No Control = Panic Attacks

  I can remember having the first full blown panic attack. I was shopping with a girlfriend of all things and all of a sudden I had trouble breathing, my vision was spinning, my chest hurted abnominably, and Martha* was asking me what I thought of how the zebra printed curtains would look in her living room. My first thought was, “oh my God, I am going to die of a heart attack in West Elm!” and my second thought was, “love the zebra curtains”.  

I tried not to let it show. Martha being one of those girls who feels horrible about everything even if it is not her fault. I once had a UTI spending the weekend at her place and she apologize for not having my medication on hand and asked me if it was because she didn’t clean her toilet throughly. I told her it was because Cory and I had sex the night before. That made her feel a wee bit better. I think.

A couple more episodes of those and my friend finally told me I was having panic attacks. When I went to the doctor, I realized I have been having mini panic attacks my whole life and just never knew why my chest tighten up all of a sudden and it hurt to breath. As far as I know, no one has died from panic attacks. I was doped up with medication and have not had a panic attack since.

Lately, while waiting on a decision by my school dean about an application I sent in and I decision by a company I desperately want to intern for, I have been getting panic attacks just thinking about it. I have turned in all my paperwork, crossed all my T-s and dotted my I’s, stalked the appropriate people; essentially, I have done all I can possibly do. The ball is now on their court and I hate it.

Waiting is hard. Waiting with no possible control of the decision except for sending in paperwork and a less than stellar resume is worst. I worry because worrying gives me some semblance of control over a situation that I have none. I make back-up plans and plans for those back-up plans. Ultimately, I have to come to realize, almost everyday, that there are certain things I cannot control and have to let go of by leaving it in God’s hands (and the Dean and the Human Resources Dept). I am trying for serenity in my life right now or I might be the first person to die of a panic attack. 

Are you a control freak? What do you do to “let go”?


* Name changed to protect the innocent. So named because she is the younger more gorgeous version of Martha Stewart: she cleans, she decorates, she dresses, however, she does not cook. Unless micromaving is counted as cooking.

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6 comments on “No Control = Panic Attacks

  1. April says:

    This is horrible. When the world gets too much I make cupcakes and then at them all. Also margaritas and cigarettes.

  2. Kimberly says:

    OMG I’m just like you. I have full blown panic attacks over what my fiance would deem as ‘stupid things.’ I literally freak out. The best relaxation for me is Yoga. It helps with the daily freak outs I would have over school, random e-mails, not being able to watch my fav show, etc. But… I’ve been a bad Bride (2 weeks till our wedding) and have stopped going because I’m so busy/lazy. blah. I’m anticipating full blown attacks leading up to the wedding (mostly over people being crazy and deciding to do weird things at our wedding, like wear jeans).

  3. Jason says:

    You can do something. Hurry up and fix your resume and it over.

  4. Its going to work out. You have too much potential and smarts for it not to.

  5. ruthy ann says:

    I used to be a control freak…then i went through some seriously difficult times and realized that life is too short to be so stressed out. Honestly the hardest times in my life have helped me let go…I had to make a conciencious choice to not be the person I was. you’ll get through it!

  6. Letting it go..yes.

    You will prevail. It is just a matter of time.

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