Alternative title: Because nothing says ‘Anxiety attack’ quite like almost shitting your pants over a near empty waiting room.
“They’re staring at us” my brain whispers as I scan over the waiting room, I count the people – 1,2,3,4 … 4 people. 4 patients. All waiting, all watching the board above reception, all willing their name to be next.
Arms are tingling. Stomach is churning.
“They know why you’re here you know” it says …
Breathing has quickened. Heart is pounding. Head is spinning.
“They know … They all know and …” it begins as my name flashes up on the board, everyone starts to look at one another and I can’t bear to have them look at me. I panic, I run, I crash through the GP’s door and nearly land straight on my face. The tears start. I’m slumped in a heap.
My own brain is my biggest enemy. And that fact is overwhelmingly terrifying.
Adrenaline surged as the fight or flight response commanded my body to escape, to just drop everything and run as far as I could. It didn’t matter where, just as far as I could before my legs collapsed beneath me. Until exhaustion settled in and I was rescued by sleep.
“Ruebi … ” The GP said, touching my trembling hand “Ruebi, you need to breathe”.
“I think I broke your door” I mutter.
“The door is fine …” she said with a smile.
“Pretty sure I broke it … I’m sorry I broke it” I eye it cautiously.
“Ruebi, listen to me, the door is absolutely fine … Take some deep breaths” she turned towards her stethoscope “take some breaths and then tell me what happened”.
I would love to have been able to tell her that my body had experienced a situation that had warranted such an extreme reaction, to be able to say that for once the Anxiety was a rational result of a real danger … But it wasn’t. I was embarrassed explaining that a near empty waiting room had piqued the interest of my demons, I was embarrassed explaining that just trying to blend into the wallpaper wasn’t enough to stop my body having a meltdown, I was embarrassed explaining that an old dear in a dotty raincoat had looked at me when my name came up and my body went into Usain Bolt mode.
I would have liked to have said that situations like this are few and far between, that usually life is all about glitter and rainbows and unicorn farts … Sadly (as much as I freaking love rainbows) it hasn’t been the case and my Anxiety has been gradually increasing in frequency. Sleep has been disrupted, exercise classes have been avoided, I would rather stick pins in my eyes than have to be social … Everyday things as simple as merely making beans on toast have just seemed a lot harder to deal with.
I just have to remind myself that there will always be ups and downs …
I just have to remind myself that this is nothing to be embarrassed about …
PS – This blog post is brought to you by the acoustic version of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” by Runaground (seriously, this guy is AMAZING!)