Today's post is yet another vent about the disaster that is my life.
For a few weeks now, I've been feeling very nervous and anxious and in the last week I had a few wee minor panic attacks. Then on Sunday, at my work Christmas party (which I had been looking forward to for months) I finally had a massive one.
I have suffered panic attacks my entire life. I remember my very first big one when I was 5 or 6 and I got trapped in a toilet on holiday. I was probably only stuck for about 3 mins but I still to this day remember every single thought and emotion that I went through. To this day I still get nervous when I go to a public bathroom that doesn't have an open bottom. Crazy
The next massive one that I remember was when I went to Paris with my primary school, so I was about 11. We got locked in our room and I freaked out so much that I tried to smash the windows with the chair. After I got home, for weeks I couldn't breath properly and every time I got nervous I threw up. I honestly didn't feel better for about 6 months. I lived on rescue remedy and carried worry dolls about like my life depended on them.
Obviously I was always uncomfortable with crowds and small places, and could never be out of control with anything. Then I got older and started to go to nightclubs and got more comfortable and brave in situations that were a little more out of my depth.
Then when I was 19 I split with my first boyfriend. I couldn't cope with the pain of it all even though I knew it was the best and right thing. That brought on a panic attack, now that I was older I thought I'd be able to cope better, I've been doing this for years. But If anything it was worse. I was off college for weeks because I fell so ill, but that was more stressful because I was worrying about what I was missing at college and work. Plus when your a kid your run right to your mum and she fixes it and that's that, but now I was older and I wanted to deal with it alone. I wouldn't recommend that to anyone, if there is someone there, talk.
And to anyone who is there to help someone, please be patient. It might seem like they are not trying but unless you know what it is like, you have no idea the battle they are going through inside. They don't want to burden you but if they have confided in you that's took a lot for them to get to that point, so please just listen and don't make them feel guilty. That does no good for anyone.
This panic attack this time has been weird. Not like any I've suffered before. Like i said for a few weeks/months now, I've felt anxious. Not a clue why though. This last week I haven't been able to make eye contact with people, my breathing has been erratic, my sleep is a mess and the only place I feel safe is in my room on my bed, everywhere else makes me nervous. Especially work. The idea of a customer talking to me makes me feel dizzy and I can't hold a conversation with any of my colleagues for more than a few seconds before my mind blanks out and my eyes go out of focus. I feel out of my own body as if I'm watching myself. On Sunday I think it was a combination of everything, tons of people together in a small room, all of them steaming, except me. All I wanted was to be in my room, safe. I shouldn't have went. But I was trying to keep it together. Fail.
After I got home after managing about 2 hours at the party, I threw up, shook uncontrollably, cried for 12 hours. I couldn't make work the next day. I went to the docs and finally after months of avoiding it. I asked for help. I'm DONE feeling this way. Wanted to avoid meds but know what I'd do anything now to take this feeling away. I really really really mean that. I would not wish this feeling on my worst enemy. I'd take physical pain over mental pain EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I'm trying to find the best way to describe what a panic attack or an anxiety attack feels like, but its impossible. If you've never experienced it I am so very jealous and I genuinely hope you never do. I would kill to be able to deal with life situations in a normal way.
Know the worst thing though. I'm not even the worst case. I have a friend who's anxiety has gotten so bad she has locked herself away in her house for almost a year now. I've heard of people who haven't been out the house for years. Then there are people who can't take the pain so much that they take their own lives. I can understand that, because like I said, you would do ANYTHING to stop it. Thank god that I haven't gotten that bad, and I hope more than anything in this world that I never do.
How does a panic attack feel to me?
You feel off, you know somethings not quiet right and you push it down and hold it down for as long a you can ...then anxiety and panic takes over you fully loose control. Everything becomes 10x worse than it is and even though its all in your head and you know that it becomes physical. You vomit, you faint, you can't control your movement and your breathing. You feel like you are about to die, like truly truly die. You KNOW your fine but you can't control anything that's going on, and that's why its frightening. My panic attacks usually last about 24 hours, then my body and mind is drained for days and days afterwards. If I can sleep that helps a lot, if I could sleep for weeks until I felt better, I would. But panic attacks are like a broken heart, the only thing that heals is time. It sucks.
I am on day 3 after my panic attack. My meds are keeping my heart rate under control and stopping me from panicking too much. But I have deleted my Facebook because every mention or photo from that Christmas party makes my heart stop. Facebook is just full of things that make me panic. I have no idea why. But I'm just not ready to face it. I'm hoping to get back to work this week as I want to get back to normal, but I'm so so nervous about it at the same time. Its that unknown anticipation about whats going to happen. I'm hoping it takes my mind off things rather than freaks me out. I just want to get back to normal.
All my friends are so shocked by this, I've not been myself in a couple of weeks. I'm usually such a positive and happy person, full of fun and always up for anything exciting. So to go from that to being like this is very hard and its even harder to get back to the way I was before. But I can't wait to be myself again, its all I want.
Its so sad that 2013 has ended on such a low as it was such a good year for me up until this week. But maybe that will mean 2014 can only start on a positive.
Please please please let that be the case!