One of the things I’ve been doing to deal with my anxiety lately has been live texting Red Sox games to my mom. Watching baseball with my family is one of my better memories from my childhood. Neither of us are really into it now but this year the Red Sox are doing great in first place. Most of the games are really exciting because they have the most come from behind wins than any other team this year. They usually do it in the late innings so it is even more fun. She says I am good at calling the play by play. Like I said she wasn’t into it at first but now I have her staying up past her bedtime. Last night was another good one. They were losing 4-3 for most of the game when they got a man on in the 8th inning. Verdugo was at the plate and he is clutch so I opened my eyes. He worked it to a 3-1 count. The pitcher couldn’t walk him with a man on in a one run game. He had to throw a strike. I watched Verdugo standing there and he knew it and I knew it. If that pitcher throws a strike he is hitting it outta there. Sure enough, right over the plate and BOOM! He hit a no-doubter! Red Sox win. My anxiety was still out of control but it was a good distraction.
Finally, last night I had enough. My mind had been going non stop all day every day for at least a week. I couldn’t think of any way to catch a break and it was getting worse. I didn’t think that was possible. I was all out of ideas. I said fuck this shit! I rolled on to my side, put my hand on my cat and pulled in a solid breath, down to my diaphragm and said, You are stressing yourself out for no reason and let out the air. My anxiety started to chatter with, it’s not going to work, what if? But? And all of the impossible possibilities. I shut that shit right down. I’m done reasoning with anxiety. I thought, Too complicated, have to simplify. I changed it to, Stressing for no reason, with each breath in and out. My anxiety tried to say, You can’t breathe like this forever. I said, Fuck you, I’ll breathe like this for the rest of my life if I have to. After about two minutes I couldn’t believe it started working. I kept going. I five minutes I couldn’t believe it. My anxiety was all but gone. I didn’t trust it, so I kept it up. Finally I tested it out. I could think straight. Now as soon as any doubt creeps in, I immediately start again and shut it down. I had to do it again this morning but it was a lot easier. I can’t believe I hadn’t tried that. I know it helps but I haven’t had to deal with such intense anxiety for a long time. I stopped practicing for a long time. I remember when I used to do it I could get my breathing down to 3 cycles a minute. I would do it even if I had no anxiety because it made me so relaxed.
Here is an example of how bad I was getting. One morning last week I was doing okay and I started talking to myself. You’ve been chugging gallons of water a day for years. In a few minutes you are going to start with the water and wonder why you suddenly drinking so much. It’s nothing new. Then you are going to worry why you started pissing so much. It’s nothing new. Sure enough 4 bottles later and I had to stop drinking it. Anxiety was out of control for the rest of the day! What am I supposed to do? Never drink water?
Today has been much better. I am relieved.