I’ve always been an anxious person. The type that had to show up to a movie at least 30 minutes before it started. The one that finished school projects the day they were assigned just so it wouldn’t be looming over my head. And I’ve basically been a control freak of some sort for as long as I can remember. While my anxiety was always manageable in my earlys 20s, I’ve now been #blessed with semi-frequent panic attacks. Which is SO great. Because not only do you have to deal with the sensation of feeling like death is imminent, but people making fun of you for it is also really spectacular.
I remember the first one being triggered by a Kanye West song. After a few notes, I couldn’t breathe, my hands had locked and even calling my best friend to help me was a struggle. A short while after that, it was a joke between us that “Kanye West caused my panic attack.” And why wouldn’t I make light of it? It wasn’t a chronic problem. I was convinced that it was the first and the last. A fluke of some sort.
The second one happened during 4th of July weekend. I had just gotten home from a night of drinking (which would be a constant in the panic attacks to come). This time, however, I couldn’t blame it on Kanye West. Triggered by a string of frustrating text messages, panic started to set in. Then the loss of breath. The pacing. The repeated mantra of “you’re gonna be okay.”
The third was mild. You know, just the feeling of my necklace choking me and my pants cutting off circulation. And let’s not forget the lack of breathing. That’s always the best part.
The fourth. It’s my favorite one. Happened again during a holiday. Except this one came with the whole gasping for air portion, but also a healthy dose of sobbing and speaking “as if I was stuck on repeat.” Had to get gently slapped across the face and promised Taco Bell to start coming down from that one.
So, I guess this is an issue I’m going to deal with for a hot minute. But, I’m taking the necessary steps to make sure I know how to handle the next one. Hopefully it won’t come. But, that’s what I thought after the first… and second… and third. Maybe the answer is as simple as not drinking during major holidays.