Mentally it has been a difficult year for me. I was so upset with the USA presidential election results. I’m still edgy and upset and scared of the damage being done to my land and our relationships with other countries.
A week before the election I had a major anxiety attack. This started in late evening, I went to bed and woke up feeling the walls closing in. I thought it was a heart attack. I waited and while I understood mentally that I was breathing and alive I felt that I could not breath. Called 911, the operator was kind and stayed with me until the ambulance arrived. The police also arrived a moment later. I live in the boro and response is quick. When transferring me to the ER, the EMT gave my problem as classic anxiety attack. Again I was put on oxygen and the hospital staff and doctor took good care of me. Five hours later I called for a taxi and was back home.
I took the doctor’s advice and found a therapist. The first therapist was not a good fit for me. I spoke to the office and changed to another therapist. This time it is a good fit and I have been seeing her once a week for 10 months. Now we are going to try every other week and then taper off.
We are now working on my controlling my anxiety (over future events that I have no control over) and staying in the present. Finding joy in each day, however small that joy might be.
What has helped me is a new friend.
In my water exercise class I overheard a lady talking about going to a museum. Bravely for me, I asked if I could join them. A few weeks later we had a grand time visiting the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown Pa. From there Sandy and I started enjoying day trips to Bombay Hook Wildlife Sanctuary in Delaware, another time to a well known Amish shopping area, etc. It’s not every week but whenever we feel like taking a day trip. We are both in our 70’s, mentally I call us “slow and slower”, we both walk slowly and take many sit-downs along the way. Sandy has a positive attitude, and is determined to visit places far and near. When she broke her ankle and was unable to walk and was in rehab for months she promised herself that when she was able to walk again she would not stop. She hasn’t stopped.
Am I cheerful and joyful all the time. Not yet, I’m working on it. Over the weekend because of rainy weather my plans changed. I was not as Eeyore as usual and adapted to the change. I had the fun of playing miniature golf in the dark with my grandkids, we used creative math scoring so we all won, the fun of playing an arcade game for the first time in my life, and the joy of watching Maria win 499 tickets on a game she played. And the joy of watching her and her younger brother pick out “prizes” with their won tickets. I am learning that happiness can be found in many ways, and that happiness makes me smiles, lowers my anxiety, and while I can’t change the election results, I can be happy in my own life.