Tag Archives: panic

Failure

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I tried. I really tried. I had it all planned out and it was actually quite simple. Walk to the bus stop. Catch the #3 into town. Get off bus and wait 5 minutes. Catch the Uni6 into Portswood. Get off bus and walk round the corner.

The anxiety started the evening before. I even had a proper panic attack that evening. My heart raced, my mind raced, I shook all over, I was sweaty and clammy. The worse scenarios ran through my mind. I would miss the bus, my hip would give out and I would collapse in a heap of pain. The bus would be late, I’d miss the change to the second bus. People would look at me – or worse try to speak to me. I’d get lost or confused. I wouldn’t be able to cope with the pain in my hip and knees. I’d be over anxious about being so far away from home and have no control over getting back. I’d be too much of a mess for my therapy appointment. I’d throw up from the anxiety. I’d have a panic attack while out in public. I’d cry in public.

On the morning all this was exacerbated to extreme levels. I had several panic attacks. One from just going upstairs to get dressed – I thought it’d be an easy thing to do – non committal and simple. But no, that sent me off the edge. I felt stupid and pathetic. I couldn’t even face getting dressed. I stayed in my pyjamas.

I talked through it with a dear friend. I felt guilty and ashamed and embarrassed. I felt I had let my therapist down. I couldn’t even face calling to apologise. The worst was the hour I was meant to be there. I felt utterly let down by myself. Screw everyone else – I had let myself down by not being able to do something I’ve done many many times (okay not in years but still). I was completely disappointed in myself.

I hate this. I hate feeling this way. I want myself back. The me that can do things. The me that doesn’t always cower away at home in her pyjamas. I want the me who loved going out and doing things. The me that loved to push her limits and challenge herself to do more. Yes, I’d like to be that me again.

 

Psaryce x

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Recovering … albeit slowly

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It’s been days since I last posted. I have been trying to recover from the ordeal that was the ESA medical assessment. The bad thing is … I never even got seen! After all the stress leading up to the day and the anxiety and panic on the day, I was told they couldn’t guarantee that I’d be seen if I waited even though I was on time.

I’m so grateful a good friend went with me as I don’t know how I would have coped without him. As it was, I was in a right state! My hands were shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. My heart was racing, my head thumping and all I could think was “the darkness has come to swallow me whole and there’s no escape!”. The receptionist kept asking “Do you want to wait or reschedule?” but I couldn’t respond. Words failed me as my mind swarmed with thoughts and questions and feelings. If I wait, how can I possibly stay sane long enough? If I reschedule will it be held against me? Why can’t I stop shaking? I feel like my hand is going to fly off across the room and through the window any second? No, I’m not brave for having my hair coloured Cerise … it is a hiding mechanism so people don’t look beyond the colour and see ME! How long will I have to wait for another appointment if I reschedule? Can I put myself through this all over again? How will I cope with coming back another day? I don’t believe your computers went down earlier, I think you are lying to me. I think this is a tactic you use to judge people. I feel dizzy. I feel trapped. I cannot decide.

Eventually I agreed to reschedule mainly because I couldn’t decide and just let that happen. The lady had to call to get a code in order to reschedule. What code? What does it mean? Is it going on my record? Is it a signal to say “this lady freaks out easily”? Or maybe it means “her hair is Cerise so she is brave” i.e. doesn’t qualify for help. She shows me a form and says if I receive another one I need to fill it out and send it in asap. I’ve done that form months ago. I sent it back. Did I not fill it in well enough? Did I fail that test? Did they not receive it? I remember the form, I remember the anxiety it caused. Why is she suggesting I need to do it again?

I need air. I need to breathe. I need to get out; to run. I can’t run. My legs are too weak. I need a cigarette. I need 5. I want to be cuddled up in bed. I want to feel safe. I just want this horrible experience to be over.

The following day I found the form in amongst a pile of other papers I hadn’t been able to cope with. I began to fill it in and by page 3, my nerves were shot. I have been working on it slowly over the past week. I’m almost done but feel I have made many mistakes. I have rambled. I kept forgetting things and then adding them in so none of my answers follow a logical sequence. But it will have to do.

It’s taken me a week to partially recover. I’m still highly anxious in spite of taking double my normal dose of anti-anxiety pills. I’m struggling to sleep even with sleeping pills – also double my normal dose. I feel like I might snap at any given moment. I plummet into dark places daily and struggle to climb back out. No I am definitely not what I would consider recovered. I’m not back to “normal” whatever that may be. But I am surviving and right now that is enough.

Psaryce x

Adapting To Change

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I struggle with this. Big time. I just don’t cope with changes – even minor ones. I used to be able to go with the flow but then a bunch of stuff happened (and it still happening) in my life and now I have a huge need for a feeling of control. Now changes need to be considered, thought through and planned. Unexpected things completely freak me out. I just panic and it is so exhausting to go through a series of panic attacks before I can finally give in – usually into a crying fit – and begin to get a handle on myself.

The attacks aren’t always the same – it seems to depend on the situation. But there are elements that appear in every one. The obvious heart-racing, chest pounding, head thumping, blurry vision and the dreadful feeling of hopelessness caused by lack of control. Sometimes I just freeze physically. I cannot move at all until it passes. With others I dash about shaking and unable to stand or it still for more than a few seconds. Lately a lot of mine have sparked off flashbacks of a trauma I survived┬ámany years ago. And sometimes these, in turn, cause a flood of unpleasant memories to pour through my mind.

Regardless, my mind is constantly thinking and questioning every little thing at a very rapid rate. I curse myself. Negative self thoughts wizz past before I can stop them. You are a fool. You should know better by now. You are a stupid idiot. You’re not worthy of anyone for anything. Your pain is not justified because you don’t matter. Nothing you say or do matters. You are useless. A waste of space. And the questions! So many questions! About myself, my decisions, my thoughts, my actions, my existence. I also question others … what are their real motives, are they using me, are they intentionally trying to hurt me? Why did I let myself trust them, believe them, feel for them, let them in, confide in them, give them the benefit of the doubt, make excuses for them, etc, etc. This list of thoughts and questions could really go on and on and on!

Unless depression takes over, once the mental images and thoughts and questions begin to settle down, I am totally exhausted – both physically and mentally. My head stills pounds but from a dull ache that will take ages to subside. I feel cold and weakened. I want to curl up and hide away from everyone and everything. At these times, I think I’d happily be a turtle.

But I cannot withdraw to that extent. I have responsibilities. I have a daughter. I have to get to a place where I can function before she sees me. It upsets her too much to see me this way and I want to protect her from this nightmare as much as I can. I must do the best I can.

If you have read this far and feel like maybe you just had a ride on a roller-coaster, well you sort of have. Today I have gone through this cycle more times than I care to count. Tomorrow I may not experience it at all … here’s hoping!

Psaryce x