Saturday, March 13, 2010

yoga 1, panic 0

Thursday was an upsetting day.

I can't really go into details with what upset me, but it made me feel insecure about my financial security for the next couple of years, and it also made me feel like a failure. I started to panic. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough, that I'd screwed everything up. And my mind circled in on itself like vultures circling their dying prey. I felt awful.

I wanted to go home and hurt myself. But I didn't.

Instead, I went to yoga.

I had made plans, before the upsetting thing happened, to go to two yoga classes on Thursday with some friends. Once I was upset, I really didn't feel like going, but I didn't want to cancel with my friends, so I went to yoga anyway.

After the first class, I felt a little better, but still jittery. After the second class, I felt calm. I didn't want to hurt myself anymore. I felt good, actually, good. And very, very glad that I'd stuck with my plan to go to yoga.

I'm new to yoga - those two classes are the third and fourth time I've gone, ever. But I think this is the start of a good thing. I know that when I'm stressed out and in a panic, I deal with it badly and usually self-destructively. And I know I want to change that. I usually don't care, at the time, about how I deal with feeling bad, but afterward I usually regret what I've done. Not so much for my own sake, but because it makes people I care about sad and worried. Which makes me panic again; it's a bad cycle.

But yoga isn't self-destructive; far from it. It's definitely a healthier way of dealing with bad feelings, panic and stress. It might be the key to breaking that bad cycle.

I saw one of my doctors yesterday morning, and told her about what happened to upset me so much on Thursday. She said it was a confusing situation and it seemed like someone else had made a bad decision that wasn't fair to me. At the same time, she said she could understand how easy it was for me to misinterpret it as being my fault, and that it was important for me to keep a logical perspective on it. My first instinct is to feel like a failure; if I take a logical approach, I can see that I'm not.

Then she said, "you seem pretty calm about it today." So I told her how I went to yoga and essentially chose that over hurting myself. She said that was a really good step on my part. Then we talked about yoga and what style of yoga might help me best.

I found a yoga studio not far from school. They have a lot of classes, and they offer the option of either paying for classes in packages or buying an 'unlimited' pass. I think, once this school term is over in May, I'll sign up for an unlimited pass. That way, if I start to panic or start wanting to hurt myself, I can go and drop in on the next  available yoga class. I think that flexibility will really help.


  1. oh yay! I'd like to retitle this post: YOU: 10. CUTTING: 0. You get major props! I'm so glad you found yoga. Keep with it!

  2. Good for you! That is awesome that you were able to take such a positive step and yoga is a great way to ease anxiety.