Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Therapy Tuesday: Anxiety and what Beta is teaching me

My anxiety is almost reaching it's peak. I'm exhausted and tired and almost ready to give up and quit caring altogether. I feel like I can only fight for so long before it doesn't matter anymore.
I know this is probably blind-siding most of you readers. I typically don't like to blog about this stuff.
  1. 1. I find it embarrasing because I know I am a strong person, I'm just being beaten at life
  2. 2. I don't think anyone really wants to hear about it.
So, if you fit into category 2, stop reading now.

I've been taking my B-complex as suggested by the naturopath and it's been helping. I don't get anxiety attacks as often. If you remember back when my fiancé first left for work, they were happening really frequently. I remember thinking they were caused because of his being gone 10 days at a time, dealing with a brand new puppy and learning to cope with living alone most of the month. Now this isn't an expert opinion by any means, but I think that was just the jumping off point.
I've been stressed and on my way to a burn out since last year. (I won't go into details as it's work related, and I do want to protect myself out here in internet-land.) The stress has mounted slowly and when my life changed drastically without warning, it exploded into some sort of monster I was not equipped to handle.
Frenchie has been doing his work rotations coming up to 5 months now. I've gotten used to the way things are, I've learned to deal with raising our puppy on my own when he's away. It's life, and I'm used to it. Yes, I still get sad and think about how nice it will be when he's back home. Yes, I still cry a little when I think of something fun he's missing. That's normal, that's not what it was like in the beginning. I've even gotten used to planning our wedding with only his input by email or phone, or waiting until he's home.
The main anxiety and stress source goes much deeper and it took something drastic to happen and subside for me to see that. I have no way of knowing how to deal with this issue now since it doesn't seem to be in my control.
Am I at the point where I need to move on to something new in my life? Frenchie will be always be there to support me and he's said we'll get through whatever happens together and make it work. I'm at a crossroads and I'm staring at it from a mile down the road. I'm not ready to choose my life's direction just yet. There's a lot of ground for me to cover first, starting with what I really want out of life.

Beta has taught me a few things over the past couple of weeks. I'm taking a Canine Communication class and learning to recognize signs of stress and how to help Beta get through those situations. She's a very timid dog and this is a big problem for taking her to new places and introducing her to new people.
The first class, we talked about "Calming Signals". These are things the dog does in order to calm themselves down when they are feeling stressed.
  • avoid eye contact, turn head away, turn body away, walk away
  • displacement - this is when you think your dog is ignoring you because they go off and do something else when you're upset with them for some reason.
I look at those two things and think they might be useful for humans. Displacement is something we all do anyways, without even realizing it.  We distract ourselves by doing something else, or changing the conversation when we feel we are becoming stressed or see a situation coming that could be stressful.
Interesting how the canine language would be useful for humans to use too.