Yesterday I hit another mini milestone. I went to IHOP for brunch. I used to love breakfast and ever since my last flare up of anxiety I have been avoiding anything that was the least bit heavy or daunting. So for me to suggest going to breakfast where I knew there would be a big plate of eggs, bacon and French toast was taking a small risk. Granted I went with Ty who is my support person and I was a little anxious while I was there, but I ate a lot (I was hungrier than I realized) and the food was so yummy. So hooray for me :) I am trying to enjoy myself while things are going well because I know that at anytime I could lose my bearings and fall... again.
When I had my major setback in Hawaii, I was crushed. I thought I had come so far and had accomplished so much and I had lost it all. In fact I thought I was worse off than before I started because I had a panic attack almost everyday. I would wake up nauseous and it wouldn’t leave until the evening or until I threw up, whichever came first.
When I got home and it was still there I felt like a total failure.
My therapist told me that I shouldn’t think of a set back as having to start back at square one. There is knowledge that we have gained that doesn’t leave us. There is also some good in analyzing our setbacks and figuring out why we think it happened and what we could have done better to prevent it.
I learned from my last setback to not get caught up in the idea that I am cured and don’t need to properly prepare myself for triggering situations. I left without enough medication, which was not smart. So I know now that no matter how good I feel I always want to have a back up plan just in case.
So if you are in the midst of a break down and are beating yourself up for it, don’t. You are learning something valuable right now and you just have to figure out what it is.