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Profanity incoming… because f*ck anxiety.

Truthbomb: Anxiety fucking sucks.

Today started out normal. Got up, showered, saw hubby off, logged in, answered some emails… then it started. In the middle of a “thank you so much for booking!” email, I felt my hands get tingly, my chest tighten, my breath get short. I tried the normal exercises to nip it – take a walk, sip some water, cuddle a kitty, call my hubby. But this time it escalated fast.

I’m dizzy… I can’t feel a pulse… I can’t feel my heart beat… my heart’s not beating – Yes, that’s a real thought – this isn’t right… this isn’t just anxiety… I’m dying… this is it… call the ambulance… they aren’t going to be in here before I faint… they are going to break down that door… my cats will escape… tunnel vision… tunnel vision… tunnel…
The 911 operator stayed on the phone with me. I was able to walk down to unlock the door… OMG what will the neighbors think? (Why didn’t I put on a bra???) Ambulance, fire truck, 4 EMTs… pressure cuff, heart monitor, oxygen… light conversation – Who plays guitar? How many kitties do you have?
They sat with me until my BP lowered, until I stopped crying (for now) and my breathing evened out and my hubby arrived. Vitals are always strong but I still *felt like shit* – like they were crazy and I was going to die and no one believed me. I waited a few minutes. Popped the fucking meds that I hate so much. Waited more. No… I’m dying… they missed something when checking my vitals…
We drove to urgent care anyway. This attack is too long… it’s not anxiety… it’s not anxiety…
They took me right away. They listened to me cry. They monitored my heart. They tried to assure me that I was fine. They were breathing with me. Holding my hand. Wrapping me in warm blankets to stop the shivering. Telling me stories of travel to Paris and Lisbon. At least I think they were…
I’m an idiot… I’m so stupid… look at you… so weak… My brain continued it’s relentless attack, my adrenaline wouldn’t stop pumping. Run… danger… run!
After what felt like hours – but I later found was only 40 minutes – it all abruptly stopped. Just like that. Color came back to my face. My hands stopped trembling. I no longer felt like I had to run laps around the block. *CRASH* Shit, now I’m starving and I have to pee. OMG, I have a headache… I need to sleep… right… now.

After a recent spate of anxiety I realized it wasn’t so much the anticipation of having one, nor the having one itself that I was struggling with most but the state I was in afterwards. Drained, exhausted, emotional and always shivering uncontrollably, after a panic attack it feels as though my body has gone into shock; shut down, given up on me until I can have a good sleep and try another day. I’ve dubbed this the anxiety ‘hangover’ - like an emotional jet lag, the comedown from all those heightened sensations that leaves you feeling a little broken and spaced out.*

The post-attack adrenaline hangover will last for the next 2 days. I ate. I slept. I showered again. I slept again. I’m exhausted, with lingering embarrassment, lingering thoughts of “how could you be so ridiculous?”, lingering frustration that this means more meds to get me stabilized. Sadness because I made so much progress and was rudely awakened by the worst attack I’ve had in the 10 years I’ve battled this.
But I have to believe I’m going to win. I have to reach sooooo deep to get that one inch of confidence, that one inch that knows I’m bigger than this, that knows I have support and help and ways to see daylight.

And rest.

It’s ok to rest.

Thanks for listening. #youarenotalone #keepswimming #anxiety #claimyourhaven


* Quote source: How To Deal With the Anxiety Attack Hangover

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  • Lora Sittinger

    July 5, 2018at8:29 pm

    You’re not alone! I can’t count how many times I’ve been to the emergency room because of a panic attack. Or had to pull over in the car, that’s super scary! I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. Focusing on my breathing, like they tell you to, makes me hyperventilate and makes it all worse. Self talk helps some but years of therapy and different medications later, I still get them. Praying for all who suffer!

    • Carina

      July 13, 2018at1:52 pm

      Same here! I cannot do the breathing thing because I make myself hyperventilate and that makes the dizziness sooooo much worse. I’m ready to be done with this. Hugs to you!