Let me start by saying there is also nothing wrong with staying the course, monotony in its own way can be more than just comforting. As someone dealing with anxiety when it comes to going out into public, and dealing with panic if too many new elements come into play, I firmly stand behind keeping certain safe parameters in mind. That being said, I also think that change, when handled correctly, can be truly world changing.
In particular, the way that I have found in recent weeks that change can be a good thing is in addressing that I actually have a problem. For years I have been a firm believer that I can “just get through this” and that I only need to try harder.
This flaw in my reasoning came to a head about a month ago at work. My anxiety levels had gone into hyperdrive since my bout with COVID 19, all three weeks of its horrible misery. I had experienced anxiety and multiple panic attacks. However, when I had almost back to back panic attacks, I told myself that it was because my port in the storm, my rock, was gone for a week, hunting in the wilds of eastern Washington.
This in itself was a flaw in my logic. But it wasn’t until he returned and I had a full on, hyperventilating, unable to do anything but sit in a quiet room attack that I finally realized that my problem was no longer something that I could ignore or even deal with alone.
Family support is huge, letting my parents and boyfriend (the aforementioned rock) know what I was dealing with helped. But it wasn’t, in the end enough. Instead, I finally broke down and reached out to medical professionals.
In the last few weeks since then, it has been like a weight was lifted. Yes, I still deal with anxiety and the occassional panic attack. I had one two weeks ago that left me reduced to tears for nearly three hours. BUT taking that step, reaching out for help, admitting that I had an issue, and admitting that I needed to put my health as a top priority has been truly life changing.
That leads me to my current outlet of all things anxiety and COVID recovery related: cooking. I would like to offer exhibit A, Mini Dutch Pancakes. I’m sure most have experienced pancakes – tiny ones, big ones, buttermilk ones – but until you’ve tried Mini Dutch ones, you’re missing out. This variation on the standard pancakes was an amazing change to the breakfast menu, and one I’ll keep using. But I’ll also keep looking for something new to try. Change is, after all, a good thing.