Something is wrong with me.

I don’t know what’s going on, but my body is periodically freaking the eff out.

Not to make light of people who truly suffer from PTSD, but I kind of feel like that’s what’s going on here.

I feel like I have PTSD from my life. That makes me feel crappy. I feel like I should be doing a better job managing my stress levels and handling my circumstances.

About a month ago I started having anxiety attacks. I’ve had them before, but they have always been clearly tied to some sort of trigger. As in, I think about situation X and my jaw starts locking up, or my hands start shaking, or my chest gets tight and I can’t breathe. But then, I take a couple of deep cleansing breaths and I force my brain to pause and I’m okay. My symptoms subside and I’m able to control it for the most part.

The last month or so it hasn’t been like that. I will be thinking about nothing, driving along, singing to the music, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and next thing I know my jaw is locked and I can’t open my mouth and the muscles down my neck into my shoulder are twitching. And I try to take some deep breaths and clear my mind and nothing helps. I just have to wait for it to subside. And then after the fact I can sometimes identify a thought that has come to mind, but not always.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to sit down with a legal pad (my bestie) and write down anything and everything I could think of that made me feel worried, or concerned, or stressed, or anxious, any kind of negative association.

When I finished I had a list of things almost as long as my legal pad. Seeing everything down on paper made me feel a little better because there is quite a bit on my mind right now. And many of the concerns are quite large.

While identifying everything that is bothering me helped me to see that I’m not crazy for feeling overwhelmed with heavy burdens, it doesn’t help solve the problem of anxiety attacks. I know the first two things I could do to help would be swimming and yoga. Those are my two favorite things to do.

The problem with swimming and yoga is that they cost money. I’m sure lots of people would argue that yoga doesn’t cost money, but I’m not completely sold on doing it without an instructor. Given my history with my back I want to have someone there to make sure that I’m doing the poses correctly. I want to know that I’m fully in the pose properly and I’m not pushing myself incorrectly.

And I have been reminding myself that actually I need to just spend the money to take care of myself. But since money/lack of money/costs of various things appeared on my list of stressors in at least four different places I’m not sure if paying for yoga or swimming would be like shooting myself in the foot right now.


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