Sunday, January 21, 2018

How I Talked Myself Out of a Panic Attack

I had to come on here to document something tonight, because something happened today that doesn't happen very often and I just had to share.

I went to the grocery store alone tonight, I started off confident and then when I realized I had to go back across the store panic started to set in.  I quickly walked to the other side (this is probably our smallest grocery store by the way, so it wasn't far) and decided I was done after that.
I opted out of the express lane as it was busy and I liked the lady at the regular till.  There was only one person in front of me but he had a cart full, I put up my groceries (only 6 things) and then waited.
Someone came up behind me, and when there was room I put a, what do you even call those things, between our groceries, and still waited.  I was looking at the candy, watching other people, doing everything I could to distract myself while this guy's groceries went through.
I could feel my heart beating faster, my face was going red and I was starting to sweat.
I was seriously ready to get out of the line just so I could breath and/or cry.  I was going to tell the guy behind me I was going to be sick and race out, I had it all planned.
Then I told myself to breathe.
Just breathe.

So I just stared off and just kept breathing, telling myself "it's okay, nothing bad is happening, nobody cares that my face is red, you have no reason to cry right now, you can do this".

And you know what?
It worked.
It was my turn and all was well.
But you know what? In that moment of panic I was trapped, I thought I had no where to go, that I couldn't breathe or cool down and that everyone was watching me panic.  But in reality? Nobody was watching me, nobody cared, the only thing that happened was that the cashier said "hi".  That was it.

When I got in my car I let out the biggest gasp for air and laughed a little, shocked that I did it. 
That I talked myself out of a panic attack.

I think it's a little bit of claustrophobia when I'm in a line like that too, where you're blocked in on both sides and there is someone in front and behind you.  About 10 years ago it was really bad in lines, where I would be at the checkout with my mom and I would start crying or just be red in the face and panicked.
Now when I'm in line with someone else it doesn't happen, but when I'm by myself it still tends to.  I try to opt for self checkout when I can, but today there was no option.
Also going to cashiers that I'm used to helps as well.

That ended up being longer than I planned, but I like that I didn't feel defeated or crippled by my anxiety today and had to share!

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