Came close to a full on panic attack meltdown yesterday.
I don't have them often (a Southend shoe shop, McDonald's at Karaka, before take off a couple of times although a combination of red wine, Diazepam and Buddhist self help has stopped them) but I remember them well.
SWMBO and I went to Napier for lunch and a spot of shopping.
The panic happened during the lunch bit.
We decided to try a new place and we liked the look of Mister D Dining but we stupidly didn't look at the menu board outside.
The place was open and full with a lunch crowd - the well healed middle aged set. Should have maybe heeded that warning sign.
The waiters (warning) were trendy young guys - the hail fellow well met type with trendy stubble beards, trendy tattoos and trendy hair styles (bells ringing loudly by now). Gulp! Too late to back out.
We were shown to our table, sandwiched in between a number of other tables. Now I'm starting to become super conscious of the noise.
Unfortunately SWMBO takes the red seat by a wall (centre right in picture) with me with my back to people and feeling surrounded. The creeping feeling that I couldn't escape starts.
The menu is a fold out thing on brown paper (!) full of items like larks tongue in aspic and bone marrow pasta (!!).
There's nothing there that we want to order and so it's becoming hot in the restaurant. My thinking slows down, my words dry up, by brain kicks into overdrive, my ears start hearing all the conversations around me.
I need to get out but I'm trapped. SWMBO doesn't read the signs and my panic gets worse. Some blue lights in my vision warn me that a migraine may be coming. My anxiety levels grow. A major meltdown is coming and I can't stop it.
I hear Jacky tell the waiter (who has been back twice to take our order) that there is nothing on the menu for her and that we haven't ordered anything yet and we're leaving and I feel empowered to push back my chair, grab my jacket and somehow my feet get me back outside.
I don't feel as if I've breathed in the last five minutes until we're outside.
It's my worst nightmare - feeling entirely trapped by a situation with no way out of it. Hated it. Hated it. Hated it.
We walked around for a bit while my head clears, eventually bumped into some old friends from the Middle East (Gavin and Nola and their son Paul) and then headed to a quiet cafe that we've enjoyed before.
Lessons learned, I hope.
Love and peace - Wozzinho