Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The bad stuff first

This weekend was insane. I needed another day off in order to recuperate. However that is not the case and I am at work as we speak (or write). I promise to give a full recap tomorrow (hopefully) but today I wanted to talk about something that happened to me.

As I mentioned last week I was going to Baltimore on Friday for my friend’s birthday. For days I deliberated with myself as to whether or not I should go and if it was even worth it. All that traveling especially with the labor day traffic to be at a place for less then 24 hours. Thursday comes and I decided to scrap the whole idea. As soon as I came to that decision I immediately felt guilty. I felt bad about not seeing my friend and then I also felt that if I didn’t go I would be missing out on this amazing time and then I would feel even more like a loser. Friday morning comes and I still have NO idea if I should go or not. Finally at like 11:30 I tell myself to forget everything and just GO. Which I did at the worst possible time, I hit A LOT of traffic. While I was driving in New Jersey it wasn’t bad. In fact I made good time getting out of the state. However as soon as I hit Delaware I was in massive traffic. As soon as I hit the traffic, I got a major panic attack and starting crying and shaking uncontrollably. I could not calm down and because of the traffic there was no place for me to pull over and regroup.

I’ve had panic attacks before but never like this and never in a situation where I couldn’t just stop what I was doing in order to calm myself down. It was bad. Just thinking about it now is making me upset. It was just traffic and I flipped out. The thing is, I made it worse than it should have been. The whole time I was driving I kept thinking about what a bad idea this was. Every time I passed an exit I got the urge to just get off and turn back around. Then I started thinking about how my friends never make a trip up to Jersey to come and visit me. Then I started to think about my life and how much it sucks right now and how much I want to quit my job. I was thinking about how indecisive I am and how even as I was still driving I was unsure if I was doing the right thing. I used to never be like this. I never had problems making a decision and once my mind was made up there was no changing it. What happened? Is it because I of my lack of confidence that I can no longer make a simple decision? Am I just to overloaded to even be able to make decisions? I just don’t know. lol. I am a wreck.

All of that was running through my head during my panic attack. It was awful, but I finally calmed down after a frantic phone call to my mom. She helped to calm me down and I powered my way to Baltimore. Eventually the traffic went away and I ended up making pretty good time considering. I also ended up having a great time but the whole time I was out and having a good time, every once in a while I would think about the trip I would have to make on Saturday. Would it be bad or worse then it was? Will I freak out again? The closer it got to the time I was leaving the more nervous I got. I just couldn’t stop it. The traffic was pretty bad on the way back, but it only took me 45 minutes longer than it usually takes me. It actually wasn’t that bad. Also I did not have a panic attack so it was much better.

Even though this all happened a couple of days ago I can’t get the whole thing out of my head. In particular the panic attack and all those questions I have. What made me turn into this? I need to stop asking myself these questions and give myself a break. Otherwise I am going to have another panic attack soon. My acid reflux has been slowly creeping back and it’s because my anxiety is getting the best of me. I refuse to go back on medicine because I hated who I was when I was on them. I need to just step back and really figure out what I am doing. I need to make time to step back and figure this all out. I just can’t figure out when. I wish I had more vacation days, that way I could really just sit at home and re-evaluate my life. Even now writing about this, I am fighting back the tears. I am such a mess and it’s mostly my fault because I never give myself a break. I put too much pressure on everything.

Does any one have any methods they use to calm down? Or what do you do when you really need to sit and make a decision? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. – I swear this weekend has been amazing, but I just needed to get this thing off my chest before I can really tell you about it. I will post more tomorrow.


Karen said...

Sorry you had that bad experience. In general I don't have panic attacks, but I do get anxiety. As for decisions, I do the pros and cons and then I go to my family. I really value my dad and my brother's opinions.

Ashley D said...

I go to friends and family when I need help making a decision. It's always nice to get their perspective. As for the other stuff, I don't really know. These past few days have been rough for me too, and I haven't figured out how to handle it yet...

Anonymous said...

I've tried all kinds of things even acupuncture and hypnotism (no, seriously!) but the thing that has really helped me the most is just that I have to do whatever is making me panic. If I keep avoiding it, the fear just gets worse but every time you overcome the fear, it gets a little bit weaker. I would also say deep breathing and talking to a friend or family is helpful as long as they don't make things worse. And if you have to remove yourself from the situation, so be it. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

Alexandreena said...

I second the "just do whatever it is that frightens you". Tough to do, but it works.