Panic Attack in Traffic :(

Usually I drive the whole way myself obviously since hubby doesn’t usually go, this time we split it. Usually I nap the day that we are leaving because I prefer to drive at night.  I wasn’t able to do that this year and figured it wasn’t a big deal since I’d have help driving.  That was before I knew his plan about splitting the drive so evenly.  When he goes somewhere with us, he drives the majority of the time.  His idea, not mine.  I was looking forward to a break.  I got tired after about 3 hours and asked him to drive.  He got irritated because it wasn’t half way and it was just weird for him to be making such a big deal of it.  I thought he was being strangely weird about insisting that we split the drive so very evenly.   Whatever.  He got over it.

On the way home…


I hate even typing this.

I had a HUGE panic attack on a crazy busy highway near Richmond Virginia.  My face was seriously tingling*.  Like when you are gonna pass out.  I couldn’t catch my breath and I made hubby put his hand on mine on the steering wheel.  He was being awesomely supportive actually.  I drove that way for what seemed like forever but was probably about 10 minutes really.  I was taking slow deep breaths.  I was trying to fight through it but I couldn’t do it.  I saw a spot to pull to the side of the road and did it.  Hubby got mad but I think he was more freaked out that I pulled  over in such a high traffic area than he was really mad.  He started driving and I cried.  Ugh.  I didn’t even realize we were so close to the underwater tunnel either.  About 5 minutes later we were speeding through the tunnel with gazillions of other cars.  SO glad I pulled over when I did.  Not sure what I would have done if that would have come up while I was already freaking out.

I have done that tunnel before.  I CAN do it.  I CAN do it.  But I could not have at that moment.  :(

I am mad about the panic attack.

I am embarrassed.

I am scared.

I am depressed about it.

I was doing well!  I am mad that this continues to happen to me.  I am embarrassed that this happened in front of hubby and I needed him to save me.  I have done that beach trip driving by myself 2 other times.  ALL BY MYSELF!   And many other trips before that!   I don’t need him.  Why did I have to freak out when he was there?!  I am scared because it seems like I have been having more panic attacks recently than I have in a long time.  I am scared because before a lot of my anxiety was anticipatory anxiety – I was afraid I might have a panic attack.  Now…. I am actually having the panic attacks!  What the ?!?!?  I am depressed about it because – is this what my life is going to be?  Will I have to continue to worry and plan and drive at night only on trips to avoid traffic??  Even the thought of driving to the beach next year makes me want to throw up.

Oh yeah…  and later on the trip I did actually throw up.  SO embarrassing.  I hate that I was weak in front of hubby.  So much for my fake it till you make it.  That blew up in my face.  SO much for my “I’m awesome, who the hell are you?” attitude that was working so well in my fight against the panic monster!

Our GPS is old and out of date.  I refuse to buy a card to update ours because I see that the new ones come with lifetime updates.  I want one that we can plan our route on the computer, hook up the GPS and tell it where we want to go.  We were not supposed to be on that busy highway near Richmond.  Nope.  Hubby was navigating with the map and I listened and he didn’t mean to take me there, but that’s where we went.    And then when he was driving near the end of the trip, he didn’t ignore the GPS like he should have.  I’ve used the thing on enough trips to know when to ignore it cuz it doesn’t know what its talking about, he kept listening to it even when common sense should have told him not to.  Seriously, about an hour from home – when he KNEW where we were, he listened to the stupid thing and got on very windy, small country road that went on for 14 miles.  yes.  14 miles!

I woke up amd immediately needed to puke.  I don’t do good on windy roads and he was mad cuz he figured out he was on the wrong road and was driving fast and jerky.  Ugh.  Twice he had to pull over while I yacked in the weeds.  So nice.   yep.  Such a nice way to end the trip.  Ugh.

I got a cold on the way to the beach.  Hubby is convinced it’s cuz I had the Air conditioning blowing in my face while I was driving.  He may be right.  I was so stuffy and my throat hurt and was all congested.  I bought some alkaseltzer cold medicine that I had never tried before and wow that stuff is wicked.  It knocked me out just like nyquil does.  I had the daytime and night-time pills and was taking that most of the week.

Then… I was getting nervous about driving back because we decided to leave at 8pm instead of midnight and I was supposed to drive first.  I didn’t want to drive first but he was insisting that it would work better since he is better at staying awake at night and figured by midnight or so I’d be ready to sleep.  It was a good plan (if I wasn’t a nut case with panic attacks!) and I was trying to be strong and defiant against the panic monster and do it.  I took 2 ativan.  I took them too close together and I knew it.  Then I got a pepsi max cuz that’s what I do on these drives.  That is the ONLY time I ever drink that and I usually sip it for the entire 8-9 hour drive.  I think I was drinking it too fast cuz I was worried about getting tired because I took 2 ativan.  Ugh.  The whole situation wasn’t good.  I knew it before I even got on the highway.

And then came my freak out.   I HATE this post.

And my kids were in the car and saw me freak out too :(  Hubby told them he thinks I got sick cuz of my cold medicine and pepsi max.  I hope they are satisfied with that and don’t ask more questions and figure out their mom is a nut case :(

I know this post is all out of order and long and rambling.  I’m not going to fix it.  I feel anxiety coming on just typing all this out and don’t want to deal with it anymore tonight.  It is what it is, hope you can follow it.

(* When in labor with my first kid, my face got all tingly cuz I wasn’t breathing right and the nurse told me I was going to hyperventilate.  That tingling is exactly what I was feeling! )


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 08:30:52

    I’m so sorry you went through this. I hope once you get some space between this event and start thinking rationally about it without all the emotion, you will see that you probably didn’t prepare enough beforehand,or were triggered in some way, or were pms. Maybe you just had an off day. It’s ok… It doesn’t mean you cant do it next year. (((hugs)))


  2. Kelly
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 12:22:13

    I stumbled upon your blog yesterday. I’ve suffered from panic disorder, on and off, since I was 20. I’m now 45. Mine started due to a traumatic experience. I really felt bad about myself for not having it together. I beat myself up a lot. It’s been especially difficult over the last year, due to loads of stressful events. Anyway, I understand deeply how easy it is to beat yourself up and to feel like you’re letting others down. I am guilty of doing this myself, but when I hear someone else talking to themselves this way, I see how wrong it is. Look, you’re only human! And look at how brave you are: through all that anxiety, you’re still managing to care for your kids and husband and be there for him, AND you are holding a job. You’re still moving along, although uncomfortably, and believe me, I know how difficult it is, but you’re still doing it. I hope it helps to know that there’s other Moms/women out there who are going through the same thing. Don’t give up hope, and keep on blogging! I get it! :) P.S. If you ever want to chat, please write me! I understand, and I won’t judge ya, I promise. Take care.


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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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