Saturday, May 3, 2014

Tingling sensation--distressing, but not dangerous

People with anxiety sometimes have weird sensations. Tingling, throbbing, pinching—we often suffer with these “intolerable” symptoms, which we describe as zips, pings, heat, freezings, and other words that will be familiar to a lot of my readers.

Lately I’ve had the return of an “old friend” sensation. When I drive, I feel like pins are sticking into my foot. It’s a tingling, vibrating sensation, sometimes throbbing, and definitely uncomfortable. The trigger is no surprise—I have a new car, and when I bought a new car years before I had the same symptoms. When I drive a rental car, I don’t experience this sensation. I suppose that’s no surprise, because at the root of the problem is my fear that I didn’t make the right choice: Did I buy the right car? Did I make a mistake? Should I have waited for a better deal? And so on.

To cope, I’ve continuously reminded myself of Dr. Low’s wisdom: Feelings and sensations cannot be controlled, but thoughts and impulses can be. Telling myself that these are simply anxious reactions does help, but I admit sometimes I feel defeated by the symptoms. It can be exhausting to deal with distressing, but certainly not dangerous, symptoms all day.

Over time, through continuous spotting and endorsement, I know these symptoms will abate. They did before, and they will again. There’s nothing physically wrong. Before Recovery, I would have complained about this symptom to anyone who would listen, ask friends to drive the car to check for anything wrong, take the car to the dealer to ask them to find a problem, and so on. Now, with Recovery, I’m better equipped to handle these symptoms, and I am confident things will improve soon.