Where I am up to…quite pleased really!

 

 

A model showing the overlap of anxiety, breathing and excitement
“Anxiety is excitement without the breath” – Fritz Perls

I have written a fair few posts about sharks these past couple of months; that has been quite deliberate and part of my ongoing therapy in managing my anxieties where sharks and my family are concerned. I feel like I am actually getting a grip on this. The boys and my hubby have come to two sessions with me, so they have an idea about what I am doing.  Working with my therapies we identified my fears in a progression chart, least to worst and we have been working threw them. My therapist has been using a guided imagery in our therapy sessions. This she told me was part of her training in Gestalt therapy – I had to look it up!! At first I found it a bit embarrassing really but after a couple of times I began to experience it differently. Maybe as I grew to trust wheat she was saying, I was more willing to participate in the imagery. While still using this method where I learn to control the anxieties I feel with breathing techniques and relaxation methods I am now preparing to face some of my concerns in real time. In the next few weeks I am going to visit an aquarium that has sharks.  I will tell you all about it in my next post.

One of my boys came home last week, full of himself, he had got a recording of the Discovery Channel shark week. Turns out one of his friends dads was into sharks (shudder) and had recorded it and the recording was now in my home waiting for me to watch it. Daft I know but I spent half an hour working up my courage to play the first episode, cannot say I watched it all. Thank goodness for fast forward but I think I made a good attempt and I am going to watch the second one tomorrow – with my friend! I am so pleased the boys are behind me on this. I know it would be so easy for them to ridicule my fear or make fun of me and while I get a bit of that, more off their dad than them, 99% of the time they are so supportive. Not sure they read this blog but if you do Thanks boys.

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Do you think you have galeophobia?

Galeophobia is the phobia of sharks. This is the fear that made Jaws that popular, after all. Who does not get shivers down their spine when they hear the theme tune, right?

But all jokes aside, galeophobia is a serious problem among a number of people. I have a crippling fear of sharks, but my doctor has not diagnosed with galeophobia. However, once I identified the source of my fear, I did a lot of research on the concept of galeophobia, and it is frankly incredibly scary.

Galeophobia

I am incredibly scared of sharks, yes. I had to go see a therapist when my boys started wanting to go to the beach because I was convinced they would be attacked. However, the life of a gaelophobic is slightly different. They are so scared of sharks that the mere mention of them might give them panic attacks. And of course, even if the possibility of a shark attack is slim or they are far away from the sea, they will still feel the fear.

This is a mental condition that needs to treated with care and respect. People need to accept the fact that being scared of sharks is normal and ensure that people get the care they deserve.

Questioning my anxieties

 

An anxiety spiral is managed not curedI am so tired of getting stressed out every time the boys go surfing. I know they and their dad are getting pretty fed up with me as well. It has begun to spoil my relationship with them. I have been looking for things to do to try and change the situation. For past couple of months I have focused on the sharks but today’s post is about me. I have been researching my fear.

Selachophobia is shark phobia, I do not think I am actually phobic but I am well on my way.  Everytime the boys say they are having a surfing weekend, I can feel this sense of panic I get sweaty and agitated and I can’t seem to think of anything else. I know the boys are capable and aware, their instructor is one of the best and is not some young idiot. Its me, the whole time they are away I am worrying and constantly calling the mobiles to the point they turn them off.  I decided I needed to do something and that something is cognitive therapy. This is a therapy that assists in changing the way you feel by changing the way you think about a situation.  I like that it is goal orientated and focussed and that it will give me back some measure of self control. I have been for two sessions now and am starting to understand the anxiety spiral I get into every time surfing is mentioned. At the moment I am working at stopping my anxiety spiral from accelerating. I am using some breathing techniques and a wristband technique and feel like I am gaining some perspective on the problem. The boys and hubby are coming to the next session with me. they have told me they are proud of me for tackling the problem.  I keep reminding them and myself that I am learning to manage it not cure it but if it lessens the rising tension in my home it will all be worth it.

Shark trailing behind unknowing surfer
For those of you who expected to see a shark on this blog: My biggest fear.