Panic in the Stairwell

This last week has been stressful, and I have not denied it a bit. I assumed that admitting the stress and venting a little has been helping me deal, but today I had a rude awakening. All day I felt ill. I was nauseous at work, dizzy and feeling so achy that my boss offered to let me go home. I refused because 1) I don’t like to feel defeated, and 2) going home just meant doing different work.

When I got home, I was ready to continue tackling my extra long to-do list and began with laundry. (Yay, for being able to do laundry in the building!) After loading the washer, I decided to take the stairs up so I could cross “cardio” of my list. After walking one set of stairs I broke….my chest hurt and panic hit me like a truck. All of my positive and realistic thinking exercises kicked in and I was quickly able to convince myself that it was not a heart attack, just a panic attack.

I decided to sit in the middle of the steps and just breathe. In and out…this too shall pass. Of course breathing turned into thinking.. why? How is doing laundry causing me to freak out? Why now? How am I to get everything done if I’m wasting these precious minutes sitting in a stairwell praying no one else decides to be healthy and skip the elevator? 

Then, two words struck me, “everything done”. Of course, I’m panicking, I’m overwhelmed. I’m a control freak and I have no control over what is happening in my new home. I’m simultaneously losing control over my responsibilities at work. I’ve heard the phrase “everyone is replaceable”, but I tend to be a little cocky when it comes to my profession…NO ONE can replace me. I worry that the next person won’t do it my way right. (Secretly, I worry that they will do it better…) It’s so hard to lose control.

Anytime I have ever quit a job I have been cursed with horrible nightmares. Once I dreamed all my students were locked in a glass building while being chased around by scary men with weapons. I was trapped outside the building watching the whole scene. There was nothing I could do, but watch and scream for someone to help, I was helpless and useless.  This is the common theme in my dreams every time I leave a school. It’s silly because there are hundreds of wonderful teachers who can do just as great a job (if not better) than I’ve done, but I guess that’s hard to accept.

Eventually, I stood up from the stairs and like a prince on a white horse, Husband came to my rescue. His spidey-sense must have alerted him because he called immediately. He just wanted to talk, and talking to him is exactly what I needed. He assured me that I was not dying. Then he told me about the deer in our front yard that he watched from our deck, how much Belle loves running free in the grass and how I have way too many clothes to unpack (NOT true).

I managed to pull myself together (thanks xanax) enough to finish the laundry and a good bit of my list. I rewarded myself with a long bath and a good book. The absolute most relaxing activity is laying in a steaming hot bath with a good book. I like to soak in a tub that is so hot I am sweating and read for so long that the water turns cold. Oh, how I have missed having a bathtub.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I’m sure of it, and if it’s not I plan to make someone else’s day better. I just read this quote from Glennon Melton’s new book Carry on Warrior, and it’s perfect.

“When you feel scared because you don’t have enough money, find someone to offer a little money. When you start to feel like you don’t have enough love, find someone to offer love. When you feel unappreciated and unacknowledged, appreciate and acknowledge someone else in a concrete way. Whey you feel unlucky, order yourself to consider a blessing or two. Then find a tangible way to make today somebody else’s lucky day.”

Cheers!

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2 thoughts on “Panic in the Stairwell”

  1. I’m sorry things have been so stressful and you had to go through that yesterday 😦 But I can tell overall you have handled things very well. I wish I was there to help you out or at least use my excellent silly/goofball skills to help take the pressure off 😉 ha ha. I can’t wait for you to be finally be in your home and some of the anxiety ease off. You are doing a great job and things are only going to get better from here! How beautiful to see deer from your porch..I can’t wait until Scott and I and our son come to visit you for some Tennessee adventures. Love you xoxo

    1. I wish you were here to make me laugh too! I think your calm attitude would rub off on me! We will get our guest room done ASAP so you and Scott can come visit anytime! can’t wait, love you too!

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