I had to leave the house.  I was sitting there brooding about this evening.  I was trying to read my book and I can’t focus on anything.  Then the cold hand of panic gripped me.  I start focusing on every negative thing in the world.  Why?  Why am I feeling like this?  I have done this before, the speaking part….and the panic part I suppose.  But the last time I spoke it was in a much bigger group and I did OK I think.  Maybe I am just not in as good of a head space right now?  I keep telling myself that no one is going to judge me, that no one will think less of me.  But it doesn’t matter.  I am terrified that I am going to have a breakdown up there.  I worry that I am going to start blurting out my 5th step and then everyone will know how unhappy I am right now.  I just want this to be over.  I feel like this is a shame and fear based reaction.  I don’t know how to control this.  I am so unfamiliar with coping with this without alcohol.  I was just remembering how I actually got drunk once at work and did a big presentation to a few hundred people about our base network and about all of our upcoming projects.  That was my coping mechanism back then.  What the fuck am I supposed to do now?

I know what the program tells me to do.  Pray, meditate, pause and reflect, and reach out and talk to someone.  I’m trying so hard to do this right now and it’s not helping.  I am sitting in a coffee shop and I feel like my heart is going to explode.  I have been here before and I know from experience that this is the edges of a panic attack.  Where I struggle in my experience is how to come back from this edge.

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