Hiya friends, welcome back. Well, I’m finally caught up with my class work for this week. It really sucks getting sick, especially when you know you have a shit ton of stuff to do. In related news, I can also report that I am on the mend. I mean, I’m still not feeling amazing, but I’m moving in the right direction at least, so that’s something, right? Oh, and it seems the anxiety and panic have decided to back off a little bit, and that, in itself, is a victory.
All around, it’s been an okay day. I’m currently hovering at a six, but honestly, I can’t really expect anything better right now. This morning was the first morning all week that I didn’t dread the thought of sitting up…so I left the bed and went and sat on the couch. Oh, the excitement. I mean, I’ve been camping out there for the whole week, but today I didn’t drag my pillows and blankets downstairs with me. (In case you’re wondering why I didn’t just stay in bed, we have a dog who constantly needs to go outside. He’s very small, which means a teeny tiny bladder. Being on the couch all day made more sense than having to go up and down stairs a million times.)
Once I was parked on the couch (and Mr. Tiny Bladder was taken care of), I got some homework today, which was amazing. I hate falling behind; without fail I always start freaking out that I’m not going to get everything done in time, and I bet you can guess where that leads (I’ll give you a hint…his name begins with ‘Ass’ and ends with ‘hole’). I even took some time to remember the good old days, back when I could breathe without coughing. Man, I miss that. (See, the shitty humor is coming back; soon all will be right with the world.)
In the midst of all my very important couch thinking, my lovely friend asked me to expand on something from my last post. I had written that having three panic attacks a day was currently a lot for me. So here is my expansion:
When I was first diagnosed, I was having what I now describe as “rolling” days. We’ve talked about this already I think. It’s just constant rolling panic attacks, all day, non-stop. It was fucking terrible, and I absolutely hated every second of it. During these days, I could easily clear ten panic attacks a day, if not more. By the time I fell into bed every night, I felt like I had gone 20 rounds with Muhammad Ali.
Storytime: It’s Thanksgiving, Hobbs and I are due to be at my parents house by 2 PM for the delicious dinner. I woke up feeling a little off, but figured if I took easy all day, I just might be able to make it and no one will ever know. Now, it’s 9:30 AM and I have the first panic attack. At a quarter past ten, there’s another one. Between then and 11:30, I had maybe two more. At 11:30, I have the great idea to jump in the shower (I had no idea, at this time, that being too hot would trigger anything). I’m thinking a nice steamy shower will help me relax, because that’s all I need to do, right? Relax. Halfway through the shower, I get out in full. On. Panic. Mode. I can’t breathe, this is the worst one of the day. I open the door and sit on the toilet, just trying to get my breathing to stabilize. There was still conditioner in my hair and shaving cream on my leg. Hobbs looks in and starts to laugh…until he sees my face. Somehow, I calm down, I get back in a colder shower and rinse the conditioner out – the legs are a lost cause at this point, and I didn’t fucking care – I push through the shower and jump out. I can honestly say I don’t recall ever getting dressed as quick as I did that day.
As soon as I was done, I called my mom and told her that I wasn’t feeling well. Being my mom, she saw through the lie and asked what was happening. I told her I just didn’t think I’d be able to do it, I was too…everything. My mom told me it was silly to be freaking out over going to their house, but she said she understood if I stayed home. In my mom’s defense, she didn’t understand what was happening then any better than I did. In the end, I did just that, I flaked – not for the first or the last time – on a family/holiday party. That night had me alternating between playing on the Wii with Hobbs, and pacing the hallway in our apartment. I had about six more panic attacks that night before I finally fell asleep. In that moment, I was positive this would be the worst day I’d ever have. Oh, how naive I was.
After living with anxiety and panic for a little while, I found ways to slow down the attacks. Now, I can go days between having panic attacks. Maybe it’s just because I know how to handle them better now, I’m not really sure. But to go from that, to having three in a day, two days in a row…whew. I was feeling really sensitive and worried that I was backsliding…again. If you know anyone with a mental illness, you know how messed up we get over backsliding. Knowing that it’s a fact of life for us doesn’t make it any easier. Thankfully, I can say I haven’t had one today, so that’s good.
Okay, I don’t mean to end this abruptly but I’m beat, and I just want to go veg out with the Hobbs. I’m sure you all understand.
As usual, 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)