Monday, May 6, 2013

It Happened Again...

Yesterday was the last day of my niece's dance recital. 
Girard and I had tickets to see the final show with my in-laws.
Kennedy just turned 7 a few months ago and this was her second year taking dance. 
She would be dancing along to a little Christmas jingle - and I was excited for and so very proud of her!

As we entered the dimly lit auditorium to find the seats that corresponded with our tickets
I could feel it begin to happen...

My heart started racing.
My chest was pounding.
My hands became clammy.

There were hundreds of others' searching for their seats.
People walking up and down the aisles.
It was crowded - very crowded.
There was music playing over the speaker system.
The voices of everyone talking seemed to echo all around.
It was loud - very loud.

We found our seats - about halfway down the aisle and on the right.
I quickly sat in my assigned chair...and it wasn't long before another reality hit me.
I was trapped.
Correction - I felt trapped.
The rows of chairs literally sit on top of each other; leaving what felt like just
enough leg room to satisfy a child. 
As I sat in my seat - I was shoulder to shoulder with Girard on one side and his sister on the other.
My body wanted to get up and run for its life
but my mind knew that there was nowhere for me to go.
I sat staring at the massive stage curtains trying to find my way through my thoughts.
They were swirling and spinning all over the place, refusing to settle.
I was having a hard time taking a deep breath and I felt lightheaded.
Girard noticed.

As he began to ask if I was okay I remember shushing him.
I was embarrassed, mad at myself, and felt weak...
Embarrassed because I didn't want anyone else to witness my discomfort.
Mad because I wasn't in control of my mind, body, and feelings.
Weak because once again I had to depend on a pill to calm my nerves.

I had not experienced this same panicked, anxious feeling in several months.
The last time it happened I was with Girard in a crowded casino in Las Vegas.
I had chalked that attack up to being in an unfamiliar place mixed
with the lack of much needed sleep.

But, this time - I couldn't (and still can't) rationalize it.
I was in a familiar place - where I watched countless matinee plays on Sunday afternoons as a child.
I was with Girard and his family - people I love and trust.
For the most part the atmosphere was a happy one - full of people anxiously waiting to watch the show that their daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, etc. had worked so hard to learn.
This was a dance recital for crying out loud...

I've mentioned my battle with anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder here before.
In the past I remember attacks being tremendously terrifying.
Perhaps, because it was new territory for me...
  Over time though, I have learned that I have plenty of fears that will "paralyze" me, given the chance.
I work really hard to avoid being in places or situations in which I know I'll feel vulnerable...
and I strive everyday to push negative and crippling thoughts from my mind...

Yesterday's attack was definitely less than welcome, and has left me confused
and feeling upset with myself more than anything else.

Not to mention that it was both mentally and physically draining.
(We got home around 6:30 and I headed straight to bed...)

So, today...I have found myself on the edge of having the blues.
I keep telling myself, "day by day...and tomorrow is a new one."

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