Have you ever completely lost control? I am not talking about a bad frat party in college, I am talking about when your body and mind don’t match up. This can happen in so many ways injuries, illness, today for me it was a massive anxiety attack. I’d suffered from postpartum anxiety after the birth of both my children but hadn’t had a violent anxiety attack ever.
I can only describe it as a violent attack because I completely blacked out laying on a hotel room floor sweating the way I have only ever sweated after crossing the finish line of a marathon. It was terrifying. As I sit in a plane heading home feeling rested and sane I am doing what writers do, I am deconstructing my terror. Putting it in my own words. Some people have anxiety attacks for no reason – that would haunt me, while violent this attack came with good reason. There was a huge problem and I couldn’t do anything to fix it. I was locked out and told my google account for my business ( and everything else in my life) was gone. It has been removed.
It was 5am after 5 days of a business trip that included early mornings and very very late nights. My body was done. When the panic that everything I built was gone, that I had no way to contact clients, my foundation for tracking everything was gone. I started blacking out- my body didn’t give me a chance to look at this rationally, it was done and making sure I was too. Being completely out of control for those few seconds was so foreign and what I imagine hell would be like for me if I believed in hell.
I laid there on the hotel carpet and told myself I would count to 100 and if my vision wasn’t back or if the panic got worse I was calling 911. I am sure if I hadn’t been alone in my hotel room anyone who saw me would have already grabbed a phone. I got up at 64. Sat down and tried to figure out what to do. An hour later – filled with labored breathing and shaking hands the right support person was found. She called from Ireland – acting as much a technical support as a therapist. I could access my email although hackers had changed settings and I had more work to fix it, but I had my account back. This may seem dramatic having an anxiety attack over email but that’s the point, it is – the anxiety attack was my body telling me “Enough”. You are a mom, wife, grad student, teacher, author, blogger, business owner, and marathoner. What the fuck dude – that is WAY too much and I’ve had it. If you don’t stop I will.
I love everything I do – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. I love my life. I am happy. But my body is telling me “Enough”.
I have no clue what I am going to scale back – but I never want to be laying on a hotel room floor like that ever again.
Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards a popular early education site that can be best described as preschool on a blog. In addition to creating content for NTFFC, Allison writes all about literacy for Scholastic Parents, is a preschool teacher, graduate student, presenter, and author. Her book Raising A Rock-Star Reader was published by Scholastic and released in the fall of 2015. Allison lives in a yellow farmhouse on Bainbridge Island, Washington with two hilarious but kind of sassy kids and one well behaved husband. For fun she reads predictable young adult novels and runs (usually in the rain).