I have 3 specific things that happened to me in my life that I consider to be my top three scariest moments…
1. My first panic attack
I had my first panic attack on my 21st birthday. Everyone hyped this birthday up so much because I could legally drink. Like, OMG Alycia, we are going to go out and we’re gonna get drunk and party and it’s gonna be so much fun. So a few of my friends made plans to go out and bar hop. But on the car ride there, I felt so nauseous that I was positive I was going to need to pull over to throw up. I had no idea this was from anxiety. I just thought I ate something bad. Somehow I managed to keep my stomach in check and we arrived at our first bar. I just remember white knuckling my drink and feeling shaky and hot and claustrophobic and like I was gonna gag (smoking indoors in NY was still legal in 2003 so the smoke made things worse). I nursed my drink because I felt like I was going to puke but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone by having to leave and not having a good time.
After we (or my friends, rather) had a few drinks, we moved to a bar across the street. And this was where I lost my shit. We got into the bar, it was loud, smoky, hot, crowded. I remember claiming a table while Brian and our friends got drinks. As soon as Bri brought over my drink, I had a few sips and ran out of the bar full speed with my hand over my mouth in this uncontrollable fit of urgency. There was nothing in the world that would stop me from exiting the building in any way I could. I remember passing a sorority-type girl saying to her friend, “looks like someone’s had too much to drink,” only I was running out of the bar not because I was drunk (I only had about half a drink in the last 2 hours), but because of my anxiety getting so bad I had no other way to release it than to puke outside. Brian ran after me and I found an alley way to puke in. It was horrible and embarrassing. And the entire time I kept thinking how bad I felt for letting people down. I wanted to go home. I wanted nothing more than to leave. Ever since then, I’ve had a problem with my gag reflex acting up when I get nervous or excited about something. I just go with it now because I know whats happening, but it’s still uncomfortable. I am also more in control and refuse to let anxiety run my life so I will do things I would normally not do when I was younger. But it’s still with me everyday even in the smallest of ways like a little flutter of butterflies in my stomach. Anxiety meds helped for a while but I gained weight while on them and it felt unnatural. I also got migraines so I weaned off around the time we started trying to conceive. Which brings me to my next scariest moment…
I’m not going to go much into our own story right now as it’s still fresh and raw, but the idea that something we really are hoping for may not ever end up happening for us (and for an exorbitant price) scares the shit out of me.
Infertility is all consuming and it’s hard to even explain to someone who’s never gone through it. It’s scary, painful (physically/mentally/emotionally), expensive, full of emotions like bitterness, jealousy, anger, hope, doubt. There’s more bad news than good. There’s more crap/insensitive advice people give that you are exposed to (saying “just relax” is probably the most insulting thing to say to people dealing with infertility). There’s pregnancy announcements and pregnant women everywhere and seeing these things rip open the wound again, even though you are thrilled for their good news and fertility and never having to know the pain that you do. It seems like nothing makes sense. You question everything. You find yourself doing things you never thought you’d do in a hundred years (like injecting yourself with needles full of a freakish amount of hormones because you have to). It tears your heart into pieces. There’s lots and lots and lots and lots of waiting involved. And you end up fearing your phone because when the phone rings, with it comes (usually) bad news or test results.
And probably the worst thing that I had a really hard time getting around (not over because I will never get over this) is that nice quiet romantic evening with just me and my husband to conceive our child, has been taken away from us. Infertile couples will never get to have that. Instead we have to endure daily poking, prodding, blood work, calling the nurse to announce when your period started, tests under fluorescent lights of your most private parts for all doctors and nurses in the room to see. The aggressiveness at creating one of the most delicate creations in the WORLD is just mind blowing. Life really is a miracle. This is my scariest moment in comparison to these other two.
Thankfully, these medical interventions that suck and cost alot and hurt alot, exist in the first place. And because of the advances in science and technology, we have a chance at having a baby just like everyone else. For that I am thankful. But sometimes I want to drop kick mother nature in the tits for this.
3. Getting lost on Sugar Loaf Mountain
When Brian and I first started dating, we drove to Sugar Loaf Mountain, about 30 minutes from our homes in NY to go for a hike to watch the sunset for a date. Climbing up was scary as there were some loose rocks we had to go over to get to the top. But we made it up. After the sunset, we decided to go down a safer way to avoid sliding on those rocks. Well, big mistake. Almost immediately, we lost our way and we ended up wandering in the dark woods for what felt like hours. In reality, it was probably just an hour. But I was already planning on sleeping in the woods up against a tree that night. It was bad. We were walking through mud, crawling under thorny brush, trying to find our way out anyway we could. We could hear the traffic noise from the road we came in on, but we just couldn’t get out. Eventually, we stumbled on a trail and we just followed it wherever it took us. It was better than being in the thick woods. After a while we saw a light which was on the back of a house. SANCTUARY! We ran through this house’s backyard, into their drive way, and onto the road. We didn’t care where we were, just that we were out of the woods. We were dumped out about more than half a mile away from our parked car. As we were walking back on the road to our car, a cop car saw us and pulled over to talk to us…probably because we had sticks in our hair and blood on our faces from tree branches. She asked if that was our car parked back there and we said yes and we had just gotten lost in the woods. She said to be more careful next time as they’ve had to do helicopter rescues in the past on kids who got lost in the woods! A year later in the winter, a friend of ours actually needed a helicopter rescue! He made the front page of our local newspaper: “High School Student Rescued by Helicopter on Sugar Loaf Mountain”