Anxiety Attacks


Today, an anxiety attack hit me again.  I haven’t had an anxiety attack since right after my father passed away (and my anxiety medications were increased).  My life has been a little chaotic right now.  It is the end of the quarter, so progress reports are due.  My IEP paperwork for all students has to be completed in two weeks.  My 20 page chapter for my thesis was due today (but I got an extension to Monday).  My grades are due Friday.  I had a volleyball game tonight…practice tomorrow and Sunday..and the last game on Monday.  I have parent/teacher conferences next week.  I have to redo an assignment for my internship that I did all wrong (and be done with it by Monday).  The list goes on and it is far too much for me handle right now.

Aside from my to-do list, I had reminders of death today (and flashbacks of my parents’ deaths).  One of the teachers that I work with has cancer and is undergoing chemo treatments.  I took my lunch and cleared 30 minutes before my lunch to go sit with her and talk to her during her treatment.  I was nervous to do this, but knew she needed some support, so I still went.  I watched them hook her up to the machine and listened to her answer medical questions.  I didn’t want to be there because it reminded me so much of being in hospitals with my father being the one answering the medical questions.  I felt like I should have been there with him.  I felt surrounded by death.  By sadness.  I couldn’t handle it, but I put a smile on my face, cracked some jokes, and managed to sit and gossip with her for this whole time.  I know it made her day and she doesn’t know that I was dying inside.  I forced myself to get through it for her.

My anxiety attack hit me once I got back to my classroom.  I ran to the lunchroom to get some lunch and took my tray back to my room so I could inhale it in the 10 minutes I had to eat.  I decided I needed an emotional break, so I checked the news on MSN while I ate.  I stopped and stared at my screen as it became harder for me to breathe.  I gasped for breath as I felt the aching and heaviness in my chest/stomach and dizziness come over me.  What triggered this?  Well, first, everything I have to do…second, witnessing chemo…..third, due to Halloween being soon, everything on MSN was about death.  I just couldn’t handle it.  It pushed me over the edge and the anxiety attack consumed me.  I am anticipating Halloween to be very difficult for me as it is a holiday in which society is all about death.  I can’t handle that.  I will be locked in at my sister’s place and will be refusing to turn on the TV or look outside.  It is a morbid holiday and I will manage to get through it.

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