Rainawithchronicillness is pleased to have a special guest blogger, Malinda, author, and creator of Mohr From Life– Plugin Editora blog dedicated to mental health and self-improvement. She is going to take us on her personal journey of the aftermath of an anxiety attack. Imagine what her life is like living with anxiety and having to deal with the aftermath.
If you haven’t experienced an anxiety attack (also known as a panic attack), then you might not realize how it affects people. The aftermath of an anxiety attack can be deliberating. Let me share a personal story with you.
I woke up tremendously excited for the day ahead. In a few hours, my family and I would drive to the airport and fly to Queensland. Later that day I would see Taylor Swift perform at the Gabba. However, my excitement quickly turned to extreme dread and a panic attack.
My 16-year-old brother decided he wasn’t going to come on our holiday. He refused to get out of bed and get ready. Firstly, Dad and I both tried to change his mind; I begged and… pleaded with my little brother. As a result, I started to cry uncontrollably as my anxiety went through the roof.
Dad told me he would have to stay behind and look after my brother. My anxiety went up another notch. “No, you have to come. I can’t go by myself. Please.” I begged. Earlier in the year, I had traveled to Melbourne by myself. But I had only been to Queensland twice in my life, and I wasn’t ready to go alone.
“I can’t leave him here by himself,” Dad said. “I’ll call Danny,” I suggested, referring to my older brother. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll have to stay here. Danny can’t look after him, he has worked,” Dad said.
Dad continued talking to my little brother. I decided to ignore Dad and called Danny. I cried hysterically down the phone to my big brother as I explained the situation to him. Danny said he could watch our brother at his house. I began to feel a little calmer.
Dad then asked if Danny could set up the Xbox at his house. Like most teenage boys, our little brother is obsessed with video games. Danny said he wouldn’t have any room to put it at his house. Dad said he would have to stay home; we were back to square one.
As a result, my anxiety had risen again. “I’ll have to go by myself, I can’t go. I have to see Taylor Swift. Hurry up and help me. We have to go or I’ll miss the plane.” I began pulling suitcases out of the boot of my car.
To make matters worse, everything was combined in the suitcases. I quickly began to pull out my Dad’s and brother’s belongings. Dad began to help me take stuff out of the car. Consequently, I began to panic more at the thought of going alone.
Meanwhile, Dad decided to call a friend and ask if he could help. He organized for his mate to come and stay with my little brother overnight. During the day, my brother was fine being home alone.
What a relief?
My emotions began to calm down again now that a plan was in place. I called Danny to explain the new plan and to thank him. Then I began putting Dad’s stuff back into the car and taking my brother’s belongings inside. Dad and I left about 3 minutes later to drive to the airport.
Due to the commotion at home, we had left for the airport much later than planned. As a result, my anxiety had a new problem to focus on. Thankfully, we made it in time to get our suitcases onto the plane. We were fairly close to missing the cut-off, though. But that was one less thing to worry about.
Luckily, I have no issues with flying (unless there is turbulence, or the take-off/landing is really unpleasant) so that didn’t add to my anxiety. During the flight, I began to return to normal.
Unfortunately, the aftermath of an anxiety attack isn’t good. Because this particular anxiety attack had been stop-and-start, and I had been so excited about the upcoming trip before the anxiety attack, the comedown was much worse. Therefore, I was utterly exhausted – physically, emotionally and mentally.
Once we arrived at Brisbane airport, Dad and I decided to get some breakfast. We found a shop that served coffee and baked goods. As we got in line, Dad asked me several times what I wanted to eat. “I don’t know yet, I need to look,” I replied. “I’ll look first,” Dad suggested.
We were nearing the front of the line now. “Can you hurry so I can have a look?” I said. “Do you want X, Y or Z?” Dad asked. “I don’t know, can you come back in the line so I can look?” I snapped.
I am a highly sensitive person, an introvert, and I have anxiety. Therefore, interactions with people are exhausting to me. Also, add the fact that I had a huge anxiety attack a few hours prior…in other words, it makes me very agitated.
“Just come and have a look,” Dad said, also getting annoyed. “I don’t want to lose our spot in line.” I snapped again. The guy behind the shop counter said, “There is no line. You are the only one in it.” A few people sitting nearby laughed. I lost it.
“Don’t worry about it!” I yelled as I stormed off, moving around the corner so I couldn’t see the shop. I stood near the wall and began to cry, releasing all the pent-up emotions. Dad came over and we quickly discussed what had just happened.
We found another shop to order our breakfast, although I only managed to eat a few mouthfuls of food. When I get anxious, upset or angry, I can’t physically eat. My stomach feels full and if I try to eat, I feel like I am going to vomit. Another effect of the aftermath of an anxiety attack.
When I think about the incident at the airport, my stomach becomes sick with anxiety. Also, my heart rate increases too. Many people assume that anxiety affects you at the moment, but the same event can affect you after. This particular story occurred in November 2018 – yet thinking about it today can still make me anxious.
Have you personally dealt with the aftermath of anxiety? If not, do you feel like you have a deeper insight into the experience of someone living with anxiety? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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