Let me start by saying that I am a true “blue” fan of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays. I don’t just hop on the bandwagon when they are winning because if that were the case I’d have probably given up long ago. I listen to the games on the radio in my car, I enjoy watching them on TV and I love nothing more than seeing both my home teams live and in action and only wish it were possible to do so more often (and in more cities).
There is just one major problem; I suffer from extreme anxiety and panic whenever I go to a game (well over the last couple of years that is). Last summer while attending a Jays game with my husband, something I LOVE doing as I just mentioned, I suffered a sudden and uncontrollable panic attack while we waited in line for something to eat. Was it the crowd of nameless faces enclosing in around me that caused it to happen or was it really that difficult to decide between the nachos or a slice of pizza that could have struck me with a panic attack that included tears streaming down my face, leaving my husband standing there thinking to himself WTF while looking for the closest exit to run to? (yup he’s one lucky guy!)
Whatever the actual cause was I’ll never know for sure but it happened and it was very real. So last night when we were given the opportunity to attend a Leafs game I was excited and hoped things would go more smoothly. But right on schedule my anxiety began to escalate as soon as we left the house and maneuvered our way through rush hour traffic on the streets of downtown Toronto hoping to make it in time for the singing of the National Anthems (which I love) and puck drop which we did, but barely.
As we were driving, I took an extra dose of my CBD oil as we neared the stadium and that seemed to relax me and bring my heart rate down, but not for long. Once safely in our seats I practiced as many breathing and grounding exercises as I could and focused my attention on the game, desperately wiping away tears and trying to shutdown my negative, catastrophic thoughts and fears of lurking danger as best I could. Unfortunately the negative thoughts and fears took over from time to time throughout the evening and again if you ask me why, I cannot give you an honest answer (maybe it was Carlton the Leaf’s Mascot standing in front of me that did me in LOL). All I do know for sure is that it’s just another overwhelming and embarrassing symptom I have had to learn to live with as part of my illness. But hey, on a positive note, at least the Leafs made it all worth it!