A simple anxiety attack.
That was all I had. People get them everyday. It is no big deal, right?
Wrong. It was a major big deal to me.
Me. The girl who is so on top of things. Who has her head on straight. Smart. Good student. Good person. Nice. Kind. Strong work ethic. No issues whatsoever. Me. I got an anxiety attack?
It bothered me. I am too smart and on the ball for this shit.
Okay, so by now I had quit my job and moved on. A couple years went by and I had been doing great, I just stopped thinking about it.
Until it happened again, in the car on the freeway, while I was driving with my baby girl, Emily, who was 9 months old at the time.
Now, whatever you do, don’t think of a zebra right now.
Did you think of a zebra?
Well, every single time I got into my car. I wondered if I would have another anxiety attack.
Can you guess what happened?
BOOM! I’d have one.
But by then I would have them:
- at home
- standing in line at the grocery store
- sitting at a red light. Stoplights were a biggie for me. Sometimes I would go out of my way to avoid them altogether. A 15 minute trip could take up to an hour just so I wouldn’t have to sit at a red light!
- small groups of people.
- large crowds of people.
- talking to people could trigger an attack.
- thinking about having one would even bring one on.
I wasn’t as strong of a person this time. I was having some personal struggles; it was a time of immense stress.
Stress is the number one cause next to genetics. I had both of those since my mom had also had panic attacks when she was young. Her knowledge helped a lot.
The Mayo Clinic Describes Panic Disorder as this:
“Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at almost any time — when you’re driving the school car pool, at the mall, sound asleep or in the middle of a business meeting. Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes and last about half an hour. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides.
One of the worst things about panic attacks is the intense fear that you’ll have another panic attack. If you have had four or more panic attacks and have spent a month or more in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder, a type of chronic anxiety disorder.
With panic disorder, you may fear having a panic attack so much that you avoid situations where they may occur. You may even be unable to leave your home (agoraphobia), because no place feels safe.”
This was me. I had Panic Disorder.
I was not going to take medication for this. I am stubborn like that.
I was going to work through what was stressing me out and work through my new found panic disorder. I read “Embracing the Fear”by Judith Bemis and AMR Barrada. Just reading the first page, I felt better knowing that I wasn’t alone.
And it was embarrassing. And I didn’t want anyone to know. Simple everyday things people do, I couldn’t do. It was humiliating.
Millions of people are out there just like me. And we are not a very vocal group because it is not easy to admit.
I buried it so deep. I didn’t want anyone to know that *gasp* I was flawed.
The girl next door was human…