In a Nutshell? I Am a Nutshell

Yesterday, I committed the late afternoon to hanging out in the back of the house to do laundry. I KNOW! Will the excitement never end?!?

I had a bowl of pistachios.

serving size? until satisfied

serving size? until satisfied

I eat pistachios on the regular, as well as walnuts, because they’re full of the good fats that help an anxious brain.

At some point, one of my pistachios tasted funny. It was sorta floral. In an unpleasant way.

As I continued to munch my pistachios, my mind began to unfurl the potential dangers of a poor tasting pistachio.

Poison was the natural assumption of the anxious brain.


Panic attack ensued.


It had been over seven months since I had one.

I was dying. Everyone who’s ever had a panic attack knows that they knew they were dying. That’s what makes the panic attacks so fucking fun.

I accepted the panic and rolled with it. I did the breathing. It passed in 24 four-count breaths. Pretty long death, compared to cyanide.

When it was over, I walked my dog around the yard, barefoot, as a distraction, and also hoping to get some sense of grounding.

I alerted my friends viaย social media:ย while i was doing laundry, i ate pistachios. one of them tasted funny, and i thought i might die, so i hadda have a panic attack about it.
— it’s been about an hour since i ate that poison, and i think i’m alright.
so i’ll just do more laundry…but if anyone asks, it was the laundry that killed me, not the pistachios.

Because it’s good to have a sense of humor about the failures of one’s brain, and because surviving what was obviously a near-deathย pistachio experience feels like an important update.

I realize I have come a long way in my journey with anxiety. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine a seven-day break between panic attacks, let alone seven months.

I think I’ll celebrate with more pistachios.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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35 Responses to In a Nutshell? I Am a Nutshell

  1. LindaGHill says:

    Glad you got over it okay. I’ve never had one, but I can imagine talking yourself down out of a panic attack takes a LOT of willpower. Now stop doing laundry before it kills you!


  2. Luanne says:

    This is what my husband tells people with panic attacks: stop eating gluten. Gluten gave him terrible neurological symptoms and bad anxiety. He stopped the gluten and the symptoms stopped. He found out belatedly that he has celiac disease, something 42 doctors didn’t find out for over 8 years until he diagnosed himself (and eventually had it confirmed by endoscopy).


    • I’ve been tested, and was relieved I didn’t have it, because I think I’d rather have the panic attacks than to give up breads, cakes, cereals, etc. LOL! Sorry!
      Sadly, I have friends who are gluten-free and still not free of anxiety. But thanks for trying to help. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Luanne says:

        As I said, that’s what my husband tells people. He thinks because it helped him it will help others. What gave me panic attacks was Flonase spray. I guess where I’m going with this is that I wouldn’t give up on finding a tangible cause. good luck!


        • Well, I get that, because I have a friend whose entire medical chart was cleared up with an allergy, and he was almost 40 when they figured it out!
          I use Flonase, too, but only in the fall months — and I need it then, too, like whoa!
          I would be hard-pressed to believe anything tangible is my cause, since I’ve been in a state of improvement for about four years, two, especially “successful” while just employing thought patterns and bringing more relaxation into my life. Decaffing was extremely helpful!
          I know that leaving Georgia, and my husband getting out of the military impacted my stress significantly, and in that last year, being home, in civilian world, has radically improved my anxiety.
          I’ve read, and been told by my doctor, that my anxiety may wane with menopause, since hormones are a factor….
          (But Imma file that Flonase bit, just in case there’s an increase in the Fall!) Did you switch nasal sprays? What spray did you find was okay for you?


  3. meANXIETYme says:

    It’s those darn Pistachios, I know it!
    No, but really, I know your distress. I’m sorry it happened to you, but so pleased for you that you were able to use your tools and move through the anxiety. It’s a bitch to do that, so I will tell you that I’m impressed with your skillz, woman!
    Also, seven months attack-free is an awesome run. Don’t let this bugger get you down because you KNOW you can do seven months again. And then seven more (hopefully uninterrupted at that point). Go get ’em.


    • Well thanks….yeah….uh….You know I wanna go the rest of my life without one, right?!? LOL
      But yeah, once a calendar year would be SWELL in comparison to the early years!
      It’s definitely not the pistachios ๐Ÿ˜‰ Down to half a bag now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      I AM SO GOOD AT BREATHING! I BREATHE LIKE A NATURAL! lolololol *snort* lolololol


      • meANXIETYme says:

        I didn’t mean having another one, I just meant count 7 months at a time, since you know you can do 7 months without one! LOL Isn’t that, like, the new math or something?
        You and my hub can enjoy the pistachios, I’ll take the walnuts. ๐Ÿ™‚ (he’s into these sweet chili flavored pistachios now…yech)
        Isn’t it silly that we have to learn all over again to breathe? As if our body doesn’t know how to do it…jeez.


  4. Jewels says:

    I hate it when I’m eating nuts and get a weird tasting one. Blech! I’ve never had a panic attack before, doesn’t sound fun, sorry Joey. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I do tend to get some pretty intense heart palpitations when “that time of the month” comes around though, which makes me feel like my heart is trying to explode out of my chest. I started taking an herbal tincture made with Skullcap and I think it really helps.
    Yay for grounding! ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • Right? Grounding is good ๐Ÿ˜€
      Do you make your own tinctures, Jewels? I’ve had skullcap in tea, and I did find it calming, but unfortunately, I don’t know enough about it.


      • Jewels says:

        No, and oops I guess technically it’s an extract, not a tincture. It was recommended by my herbalist for a variety of things… anxiety, stress, hormonal imbalance etc. I buy it at my local co op, it’s made by Herb Pharm, here is a link to their website…

        It’s worth looking into and doing a bit of research about it, I really believe it helps me.


  5. I love pistachios.


  6. Best use of that Van Gough painting ever! Or was it someone else..?


  7. Patti Hall says:

    All I have to say is that you make me laugh so hard!


  8. Congrats on making it through that panic attack to the other side! Yay to pistachios! Though you should probably stay away from the funny tasting ones… Just saying! Maybe lick it first, before you eat it? Down with PA’s!


  9. Sherry says:

    I shall set about finding our pistachio recipes! takes so much time to open the buggers though…I made something with them, and getting a damn cup took the better part of a day! Do you have pistachio secrets? We grow them down here ya know…not that the prices are any better as far as I can tell. Happy laundering…I like laundry. I’d rather do it than most things designated as “chores”.


  10. meg68 says:

    You probably spilled detergent on the stachio girrrrrl!!


  11. Matt Roberts says:

    Mmm, nuts. I’ve had a strong craving for them lately. Mixed. All kinds. Love them, and they’re so good for you. Did you know cashews will keep you from becoming a leper?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Anxiety — When It’s Time to Go | joeyfullystated

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