Why did I buy this anyway? I hate chamomile tea.

At 2am this morning, I woke up with my heart pounding, my head aching, and my right eye twitching. (The headache was to be expected after my seventh consecutive night of drinking; the other two symptoms I couldn’t understand.) I drank some water, took a Tylenol, and ate cold gyoza. No good, I still couldn’t go back to sleep. I felt STRESSED OUT. But why? It had been a wonderful, relaxing weekend spent with friends – drinking, eating, browsing the farmer’s market, rock climbing, engaging in casual microscopy, watching roller derby, weight lifting, playing on big toys, doing yoga, and hanging out at the spa.

I thought making a list of fears/issues/concerns would help shed some light on my physical symptoms, the idea being that I could then brainstorm solutions for each issue and fall back asleep. As it turned out, this was a VERY BAD idea. I became manic. I suddenly remembered that I’d failed to respond to my mom’s call from the day before. What did she want? What was wrong? Was she okay? Was Grandma dead? Did I do something wrong? Did she open my mail and discover something horrible? I imagined all the worst scenarios and was half-convinced they were real. And what could I do? I couldn’t call my mom at 3 in the morning – that would be crazy – so, I waited until 4.

My mother, being a saint, picked up. As it turned out, my concerns were not wholly irrational. She had called the day before to give me some very bad news about someone I love very much. I immediately began bawling. I cried and cried and cried. Then, I apologized for waking her, hung up, and rapidly fell asleep.

What I had was an anxiety attack, I think. (Although in the midst of it, I was convinced I had AIDS, a brain tumor, and was going crazy.) My first. It shook me pretty bad. (A lot of first-timers end up in the emergency room, convinced that they’re experiencing a heart attack.) Thinking about it now, I am embarrassed. I usually pride myself in being so cool-headed.

Some ideas to ensure that it does not happen again:

  • Get more exercise (yoga, climb, walk, run, bike, swim, lift, dance)
  • Consume less booze, sugar, and coffee (especially the first – it’s been a rough month.)
  • Catch up in biology and chemistry now, so I won’t worry about upcoming tests
  • Take a break from reading the news (women’s rights issues right now are making me see red.)
  • Maintain boundaries with homeboy
  • Draw, write, meditate, read, and cook
  • Live in the moment, breathe deeply, and stop thinking about what may be.
  • Take a break from volunteering, school, caregiving, and research (not one of them is worth giving up my sanity.)

1 Comment

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One response to “Why did I buy this anyway? I hate chamomile tea.

  1. Pingback: Maybe it’s not a brain tumor after all…. | Today I'm a Boy

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