I had an anxiety attack last night.
One of those “true textbook definition” anxiety attacks.
I crawled into bed (in order to go to sleep), laid back and my entire world shook. If you’ve never had an anxiety attack, let me explain what it feels like–at least from my perspective.
I closed my eyes and it felt like I was on a spinning top going about 100 miles an hour. My heart started racing and beating in triple time. I became really overheated (even with the AC on and my fan going) and started sweating. My mind started going into hyperdrive and I couldn’t catch my breath, almost like I was under water. My muscles were rapidly contracting all over my body. None of my thoughts were even clear and they seemed to be colliding with one another.
Although my heart and mind were racing, time itself seemed to drag on into forever and I thought, “Am I dying? Do I need to call someone–I can’t call anybody, because I can’t process words…I hope this isn’t a heart attack–is this what this is?”
After a few minutes, I managed to sit up on the side of my bed, in the darkness of my room, facing the window overlooking the parking lot of my complex. I made it a point to focus on breathing and things slowly returned to normal.
I can’t think of any ONE specific thing that set off the anxiety attack last night, because my days lately have become routinely monotonous with work. Sure, I’ve been under a little bit of stress in my job, but only because it’s newish (I started about four 1/2 months ago after leaving an extremely stressful job) and I’m trying to “master” it as quickly as possible. While I’m in a similar field, my actual job itself is completely different, so there’s a learning curve. I’ve also been looking to get a house a little closer to work (because I commute about 45 minutes each way) and that’s been slow going (considering my wants vs. my budget).
Sure, none of these things probably constitute for legitimate reasons to have an anxiety attack, especially when I’ve been under far more stress for other more “important” reasons, and didn’t manage to “feel like” I was dying because of them.
Truth is, I’ve been dealing with anxiety now for a few years. I don’t think I noticed it until my teens, but I didn’t “face it” until my mid-20s. I dated this guy for about just shy of a year around in my mid/late 20s. He struggled with anxiety (and still does) as well but controlled it periodically with medicine. I realized in dating him that I also needed to investigate avenues to manage my anxiety, so I did. As much as I liked him, being around him really triggered my anxiety. I went to a therapist and took anxiety medicine for a while until I stopped wanting to take off of work to go and refill the pills. I thought I would be ok. I guess not.
Anyway, I’ve been considering giving it another go. Finding a completely new therapist, maybe closer to work, so I don’t have to take a great deal of time off to make it to appointments across town. Perhaps I should make this more of a priority sooner rather than later.
I did manage to speak to a friend about this today (that helped), which was a start. Usually, I don’t openly speak or even write about it in this much detail.