This is my third blog post, so if you’ve made it to this one, Thank You! I hope you have enjoyed being here thus far.
Let’s talk about irony, shall we?! I am one of the most introverted, anxious, people pleasers I have ever met. A few months ago I said to myself “Self, we should start a blog.” Self, of course, said “UMMM…Let’s not!! People will read it (or will they?!?!). people will ridicule, people will FIND something negative to say,” and on, and on, and on it went. (I can’t be the only one who has inner conversations with “self,” right? Lol! ) It was at that point that I created a little snippet of a blog on Blogger, through Google. I wrote several blogs, but I never published them. I still wasn’t ready to put myself out there.
Fast forward a couple of months and I had the worst anxiety attack experience of. my. life. Brian and I were going to the grocery store to grab 5 things that we needed for dinner. Literally, 5 things. If I wanted to think hard, I could probably tell you what they were. I was already having some of what I call “middle level” symptoms of anxiety; feeling short of breath and tingling in my hands/forearms. But we only needed FIVE things, so I decided to “push through.” I kept telling myself “You are fine. You have zero reasons to feel anxious right now. You are fine.”
Here is the thing about anxiety, though: IT IS NOT LOGICAL
Even though I didn’t feel threatened in anyway, I wasn’t scared, I had my husband with me, and I KNEW that I was ok, my body did not seem to care. The shortness of breath got so bad that by the time I reached the front door, I had to get a handicapped cart because I could not catch my breath. But, again, we only needed 5 things and I was FRUSTRATED beyond belief with anxiety and it’s nonsense. I got on the cart and off we went to get our 5 things.
By the time we got to the first item on the list, the tingling in my hands and arms had spread to my chest and face. By the time we got to the third item, the muscles in my hands clinched up and I could barely control the cart. We got the last two items and got to the checkout. Every muscle in my body was clinched; including my jaw muscles (I could not open my mouth, no matter how hard I tried). I could no longer control the cart at all. My hands were clinched so tight that I could not open them, even enough to grasp the control. Brian did the checkout and he controlled the cart to get us out to the truck. Everything was clinched (Think labor contraction, long and HARD, all over your body, and IT. WILL. NOT. LET. GO.). The way my face looked, with my tight jaw, yet drooping face, Brian thought I might be having a stroke. (Maybe some day I can get him to tell his side of this experience??)
When we arrived at the truck, there happened to be an ambulance blocking us from getting out of our parking spot. Brian picked me up and put me in the truck and then went to get the EMTs. They checked all my vitals. Ya’ll, my blood pressure was perfect. My O2 level was perfect. My heart-rate was perfect. Yet, every muscle was STILL clinched and wouldn’t let go. The EMTs called another ambulance to come get me. I was taken to TMC, checked over by the doctor and nurses, given a strong anti-anxiety medication intravenously, and observed for a time. Once the anxiety attack had passed, and everything else came back perfect, Brian brought me home.
I spent the next week in the bed. Unable to function. Exhausted. Sore. At my wits end. On the verge of suicidal, not knowing what to do next, but knowing that SOMETHING had to be done. I knew that I just couldn’t live like that. I followed up with my family doctor, after the emergency room visit, who sent me to a psychiatrist. I made the appointment with them immediately. This doctor referred me to a therapist, who I actually didn’t make an appoinment with right away. It was close to three weeks later that I went to see her for the first time. Turns out, this lady probably saved my life…No, she really saved my life.
Therapy is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I highly recommend it. Literally. Every. One. should go to therapy because Every. One. has LIFE on them and LIFE is hard sometimes. Let’s lean on each other instead of stepping on each other, shall we?
Forever In His Grip