A Mental Door Left Open

When I have an anxiety attack, it’s like a door gets left open in my brain and then all of the other thoughts just keep pouring in and I can’t get the door closed to do anything else but worry.

I don’t necessarily have shortness of breath or heart palpitations or shakes or the “stereotypical” physical responses. Instead, it’s just non-stop anxious thinking. Things that never worried me before, or don’t normally worry me, suddenly are bouncing around my brain looking for a spot to settle in.

Last night, around 9:30pm, I was informed this is NOT a stingray.

Why does this matter?

Because this is the basis for a t-shirt I designed that we just started taking orders for.


I love this team and these kids and I am doing this volunteer job even though I don’t have a swimmer so I can train another parent and I kinda looked at this shirt as my tribute to a group I love.


I’m so embarrassed it’s not even funny.

And this problem that I caused that may slow down/impact our shirt order and DEFINITELY makes me EXTREMELY embarrassed – opened the floodgates last night and I was up worrying about the following things:

  • How close I came to putting people I love in a shirt that SAID “stingrays” but was actually a manta ray.
  • Wes’s birthday (it’s Saturday)
  • Where are those stickers I bought last month?
  • Should I have thrown those strawberries in the compost? Are they bad?
  • Do I have any clean socks for tomorrow?
  • What should my sign say at the protest on Saturday?
  • How are poor kids going to afford college?
  • Will I ever get a new sliding class door?


It’s basically a manic episode, but my mania is: WORRYING.

I tried everything in my arsenal and nothing could stop my brain. I tried to paint, I did my breathing, I did my sensory reset…NOTHING WORKED. I turned on a TV show I had seen before but then I found myself worrying about that TV show (Heartstopper) and whether it was going to get renewed! I eventually put on my sleeptime music for the 5th time and around 1:30-2am I think I finally fell asleep.

I woke up at 5am.

Today is going to be ROUGH.

I feel like losing sleep impacts me way more than the average person. I get headaches and stomach aches and hot flashes when I’m overly tired.

I’m lucky to be meeting a friend for a walk this morning so hopefully that will help, but UGGGG. I hate my brain some days so very much.

So, anyway. Let this be your lesson today: There are TWO different basic shapes of “rays” in the ocean. Sting and Manta.

You’re welcome.

1 thought on “A Mental Door Left Open”

  1. I would never have known that that wasn’t a sting ray! (Or “string” ray, as I first typed it…) But I know what you mean about a bad thought propping the door open so that others can keep coming in, and it sucks. I hope the walk helped your day be a bit better.

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