Thursday, March 8, 2007

Order in the Court!

I received notice for jury duty this week. Sunday evening I went on line and saw that my panel (#43) did not have to show up. The procedure is to call in or go online, which I think is easier, and see if your panel has to show up. Monday evening I checked in - nope. Tuesday evening, same thing. I'm beginning to think I've lucked out when I clicked the button Wednesday night. Panels 41-49 to appear at 8:15 a.m. Thursday. Instant panic! I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, something akin to opening a bill and seeing that it's about 3x more than what you were expecting. When W. went to bed at 10:00, I told him I'd need the car. By midnight, I was certain there was no way I was going to be able to pull this off.

The last time I had jury duty my office was just one block away from the courthouse. We would go and check in then they would release us, providing we could get back to the courthouse within ten minutes if our panel was called. They were actually kind enough to call us if that was the case. It sure beats sitting in those hard chairs, wasting time, knowing your work would be piling up. Then if you should happen to be impaneled, it could be another week or two, if you're lucky.

Was the anxiety due to the fact that the courthouse is so close to my office? Or is it because of having to make a public appearance? I really don't know. I have been able to go shopping on occasion but it's nothing I makes plans for. If the car is here and I happen to be "up" for it, I go. If I make plans, too often it's just not in the cards and I can't force myself to leave the house.

By 1:00 a.m., I knew I was making myself sick, literally. At 1:30, I logged on to the website and e-mailed the court's jury services and begged off, telling them I was ill. Technically, a lie but I had worked myself into such a state, I knew I'd wind up being up all night.
The whole time this was going on, I was going in and out of different websites and blogs, managing to find an escape here and there. But it was so temporary and I'd always have to come back to the fact that I have to get up and go to the courthouse in the morning, followed by that old familiar feeling. All this from a person who dutifully, for years, was able to get dressed and go off to work everyday - well, most everyday, when I wasn't working myself up to a state of anxiety! But now, it's become debilitating.

It's now 2:30 a.m. and I'm relating this so it's freshly in my mind. My body is still feeling "edgy," but not as intense as I was just an hour ago. My breathing is calming down and I've been able to get in a few deep breaths. I have no idea why I'm having so much difficulty other than another outcome of stress-related disorders.


Smalltown RN said...

WOW Gracie...I had no idea you suffered from panick attacks and anxiety. But you have found your voice. I read your postings and they are so eloquently written.

I hope you make it through tomorrow. Be strong.

Now I want to thank you for dropping by my made reference to a mispelling but you so diplomatically pointed it out...thank you. Spelling has never been my forte...I think a lot of that has to do with my dsylexia...thank god for spell check and my hubby....

The Bookshelf Reviews said...

the trick is to get yourself to enjoy doing these things.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

I dread jury duty for specific reasons: I see two sides usually to everything (and more than one shade of gray) and occasionally I focus on just one fact, I fear making the wrong verdict, and I have a major problem concentrating.

I have never been called and work myself up just thinking about it whenever someone I know gets called up.

I hope you were able to find some calmness.

Katie said...

I've never had jury duty but I understand the panic feeling. I hate to go to places like that and sit and wait. Sometimes it seems the longer I wait the more wound up I get... instead of calming down.