Pity Party Is Almost Over

OK.  I think I’m almost done with the ‘woe is me’ posts.  Almost.

Yes, I’m mad.  Yes, I’m sad & discouraged.   Frustrated.  Feeling hopeless, helpless.

I keep thinking about the fact that I am happier now than I have been in a long time and the panic attacks are coming back with a vengeance.  That’s not cool at all and I can’t even begin to make sense of that.  But.  I have to find the hope in there somewhere.  My marriage is better than it’s been in probably 6-7 years.  Shouldn’t I have more confidence and strength?

As I typed that, a thought popped into my head.  A quiet little thought, one I’m not sure I want to hear…  Am I worried it’s not gonna last and that increases my anxiety?  Perhaps.

Are my hormones just completely screwed up and panic attacks thrive in that environment?  Perhaps.

Is there actually ANY reason for the panic nonsense?  I don’t know.  Maybe it just is.

Will God save me?  I hope.

Do I need to fight back with every ounce of energy that I have left.  Yep.  Problem is that I’m running out of energy for this fight.  I’m tired.  I know I keep saying that but it’s true.  This battle has taken it’s toll on me. I am tired.

But, it’s time to get over it and get on with it.  So, that’s what I will do.  Sigh.

Panic Attack in Traffic :(

Usually I drive the whole way myself obviously since hubby doesn’t usually go, this time we split it. Usually I nap the day that we are leaving because I prefer to drive at night.  I wasn’t able to do that this year and figured it wasn’t a big deal since I’d have help driving.  That was before I knew his plan about splitting the drive so evenly.  When he goes somewhere with us, he drives the majority of the time.  His idea, not mine.  I was looking forward to a break.  I got tired after about 3 hours and asked him to drive.  He got irritated because it wasn’t half way and it was just weird for him to be making such a big deal of it.  I thought he was being strangely weird about insisting that we split the drive so very evenly.   Whatever.  He got over it.

On the way home…

Sigh.

I hate even typing this.

I had a HUGE panic attack on a crazy busy highway near Richmond Virginia.  My face was seriously tingling*.  Like when you are gonna pass out.  I couldn’t catch my breath and I made hubby put his hand on mine on the steering wheel.  He was being awesomely supportive actually.  I drove that way for what seemed like forever but was probably about 10 minutes really.  I was taking slow deep breaths.  I was trying to fight through it but I couldn’t do it.  I saw a spot to pull to the side of the road and did it.  Hubby got mad but I think he was more freaked out that I pulled  over in such a high traffic area than he was really mad.  He started driving and I cried.  Ugh.  I didn’t even realize we were so close to the underwater tunnel either.  About 5 minutes later we were speeding through the tunnel with gazillions of other cars.  SO glad I pulled over when I did.  Not sure what I would have done if that would have come up while I was already freaking out.

I have done that tunnel before.  I CAN do it.  I CAN do it.  But I could not have at that moment.  :(

I am mad about the panic attack.

I am embarrassed.

I am scared.

I am depressed about it.

I was doing well!  I am mad that this continues to happen to me.  I am embarrassed that this happened in front of hubby and I needed him to save me.  I have done that beach trip driving by myself 2 other times.  ALL BY MYSELF!   And many other trips before that!   I don’t need him.  Why did I have to freak out when he was there?!  I am scared because it seems like I have been having more panic attacks recently than I have in a long time.  I am scared because before a lot of my anxiety was anticipatory anxiety – I was afraid I might have a panic attack.  Now…. I am actually having the panic attacks!  What the ?!?!?  I am depressed about it because – is this what my life is going to be?  Will I have to continue to worry and plan and drive at night only on trips to avoid traffic??  Even the thought of driving to the beach next year makes me want to throw up.

Oh yeah…  and later on the trip I did actually throw up.  SO embarrassing.  I hate that I was weak in front of hubby.  So much for my fake it till you make it.  That blew up in my face.  SO much for my “I’m awesome, who the hell are you?” attitude that was working so well in my fight against the panic monster!

Our GPS is old and out of date.  I refuse to buy a card to update ours because I see that the new ones come with lifetime updates.  I want one that we can plan our route on the computer, hook up the GPS and tell it where we want to go.  We were not supposed to be on that busy highway near Richmond.  Nope.  Hubby was navigating with the map and I listened and he didn’t mean to take me there, but that’s where we went.    And then when he was driving near the end of the trip, he didn’t ignore the GPS like he should have.  I’ve used the thing on enough trips to know when to ignore it cuz it doesn’t know what its talking about, he kept listening to it even when common sense should have told him not to.  Seriously, about an hour from home – when he KNEW where we were, he listened to the stupid thing and got on very windy, small country road that went on for 14 miles.  yes.  14 miles!

I woke up amd immediately needed to puke.  I don’t do good on windy roads and he was mad cuz he figured out he was on the wrong road and was driving fast and jerky.  Ugh.  Twice he had to pull over while I yacked in the weeds.  So nice.   yep.  Such a nice way to end the trip.  Ugh.

I got a cold on the way to the beach.  Hubby is convinced it’s cuz I had the Air conditioning blowing in my face while I was driving.  He may be right.  I was so stuffy and my throat hurt and was all congested.  I bought some alkaseltzer cold medicine that I had never tried before and wow that stuff is wicked.  It knocked me out just like nyquil does.  I had the daytime and night-time pills and was taking that most of the week.

Then… I was getting nervous about driving back because we decided to leave at 8pm instead of midnight and I was supposed to drive first.  I didn’t want to drive first but he was insisting that it would work better since he is better at staying awake at night and figured by midnight or so I’d be ready to sleep.  It was a good plan (if I wasn’t a nut case with panic attacks!) and I was trying to be strong and defiant against the panic monster and do it.  I took 2 ativan.  I took them too close together and I knew it.  Then I got a pepsi max cuz that’s what I do on these drives.  That is the ONLY time I ever drink that and I usually sip it for the entire 8-9 hour drive.  I think I was drinking it too fast cuz I was worried about getting tired because I took 2 ativan.  Ugh.  The whole situation wasn’t good.  I knew it before I even got on the highway.

And then came my freak out.   I HATE this post.

And my kids were in the car and saw me freak out too :(  Hubby told them he thinks I got sick cuz of my cold medicine and pepsi max.  I hope they are satisfied with that and don’t ask more questions and figure out their mom is a nut case :(

I know this post is all out of order and long and rambling.  I’m not going to fix it.  I feel anxiety coming on just typing all this out and don’t want to deal with it anymore tonight.  It is what it is, hope you can follow it.

(* When in labor with my first kid, my face got all tingly cuz I wasn’t breathing right and the nurse told me I was going to hyperventilate.  That tingling is exactly what I was feeling! )

Stupid Panic Attacks: I Need a Hair Cut!

My hands are shaking.  Stupid anxiety!

Agh!  I am determined to get a haircut today!  I’ve been doing good, so it just ticks me off to be so worked up over a stupid haircut.  I HATE being trapped in that chair.  And the thought of getting some girl that takes forever to cut my hair is horrifying.  Of course I don’t make an appointment – cuz that would have me stressing for days and I’d probably back out of too many anyway.  So I go to one of those walk-in places.  They’ve always done a good job, but once I got a new girl, fresh out of beauty school, and it took her over an HOUR to give me a simple cut.  I hated that day with a passion!  lol

So today I am running errands, grocery shopping and getting a haircut.  Yes, yes I am.

Deep breaths.

Go.

.
Fretting about having a panic attack while getting a haircut is how I first met Jill.  She and her blog have been a God-send! Check her out if you are struggling with this – she has a great post called Getting a haircut with social anxiety   :)

Overthinkers Anonymous

Hello.  My name is Zoe and I am an over-thinker.

We had Thanksgiving dinner today at my mom’s house.  I wasn’t feeling particularly anxious this morning but was thinking about the details of it way too much.  I was expecting to be anxious later at the get-together.  Before we left I sat on our front porch trying to breath in some cold, fresh air to soothe my nerves, and I thought about how silly it was that I was completely over-thinking the day ahead of me.  I wondered why I do that.  Then I thought “Hmm.  I’ll have to think about that later.”

Did you get that?  I needed to think about why I think about stuff so much.  Ugh.  My plan was to type it all out and figure out why I think about things so much.  To do this after kids were in bed and hubby had left for work.  Yep, I scheduled a time for myself to think about why I overthink things so much.

The thoughts racing through my mind this morning were these kinds of things:

This is our first get-together at mom’s new house.  Where will we all sit?  Is there room in the kitchen for an extra table?  Will she set up a table in the living room?  Oh my gosh – the living room is so hot!  The wood burner made that room so hot when we were there last week!  If I have to sit near the wood burner I’ll just die.  I hate to be hot.  I better not wear that long sleeved shirt, I need to wear something cooler.  I’ll wear that new blouse, it’s very lightweight.  I hope there will be enough table space for everyone to sit.  Hubby really hates it when he has to sit on a couch or somewhere to eat when we go to these family functions.  Then he’ll be grumpy.  I’ll just go sit on the porch.  Then he can have my seat and I can be cooler outside.  I’ll just tell them I have a headache or something and the cool air feels good.  Sis-in-law’s parents are coming too.  I can’t remember her dad’s name.  What if I call him the wrong name.  Maybe he won’t remember my name either.  Her mom is nice.  But kinda psycho from all the stories I’ve heard.  I hope she acts normal today.  I hope she doesn’t pick a fight with sis-in-law.  That would really make everyone uncomfortable.  I’ll just  go outside.  Her dad is a talker.  Last time he talked my ear off about some policy that Pres. Bush created and was now dying under the Obama administration.  He’ll ask me questions!  I hate when he asks me those political questions and puts me on the spot.  I think he just likes a good debate.  I don’t like it.  Hopefully I won’t need to sit by him.  Oh my God.  I’ll end up sitting right next to him by the wood burner!  ….

and so on…..

Unfortunately I ended up taking an ativan just because I planned to be anxious later!  yuk.

And of course the day was fine.  Very fun actually.  We all fit in the kitchen – nobody sat near the wood burner.  It wasn’t too hot in the house.  I didn’t sit next to sis-in-laws dad and her mom was lovely today.  I wore a light-weight shirt and I was comfortable.  We did go out on the porch but as a group, not just me.  Of course it was fine.  :)

I thought I made up a new term – “Overthinkers Anonymous”.  Turns out I didn’t :)  Ha.  Just google it and you will see.  There is even a facebook page although I think it is kinda a joke page.

Here it is in the urban dictionary: Overthinker

Here is an article on LifeHack:  How to stop being an overthinker

And wow.  Here is abook on amazon about overthinking: Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life
(added that one to my amazon wish list!)

So no, I didn’t come up with that term.  But I am a master over-thinker!  I think all Anxiety / Panic attack sufferers are.  We think about things  WAY too much and scare ourselves to death about things that may possibly happen to us in the future.  It is really ridiculous.  I want to be able to let all that stuff go and just be a happy-go-lucky kind of person.  That would be so great.  I’ll have to think about how I can do that….

:)

Panic Attack in The Bleachers

One of my worst ever panic attacks happened in the bleachers at a football game 2 years ago.  We were there to watch my son – he was on the pee wee flag football team.  They were going to be announced and have a scrimmage at half time of the Varsity game.  I didn’t do well.  I tried to sit in the bleachers with my BFF and our kids.  I was having trouble before it even started.  And I had been sick and had a nasty head cold.  I loaded up on the cold medicine before we went.  I’m sure that made it worse.

They told us all to rise for the playing of the national anthem.  We did.  My legs gave out.  I wanted to puke.  I wanted to run.  What could I do?  Nothing!  I would have caused a much bigger scene trying to scramble down the bleachers in front of everyone!  I thought I was going to pass out.  I started seeing the black spots.  I know I turned white.  I just kinda fell back down onto my seat.  My kids and others around me looked to see what I was doing.  I was not being respectful and standing silently during the anthem now was I?  So I leaned forward and put my head down as far as I could.  I made it clear that I felt ill so no one would think I was just rude.

As soon as the music ended, without saying a word, I bolted off the bleachers and headed for the gate.  I swear I was dripping sweat and looked like heck.  I got to the gate, realized I did not have my ticket stub, or my car keys, or my cell phone.  If I left I would not be able to get back in – or call my BFF to tell her where I went or that I needed more money to get back in.  And I realized that I probably scared my kids by just leaving in such a hurry without saying a word to them.  For the record, I left them with my BFF –  so they were safe.  Although I am ashamed to say that was the last thing on my mind as I left those bleachers!

Instead of leaving, I found a bench near the gate and sat down.  There were kids running wildly in the grass area behind where I was sitting.  I remember that they looked very blurred.  It took me a while to calm down.  A friend saw me and came and stood next to me and babbled and babbled!  Oh my!  She is quite self-centered and just kept talking at me, never even noticing that I clearly shaken and a mess!  She went on & on.  After a while, she moved on and another lady stopped to ask me if I was OK.  She asked if I had the flu.  I said yes.  She did let me borrow her phone & I called my BFF, who was still in the stands with my kids.  She sent Kid1 down with my keys and ticket stub.  I went to the car, sat there for quite a while – deep breathing, crying, & praying – and then returned to the game.

I did not go back to the bleachers that night though.  My kids saw me coming back and they all joined me, we stood/sat on the hill for the rest of the evening.  No one knew I had a panic attack except my BFF.  My kids, and anyone else who saw me just thought I was sick.  My sister -in-law walked by while we were sitting on the hill.  She was very concerned and asked me what was wrong.  She said I looked horrible and should go home and go to bed.  Glad she didn’t see me earlier.

That was the first (and only) time my BFF ever witnessed me having an all out panic attack.  She was very concerned and understood it all so much better after that.  Luckily I had told her about them though – otherwise she would have really been worried and taken me to the ER or something.  I remember feeling her hand on my shoulder when my legs gave out and I sat back down on those cold metal bleachers.  She has never been judgmental, just supportive.  She’s awesome like that :)

Last year when we attended the same event, I avoided the bleachers completely and stood on the hill with my camera.  I just told my family that I hated sitting on the cold bleachers.  Some of them sat in the bleachers, some of them hung out with me.  It didn’t matter if I had to stand there alone all night.  I was NOT sitting in those bleachers.

Then one time after that (I can’t remember when!), my son’s flag football team set up a “super bowl” and they had it at the high school field instead of their usual field.  It was during the day.  We went.  There were not many people there.  We sat in the bleachers.  I had a few rough moments but I did it.  I figured that was the time to work on it since it wasn’t as crowded.  Plus it was a beautiful day.  I sat there with my eyes closed for a while, deep breathing quietly.  I remember how good the sun felt on my face.  I remember my body relaxing.  It was better the rest of that day.

I still stress about those bleachers though.  It will take a while before the memory of that nasty panic attack is replaced with happy memories of my kids playing football and marching in the band.  It will happen eventually though.

No performance tonight.

Well my son is home from school sick again with a fever and puking.  That means we’re not going to the performance tonight at the college.  It’s ok.  Truth be told, I was more excited just to go beat the panic attack than to see that particular show.  It would have been fun and I am just a little bummed, but that’s the way it goes.

I’ll be on the lookout for another event to go try soon!

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.