I had thrown a party for my close friends. I stressed myself out like I always do preparing for the party. My stress brought on a bad headache during the party that turned into a migraine by the time everyone left.
I was laying in bed alone. My husband Steve fell asleep putting my daughter to bed. I couldn’t sleep and I was in excruciating pain. I felt that it was my worst migraine to date. I had taken some medicine and it wasn’t working. Anxious thoughts started floating across my mind like clouds. Something was seriously wrong with me. I was going to die. I needed to go to the hospital. How was I going to get to the hospital? I didn’t want to wake my kids up. I couldn’t drive myself. Should I call an ambulance? What would the neighbors think when they saw the ambulance in my driveway?
I took half a Xanax. I usually feel better as soon as it hits my tongue. I didn’t. Even though I was in a lot of pain I had to get up. When I am feeling really anxious I can’t sit or lay down. I have an urge to get up and move around. This was hard to do when my head was pounding and I felt really nauseous. When I am anxious I usually pace in my house. I went downstairs and started to pace in my hallway. Sometimes it feels good to go outside and get some fresh air but it was really cold out.
My thoughts were still racing. I thought I must have a brain tumor. No headache hurts this bad. What would it be like when I got to the emergency room? I wish my parents weren’t out of town (they live 20 minutes from me). I didn’t want to wake Steve up and have to talk about it and make it more real. Sometimes talking helps and sometimes I just want to be left alone. If I am having a panic attack and I am not near my husband I will usually call him or my mom right away. However, when they are right in front of me it can sometimes be hard telling them how anxious I am. I guess it feels a little scary to admit it and talk about it when they are right there looking at me.
So I continued to pace alone downstairs.
I started to panic that my Xanax wasn’t working when it normally does. I took the other half of the Xanax. I should have taken a whole one to begin with. After a few minutes I felt better. I was exhausted. I stopped pacing and I laid down on the couch and passed out.
I woke up the next morning and I told my husband what happened and I started laughing.
I really thought it was funny. This wasn’t a self conscious thing. I am fully open and honest with Steve about my anxiety struggles. I really found the humor in my panic attack. He woke me up and wanted to know why I was sleeping on the couch. As I was saying out loud that last night I had a panic attack because I thought I was dying I could see how unrealistic that thought was and it made me laugh.
I know there are panic attacks in my future that I will never find humorous the next day. In the past I would be subdued and depressed the day after a panic attack. I would be too scared to go out and continue with my normal routine. I would need to rest like I was recovering from the flu. I know I will be back here again at some point in my life but it is a small victory to wake up the next morning and laugh about my panic attack.