At Least I Haven’t Lost My Sense Of Humor

Looking for something entirely different, I came across this t-shirt:


I cracked up. Because I can completely relate. So I went a little crazy and found this:


And this:


And this one:


I had my first panic attack, almost two years ago, while I was driving my son to swim practice. Because my anxiety began while driving a car, that is where I am most uncomfortable. It is a major undertaking to get behind the wheel. My husband wants me to text him when I leave the house, when I arrive at my destination, when I leave the destination and again when I arrive home.

“I’m at Target. Pretending I’m a normal human being.” I text him when I arrive.

I clench the handle of the cart, forcing myself to move forward, just waiting for the anxiety to subside, trying to be interested in the items on the shelves. I watch other women, calmly choosing items, comparing and dreaming. Cooing at their babies. My heart is pounding out of my chest. My head feels light and starts that all familiar lean as I struggle not to pass out.

Breathe. Breathe. Focus.

Eventually, the worst of it subsides. But the lightness in my chest and the hyper-awareness is still there. I remember when I was that calm woman, weaving through the aisles. A time that I took for granted. When real, logical events caused stress in my life. Now it can be a light sprinkling of rain or a motorcycle cutting me off or a semi-truck passing me.

And the most frustrating thing? I am the woman who would drop the kids off at school, slip through the Starbucks drive-through and then take a new, out-of-the-way ย route home – just because. To see another part of town. Or to check out a street I’ve never been down. Or to check on “Wilbur,” a pig on a nearby farm, who hangs out in his pen, watching the cars go by.

Now, my husband takes the boys to school. (Mornings are my worst.) They ride the bus home. And I only venture out once the meds or herbs have kicked in. And then? I’ve only been able to drive about 5 miles away from home with any success.

I am the woman who traveled 800 miles with a 2, 3 and 12 year old to surprise her sister for her 40th birthday. I am the woman who drove 500 miles with her 6 and 7 year old sons to spend a week at Disney World. Just me and the boys. Now, I’m already anticipating panic as baseball season and swim season are about to begin. I’ve convinced my swimmer son to switch teams, a closer team, to cut down the driving distance.

It, this evil “it,” has changed who I am at the very core of my being. And I hate it.



My latest t-shirt find. I ordered it today.


At least I haven’t lost my sense of humor.

(Thank you, all of you, for your comments, emails and even phone calls of concern. I’m hanging in there. I have good days and bad days. But the good days are becoming much more frequent. I miss feeling like myself. I miss being here. But most of all, I miss all of you. xoxo)


Filed under Confessions

15 responses to “At Least I Haven’t Lost My Sense Of Humor

  1. My heart goes out to you. I have a mild case of anxiety, just enough to sometimes think I should have stayed home. I can imagine, barely, what you’re going through. Hugs.

  2. Cheering you on! I know how hard it is, and I’m glad the good days are beginning to shine through! xo

  3. I feel for you. It sounds so frustrating. It’s wonderful that you can keep a sense of humor about the situation. Hopefully, your anxiety will disappear at some point altogether. Fingers crossed!

  4. I understand… I really do! I had regular anxiety attacks and was starting to have regular panic attacks in stress… I get it. It’s hard. And nobody can really know what it is you’re going through. Love the quotes, by the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (I got rid of my anxiety. Turns out it was diet related. Anything’s possible.)

  5. Hard to imagine…but it must feel horrible…especially since you can remember life before. I really hope you have more and more good days. Soon. Hugs.

  6. I think I need your T-shirt too. I especially love the Anxiety Girl one. Hang in there and remember to proud of what you can and do achieve. Half of those other perfectly got it together mums probably don’t think they have either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jane: Hugs, my friend. I love the Anxiety girl slogan. I can certainly relate. Have you read Priscilla Warner’s book, Learning to Breathe? I am not certain if I recommended it to you. It’s helped me cope with some of my anxiety.

    Thinking of you and wishing you peace.


  8. I had no idea, Jane. What a burden that sudden shift and that anxiety must be. I’m glad you have some solutions to cope. I’m glad your husband can drive the kids. I’m glad there’s a lot to look at right inside Target’s doors.

    I hope you find a way through this to a You that you recognize and are comfortable with, whoever she may be.

  9. I am so sorry to hear this Jane! Hand in in there. I will be praying for some peace for you. *hugs*

  10. I did wonder why you were so quiet. I really hope you get through this okay. I have had panic attacks so I know how unbearable they are, so hang on in there. Things will improve.

  11. There will be more good days for you…They are just around the corner.


  12. I’ve never heard of it starting just out of the blue like that. I’ve had anxiety since I can remember – since I could form thoughts, my thoughts have been anxious, although the severity of it cycles. It would really suck to be a non-anxious person and then suddenly become an anxious person. And man, medication is great but it is such an imprecise science/art trying to hit the right balance. Best of luck.

  13. Hi Jane,
    There was a time when I was fearless. I drove across country with a 1st grader and a 6th grader, with a large truck full of our belongings and towing our car, to meet my husband, who had flown to his new job months before. I never gave it a second thought.

    Although I have always been a worse case scenario kind of girl, that was so I was always prepared for the worst, and delighted when things turned out for the best.

    I used to be uncomfortable in crowds, but not much else ever bothered me. It was in a crowd, about a year ago, in Philly, when I had a panic attack. I believe I mentioned it before.

    When did I become this person, who is afraid of everything, who has anxiety about going anywhere alone? But, I do go places alone. I make myself – if I can. If I can’t, then I try again the next day.

    Hang in there. It can and does get better. It even goes away completely – at least for a while. Obviously, from reading through the comments, you are not alone. If you find one medicine isn’t working, don’t be afraid to go back to your doctor until you get it right. Now I’ll stop taking up so much space here in your comments.

    Be well, Robin

  14. Jayne

    Oh dear, I read this and the post below and I am sorry. I don’t know that I suffer from anxiety attacks as such but I certainly think of and worry about worst case scenarios way more than I should. Over-thinking things and, in the past, worrying about how I was seen by others does, and has, crippled me.

    You’re by no means in the minority – as ‘coming out’ has probably made you realise. Introverts also have a particularly tough time as it’s in our nature to self-analyse and think how we might do things better. I’m not qualified to give advice but just know that you are by no means alone … and I hope that, in itself, will make you realise that actually you’re doing okay. Sending you all good wishes… x

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