Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Fall Down

A few evenings ago, I found myself in a heap on the floor of my new apartment, trying hard not to completely fall apart as my boyfriend knelt over me. As he held and comforted me, I tried to steady my breathing, to stay present, and to relax. I was in the midst of a panic attack, an experience that I am very familiar with. I have suffered from panic or anxiety attacks for over a decade. There was a time when I would have them as frequently as once or twice a week. Nowadays, they are infrequent. I know most of my triggers, usually highly emotional situations like funerals or intense fights. But they can also come about after stress has built up, like a pressure cooker, slowly but surely coming to a head.

The past few weeks have been a slowly- building stressful situation. I have been moving from one apartment to another as I have taken on new, highly demanding duties at work. I have not been able to consistently do the self-care that helps me manage stress, namely exercising consistently, sleeping adequately, and eating appropriately. I have known for a very long time that doing these things are good not only for my physical, but also my mental and emotional health. Yet I let life get in the way of living the way I know I need to. And I paid for it.

I’m not angry or ashamed about falling down. I’m human and I have weaknesses, as all humans do. The panic attack was a wake-up call, of sorts. It reminded me that while I am all about getting the tight body and being stronger, faster, and more flexible, I also need to be more kind and mindful of myself and my needs. I am very goal-oriented, and I have signed up for a number of races and even another marathon this year (more on that in another post). I also have booked numerous sessions with yoga and fitness studios to help me stay on track with my health and fitness goals. But I also have to know when to say no mas; that’s enough. I can’t let my ego and the need to be successful in fitness or in my career take precedence over my mental and emotional well-being.

So with that said, there is no update this month on my progress. I think that I have regressed a bit, and if I document that now, it would only be to punish and shame myself. I don’t think I need that right now, so I hope readers will understand. Next month there will be updates, with numbers and photos. In the meantime, I will try and write more about this lifelong journey that I’m on…I think things will brighten up as March commences and we thaw out from this brutal winter. I can’t wait to see what Spring brings, can you?