Except for today

Between one breath and the next everything changed. I’d felt it coming for hours, but I hadn’t been able to slip away for a moment to breathe, cry, walk it out. My work is intense at times, and the pressure is mounting; I haven’t been managing it very well. There’s supposed to be two or three people doing my job, but instead there’s only me trying to do all the things, and not doing as well as I would like. I realized in late afternoon as I’m trying to dispatch staff to critical areas while finishing timekeeping for 270 people for next week’s paycheck, while trying to schedule interviews and get people hired, answering tons of emails, helping our newest batch of trainees who are in the office doing computer training, while covering busy phones and answering questions from anxious ESL staff, all while keeping calm and compassionate – that was all fine until I figured out a coding problem in some HR records that is causing a giant mess. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed, but then the panic attack hit me.

Luckily two of my favorite people were there and they just grabbed me and held on while I was crying and struggling to breathe. They rubbed my back and told me everything was going to be okay, it was amazing. Panic attacks are awful, so terrifying even though I’ve had a zillion and am super familiar, but hyperventilating is really hard to get under control once it starts. They pulled me into a quiet room and just let me cry it out. It’s so embarrassing when it hits like that; and people wonder why I used cannabis. Yeah, you have a panic attack like that a few times and see how you react.

It’s day three without weed, and it’s fine, but today reminds me why I started to use cannabis in the first place: to tamp down the anxiety and panic so that I can function and have some semblance of a normal life, with some great friends and fun adventures. I think I’ve improved enough after all this time – I really want to see how I do without the cannabis. Well, and I have a drug test coming up for the new job that I’m hoping to get. Fingers crossed. Dreading going into work tomorrow. I love working in a hospital, but there’s more than I can do even though I’m working overtime and hardly even have time to pee during the day. I’m proud that I can manage the insanity there, especially since my work space is vulnerable and highly triggering – I still rock that position. Except for today.

I rolled out of my office and went to a dive bar for a beer and some jello shots, and then to the gym with my friend, then we went for a quick bite and as we’re sitting there she pulls out her purse, slides a big stack of money across the table and says “here, this is for that writing class you want to take but can’t afford. You do so much for everyone else, this is for you.” I was speechless, I’m still in shock. SO much love around me today, it made all the difference. I’m so grateful, I can’t even put it in words.


Because I Got High – Afroman
Clumsy – Fergie
But Not Tonight – DM

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