Four days ago, I had a panic attack.  Not my first one.  I’ve had 4 in the past 15 months.

The first one was actually the same time a then friend was having one.  He went to the hospital with his.  I was 4 hours drive away, not knowing he was having one, and yet I was having one the same time.  That day there was a “company call” where all the contract workers were to call and discuss with the client our (lack of) pay and the company going forward.  The client was 2 checks behind, promised to make it right.

We all got to talk to the client, but during the call I noticed my chest hurting.  Then it was hurting a lot.  I was listening to the call and looking up heart attack at the same time.  But I also noticed I my breathing was off, I was hyperventilating.  So I looked up panic attack, about the time we (the other contract workers and I) found out that our friend went to the hospital for a “heart attack” which was diagnosed as a panic attack.

Odd.  Did I feel his panic attack?  I never had one before.

Second time, was about 10 months ago.  Media Guard Group was getting it’s own clients.  I had a major client for whom I was building a website.    She liked to email, multiple times each day.  And if I didn’t respond fast enough, she would email again, with the first thought and her new thought.  And then email my personal email, this time with other thoughts that countered the other emails.

I was checking my email 3 times a day, (now I only check once a day) and would have 5 plus emails from her, asking for “darker blue” then a few minutes later “lighter blue.”  And add this, change the menu, all while trying to build her site, read and answer her emails.  One morning I logged in to find that she sent 24 emails.  Each email had 2 or 3 zip files, each with  6 to 40 images that she wanted on her website.

One zip file took 3 minutes to download.  Upon seeing 24 emails from one client, which she emailed to both my personal and my business email I had started sweating profusely. (SIDE NOTE: Now, you will get put on the back burner if you email my personal email with normal business.)   Upon realizing that these were taking 3 minutes to download and there were 50 to 60 zip files, I could hear my heart.

That would be panic attack 2.

Virtual Assistant (VA) and Marketing Manager (MM) who were to earn a percentage based on work, promised to take care of it.  I don’t know if they did, because I had to contact her that day with the contract that stated her graphics person was to put all the images on the photo site.  I would create the slide show.  And all additional work will be billed at standard hourly rate.

About 7 months ago, I went to a seminar.  We, the VA, MM and I, agreed that I would bring flyers to the seminar to promote the business.  I got them roughly 36 hours before I was to leave.  And shortly there after my internet went down.  I spent most of the next day trying to get my internet back, and get ready to leave for the trip.

There was also a marketing campaign that was supposed to start running.  It should have started a week before I left, so I could focus on the seminar.  It didn’t.  It started the day I left.

During the seminar, they emailed with problems, then got mad because I wanted to spend time with the people from the seminar, building connections.  They then proceeded to rip me a new one about how I didn’t care about the business if I didn’t “find” time to print the flyers and tell them the numbers on the campaign.

I was unholistic, egotistical, lazy, and could never ever manage a business. And I proceeded to have my 3rd panic attack.

But, then I realized, they had more access to the numbers than I did, since part of it was through their system.  Upon testing, I realized their system wasn’t even telling people the campaign webpage.  Plus they had 3 weeks to create the flyer but I was jerk for not printing while I was getting ready to go. Needless to say, I spend the evening I got back locking them out of my business entirely.  Plus receiving multiple messages of how hateful, spiteful and vindictive I was.


Three days ago:  I have had insomnia the past week.  I go to sleep for an hour to 3, then am awake for 2 to 3, but not enough awake to function, but not asleep either, then sleep another 1 to 2 hours.  I have had a bit more work than I can handle alone so I have been reading through various resumes and credentials.  I’ve been wondering who to hire, and who to trust, with my clients’ sites.

Then the city came by, to inform me I am late on property taxes.  I knew I was, just didn’t expect them to check if I was living in my house.  I was seized with a bit of panic then, but two hours later, I was still panicking.  I used my blood pressure cuff to find I was 101 over 65 with 105 pulse.  My normal is 101 over 75 with 72 pulse.  It took a lot of  slow breathing to get it to slow.

It’s days later and I’m still on the edge of having another, and realized part of it is I really have some trust issues…  See Trust Issues, to be published tomorrow.

Love, Laugh, BREATHE

MJ Schrader