So yesterday I had my first anxiety attack in years! It's frustrating because I thought I had gotten past this, but I guess it never really goes away.
It's been a very quiet week at work, so I've been spending too much time staring at my computer waiting for an e-mail to pop into my inbox. As I was sitting, staring at my computer I started feeling increasingly claustrophobic. It was like all the things on my desk were crowding in around me. It was terrifying.
Needless to say I had to get away from my desk for a while, so I went to the kitchen. The kitchen at work isn't very well organized; there are plates and bowls and cups and glasses in all the different cupboards and most of them don't match. Also, our "coffee" cupboard where we keep the coffee, tea, sugar, etc. was overflowing with crap. We had enough stir-sticks in that cupboard to last us 10 years. Obviously, my claustrophobia wasn't getting any better in here.
So, what did I do?
I cleaned out the coffee cupboard. I took out every last packet of sugar and stir stick. All the loose tea bags, straws, cups, etc. and I reorganized the whole thing. It looks so much better now and the feeling of organizing something really helped me to calm down.
I also threw out about half the stir-sticks because, frankly, no one needs that many stir-sticks. Nobody.
When I came back from my desk I was still feeling like everything was very cluttered, so I reorganized my desk too.
Good thing it's been a quiet week!
UPDATE: I spoke with my Social Worker about the episode and she told me that it was more likely a panic attack than an anxiety attack. Apparently the difference is that an anxiety attack is usually the result of a build-up of anxiety, while a panic attack comes out of nowhere. Either way, we worked through it and I feel confident that I handled it really well!