September 29th, 2008
11:25 AM ET
By Karen Denice
I like to think of myself as a calm person. So when people began panicking in Atlanta about there not being any gasoline I didn't pay any attention. I kept driving my gas-efficient car and figuring the fuel situation would resolve itself by the time I needed to go to the pump. Wasn't I smart? Well that was until one morning when leaving my house, my gas light popped on and glared at me.
Arriving at work, I told my colleagues about the gas light. A guard we passed grunted with a sad smile, other co-workers told me of searching for gas days and nights in a row. I admit, the anxiety started to invade my psyche. Next thing I know, we were all grouped around my computer searching for any available gas in the Atlanta metro area. We found a station that was up and running close to work and I dashed out of the office with people yelling, "Call if you run out of gas.”
I arrived and was the upteenth car in line. I tried not to block the Burger King entrance as I waited on a busy street trying to get into the station.
Once I was almost in the lot, I took a photo – victory! But note the big bus in front of me. My mind was racing. What if he sucks up all the gas?!
When I finally made it to the pump, I hurriedly swiped my credit card, wanting to make sure I got gas before the woman on the other side of my pump. What was happening to me? So much for rational! Then, she started yelling that her pump wasn’t working. "Are you out of gas?” she asked. My heart lurched, and sure enough my pump was dry. Luckily, I switched to the most expensive option - "Ultimate" - and started pumping. I have never in my life put anything other than regular grade in my car, but at that moment it didn't matter.
I left the station with a full tank of "Ultimate,” my car purring and confused over this ultra-deluxe fuel flowing through its engine.
I returned to work triumphant and my fears in check, but boy what a lesson about how public anxiety can wreck anyone's calm in the right situation.
Have you become wrapped up in public panic or anxiety and if so, how did you stay calm?
Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
From around the web
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.