Beating the PTSD that is…giving it a good kick in the balls and trying to conquer everything in one day…that’s what seemed like a good idea a few hours ago.
I was feeling pretty fucking awesome then.
So I decided to try another item on the ‘exposure therapy’ custom made, itemised ‘to do’ list…its been stuck to the fridge for a while. There’s lots of joyous little ticks in all the right boxes…and they’ve been 6 or so months in the making.
I thought to try the ‘go out for dinner, on a quiet night…stay there’.
I ignored my entire preparation routine…because, I’m awesome. And I figured, hell, why the fuck not…just give it a whirl. Was it a quiet night, No.
We puttered off anyway…half way down the road I realised I didn’t have my meds or my water or my little breather thingy or my sensory things to help with the ‘come down’. But fuck it I thought…I want to tick that box on the fridge…I can do this! Yes, because I’m awesome!
We got into the restaurant…and that’s an over statement really…its kind of like a large café thing…but with really dated, really bad décor.
I immediately felt the walls close in on me…but I ignored it…soldier on mother fucker, I thought.
We tried to find a ‘table’. Who thought it was a good idea to place 8 or 9 tables within inches of each wasn’t thinking of those who like S P A C E! I ended up sitting about 2 mms away from some old guy. So close I could smell him!
And apart from the crappy décor there was an awful old bleach smell everywhere…you know that cheap cleaning product that’s been used once in the last month to spruce up a couple of dumped hot dogs off the floor…yeah, that smell. I could feel my senses heightening double time…the smells…the lights…the squiggly lines everywhere.
I knew pretty much as soon as we had sat down that I needed to go.
The partner was looking as awkward as fuck and was trying to calm everything down by telling me I had food stuck between my teeth whilst jabbering on about…something. Bless his anxiety ridden little heart…he was trying to make light of my paling complexion.
By the time the food got to us I was seeing double and starting to tilt slightly.
I haven’t had a panic attack of this ferocity for fucking ages…which in hindsight, is a good thing. High five me!
But the whole awkward social situation…new smells…new place…lots of strangers…
And as I thought I was going to lose it completely…
I did something slightly unexpected for me…and a slight victory in some kind of strange way.
I hailed the waitress over to us with a ‘come here right now’ tone. She came too. I told her I just received an urgent txt and we needed our food bagged up and ready to go ASAP. And guess what…she did it!
Yes I lied. I hate to say it…I lied.
But you know what I was more impressed with…I got myself out. I didn’t wait for the partner to rescue me (I would’ve been in a small ball waiting for him to get his shit together – he was more fluster fucked than me!)…or for the endurance to kick in…or for the sun and the moon to align…
I knew without a shadow of a fucking doubt that this was not the time to prove a point…the partner was freaking out…and it was time to bail…to live to tell the tale and conquer the quest another day.
So that’s what I’m holding onto as I sit here listening to Ed Sheeran on repeat and breathing to my breath pacer thingy and typing another awesome post.
Yes I had a fucking panic attack.
Yes I survived it.
Yes I didn’t die from it.
Yes its taking a while to come down.
And yes, by fuck, I’ll try that again another day!
My awesomeness feels slightly dented…but I will I will I will give it another go…