anxiety

I had a panic attack today

I’m okay now. I think. 

I was at work, in a meeting we have everyday. I started getting really hot and buzzing with a nervous energy. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and like I was falling. The whole world just felt sideways. 

It was so sudden and so unexpected, and not triggered by anything. 

And I did it all silently because disrupting the meeting and embarrassing myself felt like it would only make it worse. So I just tried to wait it out and I left early. My boss was totally cool about it and is letting me work from home tomorrow. 

So, I came home and Rich made me lie down and take my temperature, and I have a low grade fever.  I don’t know if one was a product of the other, but it is what it is. I took a long nap but still feel exhausted. 

I have similar experiences to this more often than I’d realized now that I’m thinking about it. I just feel so trapped for no reason. Times in class or work or even relaxing at home when I just get a flood of overwhelming feeling, and I push it deep down to keep hysteria at bay. 

It occurs to me this isn’t normal. 

anxiety, feeling

Peeing in a skirt

That’s what I’m doing right now. Peeing in a skirt. Well, really I’m peeing in a toilet wearing a skirt. Wait-no-I’m wearing the skirt, not the toilet. I mean, this building is fancy but not that fancy. Actually this paragraph was pointless as I finished up my business a while ago. 

I’m hiding in the bathroom of my summer internship. It’s the end of my first week here and I have mixed feelings. It’s with an internet security company and the office culture is awesome. There’s only like ten people who work here and they are nice and cool and super smart. The main thing that bothers me is how utterly silent the office is. This is a problem for more than one reason. One, at my college job, which is awesome and which I’ll return to in the fall, I work with a bunch of, you guessed it, college aged people. There a big groups of friends and it is hardly ever quiet and even if it is there’s usually music playing somewhere. But here, there are occasional conversations, always short and always about work, and other than that, just the soft clack of computer keys. 

Another reason this is a problem is silence does anything but help me think and stay on track with a task. I start thinking about how what if I just shouted right now? Would everyone jump or would they even hear me, maybe it is so mind numbingly loud that it seems silent but they really wouldn’t even notice. Am I even real? Oh god to I have to fart? Don’t fart, don’t fart, don’t fart. What if they really can hear me? 

But the biggest problem with the silence is that I am not a quiet person. I sing and hum and talk to myself and more inanimate than other humans. Or sometimes I think of a funny saying or something and just really have to hear it out loud. 

Even so, the quiet office isn’t the part that really gives me mixed feelings about this job. It’s that I’m in the wrong place for me professionally; I don’t work with security. I make iPhone apps and sometimes work with WordPress themes and plugins. I don’t have experience in the areas I’ll be working with this summer and I’m terrified I’ll do terribly and let down my boss and coworkers and fellow intern. Even if I can do it, what if I hate it? I mean, I already know it’s not my cup of tea, but if I hate it? What then? Can I even put this on a resume if I don’t want to do more work like it? I can’t quit because then I’ll have no money and a bad reputation in the industry community. 

I had a panic attack last night. I just spent all day on the verge of tears and felt like I couldn’t breathe and when I started telling Rich about it I just broke and freaked out. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about talking to a doctor and asking about anti anxiety medication but I don’t want to look like a druggie and I don’t even know if they’d help. But something’s gotta be better than nothing. 

I know that Billy would tell me to take time for myself, but how do I do that when I don’t have time? 

Thank God it’s Friday. Maybe the weekend will give me some time and some breathing room.

But it looks like the coast is clear to leave the bathroom. 

anxiety, therapy, Uncategorized

Rollercoasters are fun unless they’re emotional

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( Picture: https://pixabay.com/en/santamonicapier-santamonica-sunset-1768005/ )

These past two weeks have been full of ups and downs for me. Rich and I signed a lease on an apartment! Work has been difficult with big deadlines coming up. The weather is turning towards the better! I’ve had two tests, homework assignments, and projects. Just everything moving, moving, moving so fast; I feel dizzy.

I had another meeting with my counselor, Billy today, and I think it went really well, that it’s really helping me.

Among other things, Billy reminded me to take time for myself, something I’ve been missing out on lately because of deadlines and tests and everything.

So tonight, I took like five hours and tried something new, this paper marbling technique I found on Pinterest. It was fun and I really like how my pieces turned out! I put them on my Etsy shop, Hermit Hobby Shop, if you’d like to check them out!

Deadlines are looming, though, for school and work; projects, projects, projects. Easter is this weekend, and it will be my family’s first without my grandfather. Easter was the holiday he was most involved in, and my family has many fun and different traditions that go with it (e.g. we have a basketball shootout with a cash prize).

I’ve been reminding myself of positive things; that every low part of the ride comes in between the peaks in this rollercoaster I’ve been on lately.

I’ve been feeling on top of things at work; my team and I made a list of all the things that needed done and signed our names to the ones we’d each do. I’ve already finished mine and agreed to take on another that my coworker was unsure of! I’ve still got a while on the school project that’s due and plan to start earlier than I did on the last one (which led me to a bit of a breakdown after I put it off for too long). As for the holiday, I know that my family will be together and carry on my grandfather’s traditions; it’ll be hard, but at least we’ll be together.

Even with the ups and downs of the last couple weeks, I’m feeling more myself again though, like this rollercoaster ride is almost over.

anxiety, therapy

Thoughts during therapy

Yesterday was my second ever therapy session. The first one, which I wrote about beforehand, was last week and was an intake meeting, so it was a bunch of questions. My second one got more into things, so here’s a stream of consciousness from my session yesterday:

  • Billy (my counselor, name changed),  you’ve got a boss beard, bro
    • Am I allowed to talk to you as a person?
  • Your voice is really soft
    • Is that a prereq to becoming a shrink? Or do they teach you that
    • Is this your real voice? Like the one you talk to your friends and your cousins and your mom with?
  • Am I gonna cry right now?
    • Oh god, Billy can tell I feel like crying
    • He offered me tissues, that bastard
    • Am I supposed to cry during these things?
    • I don’t want to cry
    • I am not going to cry
  • I wonder if I’m an interesting case, or am I just run of the mill
  • Am I being too whiny?
  • I forgot my water bottle in my car
  • I don’t deserve to feel sad
    • I’m a white, straight, middle class person from the United States, I’m being dramatic
      • You’re allowed to feel however you feel, listen to Billy, your feelings are valid, besides no one deserves to be sad, no one wants it, calm down
  • Does Billy like me?
    • Would he like me if we like met in the food court and just started talking?
    • I care what people think about me, but I try not to, I just don’t want to be a pariah
  • They keep asking me if I want to kill myself, I don’t want that
    • Wait, do I? Do they know something I don’t know
      • No, I know I don’t want to die
  • Ask me more questions, Billy, I’m rambling
    • You’re in charge here, reign this crazy in.
    • I just want to put everything in perspective, you don’t know my life, I just remembered a minor detail that maybe means something?
  • Are you taking notes? I feel like I haven’t seen you take any notes
    • Oh shit, I forgot this was on camera
  • This is my second session ever, I’m basically an expert
  • I don’t think I’m making enough eye contact, but this isn’t like a normal conversation so
  • I feel like I keep justifying my feelings, saying like “I feel like everyone feels that way sometimes.”
  • I keep trying to show that I’m empathetic, saying “I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it, they’re just stressed, too”
  • What do you want from me?
    • Am I saying the right things? Are there right answers?
  • I am so drained
  • This is helping me