I had a small panic attack last night – not a full-blown one like I used to get quite regularly, but not a pleasant experience nonetheless. I have never suffered a panic attack whilst awake, always when I’m asleep (or falling asleep...). In my semi-conscious state and totally without warning, I feel like I can’t breathe or swallow and I tend to wake with a start, hyper-ventilating with a few panicky-type noises added in for effect.
In the past, I’d be up and out of bed trying to catch my breath before I even realised what had happened and there’s that horrible split second (and it’s no longer than that) when you genuinely think you’re going to die. I’m not trying to be dramatic... ask anyone who suffers from similar attacks and they’ll probably tell you the same. The fact is that as soon as you realise that what you’ve had is a panic attack, you’re not ill and nothing bad’s going to happen, you tend to react better when the next one comes along.
Last night I just remember jumping, looking over at Elaine who was reading and seeing the shocked look on her face (I have this effect on women...), but although it gave her a bit of a fright, she knows now that I calm down pretty quickly and normally just turn back over and go to sleep.
I’m sure these episodes are triggered in some way by stress or anxiety, but I wonder if there may be another cause... chocolate.
Words ending in “holic” tend to be bandied around very easily, but I must admit I find it incredibly difficult to get through a day without some chocolate – a bar, a biscuit... or both... and even though I know I suffer some withdrawal from not stuffing yet another Wispa down my gullet, I want to try and see what will (or won’t) happen if I go without for a while.
By a “while” I’m thinking an hour or so, but realistically I’m aiming for a week. I could cut down, but I’m going to go cold turkey... mmmmmm... turkey - and I will keep you updated about any effect on my miserable demeanour and portly waistline.
If at the end of the week, I have had another panic attack, then it’s clearly not the chocolate and I will make a solemn promise to eat peanut M&Ms until I am violently sick...
Wish me luck...
All my own work... almost.