Walking towards a Panic Attack

I feel it… right on the edge of Meh and ARG!

Image:Nathan Dumlao

My muscles are tense. I feel like I’m on the edge of a panic attack and I can’t stop it. It’s gross and awful. And the stupid thing is that it is like a train coming down the track at me slowly and all I can do is stare at it.

I hate this feeling.

There were little things adding up to it, ingredients for the crap cake that is sitting on the plate in front of me. I kept trying to push them off and have a good attitude about it all. But apparently, that’s not enough.

Last week I started feeling the stress. I blamed Aunt Flow and moved on. But it starts with this ache just under my right shoulder blade, and it sits there, throbbing and reminding me that I don’t feel right.

Image:Cristian Newman

Facebook drama dug at me a little, okay… maybe more than a little. But I should have been able to move through it. I realized that I woke up every morning and started my day with peeping into the lives of my friends and family, and even worse… seeing people that I don’t actually like. Facebook makes people into voyeurs and makes it acceptable to sit and watch people you know have conversations that have nothing to do with you… like eavesdropping with permission. The more I thought about it, the more wrong it feels.

I swore off Facebook this week. But it was so tempting just to peek to see what was happening without me. *sigh* I know it’s an addiction and it takes time to end.
Then a friend went off on me for something that had nothing to do with me, everything to do with him, and still upset me. Even though I knew I was right, I still felt like crap.

I went through in my head 10 calming things.

• You can’t control how anyone else is feeling.
• It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
• Be here, now.
• Breathe In, Breath Out.
• Walk it off.
• Find joy in new things.
• Try doing something you enjoy.
• Go out and get some fresh air.
• Snuggle your dog.
• Dance and sing in your kitchen.

It’s still there.

Just go away… please…

Cold hands. Nervousness. Fear that at any moment the full panic attack is going to come on and I’m going to be a crying mess.  My skin hurts.

Time to call out the big guns. I took my “Crap, I have no other choice but to medicate” meds.

I feel like a mess.

Waxing Poetic Jewelry
Image Credit: waxingpoetic.com

How can I be a good person, a good Mom, a good Wife… and still feel like this?

Tears are closer now.

Give it time… but waiting sucks.

I’m turning up my music. Brandi Carlile always seems to know my jam.

My anxiety always turns painful. My muscles ache, and I just feel gross. I just can’t seem to breathe in enough to clear this messy head and feeling.
I hate that I feel like I have this issue and I can’t even deal with it simply. Why can’t things just feel good and be simple?

The meds help a little… still feels like indigestion and too much caffeine.

This is why I had to switch to decaf only. God… I miss good full caff coffee.
I hate this. Is this my forever? I hate that when I was younger, I had no idea what this was like. Now I know I didn’t have enough compassion. I heard others talking about anxiety or panic attacks, and I just wanted them to cheer up and get over it. Life was too amazing to spend time feeling bad.

Now I wish I could just “Get the Fuck over it” and flip the switch to having a better day. All the happy sunshine lights, Himalayan salt lamps, lavender essential oils, and cheerful little budda guys are just mocking me at this point.

*Sigh* It’s easing up a bit, like taking a few steps back off the rails and just waiting to see what happens.

Looks like I sidestepped it a bit… except I seemed to have wasted an hour trying to fight back this feeling.

image:Samantha Gades

Here is what I want you to know-

Panic attacks or Anxiety doesn’t give a shit about who you are or how successful you are. This isn’t about your worth or your character. It just is part of your story, your DNA, and it doesn’t care that you volunteer to help others or if you kick cats on the sidewalk.
There are things that help, but sometimes you just have to ride it through and hope for the best.

Yeah, I’m scared that my Lyme disease is making this worse. I worry every time that my anxiety symptoms are actually heart attacks or that I might never feel good again. I think about the life ahead and sometimes feel like it’s just too much.

My meds line up on my counter, and sometimes I am just done with it all. I know I am fighting a battle, and days like this when it hurts to move or breathe, I want to crawl into my crying bed and give up.

Image: Jonathan Perez

I’ve been here before.

I’ve taken to my bed when I was really sick, cried through the palpitations and mentally said Good-Bye to my people. It’s awful.

I’d love to be the person that sells the “It Gets Better” magic cure. But the reality is that life sucks, you have to fight, you have to keep doing the same long list of feel better things to try to avoid being rolled over by that panic. I’m not even sure which, if any, of these things, helped. I just know that for right now the waves are pulling back a little. I’m just tired and frustrated.

I hate that my teenage daughter saw my weakness and that she now knows how frightening a panic attack can be. I hate that I feel embarrassed and teary thinking about standing in the kitchen trying to keep focused on little things, so I didn’t crack in front of her.

Now,I sit here criticizing my thoughts. It’s okay, I see that I was here on the swing up, it goes back and forth until it stops.

Deep breaths. Calming thoughts. Distractions. Acceptance that anxiety passes and tomorrow will still come.

Why talk about it?

Why write a whole post while fighting back a panic attack? Because I know that if I was feeling pretty awful about having these moments, being scared that this feeling would actually kill me, wondering if I am the only happy person in the world that sometimes without warning feels like she’s drowning, I would want to know that there are others like me.

3 comments

  1. I relate to this so much. Living with anxiety sucks. Absolutely sucks. People always try and try to say stuff that will suppose to make you feel better, but it never works. The only thing that helps me is coping skills. I realize that I have anxiety, so their are tools that I have to use to help me get through the day.

    • I completely agree. Also that we acquire this tool box of coping skills, but no two panic attacks are the same. So what might work on Tuesday might not work Sunday. So we have to keep working on it.

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