a girl, a burrito and a panic attack

Yesterday I had one of those days.

The odds were stacked against me from the start. I was tired, stressed to the max from work, emotionally drained from speed dating, and then I ate a whole Chipotle burrito. All 1170 calories of it. In one sitting. 
You see, I get a burrito bowl. With a tortilla on the side. This tricks my mind into thinking I’m actually not eating a whole burrito, but rather, a salad of sorts. Until the tortilla, and everything in the bowl, is gone and I have a huge pain in my stomach bringing me back to the reality of the situation: I just ate a Whole Burrito. And I just ate it in 10 minutes flat. (Which I justify to myself that I had another meeting to run to. But really, I would have eaten it that fast regardless, meeting or not.)
The burrito continued to haunt me all afternoon. So much so, I started getting chest pains. My rib cage hurt to the touch and it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. It didn’t occur to me to take something for indigestion (I don’t usually get it, not like that, anyway) and instead I powered through the pain, but started to get increasingly agitated over it as the day wore on. When an invitation to dinner came from Dan and Kay, I jumped at the chance to have plans for the night. I just had a bad feeling about going home alone.
From the car to the restaurant, Dan went to toss out the empty bottle of Pepto I had finally taken (that Dan so graciously brought out with him on the way to dinner) into a dumpster in the alley. I somehow was dazed and confused and thought he was jumping over to shield Kay and me from some maniac, and I jumped and screamed. 
Chest pains not yet easing and anxiety is taken up one notch from the silly fright on the street. I started to convince myself I was having a hard time breathing. 
I’m able to sit down to dinner, but Dan has a plane to catch (Kay was dropping him off after our meal, I was just along for the ride) and the wait staff is slow. They forgot to bring out a dessert (a s’mores pot) and you all know when it comes to anything s’mores, I don’t mess around. I grew even more anxiety ridden as I flagged down the waiter to crazily proclaim, “where’s our s’mores pot?!? we have a PLANE to catch!!!”
We were really pressed for time by the time we ran to the car to get Dan to the airport. On the ride there, Kay turned up the tunes and we all sang along. This helped me chill out a bit. 
Then, as we get to the airport, I look over and see the pick-up waiting lot. (I don’t know what they call it at DIA, but in Phoenix it’s the cell phone lot.) DIA’s lot was full last night, tons of cars waiting around, and it made me wonder who they were all waiting for and how it made them all feel.
I sat in the cell phone lot at Sky Harbor many times when I lived in Phoenix, excitedly awaiting the arrival of family or friends to come visit. I naturally started thinking about that, and just then my memory jogged and I started thinking about the very last time I sat in the cell phone lot in Phoenix, it was to pick up Kay . . . when I had my car packed, my heart shattered, my cats frightened in the back seat, and I anxiously waited to see the board update with “ready for pick-up” for the last flight in from Denver. 
And that was my breaking point.
I have a great memory – I remember the most inane details and random events. This is a gift and also a curse. A curse at moments when I don’t need to be transported back to a particular moment in time. So, with all my chest pains and frights and anxiety already built up from the day, then thinking . . . how I felt sitting in that car on that sickeningly hot night, listening to that STUPID break-up mix for the very first time, wondering if it was too late to perhaps just turn around and go right back to my pretty little house in the suburbs, go back to denial, where ignorance can be bliss . . . it was just too much and I started crying and it felt like my chest was going to explode, or implode, one or the other. I was convinced, for a split second, that I was going to cease to exist right then and there last night. 
Thankfully, no one made a fuss, Kay knows how to keep nonchalant and steady, and Dan shook my shoulders from the backseat and joked how he was only going to be gone for a few days, and not to cry about it. That was enough to shake me back to present, we dropped Dan just in the nick of time, and the car ride home with Kay was just enough time for me to gather my wits and get my big girl pants back on.
Lessons learned? 
I think I need to lay off the burritos.

And, to remember . . . you’re not in [Phoenix] anymore, baby. And I thank God every day for that.


  1. Wow, what an awful day! Thank goodness you have such good friends to surround you when you most need it!

    On a lighter note, I wish the cell phone lot at DIA had signs that said when flights were ready for pickup (although they might now, last time I was there was 10/09). Austin doesn’t even have a cell phone lot. I ended up being the person in the right hand lane circling at the lowest possible speed and stopping whenever ANYONE is remotely near the crosswalks to slow things even more.

  2. You are doing awesome here! Hope your week gets better!

  3. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

Speak Your Mind


%d bloggers like this: