>Days to forget, impossible

>So what would a panic attack look like? I think I experienced one a couple of days ago. For an introvert to be forced to handle more than 2 hours of extroverted activities without a chance to recharge is very hard. To have to do it overnight for a period of 24+ hours total is lunacy!

My blood pressure was probably through the roof, and my heart rate was so accelerated I could feel my heart trying to jump out of my chest. And this I when I was sitting alone in my room. It took me about 4 hours to slow down enough to be able to actually sleep. I could not read or watch TV. I had enough common sense to stop at 3 beers, I am pretty sure that drinking would only have made it worse.

So add my terror with the constant, or near constant, questioning by others about whether I was OK. If you do not feel ok and do not feel like talking about it, the only way to get around it is to fake it. It is a lot of pressure to seem like I was ok, but it did stop the nagging.

On top of it all, there is my disrespect for 90% of the people there, my ever increasing lack of respect for the institution I work for. It is not that I think I am superior to the people there, it is a fact that I am better than they are. Not in an existential sense, of course. But in an educational and intellectual level. Is this hubris? Most likely. But it is also true. I simply had absolutely no desire to interact with any of the events and activities and people.

If only there was some dancing! With dancing I can just move and interact, in a sense, with others. Dancing (and music) are universal languages, and a great equalizer. To what use is my education if I cannot move to the beat? The best “conversations” I have ever had were done hip-to-hip on a dance floor.

What do I take from this? The importance of routine for me seems to border on the autistic. The same things on a daily basis: my time for reading and study and meditation, my evening runs. It is obviously important to have the capacity to control and organize my surroundings to suit my preferences – I do not think i am special in that sense, but rather this is a natural human need to terraform their environment.

Whenever I move into a new office or new space, I immediately go about “making it mine” – adding pictures to the walls, changing the lighting, rearranging the furniture. At home I change all the furniture around at least two or three times a year, much to my family’s chagrin.

Oh I could go on.

The two days were horrible. I had to go through it alone. That was possibly the worse part, but also (possibly) the best thing. I know some things about myself much better now. I might just be able to be a little more real in my relationships, my interactions with others.

After about an hour punching a heavy bag this afternoon I feel like I have cleared all the poisons from my body. I am tired now, ready to go to bed. I hope to sleep well.

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About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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