I Got This

 In Weekly Forum Discussion, Writer in Residence

Written by: Collette Cottingham; Creatively Hip

My chest gets tight, breathing becomes difficult, my thoughts bounce in a state of panic… I feel like I can’t control anything, not even my body, but this is a lie.

I inhale and exhale slowly. I got this! Even in the worst of times hasn’t everything worked out? Yes, it has. It may not have been how I wanted things to go, but it all worked out.

I was on a trip, an adventure of sorts. A place where everything was new including the language. I went into a shop to browse. I had three sales ladies surrounding me, putting jewelry on me, using a calculator showing me the price. I wanted out of there. I selected a bracelet under twenty dollars, so I could get them away from me. I hated myself. This is why I avoid shopping!

After she rang me up I realized the bracelet was two hundred dollars! I was completely overwhelmed.

Being the mature woman I am, I cried, not in front of the sales ladies, but in the nearest bathroom. I let my panic attack run its course. I am a weak person. I am incompetent. I am worthless. I didn’t know what to do!

I had to let “his” thoughts about me go. Deep breath in, everything will be okay, I am safe. No matter what, I will be okay. I can get my money back even if I have to sell the bracelet on EBay.

I left the bathroom stall a stronger woman. I walked up and demanded a refund. They refused. There was a no refund policy once you left the store. But I hadn’t left the store. Plus I was confused by their sales tactics.

I got a full refund. I cried more after I left. Why can’t I be the woman who stops these things before they happen?

Maybe some day, but not today. I am a work in process. I take baby steps each day. In the end, it all worked out. I learned something and did something I never thought I could do.

The funny thing is, I rarely feel overwhelmed at work. I love my job and the people I work with. My “to do” list never ends. When I leave the office at night “magic fairies” never come in and make my work disappear, and more work is added each day. I am okay with that. If I need a break I take a quick power walk, and arrive back at my desk refreshed and happy.

It is my personal life that needs work. I feel overwhelmed quite easily. I know I will work through this. I will overcome my overwhelmed thoughts and feelings. I will tackle this problem moment by moment at my pace. I have to release the pressure I put on myself. I need to have patience with myself. I have come a long way.

When I feel overwhelmed I relax through breathing and remembering all the things I have accomplished.

It is important to remember all the truly important things in life.

Every time I was overwhelmed everything worked out. Usually not how I wanted, but I ended up being okay. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I would love a time I never get overwhelmed…maybe someday.

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