I had a panic attack today in work. It crept up on me slowly like the warm feeling that comes over you when you climb into bed on a freezing cold night. Under the blankets for the first few moments you feel chilly, the sheets are cold and then slowly you warm up until eventually you realize you are absolutely toasty warm; without really realizing you were beginning to feel that way. At first I didn’t recognize what was happening until I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t stop crying. All I could do was put my head between my legs, try and slow down my breathing and wipe away the tears that flowed without a sound.
I was so embarrassed afterwards. Everyone looked at me for the rest of the day, some with concern and some with questions in their eyes. Some still didn’t look at me at all, not knowing what to say or how to react. What brought on the attack was not ‘one’ thing I can put my finger on, as I said it came across me slowly until I was a mess on the floor of my office. I’ve dealt with depression, I’ve dealt with elation, I’ve dealt with my own share of stress and anxiety. But I’ve only ever had a handful of panic attacks in my life and they are not pleasant.
Afterwards, when it had subsided, I had a headache and a knot in the pit of my stomach, which hasn’t really gone all day. I am sitting down in my home now not sure if I will share this, but needing to get it out and down all the same.
My mother always says ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ but that’s strictly not always true. Whatever it was that brought this on so quickly today, is still there and I am now terrified that this will happen again in work. I used to think that the older I got the more adept I would get at handling my bipolar. It gave me a sense of control I now feel has been taken away from me. I haven’t felt afraid of my mental health in a long time; not since the regime of medication made me relatively stable. But knowing that something else can come along and knock you flat without warning now leaves me very unsettled…
Such is life…,
such is the trials and tribulations of life…
But I don’t have to like it.