Whew, this is gonna be a bit of a tough post to write but I figure if Terri can be so honest and forthcoming about her experiences then surely I can talk about my issues occasionally. Every now and then, I will experience a mild panic attack.......usually induced by very large, noisy crowds (hence my avoidance of concerts despite my deep love of music, especially live performances) or claustrophobia (parking garages kill me) but for the past year I've rarely experienced those problems and thought perhaps they were behind me.
Tuesday night proved that thought wrong.......I was in a very crowded Target having a phone convo and something just tripped it. Quickly told the person I had to go without explaining why--huge mistake on my part because they could have helped me through it. But it is called a panic attack for good reason :-(. I literally felt like the store was shrinking around me, the walls appeared to be warping towards me. Everywhere I turned I was blocked in and couldn't get out of the area I was in. Roaring just kept getting louder and louder, voices (most of which were speaking Spanish) just seemed like they were slamming into my senses. Yeah, very disorienting to say the least.
I finally managed to work my way out of the clothing section (absolutely worst place for that to happen, it's maze-like at the best of times) and keep enough of my decorum to get in line and pay for my items. I'm sure the cashier and other customers thought I was losing it though because of the quickness of how I was breathing and I'm sure I looked scared. Got myself out of there though before the tears started thankfully....The tears by the way weren't part of the panic attack, they were more a reaction of being so ashamed and angry that I had the attack after so long and I've got to admit it was the worst one I'd ever experienced. Fortunately, I'm not totally debilitated by the ones I have and can continue to function enough to get myself into what I consider a safe place to calm down and start figuring out what went wrong.
Huge thank you to my twitter friends, there was a major outpouring of support and concern after I tweeted about the panic attack. While I was still too shaken and frustrated with myself to reply individually that night, please know that everything was greatly appreciated. Thank you, xxxxxxxxxx