Yesterday I had a bit of a scary wake up call – quite literally! Unfortunately I don’t just mean being woken up by my alarm! At 12:30 in the morning I woke up with a pain all round my chest and tight shoulders, I couldn’t get comfortable, felt like I was going to be sick, definitely wasn’t able to go to sleep. After about 30 minutes of the pain being constant, and sometimes get tighter, the husband phoned 111 which eventually led to a paramedic being at my bedside! Long story short, after heart monitors etc… It turns out I’d had an anxiety attack! I felt like a complete and utter fool! The paramedic told me I wasn’t a fool, and explained that my breathing had got out of kilter for some reason, and it was that that had caused the muscles to hurt, which then caused me to get more anxious – the lovely vicious circle effect! The lovely paramedic managed to ask me lots of questions to distract me from my breathing which meant that I calmed down and the pain went! I took paracetamol and went back to sleep!
I then, obviously, went into school! I wasn’t going to be teaching all day as it was only year 7 in so I could hide in my office? This was not the wisest decision I’ve ever made, and I did eventually get sent home. What I found at school was that I wasn’t able to hide, I was exhausted due to not having slept, which meant I wasn’t able to concentrate on my work, which meant I was then getting anxious about not being ready for school, which meant I was getting breathless, and meant I got myself in a right old royal state – don’t you just love a vicious circle!
Once I’d asked permission to leave, and broken down in tears on the head (not too embarrassing) I actually didn’t go home as didn’t think I was best with my own thoughts if anxiety was my issue! So I went to a friends house – she happens to be a counsellor! After about three hours, lots of tears, and a few breathless moments, I had a much better idea of what I was anxious about – and what I find is that it is a lot easier to deal with something when you actually know what it is!
By the end of the day I’d also worked out that my body was warning me that I was getting anxious.
On Tuesday evening I had been out, and my eye had been really hurting – this was where I had the bruise following the seizure. My eye hurt quite a lot yesterday, but it was intermittent – quite often before I stated to get breathless or upset. I worked out it wasn’t my eye at all but was a headache – my body was warning me but putting the pain where I had an injury anyway – cunning! So now at least I know that when my eye is hurting I need to take a step back, and breathe! Similarly when I was talking about things with the husband later my ribs were hurting, so I had to stop and breathe!
One thing that I was getting upset about yesterday was that I felt I was ‘turning back into the old Helen’ who was highly emotional, quite often irrationally. I didn’t want to go back there! But I guess what I have to remember is that there was nothing wrong with the old Helen, but the new model is better! I’m also not invincible! Which I think is what I’ve started to think about myself – I just needed to be brought back down to earth – I just wish it wasn’t with such a humongous bump!
Last night I messaged a core group of friends to ask them to pray for me, as I hated this feeling. This morning I feel so much better, partly because I know I’m not doing this on my own, but I feel much stronger sense of peace. One of my friends told me that after she dead my message she opened her bible app to psalm 46 and that she felt it was for me, which it was and I will let you find it and read it if you choose to, but especially verse 5
I have no need to be anxious, God made me as I am, God is going to protect me, it isn’t going to be easy but I am not alone! Every time my husband preaches I normally point out to him that he should listen to his own message! I think I now need to do the same. On Sunday I spoke at church about the fact that Jesus takes us by the hand, he doesn’t give us directions, he actually takes us by the hand and walks with us. Which reminded me of my granny’s favourite poem – footprints. It is through the difficult times when there is only one set of footprints because God is carrying us. Maybe I need to listen to my own talk!