Came out of nowhere.
One minute, joking around with the co-worker in her car about the strange characters we might happen upon at the DMV. The next, utter panic as a key document was discovered to be forgotten at home. No name change was going to happen.
I became one of those strange characters. In front of a crowd – in front of a crowd which included a co-worker – I lost my shit and experienced a panic attack out of nowhere.
Okay, maybe not nowhere, looking back a day later. Hints of anxiety could have been creeping into the horizon, with all that I am dealing with personally and professionally. Coupled with the sight of a long line at the DMV, it must have been the right combination for this panic attack to occur. Knowing why a panic attack happens is key towards preventing, or at least, lessening the effects of the next one.
What is so much more draining this time is that this happened in front of that co-worker. It made the rest of our afternoon silent and awkward.
Here I am, being encouraged to go to graduate school, being encouraged to better myself and create a new career path I never thought possible.
The panic attack had nothing at all to do with work, but it did have to do with one of my chronic conditions – the one of which I am in the least control, the one that does the most damage to the rest of them. Anxiety is this bitch that I do NOT want affecting my career, and have worked very hard to avoid in the workplace. (When I cannot avoid it, I work very hard to deal with it privately.)
And then I go and have a very public panic attack that mimicked a temper tantrum in front of a co-worker. I absolutely dread facing her again tomorrow.