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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Anxious Fran | Post Lunch Panic


My relationship with food is an odd one; I love it, but actually eating it can sometimes be problematic. So I thought I would share with you my experiences with 'post food panic attacks'.


 I am yet to figure out if me worrying about them happening is what causes them to happen, or if my body finds that sometimes it cannot handle the energy kick that comes from consuming an entire meal... either way breakfast lunch and/or dinner can often be followed up with a good hour long panic attack!

Take today for example... I didn't feel like I wanted to eat until lunch about one o'clock ( this is rare, I normally like my lunch at bang on 12), so I took my time on my lunch break preparing my dinner. I made something that I know I like; avocado, spicy rice, tomato and  wraps (with lashings of chipotle chilli sauce) for those of you who care, and tucked in.

After about 10 minutes of slow eating, I started to feel sick. Not unwell sick, but anxious sick. For those of you who don't know the difference... anxiety related nausea is a million times worse than legit nausea. It very often lingers for hours & very rarely results in vomiting.

I knew the moment I started to feel sick that I needed to stop eating and I knew that a panic attack was around the corner. I was getting clammy, shaky, found myself shallow breathing and I could not focus on any one thing. I decided to go for a walk to help me calm down and took a bottle of water with me (I find that sipping water really helps me when panicking). I got no further than 50 yards away from my place of work when the crippling stomach pains struck. 

If you don't know anything about panic attacks, or the 'fight or flight' theory, then you might be lucky enough to never have experienced the excruciating stomach pains that such an adrenaline release can cause. You know when you scare someone and you laugh at them and say "oh my god, you shit yourself", well you don't say that for no reason. That saying is derived from the fact that fear causes your body to release adrenaline and that adrenaline in turn causes your bowels to empty so that you can run away from the "problem" faster. 

The problem for me? There was/is nothing to fear (other than the fact there is the potential for me to shit myself) and the thing that scared me was eating my favourite foods on my lunch break! Great, right?

So I now found myself, 15 minutes post lunch consumption (well, half of it); shaking, sweating, hyperventilating and trying not to double over in pain whilst I get back into work and into the toilet. The next hour is spent pretty much attached to the loo, drinking as much water as I can (letting myself get dehydrated isn't going to help) and waiting for the symptoms to pass.

It tends to take a good hour for my body to realise that it is over reacting and by the end of it all I feel exhausted. I am lucky that, today, nobody is in the office to witness my excruciating and embarrassing dilemma; this isn't always the case though.

So now I sit here... mint tea in hand, water bottle besides me, getting ready to carry on with the rest of my day and I laugh. My body has put me through this emergency drill routine so many times over the past 9 years, that it almost doesn't bother me.

When it first happened I would think that I was dying and stay at home for a day or two whilst I recover. Now I realise that there isn't enough time given to us in life for me to do that. 

I have chosen to share this graphic and horrific story with you because I know that I am not the only person who deals with this. 
Is it shit (no pun intended)? YES! 
Are you alone in this experience? NO!

As you can imagine the idea of eating out, or eating in a social setting, isn't MY idea of a fun time. In fact I will often just have a drink when out with friends just to avoid this happening. 

That being said; each day I am slowly getting more comfortable with my body, what it can and can't handle, and when I should and shouldn't eat.

Today I was comfortable enough to tell the WWW about my gastric meltdowns.

Ciao for now,

Fran x

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