I had somewhat of an anxiety attack today. I get them occasionally. Like the time at a quinceanera when I suddenly needed to get away. Or the time at a parade with no moral support around while dealing with a tough situation. Or the time I went to San Francisco to watch my date perform, my shoes made my feet bleed, I was super self-conscious and felt out of place (none of that really had to do with the other) and at dinner I suddenly had to leave, disappeared for most of dinner, and showed back up with slippers on. Or sometimes when I try to stay the night somewhere. Every now and then, it even happens at work.
Photo from Flickr.
It starts out with difficulty breathing. I have to remind myself to do what we normally do without thought. "Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out." If that doesn't help, then I start getting hot and itchy: the soles of my feet, my ankles, the back of my neck, my shoulders, my wrists. "Breathe, don't scratch, breathe, don't scratch." People start noticing I seem a little off. Am I just snobby? Am I not interested? I'm trying to stay with them, keep smiling and interacting. Or when it's happened trying to stay with someone over night, I try not to toss and turn, try not to wake them. Or if I'm not really interacting, I might be texting a friend who is trying to help me long distance to maintain my composure. Which makes me look even more disinterested and snobby.
|Me, before the anxiety came riding in today.|
Someone said to me once after a situation they knew beforehand would be stressful for me, "I'd hoped you'd be stronger." Um, yah, me too! I certainly didn't hope I'd spend my morning trying to keep myself under control and wind up unable to tamp down the anxiety, end up rushing off in tears, and sit in my car crying for an hour.
|What I felt like starting around 10 pm. Photo from Flickr.|