Toilet Anxiety Attack
June 4, 2016, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear Readers,


I have been doing fine. I have been trying to force myself forward to a scary, unknown change…but, fine nonetheless.

Last night, however, I had an anxiety attack.

And I feel like I need to write about it, because I am seeing more and more people claim that they are having “anxiety attacks” and “panic attacks” when in reality they are probably just a little stressed and suffering from procrastination.

Now, truthfully, I have not had a lot of legit panic attacks. I had one at work last year and I had to go to the emergency room and get an IV of Ativan.

My anxiety attacks, however, always wear a different face. Some days they look like dread, some days they look like fear, some days they look like self loathing.

Last night was the last fellow.

I had been in a weird place all day at work. I had felt very close to the edge. Also: I was out of Klonipin. What could go wrong?

Late in the evening, I was still alone in the house–my husband was still at work–I found myself sitting on the toilet. That’s right, a girl is admitting to being on a toilet. I’ll accept the Nobel Peace Prize later.

Anyway, I was sitting there and I happened to look down at my lap. My thighs were touching and exceeding the edge of the seat. Now, I am sure this is how my thighs have looked for a long time. I am sure most women, no matter how small, have this happen when they are seated in such a way.

But that’s the thing about anxiety; just like depression, it lies.

I sat there, feeling my face get hot and my vision go blurry. I tried to push them in, making them look smaller. I got up. Went to my bed. Laid down on my side and heaved and sobbed. My skin felt hot. It was so hot I couldn’t breath. I went downstairs, put the thermostat on 65. I sat on the steps and sobbed some more. “I used to be small. I used to be so much smaller. What happened?” This sentence over and over again, like Hail Mary’s.

Of course I know what happened. I grew up. I had a baby. I turned 30. It’s fine.

But last night, it was not fine. I was obsessed with this thought of self hatred.

It was intrusive and terrifying. I looked at my counter covered in medications and thought how easy it must be for people to accidentally over-dose on these things. When something has a grip on you that hard, speaking so loudly, you will take whatever you need to silence it.

I took two of my sleeping pills and curled up into a ball in the bed and fell asleep, still crying.

I woke up at 4 in the morning, freezing. My husband had, of course, come home and slept next to me, with a sweatshirt on–hood up. He’s been with me for so long that he no longer asks questions.

I sat up in the bed and stayed very still for a moment. Had that really happened? Had it been a dream?

I put my hands on my thighs. No, it had happened.

And it will happen again, wearing a different guise each time.

But, in the end, the only important thing is that I made it through to the other side.


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