Another day I’m up way before dawn, unable to fall back asleep. This time, it wasn’t my over-filled anxiety backpack getting in my way or my ‘Got to Do Now’ list that was preventing me from getting an adequate amount of sleep. But instead, it was the anticipation of . . .
Hours before my appointment, Pfiz (the name of my anxiety), began to bubble. I confronted Pfiz head on, and told it to back off; but Pfiz didn’t listen. As each minute passed, Pfiz got louder and louder.
I arrived at the armory, hair disheveled, sweaty palms, and dizzy. I could feel my heart rate racing; pounding, whooshing, throbbing in my ears. “Pfiz, leave me alone!” But Pfiz continued . . . “It’s going to hurt! You’ll feel the burn! Haaaaaa, you’re going to be SO sick tomorrow! Look at all my victims. They look fine now, but all of them will be begging for relief really soon.”
Waiting in line, I shook my head fast, attempting to shake off Pfiz. One hand on my belly, the other hand on my chest. Victims are moving through the line quickly. Eight stations of stabbers administering the vaccine. Breathe . . . closer and closer. A deep breath in through my nose, watching my belly push my hand out. Breathe . . . Breaths that were deep and long are getting shallow and faster, in synch with my place in line. Pfiz is blocking all sound around me. All I can hear is whooshing and throbbing.
A gentle tap startles me. I suddenly lose all feeling in my legs and feel myself falling . . .
down . . .
down . . .
The voice behind the gentle tap asks if I am okay. I respond softly and with that she helps me up. She guides me to a chair.
I extinguish Pfiz blowing a long deep breath through pursed lips, making a soft whistle sound.
4 – 7 – 8
I take a deep, slow breath – 1, 2, 3, 4 – – – and slide my shirt just below my shoulder.
I hold my breath – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – – – feeling a cool damp swipe on my arm.
I breathe out completely – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – – – “You’re all set.”
The woman behind the gentle voice guides me to the waiting area.
After a full 20 minutes and an entire bottle of Vitamin Water I left the Armory feeling quite empowered.