30 minutes ago my husband was still asleep so I went downstairs to sit at the table to browse online and respond to some messages on social media. When my husband came down, he stood in the doorway to the kitchen, and I could tell in my peripherals that he was being cute, waiting for me to finish my thought. Normally, I love this behavior from him and have encouraged it many times. But my brain went into a full panic and I started getting really flustered. I felt panicked, like he was rushing me to finish up and respond to him. I went from 0 to 1000 in a matter of seconds. It was like a tornado touched down on a cloudless day.
I started stumbling over my words, couldn't make any sense of what was happening or how to communicate with him that I was having a panic attack. He knew, though. It just hadn't happened in so long that it took us both by surprise.
I told him I needed a minute by myself to calm down, as I was already getting right into the self-harm territory. I sat in my safe place, closed the doors and breathed. What the hell is happening to me?? I cannot believe I am freaking out like this.
For as long as I can remember I have been prone to anxiety attacks/total meltdowns. People that knew me when I was younger likely remember a time when I "lost my shit" and ruined whatever was happening at the time. It cost me friendships, potential friendships, romantic relationships and self love or acceptance.
I hated that part of myself so much and worked tirelessly to "fix" it through counselors, self-help books, mental health communities, etc. I had such a good grasp on WHAT was happening, but it took me a long time to understand WHY.
Much of my discovery has been that I do have control to change the way I react to things. If every time I see a small spider on the wall and my instinct is to stand on a chair and scream until someone kills it, I can either accept that as part of who I am or I can work on getting over a fear of spiders. Which I have.
So then, maybe instead of trying to fix myself, I can learn how to control my reactions to anxiety.
For 6 years I've been eliminating things from my life that trigger my anxiety. 30 minutes ago I had a meltdown for the first time in a long stretch of cool... and I know exactly why.
I thought, "I'm so good all the time, I can have a day to eat a little junkier than usual!"
Throughout the day I easily ate 7 cookies. It was so easy and I wasn't even hungry, but kept grabbing one every time I was in the kitchen. I felt mostly fine yesterday, but this morning, I do not feel fine. I feel like obese me overnight. My body image is complete horseshit and I've been actively avoiding mirrors, and I was completely off my rocker just a moment ago.
7 cookies for me = full tantrum mode.
Side effects include: crying (learned as a child to get what we want), psychobabble (in an attempt to justify self), loudness (to let the world know I'm displeased), lack of reasoning, cloudy thoughts, self-hatred, emotional basket-case.
I used to have a lot of reasons I figured this type of response was happening to me, but I'm sorry, this shit was too night and day to deny. I cannot moderate myself with sugar. I'm too prone to addiction to it and if there's a lot of it sitting out on the counter, I can't turn it off. I want it so badly, and I'll start behaving like a damned child if I deny myself or anyone makes a suggestion to you know, NOT eat more. I can't do it. Not yet, and maybe not ever.
I don't have much of a moral to my story today, but I wanted to share it while it was still fresh and crispy. I am feeling much better after my husband chatted with me and helped me get things back into perspective. He also made me a nice tall cup of bitter black coffee to help offset the super gross feeling I have this morning - like, I don't know how else to describe it other than I feel fat again.
My plan moving forward today is to be especially gentle to myself. I already gave myself a big hug (to offset the self-harm bit), but I think this creature needs a long bath and to take some extra time to do things that calm and comfort me so that I can still meet my obligations of the day without spiraling into another panic.
Sending my love to you and hope you're having a good weekend, all <3