I went to bed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 early. The next day I was scheduled to begin a new intensive outpatient program with Roger’s Memorial Hospital. An exposure therapy program whose principles align with cognitive behavioral therapy. This new therapy focuses on the behavior rather than the cognitive. Naturally, I was anxious about starting a new program. I made practice trips for two weeks to make sure I could drive there without major panic issues. It’s a distance from my home and beyond my comfort zone. Ironically, I was able to begin the program by utilizing it’s very practices to ensure I could get there for treatment.
I was shocked when I awoke on Wednesday morning and learned our country had chosen Donald Trump to lead it. Talk about anxiety. Overnight the world changed and it changed based on fear. Fear and I have a working relationship and I can tell you that the fear that changed our country is not the same fear I fight every day as someone with panic disorder.
I don’t fear change, but I do fear the kind of change that’s based on hatred, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, et.al. This vicious election cycle and its horrendous outcome have shaken me and given me reason to worry about the rights and privileges of myself, my friends, minorities, women, and all marginalized groups. It has placed a layer of icing on my multilayered cake of anxiety and panic disorders.
It was tough to begin a new treatment for panic disorder and agoraphobia on a day when I literally didn’t want to leave my house. Once I fully processed the current events I had to, by necessity, put my feelings, insecurities, and uncertainties about the future of our nation and all those at risk on my personal back burner. I have to place my own health and welfare on the front burner.
I arrived and reported for my new therapy program as scheduled. One gold star for me just for getting there. Another for fighting agoraphobic urges to leave throughout the 3 hours I had to attend.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 as the country greeted it’s new president and the world’s jaw dropped, I opened the doors to Roger’s Memorial and begin a new chapter in my journey with anxiety and panic disorders.
I will be blogging about my experiences in treatment soon. Here is a link to Roger’s Memorial for general information. Their expertise is in OCD but they are well respected in treating all forms of anxiety.