For context, there's a big band hangar dance tonight I had planned to go to. It's a whole day at the military aviation museum with dinner and a twenty-piece swing orchestra in the evening (I was only planning on attending the dance). I've been there twice and it's so much fun; swing dancing to a live band in a hangar with WWII planes and people dressed in the 1940s style is just an incredible experience.
So why do I not want to go?
Last night I asked my boyfriend to make sure that I go. I knew that when the time drew near I wouldn't feel up for the almost hour-long drive, I would be tired, and it would feel overwhelming.
Even so, here I am 45 minutes before I should start getting ready and I'm pretty certain that I'm not going. But since I haven't made a 100% sure decision yet my whole body is in stress because it doesn't know what kind of evening to prepare itself for.
Photo by Kyle Broad
What I hate is that it's like I make my excuses happen. I'm looking for signs that I shouldn't go, and what do you know, I find them.
At least this is actually legitimate. I've felt like I don't get enough oxygen since noon and both my whole chest cavity and head feel lightheaded.
Yes, if you didn't know, your chest cavity can feel lightheaded.
I don't really know why this is a thing, but about a month after I got diagnosed with Lyme disease I went back in to check up on some symptoms, one being feeling so light headed. I walked slowly down the corridor with a nurse who measured my oxygen levels, and they went down to 89% just from that. They couldn't explain it, so I guess we just ignored it? The doctor really didn't know a lot about Lyme disease.
Mostly it disappeared, but lately I sometimes get this feeling again, mostly when I go dancing. It makes sense -- it's the only cardio I allow myself to do (cardio gives a really bad reaction afterwards). But today I got it from just standing, talking with my boyfriend for a while. It got worse and worse to the point of feeling faint, and I don't know what to do about it. I do know that even though this is real, and it is affecting me a great deal, I'm still using it as an excuse to not go. But if it's real, why do I have to feel guilty about it? Maybe because I know that even if this wasn't happening, I would look for other reasons not to go?
I don't know why I skip out on so many fun things. I'm guessing part social anxiety, part not wanting to drive, and part self-sabotage.
Photo by Anthony Tran
I did a good thing though -- I scraped myself up from the couch and took the dogs for a walk. It's 38 degrees and sunny and I knew that the fresh air would make me feel mentally better, and it did. But halfway through our usual circle the lightheaded feeling came right back stronger than ever, and here I am. I really don't know what's the best course of action for tonight. Go, and risk having to spend the night sitting on a chair, unable to join in and feel jealous and sad? Or stay home, and feel disappointed in myself for not going?
I might be settling for a third option. There's a band I really like playing in a restaurant nearby, so I figure I can get dolled up and go there instead. A few friends are going so I will have company, I'll be around really good music, and I won't have to put my body through physical distress. Since it's not until 9pm I have plenty of time to rest, both physically and mentally, and I won't have to remember this night as another night I missed out on a fun memory. I think that this is what I'll do.
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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