A week after getting adjusted, a week after all of the things that happened the week before, last week I finally felt sore. Both physically and mentally, sore. My muscles felt the pain of my spine being adjusted, and them therefore needing to adjust too. My heart felt the pain of feeling mixed up about so many, some might say too many, things in my life right now.
After a whole day of muscle pain on Tuesday, I decided to try out one of the Young Living essential oils that Kelsey had lying around. I rolled some PanAway along my spine, where I was feeling the most discomfort, and within minutes the pain was gone. I stopped mid-sentence while talking to Eli and exclaimed, "Holy shit! My back feels 100% better!" That same day I got my own essential oils shipment, which I had ordered a few weeks before. I got Frankincense and a blend called Joy, as I had fallen in love with them at the essential oils yoga class I went to a few weeks ago.
On Wednesday, I used some Frankincense in my diffuser during my yoga and meditation, and it definitely added to the overall meditative vibe in my room. I also put Joy directly over my heart during my meditation, and this is going to sound so lame, but I felt it. I felt happier.
This week wasn't all sunshine and roses and Joy, however. I had some rough moments. I think I pushed myself a little too hard. On Thursday I impulsively went to a yoga class that was taking place a few minutes away from my apartment-- Candlelit Yoga + Dinner. Maybe it was because it was freezing and I never quite got comfortable, or maybe it was because I didn't know anyone in the class, but I never fully relaxed. It was an hour of restorative yoga, so by the end I felt ready to collapse into bed, which was wonderful. But, as much as the food and the people there were lovely, the socialization "Dinner" post-yoga was definitely not my jam. And that's okay.
I'm glad I tried it, but I don't feel the need to do something like that again. The thing about yoga (and the same can be said for therapy, and many other holistic health practices) is that you have to find the right environment for you. The right teacher, the right therapist, the right place, the right time. And that process takes time. So even though I didn't 100% LOVE one yoga class experience, that doesn't mean I'm giving up on going to yoga classes. I really believe that it might be good for me to get out even one night a week, and go spend some time with myself and my yoga practice, under someone else's tutelage. And I'm grateful that Eli is supportive of my endeavors. Thursday night, we spent some time at the apartment between when I got home from work and when I had to leave for the 7:30 class, and I was amazed at just how LONG 5:30 - 7:30 felt. We ate some food, watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, cuddled and talked. And then we went our separate ways, each to do something good for ourselves. Me: go to yoga. Him: go to bed early.
Friday night I went camera shopping and then to dinner with my dad, followed by seeing Lego Batman with Eli. Which was honestly incredible. (Why can't all superhero movies be as good as Lego Batman?!) But by Saturday night, I was cooked. Which was bad, because I had agreed to go to a concert with Eli in Ithaca that night. This whole scenario was honestly a recipe for disaster. Eli, myself, and his three sisters piled into one car, (Mistake #1) immediately after I got out of work (Mistake #2). The doors opened at 7, the opener started at 8, the band didn't start until 9:20. (Mistakes #3-5.) I go to bed by 10 every night, so by the time the opener was over, I was completely physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. I didn't want to be there. Although I had heard their music before and enjoyed it, I didn't care about the band, or the show. I wanted to go to sleep, and I had no way out for at least another 2 hours.
I counted the songs. By the fifth one, I was swaying, but not to the music. I was swaying because I literally couldn't control my body. The energy of the band (as is the case with most concerts) was electric, filling the space, and my body. It was too much. I started to think about how I couldn't leave or go home even if I wanted to, because I couldn't make Eli and his sisters leave early. I started to think about how I couldn't even leave my spot in the theater, because I was in the middle of a row, surrounded by people I didn't want to disturb. Lights flashed, and I kept swaying, starting to feel like I couldn't see straight. I definitely felt like I couldn't stand. I started to question if I was going to throw up. I sat down. At the end of the song, I politely exited the theater, and sat in the lobby on the stairs. Eli frantically texted me. I couldn't respond. I sat there, shaking uncontrollably. The woman in charge of the venue, who had a pixie cut and kind eyes, bent down over me. "Are you okay?" she asked. I couldn't even respond. I was on the verge of sobbing, but I just nodded my head yes. When she said, "Are you sure?" I wanted to scream NO, but I couldn't.
The problem with anxiety is that it is a collection of dichotomies that makes no sense as a whole. When experiencing an anxiety attack, you feel like you absolutely do not want to stand out. But in order to preserve your body, you have to. You have to walk out, disturb others, and excuse yourself, which makes you feel like there are flashing lights and blaring sirens screaming NOTICE ME pointed at your back. You want to be left alone, with every fiber of your being you want to be left alone. And at the same time you also want help, but you don't want to ask for it, because you feel guilty for needing it.
Eli eventually came out and sat with me, which made me feel even more guilty. He rubbed my leg, and I got angry at him. He tried to stop my hands from shaking. He felt helpless, I felt guilty. This is a prime example of how not listening to your body, not listening to your instincts when they say, "I'm really f*cking exhausted and I don't want to go to this concert tonight," doesn't heed the best results.
This is the first anxiety attack I've had in a long time. I have had panic attacks in the recent past, sure. But I think the last anxiety attack I had was in the spring of 2015. I shook uncontrollably until 5 in the morning, and had to drink Gatorade and watch Say Yes to the Dress until I finally calmed down. Today, my neck and back muscles are sore again, from the involuntary act of tensing them as I shook last night. And my heart is sore too. There is something about anxiety, about having an anxiety attack, that makes you feel sore. Worn out, exhausted, sad, stupid, guilty, helpless. Like a five year old who can't control their own body, their own mind.
But I know it's not the end of the world. I'm going to be okay. I'm going to keep doing yoga, keep meditating, and keep learning with every day the right and wrong things to do to and for myself. The soreness will pass, and I will be stronger for it. (And hopefully, the PanAway I just ordered will help too.)
P.S.- If you think you might be interested in buying some essential oils, let me know and I can help you get started. Young Living is definitely the way to go, as their oils are the highest quality!