Mandala Day 9, Maybe a Good Day?, Managing Anxiety

Mandala Day 9

mandala 9

The daily photos of my mandalas are reminding me of how my camera is slowly dying.  It is well-used, has taken more than one tumble and has been dropped into a side-of-the-driveway snowbank causing fine bits of dirt to get into the telescoping part of the lens.  Coaxing it to take good pictures can be a challenge, and sometimes, it just won’t even turn on!  I think it is time to replace it.  I have high hopes for the Amazon Prime sale on the 15th…perhaps I will get a really good deal!

Maybe a Good Day?

I don’t know why, but at the moment, I am feeling kind of chipper.  I took the dogs on our usual morning walk and just felt more alive this morning than usual.. The air was fresh and cool, the birds were singing…I was noticing the ferns and wildflowers beside the road and appreciating their beauty.  I even felt like I had energy! Not too shabby for walking as the sun is rising! The dogs wanted to go on side-road off of our usual route, so we did.  I forgot how pretty it is up there….very nice houses and they all have amazing mountain views. I peeked through the trees as we walked, just enjoying the view…even through the morning haze.  One house up there faces the mountain straight on….they have a meadow that drops away from the house, so their view is phenomenal.  So lovely!

I snapped a picture, of some foothills beside the mountain….the mountain was too blocked by the trees and houses to get a good picture.

morningmtnYou can see the haziness in the picture….It has the makings of a hot and muggy day!

Managing Anxiety

A few weeks into my sessions with the Art Therapist, he observed that I spend a lot of energy to manage my anxiety.  I had never thought of it like that, I mean, I do what I need to do to get by…to function….and I never really realized what that meant, but I have been paying attention for the past few months and it is clear that I totally work my day-to-day life around my anxiety. I think there is a difference between me managing my anxiety and my anxiety managing me…and I don’t think I do a very good job (yet) of differentiating who is in charge.  Actually, I think the anxiety may be running the show and I am just hanging on for the ride, trying to work my life around it so as to not flare it up.

I have a very strong anxious response to going in public, stores and especially the grocery store.  Usually we grocery shop first thing in the morning on Saturday or Sunday.  You know why?  Because that is the most comfortable time for me to shop.  The store is not very busy, certainly no crowds, and I can manage my anxiety quite nicely because of that.  A couple of times recently, we varied from my strict routine and I had anxiety attacks.  It was pretty stressful and made the next time I went to the stores harder because I had added to my negative association of going out.  But you know what? I never understood that I shop early in the morning to manage my anxiety until I started paying more attention to it.  I manage my other errands in a similar way, I will run them during the week when the stores are less crowded.  Even with Art Therapy, which is in the City, I prefer morning appointments because that way when I walk from the parking garage to the building, I have to run into fewer people.  (And this is totally an example of my dysfunction because the Art Therapist’s office is next to the parking garage. So, I only have to walk down the side of the building from the garage and then halfway down the front to the door….And yet in that short distance I can feel overloaded by people.)

Today, I am challenging my anxiety.  Dh wants to go to an open studio event as he has a friend whose art is being displayed.  I usually balk about this kind of thing….I am kind of a kill joy because I let my anxiety make the rules….but this time, I decided to just do it!  And yes, I am worried about how crowded it will be and if I will know people there, and yes, we will be going in the morning  (but not early since it starts at 10), but I am going to go and I might even have a good time!

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