Around 3 this morning, I had an anxiety attack at work. I left the building and went out to my car. I needed my jacket, I really, really needed my jacket, which was at home. I sat down, stood up, sat down again, tried deep breathing for all of ten breaths, threw small rocks, and did some of the stretches I learned in CrossFit. I felt overstimulated. I wanted to run, do burpees, throw a softball, jump-rope, anything that might be so consuming as to blot out my stress. In high school I played softball to take care of my “anger management” issues; before that, I used to sprint.
(Sidenote: it took me an hour to write that last sentence, as I went off on a 700+ word tangent about my teen years that I’ll probably schedule for Monday.)
Luckily, my mom called about 15 minutes in, having woken up to a fire alarm around the time of my attack. I’m really grateful for the twitchy fire alarm (there was no fire). As she talked to me, I walked around the parking lot shaking my hands as hard as I could without risking dislocation of my wrists. I felt like I was trying to swat away negative energies. I felt an electrical pulse shoot up my spine, a direct result of my anxiety, and something that’s happened periodically since I was old enough to hate ketchup (that’s a relatively short story for another time).
Mom convinced me not to work overtime–a pretty normal habit since work is one of the few things that holds me together. I went back inside, got a few ducks in a row, and left at 4. Went home, got on Amazon, purchased an extremely fashionable jacket that I will absolutely wear in the summer, went to bed, and tried to sleep off the stress.
Now we’re here. My grand stressors are still active:
- Acute awareness of my inability to multi-task
- Confusion over how my absurd workload should be prioritized
- Increased awareness of social anxiety
- Increased awareness of my low station within the corporation
- Increased awareness of my propensity for making mistakes
- Increased awareness of isolation from other people (see: my definition of Hell)
- Knowledge that every day, my workload grows instead of dwindles
- Knowledge that there are people who do not understand why I work as hard as I do
- Knowledge that there are people who resent how long it takes me to accomplish a task
Then, there are the little stressors:
- I need to do laundry before work tonight
- I need to get gas so I can go get food and go to work
- I need to take a shower before I leave the house
- My car air conditioning doesn’t work, and it’s been extremely hot recently
- I need to take my car to get the tires and the alignment checked before something bad happens
- I need to buy a plane ticket
- I need to do my department’s stats
- I need to write my little fictions before I forget them
- I need to pay my credit card bills
I haven’t eaten today. My half-hearted attempt to leave the house and grab lunch was thwarted by the fact I’m not the center of the Universe.
I need to leave.
(Arizona, not the Universe; I’m rather comfortable in this Universe, though I’m willing to give the Multi-verse a spin provided it gives me time to accomplish all of my goals and I stop being mental.)
I have Memorial Day and the two days following off. I want to go somewhere, but I know I can’t go alone. On every vacation in the last 18 months, if I’m left alone for more than 24 hours, I end up laying in bed, staring at the wall. In my completely insane heart of hearts, I want to ask my lost friend to pick a place on the map, and we’ll travel there together. He was the best travel partner I’ve ever had, and there were so many places we still wanted to go.
It’s taking every ounce of mental strength not to shut down right now. I cannot risk my job, my family, my friends. And I know. I know it’s kind of insane to even consider asking my lost friend to travel with me. But I can’t be home, and I can’t be alone, so something has to give.
I need advice. What would you do? Where would you go?