Good evening, it’s almost the end of 2017!!!
I’m delighted and nervous about 2017 ending so soon. My anxiety over large fireworks is still present (no surprise here), but I am making strides in coping better with this situation. Multiple roadside stands and small novelties crop up around mid-December and this year, we made the decision to pick up small novelties. This change is a huge improvement for me as I normally get really anxiety just driving by the fireworks stands.
Earlier this year, we discussed picking up roman candles as a possibility to help tackle my aversion to fireworks (and use those outside of our area as they are not permitted for consumer use in town limits). My husband is keen on paying attention to how my fireworks-related fears have ruined holidays for me. Although the Fourth of July has been difficult for years as that was the day my friend Bart was murdered, I loved New Year’s Eve when I was growing up. I looked forward to watching the ball drop year after year. I loved seeing the images of different nation’s fireworks displays just as much.
Honestly, I had bucket list dreams I could see the ball drop in-person at least once in my life, although from the safety and comfort of a fancy hotel room balcony. I’m not one of those people who could deal with those kinds of crowds and the cold temps would ruin the experience for me. It was 30 degrees this morning in Gilbert, Arizona. I don’t know if my fireworks anxiety will ever dissipate enough that I could tackle my fears this head on.
For now, it’s all about the baby steps.
I did pretty good this year going to a friend’s house for the Fourth of July. The fireworks were still pretty stressful but his former neighborhood is more spread out than mine so we didn’t have fireworks as close by. We can home rather late, but still encountered people in our neighborhood doing fireworks later in the evening. I found that experience to be a bit more challenging. I struggle more when fireworks are set off as I’m trying to sleep or after I’ve fallen asleep. Being woken up by fireworks is pretty terrifying for me. (I never experienced mortar attacks at night on deployment, but I find it harder to cope with them when they disrupt my sleep.)
I’ve had chest pains nearly daily since first seeing fireworks for sale at the grocery store on December 12th, but I know I am coping better than 2015 when I first experienced fireworks in my rental neighborhood. On the 24th, we’ll start the 11 days of approved consumer fireworks use so I probably won’t be around to write. I try to decompress a lot during this time period, and who wants to listen to a crabby writer?! Not me.
Since I likely won’t be writing, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2018.