Some people go throughout their lives without ever experiencing a panic attack.
Those people are weirdos.
Others only experience them once in a blue moon, and don't realize that's what's happening when it's actually happening.
Those people are not weirdos, but are definitely foreign to me.
Then there's people like me.
The ones that can't go a day without thinking about/worrying about when the next panic attack will hit; how bad it will be; will I be able to function?
It's physically exhausting to experience panic attacks. They are different from your average "anxiety" and seem to leave me feeling as if I am literally dying a slow and drawn out death. The thought process is basically like a squirrel on acid, for me, and I end up hopping around from tree to tree in my mind and each tree is bigger and taller than the last, making it so that I can't see the ground anymore.
When I haven't slept well (which, let's face it, is every damn day of my life) it seems to compound the emotions that control my anxiety. It makes me moody and jumpy. Once I move into a full blown panic attack, all bets are off and usually the only way to talk myself down from the ledge is to take medication for immediate relief.
Some months I don't have to take my medication often. Other months I take multiple of them, just to get through the day. I save these pills for when it's the worst of the worst and I know that by not allowing something to step in and bring me down, I could do a lot more harm to myself than good.
The last post was written in the moment of an actual panic attack. Those were actual thoughts going through my mind in that moment. I was waiting on my medication to kick in, but needed to write things out so that I could go back and use it as a personal reference. If it helps others to be more aware of what anxiety/panic attacks look like, then that is just a big ole' bonus.
That day was not a good day. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath, no matter what I did. I ended up getting shit faced drunk and puking my guts up, which has never happened to me before, and definitely not one of my finest moments. I realized that I really can not function without a therapist in my life, and the search was on for someone in network. I had been doing SO well up until our insurance changed and my therapist was no longer in network. Since I can't really afford to drop $100 a week on therapy, I had to quit going to her, and well.....we have the current version of Heather now. It ain't purdy.
When I am not feeling good about myself mentally, it shows physically. I gain weight rapidly, stop taking care of my body by eating correctly, and I don't even want to get dressed, let alone leave the house. I find myself sporting that "white trash" look more often than not, and not caring that I am out in public without my bra on. I tend to do things in the spur of the moment and it leads to massive manic moments where my bipolar becomes completely uncontrolled. It's a roller coaster of over spending, over drinking/indulging, and not sleeping enough, which takes us back to square one.
My brain is a complex place to be. I sometimes wish I could turn it off and back on when needed, but I obviously can't. If I could, I'd be a fucking millionaire selling books about "how not to be a lunatic."
That's a good book title, right there.
I hear friends tell me "but tomorrow is a new day!" *insert smiley faces and big bright eyes and smiles here*
Yeah. Bout' that......
I mean, yes, they are correct. Tomorrow is a new day......but for me it means a new day of the same ole' shit show that's been playing on repeat for months. I call it my own personal groundhog's day hell. There's no escaping the madness, and then that makes me anxious, and the anxiety is already there anywhere, so I get snappy with everyone around me, and become a person I don't love at all.
I'm exhausted thinking about all of this, but, I need to write it down. Writing helps me to express myself in ways that I know I'd never be able to in person. I enjoy writing, and always have, but spend a lot of time being anxious about how well I do or don't write, if anyone really cares to read it, and how I can be a best selling author one day.
I want to write a book, but, I don't even know where to start. I decided that I needed to take a few workshops to help me figure out what it is that I want to express to the world. I don't think a book of curse words would be a best seller, but what do I really know? Maybe I can just say "fuck" a lot and still make everyone nod their head in agreement while recommending me to all their friends for being "SOOOO HILARIOUS!"
I try and be myself when I write, hence all the curse words and run on sentences about anxiety and depression. My mind wanders quite a bit and I find myself getting completely off topic.
So, what's it like having a panic attack? It's knowing you need to get a grip and not being able to. It's know that you need to tell your friends so they can help you, but not being able to say the words "I need help." It's understanding that the thoughts flying through your mind are not all true, but then not knowing how to stop them from coming at you from all sides. It's not being able to feel much more than numb, because that's a safe place to be; not feeling anything means the fear, the pain, and the worry are not there...but it also makes life void of happiness, and that makes the depression worse, which makes the anxiety worse, and can you see now why I say this is exhausting?????
So. My first step is to find a new therapist. I need someone I can trust, which means I need a woman. I have this thing with male doctors of any kind. It's not a safe place for me to be, in a room with a male therapist, and I won't open up the way I know I should.
I will focus on the things I know I have control over.
I will give myself some grace on the days that aren't so dark.
I will say sorry....a LOT.
I will continue to write out my feelings so that I can one day look back and see how far I've come.
I will stop telling myself that this makes me weak and less than.
In time I know that it will get better. It always does.