Another Day, Another Panic Attack


August 17, 2011 by Marj Hatzell

I’m kinda flying through life by the seat of my pants these days. I don’t know if I’m coming, going or already been there (I say that a lot. Apparently I am directionally challenged). I am managing to hold it together (barely) somehow. If I find out how I’m doing it, I’ll be sure to let y’all know because I could write a best seller about it, I’m sure. And make millions. Or hundreds. Hey, I’d take tens at this point.

Last week I finally learned about mortality. I mean, I learned I’m not immortal. I kinda knew this already, we’re schooled in it from day one. But last week it hit me. BAM. Hard. I was watching Bugaboo jump off the diving board at the pool, smiling and kicking and spitting water (Ew, gross. Remind me not to swim in there, mmkay?). And suddenly my stomach started to flutter and my throat felt like it was closing and my ears had this loud, rushing noise (like air plane engines) and I felt hot and I saw weird sparkly things. I couldn’t breathe. It’s the first time this has ever happened to me. See, I’m usually the glass-is-over-full kind of person. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!  Cheerily optimistic to the point of annoying the hell out of people. And I had no idea what was happening to me. Until I realized something. When this little episode happened to me, I was thinking about Bugaboo in ten years or twenty or thirty and what would happen to him when I was gone. Where he’d live, what he’d be like. And it scared the hell out of me.

See, my parents aren’t going to be around forever. And I can accept that because I know my siblings and I, we’ll all go on with our lives. We’ll miss them, it will suck hairy donkey balls. But we’ll be ok because we’ll be able to live. And eventually our children will go through what we’re going through now, give or take a few diseases. And that will suck hairy donkey balls. But Bugaboo. What will happen to him?  How will he live? WHERE will he live? Who will take care of him when I’m not here?

Panic. Big panic.  Panic attack. That’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks: I will not be here forever.

This is the part where I bitch that little blue happy pills don’t allow me to cry. Or feel. Or care. I mean, I care. I just don’t feel like I care. Does that make any sense? Prolly not, since I usually don’t make sense. And yet you keep coming back!  It’s like hypnosis! Now, let’s see if this hypnosis stuff works:  MAIL ME ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I’ll wait and see what happens.

No really, mail it to me. See, The Guy I Live With and I? We’re going to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary this fall. And it’s also The Guy I Live With’s fortieth birthday. And will also be my I’m-not-turning-forty-next-year birthday. So we have tons to celebrate, see. The Guy and I Live With and I have been researching things to do. Our six years of sixty hours away from the boys? It’s nice but we wanted to do something special. Really special. So we started researching trips and whatnot. And we decided to look into taking a cruise to a tropical location. Or Bermuda (which isn’t tropical, but apparently planes and boats get lost there in the triangle, which is kinda creepy). But we looked into it and realized we can sort of afford it. Which is where your mailing me ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS comes in. Ahem. But five days away? To an island? On a boat? And promises I won’t vomit the whole time like I tend to do on boats and airplanes and trains? GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY. And if we can swing the child coverage, we’re totally doing it. That’s the tough part, getting covered, see. But we’re soooooo outta here if we can make the kid thing happen. Kids? What kids? I’m sleeping twelve hours a day, getting massages and eating myself silly, yo.

But. There’s this thing with my parents. And not knowing what their health status is. And being afraid to leave on a major trip when they’re both so fragile. Like, I’m afraid to make these big major plans and then not be able to go (yes, I know I can get trip insurance). Or, I’m afraid to make these big major plans and then I’ll be stuck on a boat in the middle of a goll-darn ocean and no one can reach me. So I’m thinking maybe we should just do our yearly sixty-glorious-hours-away thing. And then next year celebrate our sixteenth anniversary and his forty-first birthday and my HELL-NO-I-AM-NOT-FORTY birthday.Oh heck, I have no idea what to do. I am not the best decision maker in our house, mmkay?

To summarize: I now have panic attacks, can’t make a decision to save my life and I’m going to go eat some potatoes and dream of crystal clear waters and white beaches. Because In My Dreams might be the only way I get there in the next year.

8 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Panic Attack

  1. Yvonne says:

    You need to make it a priority to deal with the fear. I am serious. You are not going to make it to the 50th birthday as a whole person if this continues.
    This. Is. Not. A. Joke.

    • dg says:

      Dude. I know it. Talked to my doctor about it. I know this is all due to the events of the past few weeks so I have to find a new way to deal with it. And because I saw this happen to my mother, I know I have to nip it NOW. I do not want to end up like her, overmedicated and living in her own world. Ugh. Life.

  2. joeinvegas says:

    You stop celebrating birthdays soon. Just start celebrating the anniversary of your 39th birthday. Some people I know are celebrating the 23rd anniversary of their 39th birthdays, It sounds better.

  3. I know where you are. I have been there myself!

  4. Lisa says:

    I hate to throw water on your plans, but I will not reconmmend going on a cruise between OCT and Nov. Too much rain and those big aweful stroms….

  5. Lora says:

    Fear is scary. I know it well. And I’m glad you’ve talked to your doctor and I will applaud you loudly if you can go away for a week. And be jealous. And will want a full report with how you dealt with the anxieties

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