Anxiety is painful, not just because it can really wreak havoc on many parts of life. It’s physically painful. During the 3 ½ month-long anxiety attack, my chest was so tight. I had a hard time taking a deep breath. My ears burned, turning bright red just because. My hands shook. I got weirdly overcome by vertigo at inopportune moments. I was concerned I might cause a car accident. I sweat for no reason. I got wicked headaches, as well as neck pain. I felt like I was having a heart attack. All of the time. I cried in front of my boss. I pretty much would have rather had a damn heart attack. Ok, not really, but OMG I was so over it. Eventually, the extended version anxiety attack ended. 6 weeks AFTER I went on leave. I’ve had several anxious days since. I don’t always know why. I just know when it’s happening.
Anxiety is also an excellent reminder of the fragile and ephemeral gift of existence, albeit one that you probably don’t want to receive.
Look, shit happens. To everyone. And anyone. At any time. I am not necessarily going so far as to say that there’s a reason, but maybe there is. I don’t know. In my case, I really needed to shift my perspective. On work, on life, on what I can do and what I ought to do. I needed badly to shift my perspective on myself. I guess I needed to break before I could get fixed. Not that I’m anywhere near fixed.
I have learned a few things about myself, though. I’ve learned I can literally walk my way out of an anxiety attack. I’ve learned to listen to my body instead of just my brain. I’ve learned that it may well keep getting worse before anything slightly positive happens. I’ve learned to let some shit go.