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anxiety costco

I Had An Anxiety Attack In Costco & Here’s What I Hope You Know.

Because anxiety.

There I stood, with a semi-full cart at Costco, trying my hardest to swallow and not break down in the middle of the isle.

Because anxiety.

It was an errand-running morning and I left the house ready to conquer my long list that consisted of four different stops. I made it through one and two without a hitch, but then it all came crashing down at stop number three – Costco.

Because anxiety.

It came on so suddenly. It felt as if a rope was tied around my neck and I had a hard time swallowing. It felt like someone had defied gravity and placed a thousand pounds on my chest, squeezing my ribs and pressing into my lungs. It felt like I was on a slow-moving carousel yet the images around me were on fast-forward.

Because anxiety.

The panic set in and I had to get out of that place, stat. I tried to be brave while I checked my list, knowing I wasn’t done with my shopping, but it only made things worse. I called my husband, told him what was happening, and stood in line at the checkout. For some reason, time slowed down while my insides felt like they were speeding up. Why was everyone moving like they had all the time in the world? Can’t they see I’m about to lose it?

Because anxiety.

I stood there – plain and ordinary – having an anxiety attack. No one knew because no one could see. I’ve become quite good at keeping myself in check in public so no, no one would suspect anything. It wasn’t until I got into my car that the tears flowed like water from a not-quite shut-off faucet – slow yet steady. As I drove home, the roads got longer and my safe spot grew farther and farther away. I thought, I’ll never make it.

Because anxiety.

I’m home and I’m safe and the panic is gone. My insides are calming and my breathing is slowing, but my chest still feels heavy and the pain is still there.


Karen Szabo

I took this picture – as I commonly do when I have anxiety attacks – because this is what it looks like for me. Normal and plain yet I’m suffering. Anxiety doesn’t have any one face. It isn’t any one thing to any one person.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Be kind. You never know what someone is going through.

Originally appeared on Facebook

This story originally appeared on Facebook

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