I had been dreading getting in the car and going anywhere for almost a week. I was building it up, and up, and up. I kept feeling like because I hadn’t been working on my driving, I was going to go back to not being able to drive at all, and definitely started going in a downward spiral.
I had really wanted to go get smoothies with Rex, but instead decided I would just drive around the block a bit and see how that felt.
Once I started driving, something clicked and I was like, “oh right, this really isn’t bad… I was just falling back into old anxious thinking patterns.” So I kept driving around the neighborhood, and did end up getting those smoothies.
I drove quite a lot for two days in a row, and that felt really good. The more I do things, the more I expose myself to the things I’m afraid of, the less afraid I am of those things and the more I can feel my world expanding.
A few weeks ago I was walking around the neighborhood with my therapist, and she said something that was helpful and stuck with me.
“It’s like you’re in a box, and every time you go out, you’re pushing on the edges of the box, and expanding it.”
So I’ve been thinking about that, how every time I keep working on going out, on going new places (or even old ones), I’m expanding my box and making my world bigger. I don’t need to push too hard, and even though it’s gradual progress doesn’t mean it’s no progress at all.
One quote that resonates with me is, “perception changes reality.” And it really is true. The way we think about things can make all the difference. Anyone suffering from panic disorder knows this well.
Anyway, pushing the box feels good, and in the process I feel like my perception of reality is changing – and that feels really good.
Today I did a bit of driving on my own, just around the neighborhood. I feel kind of weird driving around the same block a bunch, but every time I do it feels less scary. Every time I do it, it’s easier. And then it gets boring. And then I get excited, because I wanted driving to feel boring and normal for so long. Boring I can live with. Terrifying, I can’t.
Anyway, I’ve been getting into the habit of ending my blog posts with music. I kind of like that. I love music. Music is rad.
I’ve been playing on my acoustic guitar a bit lately. I like making up silly songs on it, or sometimes learning songs that I like and playing them.
Here’s a song I was singing and playing on my guitar today. (Clearly, this is not me in the video)
“And well I’ve been thinking things. Thinking things that I just hope are true. Like maybe, you don’t choose punk rock because… Punk rock chooses you!”