In the middle of the day (Sunday), as I was making a list of things I had to do, which included some tasks for the Resiliency Center and the Anniversary, my leg started to bounce a little. Anyone who knows me well or who saw me last year, especially in social or marathon related situations, knows that is my indicator of anxiety. My leg shook for over a year, sometimes just a little, but other times, as the Globe reporter said last April, like a jackhammer. It didn't shake ALL of the time, but often whether in a crowd, triggered by something (loud noise, talking about marathon, etc), and many other situations.. It still happened in the Summer, in the Fall, and it finally stopped after an intense energy healing session. That was November 29. The shaking stopped. I sat through marathon related meetings, went to crowded events and bars, talked about all things marathon and have had no shaking. Until now.
Yesterday was a day to work from home. I felt productive getting a lot done while also taking breaks because I'm still feeling very drained and woke up horribly nauseas and overall crappy. But, still I worked all day and found I was feeling better by late morning. Being me, instead of resting more just to be sure I was good, I made my long list of TO DOs and spent the entire day and evening crossing them all off. I had a conference call in the afternoon. The call was marathon related and I found my leg started a little more after that. As I sat working more, it started getting more intense. The TV was on as my friend watched it and I did notice that when a commercial for the news came on, talking about the trial, I got a bit of a tightness in my chest. Hmm. Okay. Noted. Aware of it, but not letting it take over. If anything, the leg thing is just aggravating now. Before, I was used to it. So were others. It just became this thing that always happened and no one who was used to seeing it even said anything anymore. They noticed it, but it wouldn't stop a conversation or have anyone concerned because they knew it was just "normal". Yesterday, I found it was just annoying. I wanted it to stop. I think that is also what made it worse. The frustration of it.
I wasn't surprised by this coming. I do have a friend concerned about it but I really think that's because she didn't know me last year and she has no idea what it was like then. The few other people I've talked to about it weren't really surprised either. It makes sense. Our bodies remember. It's like things that happen are literally imprinted inside of us. We all know it. When we hear a song or smell something in particular, it can bring you back to an exact moment. It's the same thing in this situation. My body remembers and it's reacting. Last year, on the same exact day, I had the first major anxiety attack I had had in a while. It wasn't triggered by anything either. I had gone for a long walk to take pictures along the Charles and actually felt great. But, as I walked back in my house, it hit. I couldn't breathe, I got an instant headache, my body went numb and then pins and needles, I shook like crazy and I cried. I remember it very clearly. So, at least a little leg shaking doesn't compare to that! If I got through that, I can get through this.
Today was a day of spending time with friends. I was exhausted and hit walls throughout the day but was also able to get through it and enjoy myself. I did end up with my leg shaking a bit under the table this afternoon, but I was able to stop it. Last year, if I would try to stop it, it would build in my chest to a point where I couldn't handle it. It would then end up as a big anxiety attack. So, this is nothing really compared to that. I was able to stop it without it causing anything worse. I did have that all too familiar tightness in my chest and what feels like a small lump in my throat, but they were both so much less than I had last year and for so long. I ended the day with a headache and now ready to crash.
As a friend asked me today, "Do I think each year will be less and less of an effect?" Yes. I do. And it already is. Last March, I was already having full blown attacks and constantly emotional and unable to focus. That happened for over a year, but it became even worse at this same time last year. I was obsessing about what may happen at the anniversary, at the marathon, and just anywhere. I started to become more anxious in every situation. This year, I have some leg shaking, I have a little anxiety in my chest, and I have emotion about that day. Looking at the difference in just this year from last, I call that progress. I don't know what will happen over the next month, but if I could get through last year, I will easily get through this year.
I had someone concerned that, with my health issues and my work schedule, that being on committees for the resiliency center are a bad idea. But, those are things I need the most. I need to be helping others. I came really far and want that for everyone else. Being a part of marathon related things in a very positive and helpful way is one of the things I needed and still need to heal. It makes me feel great to be involved and keeps me connected to the people and resources. One of the first people I told about the shaking was a survivor I've known since the summer of 2013. Just the simple act of telling her, someone who fully "gets it" was helpful as I started to worry about it and then quickly refocused my energy to how far I've come. So, my involvement in things related to this subject and in things that matter is very important.
I've said numerous times that so much good came out of that experience and that I wouldn't be where I am or who I am now without it all. Like always, I found a perfect quote this evening to that point.
Thanks for reading,