Updated: Jul 7, 2020
This week a few people have told me how they are enjoying my blog posts. That's good! I didn't know anyone was reading them outside of my husband and my mentor. Apparently, some of my family members have read the posts and there is some concern that I might be sharing a little too much...that I might be putting too much out there...well, maybe I am. I mean I haven't even gotten to the meaty stuff yet (don't worry, its not too meaty...it's not Lifetime movie meaty). If I have learned anything this week (and that is what, in essence, these blogs are supposed to be about), it is that it is time to stop playing small. We need to start talking to each other...talk about those things that make us uncomfortable, the things we would rather not talk about...
We have to start somewhere...so if it's me oversharing then so be it. I have no plans to run for political office (famous last words), so if you all think I might be a little touched in the head...well, that's okay because we need to get some conversations started.
With that being said...back to the story...
When last we left off...I was pissed off about the following things: Pool Guy (nuff said), The Pool (specifically the diving board), our upcoming yet totally unplanned trip to Disney...and how this trip would be funded...cuz funds were running low...and oh yeah...I need a job!
It was a hot summer day in August 2013, the kids played with their toys nearby as I paid the bills and also played a game that my mom used call robbing Peter to pay Paul. After that fun game, I begrudgingly started planning the trip that I really didn't want to go on...looking for the cheapest way to do Disney (is there actually a way to do that). After an hour of searching VRBO for condos, I had to stop as I had a lunch date out in west Jersey with a former co-worker. I was trying to muster the energy to put on a happy carefree face for the lunch. I planned to talk to her about returning to work in a casual...I don't really need a job but one would be really fun right now kind of a way. So, I was going to have to find my happy carefree face. I really wasn't in the mood to put on a happy carefree face and so I didn't for the kids and then for my parents who were watching the kids while I went to lunch. As I marched out of my parent's house after having dropped the kids off, I tried to recalibrate...tried to find my happy face but I just kept circling around to the "if onlys"...if only Pool Guy didn't...if only Keith didn't make some crazy Disney promise to the kids....if only I was working and making money...if only...if only...it became a mantra in my head.
The sun was shining, road conditions were good and traffic was unusually light as I got onto Route 78 West that day. I had traveled this highway hundreds of times commuting to and from work. I knew the where the hills were, were it bottle necked and got crazy with traffic, however, I didn't need to worry about that today as there was no traffic. So I settled into the drive and the thoughts that had been taunting me. I didn't bother listening to the radio as it would only distract me from the mantra streaming through my head. If only...if only...if only....the drum was beating loudly in my head when it happened. I felt a jarring burst of energy hit the top my head. The wave reverberated through my whole body....I immediately became disoriented and began experiencing extreme vertigo. I don't need to mention that vertigo is really really bad when travelling 70 mph on a major highway. Suddenly I felt like I had no control over my car, that I was completely out of balance...I had to get out of the the left lane...quickly. I managed to get into the right lane...my speed was probably around 35 mph now...and I was still feeling like I could not control the car. Thank God there was no traffic otherwise horns would be honking and causing me further anxiety.
I managed to get off at the next exit and pull over. "What the fudge just happened to me?" (except I didn't say fudge...I said the other "f" word you probably shouldn't say in a blog). I sat on the side of the road for a few minutes and collected myself. I had no idea what had just happened but it seemed to be over and I seemed to be okay...and Thank God I did not get in an accident. I drove back roads the rest of the way to my lunch date. I met my friend and I smiled and chatted and totally acted like nothing was wrong...but I knew in my gut something was very wrong and I had no idea what it was...I just prayed to God whatever happened to me on Rte. 78 would never happen to me again. Well, that prayer was answered and not in the way that I wanted.
That day in August was the first of many panic attacks to come...all while driving...this quickly became something I could no longer ignore.
Editor's Note: So there you have it...panic attacks (told ya it wasn't Lifetime meaty). I had never had one before that day. I had managed my anxiety pretty much my whole life...and by managed I mean I just ignored it and went on with whatever I had to do that made me anxious. I could not ignore the panic attacks...I was going to have to address them. I was going to have to start by telling my husband...
This weeks Lesson: I learned that stuffing and ignoring "things" does not work.
The Universe will force you in some way to unstuff that bag of garbage and start sorting through it...and sometimes their tactics though well meaning are not pleasant.