I am happy to announce that I only had one anxiety attack during the month of October. Typically, I share with you everything that happened to cause the anxiety attack, but I can't right now. Not because I don't want to tell you, it's because there is a portion of it still going on and I won't know the outcome until the powers that be figure that part out. Basically, I've gone through this part before and I know how this goes, so I am ok right now. However, this attack wasn't just caused by this particular situation.
The attack itself happened about two weeks ago. It wasn't good. It wasn't good at all. I like my anxiety attacks a lot better when they happen behind closed doors. I particularly hate them when they happen while I'm at the office. Quite frankly, I think the attacks at the office are worst because I'm worried about who can hear me cry or is someone going to check on me when I don't want them to or are they going to think I'm crazy. I am so happy I had my glasses with me that day (yes, I have forgotten them) because they cover my eyes very well. They're cute and no one thinks anything different because they know I wear them periodically. I actually like my glasses because they are great tear hiders.
So, let's discuss this attack. Earlier in the morning, I had a conversation with someone and then it continued via text. It didn't go well and I was aggravated because I felt like this person wasn't making an effort to listen to what I was trying to say. I felt like the only thing they cared about was making their point. Not only did that annoy me, but it made me feel a bit inadequate because my voice didn't matter. Part of this conversation did happen at the office and then the madness at the office started to happen.
I sit at my desk with my headphones in the majority of the day. I enjoy the fact my office is pro radios, iPods, phones, and whatever other device we have in order to listen to music. Well, just because my headphones are on, it doesn't mean I cannot hear. I mean, I have to be able to hear my boss!!!
Someone came in to chat with my boss. They were discussing something that had the potential to do with me. Now, my boss has to play politics and I get that, but the other person just wouldn't shut up. In my opinion, they kept trying to get something out of my boss about me and it was quite annoying. I know they thought I couldn't hear, but that wasn't the case. The more he talked, the more anxious I got. The more anxious I got, the more I couldn't control the anxiety. The less control I had over the anxiety, the faster my heart started beating. The faster my heart started beating, the more the tears started to fall. The faster the tears fell, I knew I had to get up.
I ended up in my favorite hiding space in the office - the restroom stall! I didn't get the stall I wanted, but I at least had a place to get myself together. I've been working on breathing as a way to cope with my anxiety attacks, so I did a breathing exercise I use during meditation. After a few minutes, I was back to normal (as normal as I can be after an attack), but I couldn't wait to get home because I just wanted to be in my space. My house is my safe place.
As my day progressed, I was continuing to get better. I went out to lunch. I stayed late to get a project worked on. I didn't go walking because I was just ready to go home. And when I finally got home, I was just happy to be in my place of refuge. By the time I got home, it was like the attach had never happened.
Out of the 31 days of October, this was by far my worst day. However, I consider it a win because I didn't have to hide in the office for 4 hours. Yep, that has happened before and I'm so thankful to work for an understanding organization.
Anxiety, for me, is just taking it one day at a time. Some days, I have no issues. But there is always a possibility of some madness causing me to freak out and I just have to be ready to deal with it. One day, it will all be better. Until then, I'll just do my best to cope. By the way, yes I'm still on medication.
Photo credit: shawnzrossi via Visual hunt / CC BY