There is was a mouse in my cupboard.
I had an anxiety attack.
My anxiety has been raging a little war against me, but I was doing fairly ok for the day dealing with big things like redundancy and stressful life changes, when this one almost knocked me over.
The little mouse I mean.
I managed to stop hyperventilating, in between calling frantically bawling for my flatmate K to remove it, bless him.
I know that when I tell this story, somewhere, someone will laugh. It is funny I know but in all seriousness, that’s exactly why I’m telling it.
People who don’t live with anxiety disorders or who have not experienced severe anxiety don’t always understand the gravity of it. Some brush off your suffering, while others use anxiety related terms in exaggeration which is a bit inconsiderate.
That bothers me.
Anyway, here’s some context: I wasn’t on edge leading up to the moment – I was just going to brew a nice cup of milky Cardamom tea littered with cinnamon on top, and then smell it vigorously while talking to my Mama on the phone. For some reason, as the kettle sung I had to go look for cleaning products to do a mini kitchen clean.
That’s when I stumbled across him. And it changed a lot.This is because even little things can seem so big if you have severe anxiety or are going through a tough phase.
If you can imagine the one time in your life you have had such a fright, you thought your heart might stop, if it didn’t pop out your chest first. And instead of your racing heart calming down, its rate just keeps accelerating, making you breathless. You’re now sweating (the cold sweat drenches me on a good day!) and then when it’s all over (maybe after about 10 minutes to half an hour, you’re so exhausted you could just collapse.
Of course it affects us all differently and to varying degrees. I sometimes get the scariest pain piercing my chest, and the first few times I started having them in my teen years I thought I was having a heart attack.
Time to change
It can take time to change things. To change ways of thinking. But if you read this and agree, share it with a friend, a work colleague or relative. Sometimes people make comments like ‘Oh I almost had a panic attack I thought the store didn’t have my size!” In the past family members just thought I was ‘working myself up for no reason’ telling me to calm down.
I know what is meant, but it is clearly not the same for so many of us who have to take anxiety medications to manage on a daily basis. Sharing with others when we find an opening can help to change one attitude at a time.
Let’s talking coping strategies another day. I’m going to try to have that cup of Cardamom Chai which I had to put off.
In the interim,apart from my not-working-too-well meds – I will breathe, or try to.
Special Thanks for all the love and support of my blogging family!
Gentle hugs and love, love, love. Keep fighting for the lives you deserve x.