On top of my New Year’s resolutions I set myself a target of being a little more “boss bitch”. In my head, this means going for a run when I don’t want to move out of bed, telling people how I feel (in a constructive manner, but also with honesty), speaking out when I see things I don’t like, and generally asserting myself a little more. It also meant getting a bit more on top of my anxiety, which means leaving the comfort zone occasionally and managing to keep it together while doing so.
One of my long-time fears has been people throwing up. I don’t have a problem with me throwing up, it’s always been other people – the sights and the sounds. My poor old fiancé has had to deal with this to the extent that I can’t have him too hungover near me, because I worry he’ll throw up (admittedly this was less of a problem when we lived in a 10bed student house with a million bathrooms, and more of one now we live in a 1 bed 1 bath flat).
To my absolute horror, during a party I’d been planning and looking forward to for ages, the other half was sick. Not his fault, not alcohol, not the food, just one of those things. Except it sent me into a spiral. I can’t do this.
Sadly, with anxiety and panic attacks you become entirely selfish. You do not care what someone else is going through, it’s about escaping a situation and making it out alive. Yes, alive, because half the time your brain is telling you that there is so much fear in this situation that it can only mean imminent death or destruction.
Normally I’m quite a caring person. I look after people. I care about their physical and emotional wellbeing. But I can’t deal with people being sick.
And having kicked my poor guests out 30 minutes til midnight, it became about self-preservation. I was going to get a hotel, leave him here to look after himself and get myself away from the situation. Run, run, run.
I was panicking.
The year of being a boss bitch was not going well.
And so as the fireworks went off and choruses of Auld Lang Syne filled the square, I was shaking, sobbing on my balcony wanting to curl up in a ball away from it all, having rubbed my expensive mascara down face I’d spent an hour making up earlier in the evening. Not a good start to the year.
And something clicked, as I sat on the sofa, the cold air from the open balcony door slamming against my face – I was OK. He was in one room, I was in another.
I was tired, I was cold, I was sobering up horribly, but I was OK.
No one was dying (and this morning he’s absolutely fine, don’t worry).
I was OK.
I’m hoping that’s the only panic attack I’ll have this year, not that there are any guarantees. Of course there will be anxiety moments and times where I want to run. But this is the year of not running away from my problems, and facing them head on, even when it seems like the best idea.
I can do this.
I can do this.