Some people who know me know that I have a twinge of anxiety. This is exhibited by my persistent nail biting, obsessive cleaning, and extremely detailed day planners to keep my thoughts organized.
Over the past couple of years it has been getting worse, and after this most recent trip it has peaked a bit. This weekend it hit the peak of the peak.
One of my friends came to stay for the weekend. Everything was going really well. We hung out, watched Grease, went to the farmer’s market, yada yada yada. Sunday morning we decided to have roast vegetables and cinnamon toast made on ciabatta bread. Literally the easiest thing to make and if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’m trying to get more practice cooking so it was a win-win-win. Cheap, healthy breakfast and more practice. Whee.
My friend is a bit more experienced so we agreed that I would take the reigns for this with a little bit of guidance. But my friend didn’t give much guidance. I had to know the exact quantity to cook, exact temperature, exact duration of the baking. It sounds like the most miniscule problem set ever, even to myself, but in the moment it just seemed like such a huge deal. Literally you just cut vegetables, put oil and some salt and pepper, then bake it somewhere in the range of 400F for anywhere between 15-30 minutes depending on what’s on the tray. I know this. Google knows this. Even in the moment I knew this.
Had I been alone, I wouldn’t have cared. But I didn’t want to potentially ruin food for someone else. I didn’t want to make a mistake. I didn’t want to embarrass myself for ruining such an easy thing. I wanted the exact directions.
I cry very easily. I can make myself cry. I cry when I don’t want to. I sob when animals in movies die. Even Ben, the animated cow, on ‘Barnyard’. I have tried to control it, I have looked into medication to disable tear ducts, I have tried to think of funny things. But I cry. When I’m sad, angry, stressed out, happy. I cry. I’ve accepted this.
When I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t know the exact quantity of broccoli to cut, I felt that old familiar sensation. Lucky for me it was only a single drop on each side and my breathing didn’t change at all. I call this ‘face peeing’ because I don’t lose any function, they just fall down and I can resume my activities.
Looking back, I know how ridiculous this was. I cringe at how much I overreacted in front of my friend, who was surprisingly supportive throughout the ordeal.
But then while cutting the cauliflower, it got worse. There was an insect of some sort in the cauliflower head and I panicked. I don’t know why. But I actually cried and had to sit down for a bit. I felt so stupid and foolish, and now even more so since my head is clear.
I don’t know why I felt like it was such a big deal suddenly and I’m honestly a bit embarrassed. This is the first time anything like this happened and I certainly hope that it will be the last time as well.
I’ve been reading about anxiety and it says to reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. But lol I don’t drink soda, coffee, or alcohol so I have no idea what to do. Maybe sugar? We’ll see.
In other fun news, a guest has come via AirBNB so I’ll be hosting for a couple of days. Last night we watched Bridget Jones’ Diary which I surprisingly had not seen before. Let’s hope this goes well.
Have you experienced a panic attack or anxiety attack before? I’d really be interested in hearing someone else’s experience.