Panic attack that is. Like the one I experienced this afternoon at the grocery store. It’s getting to be a trend that I’m not particularly happy with, but I don’t know how to make them stop.
They sound awful and they feel awful—like someone is reaching into my chest and squeezing my heart. Things look, unfamiliar. But if you saw me having one, you probably wouldn’t know. I can stay very contained in spite of great turmoil going on inside, probably a result of sitting. Zazen has taught me that these storms of thought and emotion do not require the active participation of my body. I can sit perfectly still while it swirls around me. I can also keep pushing a shopping cart while reminding myself to breath and focusing on the next item on the list.
Today, someone might have noticed that I was white-knuckling the shopping cart handle. I had to remind myself a number of times to relax my grip. The other thing one may have noticed is that I took an Ativan. It helps ease the pain and grip of the panic attack. I finished shopping, chatted with the friendly cashier, drove home, put away the groceries, then I laid down and slept for a couple of hours. It’s amazing how much energy and effort was needed for that shopping trip.
After I woke up, still feeling a bit shaky but no longer in an active panic attack, I made a very tasty beef and green bean stir-fry for dinner. Yay me.
But now I’m going to tuck myself into bed for a good night’s sleep. I’m still worn out from today’s events.
Note that while I am worn out, I am not freaked out. I’m okay with all of this in a way that I haven’t been before. It is what it is and I’m dealing with it. It’s not great but it’s not the end of the world either. Not freaked out is a good state. I like it.