Saying Hello/Panic Attack

In yesterday’s post Checking In, I shared about reaching a goal and not letting my anxiety interfere with my sons birthday plans. I was feeling good, actually quite proud of myself for pushing myself and the thoughts aside so I could continue on with my drive. I felt wonderful.  The whole week felt amazingly satisfying. Until last night.

How did things change so quickly and so drastically.  How can I go from feeling so brave and excited to feeling weak and terrified?

It started last night. I felt fine when I went to bed. I woke up sometime after midnight feeling scared. I got out of bed and checked on my teenager.  He was still awake playing a game. I told him it was late and it was time for him to go to bed. I then walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water. And then it started.

This next part talks about my panic attack and might be a trigger to some so please read with caution or skip to the next paragraph.

My panic attacks are a little different then some peoples. I get very cold. Freezing.  Im so cold that my body shakes and its hard to talk because my teeth are chattering. I then feel a weird sensation usually starting with my feet that works its way up or it starts in my stomach. My heart beats faster. I feel this weirdness throughout my body, and then I feel it dissappear, only to come back again. Sometimes I get light headed or dizzy. I also get nauseous.  Im terrified. I think I’m going to pass out. The weirdness is very hard to explain. All the symptoms I feel frighten me. I get a feeling of not knowing if its all real or if I’m not really there. Most of my attacks feel like this but I have also had some with other symptoms as well. The whole experience lasts around 30 minutes. 

I have been getting these kind of panic attacks for over 5 years now. I have had many many different tests done on me. I kept insisting on more tests because I honestly didn’t think I was having panic attacks.  I thought it was something more serious. But every test came back normal.  Every single test.

Last night as I was going through it, I closed my eyes and felt the tears form. I knew my son was in his room and I was worried he would see me like that. But he didn’t.  I sat there trying to think happy thoughts and I tried to remember everything that I have learned to do in this kind of situation.  I “grounded” myself, I went over everything I am supposed to do when a panic attack hits me. Nothing was working.  Nothing.

I wanted to call my grown sons and have them come over. I wanted them to come sit with me. I wanted them to reassure me that I would be fine or in case I wasn’t fine, I wanted them to be here for their little brother. But as much as I wanted to call them, I didn’t. I needed to get through this, and I knew calling my boys was not the answer. I had to tough it out and get through it. Which I eventually did.

Here it is the next morning.  I’m tired and emotionally drained. Panic Attacks wear me out. I’m also worried.  I’m scared its going to happen again, because I know eventually it will. Usually when I have a big panic attack it takes me at least a week until I am ready to leave the house.  I never feel comfortable or safe enough to leave the house after an attack because I get scared it will happen while I’m away from home.

As I sit here writing this post my mind is trying to put last night behind me. I am trying to put that fear that I was feeling behind me. I am sitting in my chair reminding myself of the reasons I started my blog. I am reminded of my life and how I am trying to enjoy it, despite all my mental health issues. I am reminded of my drive the other day and how I didn’t let my anxiety hold me back. I can’t let my mental illness hold me a prisoner in my home. I have done that for far to long.

I dont want to sit inside until I feel brave enough to venture outdoors. But I also don’t want to venture outdoors and risk having another panic attack. The sun is shining, it is going to be a nice day. Do I sit in my apartment with the curtains closed, where I feel safe? Or do I go outside, feel the warmth on my face and visit a friend that I keep promising to visit?

I’m not sure what I am going to do today, but the one thing that I am sure of is that I am going to be ok. I might not feel it right now but I know I will feel better soon. I always do.

Have a wonderful day