There is almost no feeling I hate more in the world than a panic attack.
For me it shows up in many ways. Sometimes it is a racing heart, sometimes it feels like pulsing adrenaline, the feeling you get before you pass out, shaky, sweating, racing thoughts, trouble breathing.
The most odd part to me is how stress can cause your brain to manifest into physical symptoms.
It took me a very long time to understand and accept the fact that this can even happen. I didn't want to believe that my thoughts were actually causing me to physically feel that something was going very wrong with my body.
I started this blog because I started having panic attacks. I legitimately thought I had a serious health condition for a while. Luckily some people around me, including C, identified it. I read about them, I tried all the tricks anyone told me, breathing exercises, meditation, pinching myself, running, crying, everything. Nothing really worked.
I became so afraid of them that it started effecting most areas of my life negatively.
Eventually I decided to seek help through therapy. I probably went weekly for almost a year. It helped.....a lot. I had my last therapy session in late December of 2009. The same month C and I started trying for a baby.
Even through our losses, parents breaking up, grandparents dying, and all the other life crap that has been thrown our way, I had the tools I needed to keep myself from falling victim to my anxiety.
For 2 1/2 years I managed my anxiety. Of course I would have the occasional panic attack, but I could realize that it was under my control. And, frankly, it didn't happen very often.
Several weeks ago I started to feel that anxiety building again. Slowly at first, it almost could have passed as simple "nervousness" just that feeling of an adrenaline spike, the kind you get when you suddenly realize you've forgotten about something important, or when you think that car might be about to back into you so you have to act quickly. That is usually the first sign for me, then comes the butterflies. Right before you give a presentation or meet your blind date you get butterflies in your stomach. Imagine that feeling 24 hours a day....then add in the slight but constant addrenaline rush, it becomes extremely uncomfortable and exhausting very quickly.
Unfortunately it seemed to get worse very quickly. Even my "safe" times of the day, which are usually early morning and late evening, probably correlating with being tired, do not feel safe anymore.
Even this morning on the way to work, I convinced myself that I must be developing asthma or something, and that I could take a deep breath but was not getting enough oxygen.
It pisses me off.
I tell myself - "if it is ONLY happening when I am consciously thinking about it, then it is NOT real!"
Sometimes that helps, other times it doesn't.
I started seeing my therapist again this week. I can see the potential for this to spiral out of control and I do not want to back track in any way.
And once again I listed off everything...every little thing that I could possibly think of that has happened over the past 2 years.
Even she was overwhelmed by all the shit that has gone on in my world. Her saying that made me feel better instantly...just to know that I'm not over reacting to the situation. It seems more reasonable that my body would react in this way which made me relax a little.
For whatever reason today I'm stressing though.
It is frustrating to not have an immediate reason for this. I wish I could pin-point the cause. Usually when I can identify it, the anxiety calms down, at least temporarily.
Well wish me luck that I can get through the next couple of days at work.
Weekends are always better....