Monday, October 25, 2010

Panic Attacks

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My first panic attack happened on the way to the hospital. My husband had just undergone his second craniotomy to remove a brain tumor, and was horribly ill with meningitis. I thought I was going to lose him, and everything all at once felt like it was closing in on me. Suddenly I couldn't hear anything, my heart felt like it was going to burst through my chest, and I couldn't breathe. I was trapped inside the confines of my car and overwhelmed with fear. They always happen when I'm in my car. My mind wanders, churning with thoughts, and usually they are worrisome thoughts, filled with what ifs. What if this happens, what if that happens? I'm never in the present moment. I pull over, and sometimes I literally have to smack myself in the face a couple of times. I often call my therapist who will talk me through it, and help me slow down my breathing. I've had three in the past two weeks. She says that the increase is because I'm eating more, and all of the feelings that I usually bury with the eating disorder are coming to the surface. It makes sense, but no wonder I struggle with relapse. It makes it easy to skip a meal here, skip a meal there, until I've managed to totally block out all feeling. I'm not doing that though. I'm pushing through, but I dread when the next wave will hit, the next panic attack, or the next nightmare. I see my psychiatrist next week, and I'm going to ask for more Xanax. I hate to rely on drugs, but maybe it will get me through this rough patch. Maybe I'm asking for too much to think that one day I will be free from all of this. The bouts of depression, and anxiety are things that I've struggled with for most of my life, and maybe it is part of my make up, and I should just accept who I am, flaws and all. Ahhh, acceptance...there's a concept!


Flannery said...

"Ahhh, acceptance...there's a concept!" Lol! We were literally just talking about that in my therapy group. I think we may have said that exact sentence.

That said, I don't think that it's asking too much to think that one day you will free from all of the anxiety and depression. It's asking a lot--but only that.

Good thoughts are with you!

Ann said...

Not asking too much at all and yes, acceptance is quite a concept :)

June_Butterfly said...

ACCEPTANCE!!!Just said the same exact word to somebody.I know it is easier said than done,but sometimes it is the only way for one to move on.

You deserve to be free from all of these pains that overwhelms you.Never think it's asking too much.

Blue Butterfly said...

It's never asking too much to push yourself towards your goals.

That's something I'm currently trying to live by. I spent last night asking myself why the lack of faith in myself to achieve the things I want.

I'm sorry you're going through a rough patch. I hope you're feeling calmer now, and that your husband gets well soon. (I don't know much about his condition, but I think it's a positive sign that the surgeons went in for an operation to remove the brain tumour. Surgeons seldom opt for surgery if there's been a metastasis.)


P/s - you're stronger than you think you are. We all are.

Paula said...

You went through a lot. Of course, now were you do not use the former tool of eating/ not eating anymore, the feelings seek a different escape and the way to show you needs to be addressed. Extremely hard. Keep you in my thoughts. Paula xxxx

BTW, I got stalked and closed my blog. Here is the address to the new one:

Nicole said...

Panic attacks are so frightening. You must have been so afraid when you suffered your first one in the car. My panic attacks usually come when my mind has time to wander too, usually when I can't sleep at night. I'm glad your therapist is able to talk you through them and help you to calm down.

I'm really sorry you are going through a rough patch right now with your panic attacks, I understand how hard and exhausting that is. I hope you can find some relief soon.

I'm thinking of you and sending all my love <3<3<3


clean and crazy said...

sounds like you are on the right track. hang in there you can get through this and you are stronger then you think.

Ruth said...

(((((HUGS))))) Hang in there, things will get better! Nobody deserves to be in pain like that, ever.

Clueless said...

I can sure relate to panic attacks...they are horrible. I'm sorry that you are going through them, but your therapist is right that ED is really a defense. I'm going through something similar...the pain is so difficult to manage. I am glad that you have a therapist who is available and understanding.


stigma no more said...

Hi Angela, how I suffered with Anxiety Attacks too. I am proud of your progress, you are an inspiration for everyone. Keep forgiving yourself and if you do slip up, that forgiveness will only lead to more of the better days in time. I'm sure you know that too but I just felt I needed to say that. I am working right now on Self Acceptance, I am not where I thought I would be in life at my age, but I've got to let that go, I'm still in a pretty good place and life is what it is. And always, always do what you need too to survive, no shame in that!!
Thanks for sharing,
Janet :)

Lily said...

Oh man. I feel for you with the panic attacks. There was a 2 or 3 month period where I had one every day. They are horrible. Xanax does help and so does time!