Anxiety: Basketball Bleachers & A Dream

So far this season I have attended 3 scrimmages & 2 Basketball Games.

I count them separately because they are at different locations and the scrimmages are easier.  There are no bleachers at the scrimmages.  We sit along the court on the floor or on fold-out chairs. I can sit wherever I want.  That’s easier.

The first basketball game at the Y was rough.  That was 2 weeks ago. Actually the car ride there was worse than the game.  The game was at 4pm so I had all day Saturday to get my nerves in a flutter.  And by the time we left, wow.  I did take an ativan before we left the house.  The ride there was very uncomfortable.  Hubby was driving so I didn’t even have that to control.  I had no control.  I felt out of control.  I felt like throwing up.  Hubby was cold and was blasting the heat, I was sweating to death.  I cracked my window for some air and tried to act normal.  I pretended I was fine and that always helps.

Usually when we get there we have to wait outside the gym in the lobby until the game before ours ends.  It gets SO PACKED.  Well Praise God, the other game ended early and there was no waiting.  We went in and found a seat in the bleachers.  I excused myself to go to the bathroom and composed myself a bit –  deep breathing and reciting everything I ever learned about panic attacks.  I didn’t like where we sat but I didn’t get to pick the location and I was trying to go along with it instead of making a scene.  The first 10 minutes or so were not so great.  Those feelings of wanting to scream or puke or just get the hell out of there can be overwhelming, can’t they?!

But I persevered.  And it got better.

Last weekend it was easier.  The car ride was easier.  The bleachers were easier.  I am still not able to just sit still while we are waiting for it to start.  I fidget and have to play with things – like my camera.  Or my phone.  Or dig in my purse for whatever.  I want to get to that place where I am just content to sit & be.  I remember how that feels.  I took it for granted for years!  Now it is a dream I am pursuing.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 06:08:47

    Easier said than done, but you’re doing it. Keep persevering. That will get you though. Have you ever tried floating- a la Claire Weekes? It is a weird and wonderful little trick that really works (when I can remember to do it.) The other think I was thinking is – is there some way you can tell your hubby about how you are struggling? Then maybe he can let you pick a seat that is easier to bear while you’re at the games.

    Oh yeah, one more thing, put a little post it note in your purse. Write little reminders on it to yourself to help you: do your breathing, this is only 2 hours, the first 10 minutes are the hardest, then it gets easier, etc. whatever is true for you & will help and comfort you in the moment.

    Hang in there Zoe. I braved those dreaded bleachers myself through basketball and baseball and lived to tell about it. You will too! :)


  2. Zoe
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 12:09:15

    Hi Jill. Thank you for the encouragement. I’ve read about floating before. I’ll have to get that book back down off the shelf. It sounded scary to me though – my biggest fear is that I will pass out. Floating to me sounds like I am letting the ‘black spots’ take over and I will definitely end up on the floor!. I will re-read it though and think about it again :)
    Hubby kinda knows. He knows not to go up too high in the bleachers or to sit in the middle anywhere. I try so hard to fake it till I make it. It would certainly be easier if I was more specific though wouldn’t it?
    I like the post it note idea. I will put it right in my little notebook that I use to distract myself and pretend I am writing super important things in. LOL


  3. Jill
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 12:30:29

    Hey those are super important things! Remembering to breathe, etc, lol! Floating isn’t scary when you envision it as floating through cool clouds or thorough cool calming water, just like in a beautiful swimming pool. You wont’ end up on the floor because when you do it, you feel buoyant, as if the clouds or water are surrounding you with positive cool healing energy and actually carrying you along, where you otherwise would be quaking in your boots. Give it a whirl! :)


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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