Living On Oxygen for Life
By now I hope you have read my previous post “Anxiety – part one” and have thought about the question, “What am I afraid of?” What the previous post, “Anxiety – part one,” covers is the issue I have with bedtime anxiety of wondering if I was going to stop breathing while I slept. I have problems with anxiety in other areas of my life and some of them are related to my breathing problems.
For me, I’ve realized that the anxiety I have experienced has created “Control Issues” for me. I try hard to control everything around me so that I won’t become too tired and that I wouldn’t miss out of having fun. I’m just now starting to realize that maybe by me trying so hard to control everything, I may be expending more energy controlling things than if I would just try to relax and enjoy life around me. But, I understand that life can be a little scary when you have breathing problems. You feel like you are losing some of your independence and you desperately try to hold onto whatever independence you have left. What you may not realize is that by adjusting the way you do the things that you like to do and by relaxing a bit, you can still have a boat load of fun.
When I first started to have bedtime anxiety, it plumb freaked me out. I would turn to my husband and tell him I was scared and something was wrong. He would tuck me back in bed (we don’t always go to bed at the same time) and then he would lie down beside me and hold my hand or blow on my face while encouraging me to relax. I’d ask him to stay until I fell asleep and he would. Now, I’m sure you are wondering, “He blew on her face???” I can’t describe it but it really is a relaxing feeling for me. So much so, that I now sleep with a little 12″ x 12″ box fan on my dresser pointing right at my face from about 3 feet away. It’s used every night, 365 days a year. It helps take away the feeling of being claustrophobic while using my bipap. This is one of my solutions that has helped me with bedtime anxiety.
Another thing that I do to combat bedtime anxiety is to close my eyes, pray that I will be ok and wake up in the morning and then I just let go internally. I think of something that I’ve done that made me happy. It could be my favorite vacation that I went on with my husband or something silly that my puppy did that day. That internal visual is what I focus on and I slowly relax. You could probably call that a bit of meditation. Although, there have been times where I needed extra backup help. So, I’d walk up to my husband and say: “I don’t feel well. My heart’s skipping because I’m too tired. Please check on me a couple of times throughout the night.” He knows when I say something like that, it’s time for him to step in and help. Just this reassurance of knowing he’s quietly checking on me, helps so much that I can fall asleep and it nips the anxiety in the butt.
If you have problems with anxiety, ask yourself “What am I afraid of?” Don’t let the anxieties turn into control issues. Talk with your doctor and discover ways that can help you feel more at peace internally so that you may enjoy your life.