I have been back in Georgia for almost 3 weeks now. I am pleased to announce that I have found a part-time job in Decatur, GA and a house (with 2 roommates) in West Atlanta. I am also registered for 5 classes (1 is online) for the upcoming Fall Semester.
In these past 3 weeks, I have felt every emotion known to man. The first week was definitely mostly confusion, boredom, and a feeling of a lack of purpose. The most “productive” thing I did during that week was color my hair. I’m pleased with it.
I spent the second week visiting with friends, apartment hunting, and applying to many a job. Unfortunately, it was also during this second week that I had my first severe panic attack since I was in high school. It’s been years. Allow me to set the scene:
It was Wednesday, May 15th and I decided to see the new movie, The Hustle, in the next town over. I drove the 20 minutes to the theatre and watched the movie. After the movie, when I got back in my car, I thought I might stop by a nail salon and get my toenails painted for the first time in a year. I looked up the closest one and drove to it. I wasn’t sitting in the large massage chair with my feet in the warm water for but 10 minutes when an old but familiar feeling of panic hit me hard. My legs started to shake and my arms went tingly and my chest got tight. I felt myself begin my “chronic hyperventilation” and I couldn’t get a full breath. I did manage to sit through the pedicure, but the drive home was even worse. What was normally a 20 minute drive turned into an hour. I was on video chat with my Omi (my mother’s mother) because she is quite skilled in breathing techniques and exercises; she’s helped me through many a panic attack before. At one point, I had to pull into a gas station because I just couldn’t function. Eventually, I made it home.
It’s been over two weeks since that day and I’ve done my best to continue life like I did before Wednesday happened, but it’s not been easy. I’m trying new coping skills, preventative measures, and I’m really trying to practice new breathing techniques several times a day so my body can get used to them. The newest and most effective breathing technique and explanation for why it works [that I found] can be found here. It so simple, but has been really effective for me. Two YouTube videos that have also helped me are ones by Conscious Life Hacks and Harmony Restored.
Since AmeriCorps has ended and I have slowly exposed myself to the “real world” again, I have found myself overwhelmed and somewhat lost. Things and events from my past appeared out of nowhere and I am now having to deal with them head-on. It’s been a little scary and totally nerve-wracking; however, I do feel like things are finally looking up once again and I’m ready to tackle what’s next. Updates to come.