Confusing times.

In yesterday’s blog I briefly mentioned panic attacks. I realised that I’ve never spoken about this before on my blog but since I wrote that I thought I might aswell address the ‘issue’ a bit. So here goes.

So through majority of my life I had never experience panic attacks. I’d of course heard about them but never really knew the extent of them, or what made them happen or anything like that. That was until September last year. So let’s rewind a bit. September 2015; I was 22, I’d been working at the same cafe for around a year when I was told about a job going at a Starbucks pretty close to where I lived. This sounded pretty good to me. I’d worked at a Starbucks before while I was at university and really liked it. Since I’d worked with coffee since I was 16, I liked the idea of getting to know more about the different blends, the origins and even the different drinks as they seemed a bit more ‘exotic’ in comparison to the standard americano and latte. It just seemed more specialised, and of course my job title looked a bit more impressive too going from shop assistant to barista. So to go back into that and having something I was more specialised in, with the opportunity to move up in the business sounded amazing and perfect for the direction I wanted to go in.

So I went to the interview, got offered the job, and as soon as I knew it I’d had a trial shift and had left my old job before fully starting this new one. Which was great in theory, having about a week off for myself before getting into the new job. That was until I started getting ready for my first day. I’d got as far as putting on my uniform and then before I knew it I was sat on the bathroom floor, crying my eyes out, unable to move. I honestly had no idea what was going on. Why my body was really doing this, or how to make it stop. After texting my sister out of fear, she came to the bathroom to talk to me and try to calm me down. I felt like a complete idiot…but I had no idea why really.

After talking to a friend of mine and ‘googling’ (a bad idea normally I know) I realised that what had happened was that I’d had a panic attack. But I still couldn’t understand what had triggered it off or anything. Anyway I called in work, told them I was ill and they told me when to be in next. To me that was that, I’d go in on the next shift and everything would be fine. I was wrong. It happened again and again. Every single time I tried to go to my job. To the point where my new manager stopped getting in touch with me. I was so angry with myself. I couldn’t believe I’d thrown a job away because of this stupid thing my body was doing.

After that I decided to go to the doctors. To see if there was anyway I could prevent this from happening again, for when I got my next job. The doctor basically said that these panic attacks could be brought on by anything for example a new job or stress. After that I started thinking about the job and wondering why that would have triggered it and why now? I’d changed jobs in the past and never seemed to have any problems. The only thing I could really remember is that even though it was a big team at Starbucks (like the cafe) barely anyone made me feel welcome by trying to make conversation or anything. Looking back now it seems subconsciously I’d built it up in my head as sort of a stress factor, as if no one was trying because they didn’t want me there. It sounds stupid…but that’s the only thing I could put it down to. I’d gone from an environment where everyone went out of their way to acknowledge you, to a place that in a way just felt cold.

Anyway I eventually went back to the cafe I previously worked, and I’m still there now, still enjoying the environment and the people in it…even If I can’t really progress in it, but plans change I guess. Thankful I didn’t have any panic attacks coming back into this job. But I still have them occasionally, for example when I met a guy for the first time…as you can imagine that went down a treat! Oh and I still don’t really know how to control them, I’m just learning to deal with them better I guess…

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