The Panic Attack

A quick warning, this post may be difficult to read for some people, as I am discussing in detail a panic attack I had today.

I woke up this morning feeling good. I went for a run. I was faster and went further than I have for any of my training.

I felt proud and good.

I went about my usual routine. Zombie was home sick from work so I made sure he had everything he needed then I went to work.

I felt good.

I got to work, and went inside, still feeling good. I said good morning to the people in the staff room and we exchanged brief pleasantries. I put my lunch in the fridge and put on my hi-vis, same as every day and entered the warehouse to go to the office and my desk.

I still felt good.

Then I got closer to the office and I started to feel a little less good. It was like a switch was turned off. My motivation started to drain. It was a little unsettling.

I entered the office, said good morning to everyone and started my day. I told a workmate I wasn’t very motivated and he gave me a brief pep talk, which was nice.

However it went downhill from there. I couldn’t concentrate. I chipped away at little bits and pieces doing the absolute minimum possible. I’m almost certain I made mistakes.

Morning tea time came and I rushed out to the staffroom. I put up a motivational post on Instagram about how much I love and benefit from yoga. I said hello to the girls in the front office and we had a friendly chat. I started to feel better.

I had my apple and went back to work. Usually after my apple I feel hungry still for about 10 minutes, but today this didn’t happen. That’s when it happened.

I tried to use the computer, but I couldn’t work out what I was supposed to do. Bear in mind that I’ve done this job almost every weekday for the past 3 and a half years. I felt confused.

I took my hands off the keyboard and decided to try some deep breathing to relax myself. Instead all I could manage was fast shallow breathing. Not quite hyperventilating, but on the way.

My heart started racing, I felt cold and shaky.

I thought maybe I should get somewhere quiet so I went into my bosses office, he wasn’t there at the time, so I closed the door and sat down. I tried ringing my boss on his cellphone but he was busy. I waited, but the breathing got harder and the shaking got more intense. Then the crying started.

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I rang my bosses boss and told him I thought I was having a panic attack. He came down and asked me what could he do to help. I’ve mentioned before that my work knows about my mental health, but even if they didn’t they would have still been nothing but helpful.

He rang my peer support worker and put her on speakerphone. I had seen her at group last night so she knew how much stress I had been putting myself under recently. She asked my boss if I could go home and he said yes and called my mother to pick me up. Then she guided me through calming techniques. She was so kind and helpful, I am so glad we called her. She gave me advice on how to spend the next few hours and some numbers to call if I needed any more support.

I sat on the floor in my bosses office, while I waited for mum to come and get me. I wasn’t calm or relaxed, but my heart rate had slowed and my breathing was returning to normal. I was still shaky but felt a little better.

I don’t know how long I was in there. It felt like a really long time, but also very short. I could hear everything happening around me, but I felt disconnected from it. I took a few photos of myself. I’m really not sure what prompted me to do this, it seems such an odd thing to do, but I did it. I actually put one up on Instagram and wrote a caption about what was happening. I actually promptly forgot I’d done this, but when I checked Instagram a few hours later I had a ton of support messages so I feel it wasn’t a bad thing.

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As I mentioned earlier Zombie was home sick today, so he was there when I got home. He was feeling better so he chatted with mum and then made sure I sat down, had water and did nothing. A lovely friend called so I told her what had happened. She has been there herself so she completely understood and was very good to talk to.

Later on I said I felt like I needed to go for a walk. Zombie agreed and we went for a casual stroll through the park. This felt nice and relaxing, but also surprisingly tiring.

When we got home there was a huge bouquet of beautiful flowers on the doorstep. Zombie said, “I bet they’re from your work.” He was right. They had written a note to say they were thinking of me.

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I was instantly overwhelmed but this time in a good way. Zombie told me they sent them because I’m amazing and they value me as an employee and that I was worth it. He can be incredibly sweet that man! I really don’t know what I’d do without him, he is so understanding.

Later on mum and my brother came back to drop my car off and check in. I also got a phone call from Zombies wonderful sister all the way from Sydney, checking in to make sure that I was ok.

After being talked out of cheating on my elimination diet by Zombie, I made a quick dinner of eggs and veggies. Cooking is something I’m usually very good at but I just couldn’t do it well tonight. I’ve poached a lot of eggs in my time but I just couldn’t do it tonight. I kept forgetting what I was doing. I still feel a bit odd at the moment, still having trouble concentrating and my memory seems to be fading in and out.

I feel terrified about going to work tomorrow. I’m sure that work will understand but I don’t want to let them down anymore than I have. I just don’t know if I can do it. Like I mentioned I struggled with cooking a simple dinner so I’m scared I’ll have another panic attack.

The worst part about today is I knew this was coming and I ignored the signs. I should have slowed down. I have so much on at the moment with work, my health and exercise, a busy social life and general everyday life and I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

I’m definitely slowing down now. I need more me time. I need to relax more and not spend life rushing around too much. There are areas I can slow down, I just have to decide what’s more important to keep up with.

To anyone seeing warning signs right no, I urge you not to ignore them. This feeling will pass and I will get better but it is a wake up call. I am only human, there is only so much I can handle and I need to remember that.

I was shown a lot of love and support today but a lot of different people. I feel very blessed to have such amazing caring people in my life, it certainly helps

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week. I’m going to be taking it easy, it’s very much overdue.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

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