If there was one thing I could change about myself (other than my thighs) it would be the way I handle stress. Anxiety is something that plagues me regularly. I’m not saying that I stress out about all the little things, but when big stuff comes around, it hits me like a ton of bricks.

The first time I was really affected by it was in college. I was in my history final and was cruising through it. I knew the material because I had been studying for days. I happened to look up from my exam and noticed the professor was flipping through our final papers that we had turned in earlier, when all of the sudden my heart was racing. I don’t know why, but all of the sudden I thought I had forgotten to include something in the paper. And although I had no reason to, I panicked. I was freaking out so badly that I could hardly breathe. I managed to flag down a TA and she walked me outside to get some air. After a few minutes and lots of deep breaths, I was able to calm down enough to finish my exam.

What I didn’t know then was that I had a panic attack. And unfortunately, it wasn’t the last one. The small ones would result in just a racing heart, but the big ones included shaking, shortness of breath and dizziness. After about ten of them, I knew I had to take control of it.

After talking with my mom and doing a lot of reading on the topic, I was able to figure out ways to control the symptoms when I felt them coming on. While I’ll never know why they started, I was able to get a grasp on them.

After a few months the panic attacks became farther and farther apart until eventually they stopped all together. Every now and then I’ll get the familiar heart racing, but a few minutes of deep breathing, Michael rubbing my back, or even a good run in the gym can calm me down.

This whole fiasco with His Mother has resulted in a tightness in my stomach that won’t go away. She wants to talk with me on the phone (probably tonight) about what I’m feeling. She feels I have the wrong impression of her and wants to straighten things out. I’m taking the time today to compose my thoughts (maybe even jot down key points, I’m such a nerd) and try to settle the butterflies and knots that are a jumble in my stomach.

Deep breaths, deep breaths.