I spent the past weekend at the Aiming Low Non-Conference. I roomed with my sweetie, Leslie from The Bearded Iris, and I ended up meeting fun people and getting some good information and thinking deep, thinky thoughts, but most important?
I learned to get the fuck out of my own head.
Here's what happened:
I had a HORRIFIC panic attack at the airport on the way home. It was godawful.
I have issues with food.
Not like eating disorder issues, but more like, when I'm in a weird/exhausted/shaky mental space, I'm afraid of eating something new or remotely suspect because I'm terrified I'll have a horrible reaction and I'll die. So. Traveling? FUN FOR EVERYONE.
I made it through the conference through judicious use of preplanning and eating non-scary food. And then I got to the airport and thought, "I should eat something for lunch, since I won't be getting home until dinner, and low blood sugar + flying is probably not ideal for anyone."
So I tried to find something unscary.
I rejected the sandwich kiosks, because buying a premade sandwich from what amounts to a refridgerated bookshelf seemed like I was just begging for trouble. Same with airport Chinese food.
I finally decided on getting a chicken caesar salad. After making sure the lettuce was Romaine and the chicken was grilled and I could recognize the maker of the dressing.
So I got my salad, found an empty table, set out my book, pulled my rolling bag in close to me, and
then I opened up my salad. . .
which had a bug on the lettuce.
So I packed everything up and returned my salad and got a refund and realized I was cutting it close to boarding. At that point, I figured I had a banana in my purse [thanks, breakfast buffet], some cashews and dark chocolate covered raisins, and that, plus a cream cheese bagel, should at least get me to the airport at home and the husband, at which point I could collapse in the vicinity of someone who is required, by law, to take care of me.
So I got a plain bagel and plain cream cheese and, setting up my book and my rolling bag, I ate my bagel and . . .
bit into a carraway seed and JUST ABOUT LOST MY MIND.
I started freaking out, biting my tongue to get the taste out and make sure my tongue wasn't swelling. And then I panicked some more, thinking I was becoming overheated from the intense carraway flavor or from poison and quickly wrapped everything up and threw away half the bagel and scurried to the bathroom to stare at myself in the mirror and make sure nothing was swelling and take a picture [or several] of myself [face, neck, tongue] with my phone [stealth-like] because I couldn't quite see every single detail in the mirror and then [stealth-like] try and check out the photos and then realizing that at that point I was just panicking and not dying and I needed to slow myself down.
So I did some deep breathing and some more staring and stopped biting my tongue and told myself to go, sit down, eat my fucking banana and keep breathing.
I ended up tweeting my panic and people were super kind and I kept breathing. Deep, calm, slow breaths. The best thing I ever learned is that when you have a panic attack, it takes 20 minutes for the adrenaline to leave your system once you stop panicking. So I am Johnny-on-the-spot with my watch.
I got on the plane without incident, except I ended up having to check my bag at the gate AGAIN because there wasn't room [which, FUCK YOU ALL, I PURPOSEFULLY packed light so I wouldn't have to check my goddamn bag, SO STOP CHECKING MY BAG!], but I had a really, really nice seatmate, and we had an empty seat between us [one of the few on the flight] and I was able to talk to him about important things and read my book and play Drop 7 and then I got home to the husband, who made me feel better.
By making me go to Costco. Straight from the airport.
That'll get you right the fuck out of your head.