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.