On Friday, I went with the treatment program I’m at to an outdoor music, art and food festival that’s in the downtown area of where my PHP is located. It’s a really fun event, and they have handmade jewelry, clothes, etc., local artists including my former choir instructors group Motif (check them out! They’re awesome!), and also great food.
Sounds fun, right? Not exactly…not for me. An event like this presents a lot of challenges for me in my recovery. I was nervous, but I knew I’d have the support of my girls and also the fantastic staff.
I struggle with extreme anxiety and crowds are a significant challenge, festival type food (help!), and the general change in scenery.
Before we went, the group went over what challenges we might face and how we would work on them. I shared my challenge of feeling unsafe. K was amazing, as usual, (love you, K!) and said if I called her name out she’d come surround me and keep me safe. That made me laugh but also reminded me of how much my girls have my back.
We walked around and looked at art. It was a lot of fun until…dun dun dun LUNCH TIME. Cue anxiety!! And the street with the food was PACKED with people. I was terrified and struggling a lot. Thankfully our group split up which lowered my anxiety, and I ended up just being with ES. She was my dietitian from my first time at IDC, and I know her well. We decided on me having Noodles and Co. since I’ve had I before so we thought it could be easier. On the way, we passed a fish and chips place, and I decided that I’d have that instead since it sounded better. Success!!! Take that ED! Letting myself have fried food is a big challenge, but I let myself have fun and enjoy myself.
It was tough to eat it, and I did struggle with negative thoughts about the food, myself, and things, but I left lunch with pride and a feeling of accomplishment.
Then…the best part!!! We had just enough tickets to go on a ride 🙂 and I had been hoping we would all day long. My favorite is the Freak Out. It’s a total blast. E and M were too nervous to go on it…it’s a little intimidating…but K and I went on it together. We were fake screaming at first, but it became real, haha. It turned out to be scarier than I had remembered. I guess things get scarier when you’re older because you understand the danger? Haha. But it was such a fun time.
TLDR – IDC girls and staff are phenomenal people, and I’m so blessed with them. I’m so proud of myself for handling the crowds without a panic attack and having a fear food 🙂
One day at a time…I WILL recover 🙂