crisis will occur before I get a chance to return to my emotional baseline, which results in me staying very highly aroused emotionally on a continuous basis.

My therapist and I developed a plan to tackle the anxiety ambushes. I am to do a CBT thought record each time I notice a negative automatic thought. I must fight back with evidence which does not support the thought yet still validate where the fear might be coming from too. Then I create a balanced thought taking all evidence into account. This is proving to be a fantastic way to battle the thoughts.

Next I must reduce my tension through visualization and become more mindful of my body and cultivating compassion for myself. This is done with formal mindfulness meditation. I am loving John Kabit Zinn at the moment. His voice is so soothing and comforting.

Finally if I am to live the life I want to live, I must tackle the behavioral outcome of my anxiety. This involves the graded exposure I so dearly HATE. I mean I just don’t get how exposing a borderline to heightened emotions is a good thing! My heart is even racing now as I type this! I guess going for the interviews did help me get over my fear of interrogation, but I felt HORRIBLE the whole time I was doing it. Truthfully, I am pretty sure I will always feel some degree of dread when it comes to interviews, but least now I know I won’t actually DIE from them like I thought I would before. I will though, still be going as far out of my way as possible to avoid another one in the near future.

I have come to the conclusion and have RADICALLY ACCEPTED that I am always going to feel emotions to the extreme. I will always have to manage and control my urges and behaviors, but like anything; practice makes perfect.

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