A panic attack at the St. Lucia airport?

The thing about panic disorder, and generalized anxiety, is that there are times when you’re never really quite sure if what your experiencing is a panic attack and an undercurrent wave of anxiety or whether, perhaps, there is something else medically going on.

Something completely out of the regular, if you’re a regular to anxiety.

Anxiety can be pretty irregular and very scary for those of you who are first dealing with it. But it’s become my regular, and that’s how I cope.

After all this time, I’m convinced I know my body better than, well, anyone. It’s my body, right. And when I sign into emergency and write down I have anxiety, I’m quick to tell the triage nurse, that “yo, I know my body and it’s not anxiety that’s brought me in today. I actually am having weird pain here or there or wherever.”

And I feel the need to be clear about that. I don’t want to waste your time coming into emergency and I don’t want to waste my time showing up. I know what anxiety looks like for me, for the most part anyways.

I actually have a friend who attributed heart flutters to anxiety for quite sometime. Nerves. It was the stress of our university program, or so she thought. Turned out her “waves of anxiety” were actually caused by a heart defect and she’s since had to have a pacemaker.

Health issues wear a tonne of different masks.

And anxiety mimics a tonne of other disorders. And if you’re unsure what’s up, then head in for a check up.

But anyways, I am writing all this because a couple of hours ago, while preparing to head to board the flight out of the country, I became very weak. I felt as though my body were on a rocking ship. I felt dizzy. And my legs felt so, so heavy. It was seriously hard to move. I felt sick.

And I was concerned about myself, no doubt about it. I felt outright worried, which made me feel more worried which made the symptoms of what I was experiencing become harder to deal with.

Hello unhelpful perpetuation of anxiety! You are useless.

Most likely, and I’m no doctor, but I think perhaps I was dehydrated. And that feeling felt like panic. But it wasn’t. It was different. And so I do think being dehydrated led to the feeling of being dizzy, of feeling, you know, off.

But anxiety was still all like, “girl I’m going to hop on board with you,” because, I mean, anxiety is also all like, “WHOA, WHAT IF I AM DYING??”

So then what do I do? I sit there and convince myself I’m probably not dying. And that that’s the anxiety talking. And that in actuality I am dehydrated. And so I chug a bottle of water, ground myself, breathe and tell myself to stop freaking the fuck out.

It’s like, calm the hell down already, geesh.

And then I tell myself what I always tell myself. 90 percent of the things I worry about are quite simply never going to happen. Yep, never do. I didn’t pass out on the airport floor. I’m sat on the plane and doing fine and had another bottle of water.

And am feeling completely normal again. Brace yourself for some TMI: I also checked the colour of my pee, which went from pumpkin orange to a lighter yellow. Which is a pretty good sign I was short on fluids.

Anxiety, especially health anxiety, is awful. You envision a million things that could lead to your untimely death. And hours googling.

Don’t ever google! I once convinced myself for months that I was bound to develop schizophrenia.

And that was horrific. A true fear that I actually carried with me all day long for months.

I’ll tell you more about that later.

That occurred during a particular rough time in my life and I am still unable to go there. But I’ll get there.

And in the meantime, stay hydrated! It’s summer folks.


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