Tonight I had a panic attack.
In my car, on my way to my gig, my heart raced; panic and dread and fear grappled through my body. But still, I kept driving. I'm nothing if not reliable, especially when it comes to work.
I know, specifically, why I loathed going to my Load Out: PTSD. Now, before anyone gets pissed at that obvious case of self diagnosis, let me say right now I respect anyone who puts on a uniform and fights for our country. I'm not willing to, pacifist and bleeding heart liberal that I am. As such, I honor those who choose to do what I can and will not.
Having said that, my reaction to what was going to be a simple, almost fun, gig is directly related to a horrible, tears worthy, event I experienced previously: namely the first gig I ever led, for the company I was about to go lead for again. What's worse, I would be with the same circle of leads, and again I was elevated last minute by the same person above me. The situation was eerily similar, though the venue had changed.
And there in laid the difference: ghetto vs high class.
But, I digress. So, as I drove down 13th St, noting the five punch buggies on the way, but no joy derived from them, I allowed myself to sit in my fear, wash in my dread, and panic to my heart's content. Once I got to the venue, with some time before I needed to go inside, I pulled out my phone and played on the Internet; this helped a little. I walked in, found my crew, and checked back in with my superior just before he fluttered away.
Amazingly, in my goodbye to him, I reminded myself of an important fact: it's just a Load Out. And with those simple words, I found my calm, my quiet, my woo-sa.
I allowed my mind to sit in the space, see all around me, and accept that this night was my fate. There was no running away, no giving up. I was going to lead, and, no matter what, everything would be fine.
If I broke every light, slit open every sandbag, and dropped all the truss from the Mezzanine, it would be okay, because, really, none of that was going to happen. However, if it did, then it did.
I don't think I'm explaining this well, but these words are all I have. I just stopped, accepted, and worked on. And to my great surprise, the gig went fine; I laughed and chuckled with some work friends, and am now I'm writing this post.
This is not the first instance where I just took a breath and accepted my fate, whatever the next few hours had in store for me. In fact, it's quite common for me at work. Tonight it just happened to be more powerful, more profound, because I went from horrible, to shitty, to ok in a matter of ten minutes.
In this blogger's humble opinion, that's pretty fucking awesome.
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