My reasons for this post are twofold: I wanted to talk a little bit about overcoming fears, and I wanted to brag a little bit about the fact that I’m making progress on some of my own anxiety.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a panic attack while driving in a blizzard last week (yes, again, not an unusual place to have a panic attack I suppose!). Even though that experience was pretty horrible for me, I am proud to say that I again drove through another snowstorm across those same 90 miles today.
Am I happy that there was another snowstorm? Heck no–I kind of hate winter, and especially this year, as we’ve literally had one or two snowstorms EVERY WEEK.
Am I suggesting you do something ridiculous like finding your own blizzard or tornado to drive in, just to prove you can do it? Definitely NOT. The only reason I drove today was because I had to; I had to get back home so I can go back to work tomorrow. But I stayed calm the entire time I drove, despite the fact that there were literally 20 cars in the ditch on the way (several of them involved in four separate accidents).
Granted, if I would have known about all those accidents, I probably would have just taken a personal day from work. But the fact of the matter is that by the time I knew how bad the road conditions were (again), I was already on them. The important thing was staying calm so I was in the right kind of condition to drive safely. I made sure I was breathing properly and keeping my muscles reasonably relaxed. I didn’t allow negative thoughts to sit in my mind. I stayed focused, patient, and cautious: The biggest reason for all of those accidents was because only one lane of traffic was free of snow, and so when people who were in a hurry used the passing lane, they would send up a mini-blizzard of the white stuff that made it impossible for everyone who was behind them to see. So I guess, like in everything else, there is a balance that must be struck–you can’t be afraid to live your life, but you shouldn’t be careless, either.
If nothing else, the experience was a reminder that all of the work I’ve done emotionally is truly working. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the things I do today. Anxiety can be overcome, as long as you’re committed to working on it.
I just wish it didn’t take so many snowstorms for me to be able to prove it to myself!
In one of my next posts I’ll tell you all about how you can start tracking (and thereby understanding, and working on) your own anxiety. But until then, here’s hoping you’re having some better weather!