One of my worst experiences with an anxiety attack was during a two hour, two mile cave tour that I was leading. It wasn’t the first or last time I had a mental health hiccup while doing so and it wasn’t the last. Ironically, some of my best compliments came from visitors who were experiencing resource interpretation from someone having a depressed, manic, or anxious episode. It was certainly easy to coney an emotional connection at those times. I was nothing but emotion. Heart-racing and gasping breaths certainly do make for a more emotional discussion.
I still get twinges of anxiety, but nothing like what I experienced without medication. Driving was a nightmare. Heavy traffic could send me spiraling into a rage because I could not process the anxiety. To this day that association is one reason I loathe driving during heavy traffic periods or locations, much less a major urban area. Louisville and Lexington have been the bane of my existence, the latter in particular. I have long disliked that city, although I could not say why. Living there briefly mitigated some of those feelings, but not by much. I am not an aggressive driver or, to be honest, as a general rule in my life. But, often enough, I would turn into a storm of furious behavior because of my erratic emotional state. These periods of irrationality fill me with guilt, although not so much these days.
Guilt is a powerful thing. Knowing that you are susceptible to emotional irrationality is compounded by the recognition after the fact of how you behaved during an incident. Self_awareness can be merciless. The shame and humiliation of an encounter would also mean that I rarely owned the behavior. How do you apologize for something you do not fully understand? In recent years, though, I have taken responsibility for these outbursts, whether it be from depression or anxiety affecting my judgement. Strangely, I find it easier to talk about depression than anxiety. Even sitting here typing it is difficult to frame into words my history with high states of anxiety or the associated attacks.What I cannot forget, though, is the tightness in my chest, the difficulty breathing, racing thoughts, and fear over what was occuring.
Well, that’s all for today, but certainly i will return to this topic in some fashion down the road. Originally I had prepared material for a post about Sir Terry Pratchett, but that has been moved to Friday. Hopefully this entry proves of use to you and I see you again on Friday for my thoughts on Sir Terry. Until then, thank you for reading and take care my friends.