Anxiety?

It happened again this afternoon, just like last Thursday and at roughly the same time of day…an extreme case of nerves. Just like last week, it began while I was peacefully at home reading a book and continued as I drove to an appointment.

Last week I assumed that the nerves hit because I was about to do my last heavy squat session prior to competition with a substitute trainer. It seemed odd to be so nervous in that situation, but then again I had never been in that exact situation before. The nerves vanished as soon as I prepared to squat.

Unlike last week, today’s little episode was immediately prior to and during my chiropractic appointment. Although my chiropractor can often be called my Torturer Extraordinaire, I had no reason to be nervous or fearful about my appointment. I like my chiropractor, and I do not get nervous about seeing him, except for that time I admitted to cracking my own neck. But there I sat in the waiting room, heart pounding, hands shaking and clammy, belly churning, and desperately trying to keep my breathing controlled. I joked with my chiropractor about being hit by nerves, but it still took most of my appointment for my body to relax and calm down.

My daughter suggested that I had experienced an anxiety attack. Of course, I scoffed at that, but perhaps there is more truth to that than I might like to admit. Am I nervous about the competition? Yes, a little and likely more so the closer it gets, but I wouldn’t say that I am overly nervous in general. I definitely wouldn’t say that I am nervous enough to have the episodes that I did today and last Thursday.

So, being the kind of person that I am, I did a little reading about anxiety. While there is an awful lot that doesn’t apply to my situations, every one of my symptoms can be a symptom of anxiety. The physical symptoms apply, but the mental symptoms do not. I had no feelings of doom, no fear of death or catastrophe. I wasn’t irritable, depressed, or feeling completely out of control.

Was it an anxiety attack? I don’t know. Maybe. Does it matter? I guess I’ll worry about it if it becomes chronic. Or if the mental symptoms begin to appear? In the here and now, I will just assume that there is an undercurrent of stress that is stronger than I thought, and I will assume that this stress is flaring out in this strange way. At least this little dose of anxiety seems to stick to a schedule! By next Thursday the competition will be over, leaving no reason to be stressed…at least not about that!

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