Hi. I haven’t been around in awhile. I was feeling so awesome for so long. When I was feeling good I let go of most of my self care and just did nothing.
I had invested so much in myself not that long ago. I was exercising, eating right, resting when it was necessary, and making me a priority. Stress at my old job had me tossing out myself as a priority and just stopped investing in me. And that all lead up to a tumble into anxiety, panic, and depression.
So getting back on the “me train” has been baby steps forward. Then I was feeling good so I stopped with the baby steps. When I did that I tripped and fell into anxiety and panic. It took me by such surprise that I could not believe it.
I am trying to regain myself and my self confidence. Its been a struggle. I want to hide under a rock and hopefully a magical cure will land at my feet. But I know that will not happen.
I am on a work trip. Its 3 days. One day travel, one day meeting, and one day travel. So not too bad. I am about a four hour drive from home.
But I feel like hell. My anxiety is sky high. My IBS is reminding me chill out.
I know I can do this. I have done it before for a lot longer. I have the tools I need to get through this. I have great co-workers in the same hotel as me so I am not alone. Its just getting through it. There is no reason to feel scared. I got this. I don’t have to do a presentation. I don’t have to do much other than sit and smile. And heck, I could leave early with a “migraine.” And thats it. It will be time to go home. Once I get home this will be a fantastic accomplishment for me.
I have been having panic attacks since I was a wee child. So I am an expert at this and know I can get through it all.
This is my time to show my employer that I am committed to this organization. I will learn from the meeting and take away from it to give to others. If that makes sense at all; it does to me.
But what is it that is so awful? I did not have to do any driving. Woot woot. I am not alone. I know darn well I could call on any one of my coworkers to sit with me. I think my biggest fear is I will panic. That is like the ultimate fear. But there is absolutely nothing to panic about. It is like the ultimate vulnerability.
I am so mad! Well kind of, maybe not really. The truth is I am very disappointed. I was seemingly having a great day. The sun is shining, the temperature outside is scorching hot, and I got to work from home. To me those facts alone are the foundation for me to smile all day long. My boss doesn’t need to know that while answering emails and sorting through paperwork that it all happened while I was tending to my herb garden.
I think I was in the direct sun for too long. When I went inside my home I sat under the breeze of my fan and not long later felt a bit too cool. Naturally, I grabbed for a blanket and covered my legs and then thought I would recline on the couch while writing an email. Yup, I fell asleep. Sound asleep I was until I snored so loud I woke up and figured that did not sound cute at all. I dozed back into sleep. I am not sure for how long but I eventually woke up because my bladder was pounding at me for relief. I shot up like I was going to win a marathon and before I could think, I was in full panic attack mode. HUH?! Wait, what? I thought I had to pee? As much as my bladder needed relief, I awoken into a panic attack as well.
No! This was not happening. I kept thinking this really was not going to happen right now. Too late. My mind was spinning with thoughts and my body was reacting to find the quickest and safest way to flee. Part of my brain was already crying, “no no no no no panic attack right now.” There was nothing I could do to calm myself, it was like my panic attack pre-stages occurred while I was sleeping and there was no way to calm down on my own steam.
Panic attack pre-stages – my own personal lingo for what I describe as the build up to full blown panic attack. It is in this pre-stage I have anxiety and I am doing self talk with myself to calm down, that I am safe, and I will be okay. In a pre-stage I can almost deter a panic attack if I start a very focused orientated household chore. Yes, even if it is at 3:00 a.m.
I packed my “to-go” bag and stood outside my home and caught my breath. I continued my numbered breathing pattern as I got myself to what I labelled as my safe spot; the hospital parking lot. I made myself comfortable as possible and telephoned my mom for guided and grounding conversation. It took 10 minutes of that style of talking and I was through the brunt of my panic attack. I hung up the phone with my mom and reassured her if the panic came back I would just go in the hospital. Here I am an hour later my panic attack is over. I usually feel depressed and exhausted but I feel disappointed that it happened at all. Maybe I shouldn’t look at this as a negative experience. I have to go and reflect on this on how there is some positive light to this. I may not come up with anything but I have to try.
To-Go Bag – contains items that bring me comfort and ground me. In it I carry a bottle of pickling spices (the smell reminds me of my Grandmother who was my rock during my most horrific moments in life), my super cozy blanket, lots of water, phone charger and cord, dvd of the Golden Girls, sweet snacks and carb loaded, and other little items that keep my mind busy, calm, and make me laugh. Much like a bag a woman would have ready and packed for when she is set to go to the hospital to give birth.
I do not normally write another post so quickly. But I felt compelled to release my thoughts on recovery from panic.
Panic attacks take a lot of energy from me to the point that I have a rest. I rested after this morning’s ordeal and decided to make the drive through the rolling green countryside to my parents house. As soon as I saw their faces I felt instantly connected. Connected to their peace and quiet. They were heading out to a community dinner; I declined the offer to attend but chauffered them to their destination. I dropped them off and decided to take their two dogs to a local quiet lake location. I arrived at the small lake to find no one there. I rolled up my pant legs gave thanks for this beautiful location, clean water, and lush habitat. I strolled into the icy clear water up to my knees, bent over and splashed to cold lake water on my face several times. This is where my peace is at. This is where I am at.
It was very recent that I experienced a re-birth, so to speak. It took a lot of down time to crawl through and sort. There was a ton of pain and sorrow. Anyone looking in at me would have seen a mess and maybe a disaster. At some point I could not see what was trying to emerge. For a moment I believed it was all sadness with no cure. It was a time to learn a new patience and humility. As I write this, I can feel tears welling up in remembrance of where I was and how the strength given to me helped me move forward.
There was no defined moment, no written scripture, and no shining light lifting my eyes to a new start. It was just a slow and soothing movement within myself. I found myself standing steady, readying myself for independence when, I assume, the universe gave me the door to open to my new journey. I opened the door, and the light was blinding but the feeling gave me nothing but sheer sparkle inside. The feeling was amazing, it reminded me that life and new adventures exist.
Here I am, 2 days later. Sitting here with the feelings of old sorrow tempting me to retreat to where dark comfort would be just as soothing. I am pushing through looking for the sparkle that was instilled inside me. It is now that I realize that I am the one that has to make the vow to myself. The vow to look for the “up.” It is me that has been given the sparkle and it is up to me to share it and keep it moving forward. I am sure there will be times when my old friend of sorrow will come around but all it really means is preparation of a shedding of the old readying me for the new.