So I was trying to figure out "Why?"
As my writing class is drawing to the end of the semester (w00t!) we are in the midst of "Finals". For this class, Finals are a 2-week process. Throughout the duration of the course we've written 4-5 pieces. For the Final, we were to take one of those pieces and revise it and present it to the class. Then, they get to workshop the piece while the writer sits there silently listening, not allowed to speak. Then after they give you all of their feedback, you are supposed to do a final revision on the piece and turn it in for the final Final. We have been workshopping 6 students' pieces per class the last 4 classes and I am up next. Following class the other night a few students and I were discussing it on our way out to the parking lot. Realizing I was next started making me feel a little dizzy. As I got in my car my heart was pounding, my hands were sweaty and I felt like I just wanted to lie down. I mean, the way my body was responding you would have thought I was getting ready to take center stage right at that moment and not next Tuesday. So, I turned on the music and just tried to get lost in thought, convincing myself it doesn't really matter if no one likes it -- it's not like I need THEIR approval. And while I might consider their feedback, it's the instructor's I really care about as he is the one with the degree, he is the one who used to work for a publisher - reading manuscripts and forwarding the best to the EIC, he is the one who is giving me the final grade.
So, I realize that working on revisions this past week has definitely been a trigger for my anxiety.
I have also been putting together my itinerary for our Mega Road Trip coming up. Places we're stopping along the way, places we get to stay for free, and places I have to shell out for. I got some prepaid **DEEP** discounts so I am excited that we are staying places we've never stayed before. Additionally, some familial contributors have made this trip possible by their generous donations. (Thanks Mom & Dad & Sisters for helping me out so I can focus on being an independent woman! tee hee)
But I am still stressed about the money. I don't believe in credit cards and I don't use them -- I haven't had any since my divorce almost 4 years ago. I know many people that say, "Well just use them for an emergency." Problem is, as a struggling single mom, EVERYTHING would be an emergency, haha. So, I simply don't use them. I think my fear is that fuel, food, and everything will end up costing more than I had hoped and budgeted for, and that somehow I will get stranded on the way home.
I knew this thought was in the back of my mind, but I didn't really realize it was a major trigger for anxiety until I started having dreams about it. The past three nights I have had dreams about having anxiety attacks. In one dream, my "tell" for anxiety is that I would scratch my neck and chest without even realizing I was doing it. Then someone would ask why I was bleeding. In another dream the car went out of control and it had a delayed response to my commands; break, accelerate, reverse, etc. And I ended up with major scratches and having to have repairs done (which I couldn't afford) which gave me anxiety. And last night I dreamed that on our trip we stopped for frozen custard somewhere in the middle of nowhere and the car got towed away while we were inside. I was trying to call towing companies, but one number led me to the next and I kept getting the run around. They were telling me where to go to get it and how much it would cost (more than I had) and that if I didn't come and get it by their deadline they would scrap the car for parts. I was running everywhere. The only good highlight of that dream was the custard shop sold bags of mini-peeps; the Easter peeps, freeze-dried down to miniatures. They were soooo tasty! haha.
Now that I've pin-pointed the triggers, I will make sure I take a quarter Xanax right when I get to class on Tuesday and try to get lots of sleep before we leave for the trip (Wednesday night). I know that things will work out, for they always do. But the dreams just cracked me up. You know you're anxious about something when you're having palpitations in your dreams! I think it is interesting how stress can affect us all in different ways.