It has been awhile since I have talked about my anxiety and my reaction to it. The reason has been that my anxiety has been under control for the most part. And when I have had a panic attack there has been someone there to help me through it. Yesterday though I had a doozy of one.
I was getting ready to go out when I suddenly stopped in the middle of the kitchen and began my count down. T.V. off, check. Computer shut down and turned off, check. Coffee maker is off, check. Have fed the cats, and than I became distracted. When I returned my attention to where I had been, I realized that I had to start my check list off from the beginning.
I made it through and gathered up the garbage to take down and away I went. As I walked down my brain began it to whir. I began to make connections between what I had done while standing in the middle of the kitchen floor, to when I stop suddenly at work, ennumerating the list of tasks that I have accomplished or still need to do, is all due to my anxiety. I don’t always have anxiety attacks with sweaty palms, or a racing heart. I do feel a sense of dread, a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes it hard for me to swallow. Sometimes I forget the simplest of words, words that I use on a daily basis, and while I search, my mind wanders and I forget what I was saying. My embarassment is massive and at that time I wish that the floor would open up beneath me so I could fall straight down to the pits of eternal damnation rather than stand there like a total idiot.
Given that I love words, my inability to think of or pronounce correctly the right word, is an indication of anxiety within me. My only problem at times is trying to figure out what it is that has triggered that paticular bout of anxiety.
If work related it is pretty easy to figure it out. I make a mistake and even though I can correct said mistake, I feel awful. I fear that it will be enough that I may be spoken to. I go over what had been done and struggle to make sense of how I could have been that stupid. Made that big of a mistake.
In my personal life, it is not always that easy. Again some are, such as returning to work after a two week holiday. I use to always be afraid that when I went back in for my first shift I would be fired. The last couple days I would go over everything I had done prior to my holidays. This is the first year that I haven’t. But for the most part, I do not always know why I am having an anxiety attack, I only know that something is off within me and I need to counter it with my lists and double check lists to calm.
I am never going to be free of anxiety. What I am going to do is continue to find more tools to put into the self care tool kit which helps me to get through each and every episode.