Anxiety Attacks

1-26-10

Lat night I stayed up way too late watching the quarterfinal match between Nigeria and Zambia. For the one soccer fan I know who reads this, if you didn’t see it, the game was epic… you should watch it. It boiled down to no score until penalty kicks, in which only one player missed his shot. I won’t say who won. In any case, I didn’t get enough sleep last night, and the first thing I thought after waking up was “Damn that was a good game”.

My mistake this morning was checking my email. I got two that upset me greatly, although I won’t get into specifics. I was so angry I was shaking and went to school ready for anyone who would cross me. By this point I was nauseous and needed to calm down, so I escaped to the library. The internet was broken, which meant there would be a lot less traffic to the computers, so I thought it was a good idea to take the opportunity to clean out the unused files. I got two of the five computers done. Each took about an hour and a half to complete. I felt bad for abandoning the SPED class though, and eventually went back after I had calmed down some.

Throughout the day I had anxiety attacks that sent shooting pains across my chest and down my left arm. Every time I have days like this I become more convinced that I will die from a heart attack. I allow myself to get way too stressed out too often. Even though I know many of the techniques to calm down, in the moment I rarely accomplish this, which just gives me more anxiety. For this reason I wasn’t attempting to make great connections and contemplate reasons for what I was seeing.

By the time I got home, however, I was feeling much better. I relaxed for a bit before talking to my mother via IM, and then I took a nice, refreshing bath. Since then I have had dinner (fish and French fries, yes!) and introduced the Black Eyed Peas to Fifi and Kekeli. It was quite hilarious to hear them sing along and dance to the music, but it is also good to know that one way to cross the cultural barrier is with “Boom Boom Pow”, or something as ridiculous by the group.

With all of this said, I am no longer in a funk. While I still grudgingly wake up every morning at 6 to go to SOS, I realize that I am helping in small ways (e.g. fixing computers, editing the SPED teacher’s thesis paper, and grading exams). Hopefully with a full night’s sleep I will feel even better.

Practical Ghanaian Travel Tip #29: Pedestrians DO NOT EVER have the right of way.

I am going to start supplementing these with random facts from now on…

Ghanaian Random Fact #30: When you find toilet paper in Ghana it will be the squishiest stuff you’ve ever experienced. The one I used today was three-ply. I don’t get the dichotomy between pit latrines and lovely toilet paper.

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2 Responses to “Anxiety Attacks”

  1. Dad Says:

    I am so jealous, yes tell me who won, not getting any soccer news on the west coast .

    Glad u feel betterand I am longing to talk to you.

    Love
    Dad

  2. RebeccaS Says:

    Pedestrians don’t have the right of way! WHAT?! I am speechless…I don’t think Ghana and I would be good friends. This is such a bizarre idea.
    I watched that game too. I am trying to get into soccer, but I don’t really understand it. But, maybe that is a way of dealing with the anxiety (?), but the music seems like a good way of transcending the cultural barrier/awkwardness.
    p.s. Right now I am working on getting skype credit, so I can call you.

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