Thursday, January 12, 2012

I.C.E.: In Case of Emergency

Last night I had horrible anxiety. This weird extreme terror I have been getting for the past four months on my new medication. I was so scared and unsure of how to make myself calm down. I was having an emergency and I didn't have an emergency plan. So today I decided to make one.

Eventually last night I finally thought that instead of crying to Jeff about the intense fear and how my life might be over, I thought I should ask him to talk to me about something happy instead. The problem was that it took me forever to come up with that strategy. And, I completely forgot about my other strategy for dealing with anxiety, which is taking my anti-anxiety medication. You would think that after all these years I would know what to do when I am having a hard time. However, in the moment, you often forget what can help you. I figured in order to avoid this situation again, I should create an I.C.E.: In Case of Emergency plan.

I decorated an old cigar box with paper and then made smaller cards inside it with suggestions on each card of how to handle an emergency. I wrote down such things as: "Take my anti-anxiety medication before my anxiety gets bad." "Take a walk." "Play a simple game with Jeffrey." "Talk about something fun or happy."
Photo by Jeff Norris

My I.C.E. box is an example of the creative journaling I am hoping to share with other people with mental illness through the Finding You program which starts this coming Monday. There are all different ways that journaling can help us treat our illness either by reminding us of what our treatment plan is, or as a way to get our thoughts out instead of having them ruminate in our minds. If you are in the Cleveland, Ohio area I hope you can join me and find ways to help with your illness and create a supporting community for all of us.

What is you I.C.E. plan?


Rev. Katie

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