Wednesday, 8 April 2015
What It's Like To Have An Anxiety Attack
I'm having a pretty crappy day as I write this, mainly because I had a panic attack and cried on a bus, so I thought I'd explain why. I have 6 assignments to do and no motivation to do them, added on top of that is the little voice in my head whispering "stupid bitch". I had to go to CBT which was ok, but then I had to go to the bank and do important grown up stuff. And thats when it happened.
My body doesn't feel right; my stomach is sore and twisted, my chest feels tight and like a ten tonne brick is sitting on it, "you're stupid" I hear. I can't think straight, my throat is as dry as sand and my head is pounding. But I'm not having a physical health flare, I'm having an anxiety or "panic" attack. Very soon, I'll stop being able to breathe properly and be in a full blown panic attack, gasping for breath and panicking that I can't breathe so I breathe even worse, "you can't do this" it goes again, so I go lightheaded and my chest aches and my stomach knots get tighter. I know that I need to calm down but the world is crashing down around me and that leads onto to the negative thoughts which probably caused it in the first place. "you're not good enough" breathe in"you fucking idiot" breathe out "its a busy place and everyone knows you're a fraud" don't fucking panic. Those go from normal thoughts everyone has to the extreme, but they usually go to extreme pretty quickly if I can't calm down.
If I'm at home I can control it, sometimes they last longer than I want, because I can't always keep myself calm, and I sob and scream and lie in a ball and try to fight the negative thoughts and get my breathing back to normal. But when I'm in public it gets harder, I can't go to a quiet place and cry. You get looked at weird in public if you're shaking and crying, something I know too well. Today I was on a bus, I was feeling anxious about having to go to the bank by myself and it was loud and packed. Which also sets my nerves on edge more. Soon I was crying silently and trying to breathe rationally, whilst my cries became sobs and my breathe became gasps. I was trying to calm down but I just couldn't. An old man gave me his cotton handkerchief and I gave it back to him soggy. And on top of it all, I was more bothered about how I looked than how I was feeling. I felt like the worst human ever, but usually I can disguise that with smiles and sarcasm, not anymore.
So I sat up straight, I focused on my breathing, and got myself into a state where I could get off the bus when we got to town. I wasn't ok but I would be. I distracted myself with Twitter and Instagram and got my Mam to text me about crap. I didn't feel fully calm until I was home and in bed. No I didn't get to the bank, but one step at a time.
Today was tough, but tomorrow will be better. I'm sure of it.