As in right now.
My chest is tight. My heart is racing. My hands are shaking. I have an overwhelming feeling of dread.
FYI, it’s very hard to type when your hands are shaking.
This is not postpartum anxiety, as I am grateful to have gotten past that many years ago. This is good old, garden variety anxiety disorder, which I will have always.
I rarely have anxiety attacks. I take medication for my OCD and it keeps me stable most days. Every now and then, though, stress hits the secret high mark, some critical mass — I’ve never been made privy to the exact amount — and it starts. It isn’t any one thing, really. Just some combination of weights pushing down on my mind like grand pianos and then careening over the top I go.
I went over the damn top.
I hate that I can’t see it coming until it’s here and now I’m going to sit here and feel out of control. I know this is part of who I am, like an uncle I rarely see and don’t particularly like, but who is part of my family nonetheless so I must welcome him with a pasted-on grin twice a year.
For me, anxiety attacks are part my biology and partly my own creation. By the expectations I have for myself, the work I give myself to do, the things I bring inside of me that could probably just as easily have been left outside.
I don’t like this feeling. It’s disconcerting. It sucks.
Now I will hang on to the side of this anxiety attack for dear life, legs dangling, fingernails broken. This is not how I will be tomorrow. It’s not even perhaps how I’ll be five hours from now. It’s not permanent. I’m not dying. I will not be scarred, or broken or bowed.
I will shake. And then I will stop shaking.
Photo credit: Fotolia © Albert Lozano-Nieto