I know, I know, it’s been a while since I last wrote a post. Why? Well to be honest, I felt I’d written all I could write. I’d talked about how it started, how I was working through it, and how it had subsided. My story had concluded so to speak, or so I thought.
Cut to November. Everything felt pretty good and I’d conquered so much that anxiety had taken away from me over the years. I felt confident, I was able to hold meetings, go to the barbers for a hair cut and even drive regularly on the motorway (through choice!). I was generally able to live a normal life.
However, as we know Christmas can be a right pain in the back side and sometimes make is feel quite vulnerable when it comes to stress and anxiety, and I’m no exception. With a mix of party games, social events, a low bank balance and high expectations, Christmas was always going to be a bit tricky this year but I felt prepared.
Cut to my Christmas hair cut, freshening up for Santa by having an even shorter ‘do which hopefully means it’ll last longer, I made my way to the barber shop. The place wasn’t as quiet as it usually is, so I felt a bit overwhelmed but I sat myself in the chair and got on with it.
Some guy came in, really loud and boisterous and decided to make himself the centre of attention at other people’s expense, including my own. Not in a bad way, he just kept telling jokes that weren’t really funny. All of a sudden this wave came over me and I began to feel the panic set in. It came really fast, light headedness and jelly legs which made the panic just get worse. I’m sat in a barbers chair with my hand on my chest trying to convince myself that it was a panic attack and I’d be alright but my brain wasn’t listening. At that point I’d had enough and asked to be excused as my phone was ringing. I went into the corridor and answered a non-existent call while the panic subsided.
Eventually it did, and I know I’d have to get back in the chair, mostly because only half of my head had been cut and I looked like the father in Matilda after having a hat stuck to his head. I climbed back in, still feeling quite hot and jittery, and the barber brought me a glass of water. I continued to have my hair cut, focusing on breathing regularly, and trying to take in all of the physical feelings so I could learn from it.
I got through the hair cut just fine, and I look amazing obvs, but it has made me think about how the panic disorder that i’v spent so long convincing myself I am on top of might still be there. I’ve taught myself that I can’t and won’t pass out, yet in that chair I felt like that exact thing was going to happen. Out for dinner last night I had a wave of ‘what if’ and slight light headedness that brought on the same thing.
Maybe it’s a festive thing, and the vulnerability is making me a little more sensitive to it? Maybe panic is always going to be there with me. Maybe I just need to keep reminding myself that I can beat this.
Either way, I am OK. I am still very much on top of my mental health and feel good about 2019 and what it has to offer. I just need to be vigilant and remain on top of my feelings.
Happy new year!