Yeah, so, I had another panic attack.
Friday I was going to a chick dinner at my friend DH’s house. Once a year, my friend DH invites a bunch of her lady friends over for dinner. I look forward to it. It’s really fun to chat with a group of smart, funny, interesting women. It’s really fun. I baked bread and everything. See?
So, yeah, I was planning on drinking several glasses of wine at DH’s place, so I took a Lyft. But, when I got into the Lyft, it was 100 degrees. He had the heater cranked all the way up. I’m
going through menopause hot-blooded and sweaty all the time, so the heater is not really my friend. I immediately took off my scarf and coat.
“Can you turn off the heat? And can I roll down the window?” I asked, because I’m polite AF.
It wasn’t too long into the ride that I started to feel nauseous. I don’t know why I started feeling sick. Maybe from the heat? Maybe I just wasn’t feeling well? Either way, it wasn’t good. I started to panic.
“Oh my god! I’m going to throw up in this car. I feel nervous. I’m going to have a panic attack. I’m going to throw up in this car and faint, and then the driver is going to rape me and ditch me in Glen Park Canyon.”
Of course, my mind immediately goes to the sunken place, which means my driver isn’t a nice man, but a horrible man who will rape and kill me. (Spoiler alert: He was neither of those things, as far as I know.)
In the car, I just kept repeating to myself, “Keep it together. Keep it together.”
Thankfully, I didn’t throw up in the car, but even if I did I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the first person to throw up in a Lyft.
When I got to DH’s house, I was in full panic mode. I walked in, and it was pretty obvious that I wasn’t OK. I explained that I was feeling nauseous and having a panic attack, and I needed some time to settle down.
“You’re in a safe place here,” DH reassured me. “Have some wine.”
I had some wine. It was delicious, but it didn’t help. The anxiety was so awful, and the nausea wasn’t going away. I was so bummed. DH’s house looked so lovely. It’s decorated for the holidays, and she had her nice dishes out on the table. It was really nice.
“Her house looks so nice. I’m going to throw up all over her nice house,” I thought to myself. “I am TOTALLY going to throw up all over her nice house!”
All the ladies were gathered in the living room. It was a small gathering, so it wasn’t overwhelming … if I wasn’t having a panic attack. I just blurted it out, “I’m having a panic attack. I’m really sorry.”
Everyone was so sweet and understanding. I felt so embarrassed. They tried distracting me by talking about Chris Pine, Chris Evans and Chris Pratt: a conversation that I would have been ALL ABOUT if I wasn’t freaking out.
“Keep it together. Keep it together.”
Eventually, I gave up. The nausea wasn’t going away, which meant the panic attack wasn’t going away. I called my mighty, mighty good man David and started crying.
“I feel nauseous. I’m having a panic attack, and you need to come get me,” I said, crying.
“Oh no! Calvin is wet and naked,” he replied. “Are you sure you don’t want to take a Lyft. It’s faster.”
“The idea of a Lyft makes my anxiety so much worse. You need to get Calvin dressed and come get me. I’m so sorry,” I sobbed.
“Of course! Of course! I love you. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he said, and even though the nausea didn’t go away, I felt a little better knowing he was coming.
Then I walked into DH’s kitchen where she was prepping some food, and I immediately burst into tears again.
“David is coming to get me. I’m having a really bad panic attack, and I’m so embarrassed,” I bawled. “I feel so stupid.”
DH was totally understanding: “If I had cancer twice and did chemo, I’d probably have some triggers. You’re OK here. You’re safe.”
I sat with the ladies until David arrived. I smiled and did my best to not send out my crazy anxiety vibes. When David arrived, I politely said my goodbyes and headed out. When I got to the car, Calvin was peeing on a bush.
“He couldn’t wait,” David laughed.
On the way home, I took an Ativan, which I always have in my bag. I didn’t take it at DH’s house, because I was afraid it would make me fall asleep on her couch.
When we got home, I instantly crawled into bed. Shortly after, the Ativan kicked in, and it was like a knot was untying. My mind and body just relaxed. Good god, I love Ativan. It’s the fuckin’ shit.
I fell asleep, but woke up around 11:30 p.m. David was still playing his new video game, South Park: The Fractured But Whole. I kissed him. “Thank you for coming to get me.”
“Of course. I’m glad you’re feeling better.”
And then I kissed sleeping Calvin and then climbed back into bed.
Ugh, panic attacks.
I feel lucky that it had been more than a year since I had one. They are so awful and frustrating. I can tell myself, logically, “Dude, you’re fine. Calm down. Who fuckin’ cares if you throw up?” If I threw up at DH’s party, it wouldn’t even be the most embarrassing thing I did at a party. I went to Chico State. It wouldn’t even be the sixth most embarrassing thing I did at a party. I used to get drunk, dance and sing “Cool Rider” from “Grease 2” at parties.
But, my body and another part of my mind doesn’t like logic. It’s just thinking, “We’re totally going to die!”
Panic attacks are the fuckin’ worst.