Amongst 55 kids at the gym

Soooo…exposure therapy. A great opportunity is presenting itself as I type this post. There are 55 kids from Orchard Elementary School at the climbing gym all around me right now. I have trouble with crowds. I have trouble with chaos. This situation has plenty of both. I’m exposing myself to the anxiety of this situation in an attempt to better cope with my anxiety and, at times, panic in these situations. There’s too much noise, too much movement, too much stimulation in general for me to handle and not have my PTSD kick in. Trust me, it’s kicking in hard. I’m sitting smack in the middle of this, but that’s what I’m going to have to do to get better at coping with these types of circumstances. I want to be able to actually climb at competitions, and this situation that I’m in right now is very similar to what I feel during comps. I have such a hard time with this. I’m not giving up, though. The Doc says that I have to stay in the anxiety-provoking situation until the anxiety abates. It takes me a long time. Right now, I’m on the verge of panic. I feel sick. Panic attack seems imminent. Breathing deeply, trying to focus on this blog post right now. Trying to stay in the moment and present. Very difficult. Noise. Movement everywhere. Too many people. Have to stay, though. Can’t leave, or it reinforces the behavior I’m trying to modify in a negative way. This is crazy. I feel like my mind is coming unhinged. Here comes the panic…

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