Hiya friends, welcome back. Today has been a downright doozy for me, between feeling like absolute shit and dealing with Asshole and a couple panic attacks. If you don’t mind, I’m going to combine yesterday and today into one post. I think this might help me get back on track.
I’ve never been good at being sick. For as long as I can remember, I’ve cried my way through most illnesses. It didn’t really matter if it was something as simple as a cold, I could be found sobbing like a small child. Looking back, I can’t say for certain this wasn’t anxiety, and honestly it would explain a lot, like maybe why I still react this way.
One of my bigger fears, when it comes to my anxiety, is being sick. If I’m being completely truthful, I know my stupid fear is having an effect on me this time around, too. It’s really awkward to write about this, mainly because I don’t tell anyone about this part of my issues, but I have an incredible fear of being sick. I absolutely hate everything about it, I hate throwing up and I will do everything in my power to avoid it. I can’t stand not being able to breathe (now that I write it, I can understand why I don’t like it, being sick is very similar to the symptoms that come with anxiety and panic). I also tend to correlate illness and death. My aunt passed away last month after a battle with the flu. Logically, I can understand the idea that she was older and therefore probably weaker to some degree, which could have played a key role in why she passed away. Logically, I can also understand that this probably isn’t going to happen to me just because I am sick…but I can’t communicate that to my anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle. I can see that it’s quite the leap when I actually write it out, doesn’t change the fact that my brain latches onto it.
Between yesterday and today, I’ve probably averaged about three panic attacks per day, which currently is a lot for me. Generally, these attacks reduce me to a crying mess within seconds of starting. In the logical part of my brain, I know what’s happening: the panic is just piggybacking onto the Asshole and my already worn out body and brain. It’s really easy to spiral for me when I’m like this. If I can’t keep righting myself, it becomes almost easier to allow my brain to find the groove in the broken record and continuously replay that one spot. I also have seen enough therapists to know that, more than just illness, death is a massive issue for me. When I’m sick, in my mind, it puts me closer to that and I just lose it.
The Asshole loves moments like this. He likes when my brain leaves him even a fraction of an inch to wiggle in, because it usually means he can poke and prod until he finds just the right button to push. Once he’s found that, he knows he can win. But he’s also…well, an asshole. He likes to drag out the anxiety. If he can keep me teetering on the brink for an entire day, never really letting the anxiety take over, but just keeping it ramped up and ready, that’s his biggest win. It’s not until Panic decides to join the party that things go topsy turvy.
Maybe I should take the time to explain that anxiety and panic are two completely separate entities. I know that a lot of people seem to think that they are the same thing, but that isn’t true. I mean, one can cause the other, and they can coexist in the samehabitat, but they are different. The easiest way to explain the difference is that panic happens without any trigger, generally when there really isn’t any perceived danger, and can show up out of nowhere. Anxiety happens because you think there is danger, usually triggered by actual real life situations, and for the most part, you can feel it building before it hits.
I’m only explaining this because sometimes they get confused. I’ll use mine to explain better. Asshole is always around, he’s always lurking in a corner waiting for his moment to shine. He’s also really good at pointing out dangerous things I should watch out for, like always watching my surroundings or the need to know exactly where I am at all times. Panic is like a toddler in a toy store. She comes in, fucks shit up for a few minutes, I tell her ‘no,’ she has a temper tantrum, and then walks out like nothing happened. There is no rhyme or reason to panic attacks. I mean, at least when I’m dealing with the Asshole, he can be reasonable – granted he’s usually not – but he can be.
It’s been a rough couple of days, but I think I’m finally on the mend now. Hopefully, I won’t miss anymore posts this month, but this is all I really have to say today. Plus, I have a lot of catching up to do with homework. You guys know the drill by now, there are two numbers down at the bottom, the National Suicide Prevention Helpline, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Referral Helpline, use them if you need them. See you lovely lot tomorrow.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
SAMHSA: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)