Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So much for all those years of therapy paying off.

Today something stressful happened to me, and I had a huge panic attack. For once, the thing that set me off would have even upset a normal person. I actually had a reason to feel distressed. Of course, I didn't just feel distressed. I had a huge fucking panic attack.

I totally freaked out. I couldn't breathe, my heart was trying to beat itself out of my chest, my blood pressure rocketed to the moon and my head felt like it would explode. And while I was going through all of this, I had to try and fix the problem that had caused this panic attack in the first place. Which meant dealing with people.

As you know, even when I'm at my best, I don't deal with people all that well. I really tried to not let my panic attack affect my communication with the people I needed to talk to to fix the problem, but I'm afraid I wasn't completely successful. I ended up yelling at someone over the phone and sent some emails that maybe weren't completely polite.

Fortunately, the situation was resolved very quickly. And I really appreciate how helpful and competent the people were who fixed things. Even though to me, every moment that I was waiting for things to be resolved felt like hours.

After the problem was corrected, and I had checked over the emails that I had sent and determined that although they were a bit abrupt, they weren't all that bad, I was still in really bad shape.

I went out back and spent time with my critters, which can usually calm me down. It helped, but nothing was going to stop my body from the physiological over-reaction it was engaged in.

For several hours after everything was resolved, my heart was still pounding, my blood pressure was still spiking, I was still having trouble breathing and I had the most intense stress headache. I was also crying uncontrollably. Not huge wracking sobs or anything like that, just tears dripping from my eyes and the occasional sad gasp.

And in case you've never understood why women love their cats so much. As I was laying on my bed crying, several of my cats came and rubbed up against me or curled up next to me. One even licked the tears from my face.

I know that though the thing that happened did deserve an emotional response, it did not deserve this extreme anxiety reaction. I knew that even as I was panicking. But did it help? No.

This is my life. Even when I know that my reactions are far beyond what they should be, that doesn't change what is going on. Knowing that you are over-reacting and not being able to stop it, just makes things even worse.

This is why I am a recluse. I am incapable of dealing with the everyday stresses that normal people encounter in their every day lives.

I thought that limiting my interaction with the outside world by creating an online identity or two that only dealt with the rest of the world through cyberspace would protect me from these kinds of stresses. It does limit them, but apparently, it cannot completely prevent them.