Monday, September 29, 2008

Come along on my panic attack...


I've suffered from panic attacks since college. They have always appeared around times of major life changes or a build up of multiple stresses at once...and the most recent ones are no different. I used to get them during finals, around a big move, my divorce, and even buying my new house and getting a puppy.

They've always occurred at night, during times when I wake up and can't get back to sleep.

Come on a journey with me........you're sound asleep and you wake, maybe from a noise or just because you wake....you usually sleep completely through the night....you've never fallen asleep quickly...and so you start to think....about work...about bills...about your sick dog....about your aging parents...finances...the coming baby....your mind goes in circles...I need to sleep...I can't sleep...I'm going to be tired at work tomorrow...the dog is sick...what if mom doesn't get better...what will I do without her......when will I have time to go to the vet....YOUR HEART STARTS TO BEAT FASTER....the talk continues....I'm so tired...what if I can't handle this baby...what if the baby is sick....the dog could get sicker...what will I do when mom isn't around.....how can I get all my work done....YOUR BODY STARTS TO FEEL CHILLS...AND YOU SHAKE UNCONTROLLABLY....I still can't get to sleep...I'm so tired...the bills....the work....the finances....the baby...my mom.....I can't sleep...YOU START TO CRY....YOUR HEART BEATS FASTER....YOUR SHAKING CONTINUES...YOUR SO COLD....and on and on and on....and then....ABOUT 1-2 HOURS LATER....YOU'RE EXHAUSTED AND your heart beat starts to slow...the shakes start to lesson...your body warms....the tears dry up.....your mind slows...you realize in your head that all those thoughts aren't logical and everything will be ok.....and after, you can see that it's very irrational...you can calm yourself even more....and then you finally fall into an exhausted sleep....

This is what I experience when I have a panic attack (Thank God they don't happen in public!). I feel so weak, useless and a failure when they occur. This was my experience last night.....

I thought I might get a couple when the baby came, being a MAJOR LIFE CHANGING TIME, but I didn't think they would start 2 months before the baby came.

I also realized in my calming down time...that I have been keeping in a lot of nervous and anxious feelings about the baby, bottled up. I am so excited and I know I'm ready, but I'm scared too...and I think this has been in the back of my mind for some time...I just didn't want to admit it....I have this issue with control and not burdening others with my issues...I tend to keep things inside too much....I know this isn't good...but yes, I still do it....

Anyway...once I got in the shower and got moving this morning and got into my normal routine at work I was ok...I feel real tired now (I've never been able to nap and still fall asleep at a decent hour at night, so I shy away from them.)...but ok....but I decided to take a mental health day tomorrow....so I've arranged for a sub and I wrote up my sub plans...and now I am looking forward to the day tomorrow....

10 comments:

Breanne said...

Oh my - how hard that must be. I hope these get better. I will keep you in my prayers.

Trace said...

I've never had a panic attack. I totally know what you're saying about the sleeping thing though. For a while I was going weeks w/only a few hours a night...my mind just wouldn't stop.

I don't know if you'll find it cheesy, but I find guided meditations or guided imagery really helpful. I download to my mp3 player and it helped relax me. If I wake up at 3am I meditate with my mp3 player player and it relaxes me enough to fall back to sleep. I find yoga and all the deep meditative breathing helps too.

Kris said...

I'm so sorry that you had a panic attack last night. And hopefully, you don't experience a baby who sleeps poorly (from the start). If that's the case, there's no time (or especially energy!) to have said panic attack. Or if you are like us, there weren't enough opportunities to sleep not to simply fall asleep absolutely exhausted when the opportunity comes!

Hopefully, you'll expend all the nervous energy before the baby comes and you can rest peacefully once he's here.

My prayers are with you!

Mama Smurf said...

I've never gone into a full blown panic attack but I experience the same thoughts at night when I'm trying to sleep. That's when my mind races with all the anxieties and to-do list items. So I kinda get it. And then in the morning I realize that it isn't all that bad.

You'll be fine when the baby comes. =) But know that sleep deprivation will increase those anxious thoughts. Just try to nap when baby naps.

Melba said...

YAY for mental health days--good for you! I think anyone in your shoes would be a little overwhelmed at the thought of baby's arrival. YOU ARE GOING TO BE A GREAT MOM though...you will be able to do everything you need to do and then some!

I can relate to what you are saying about bottling up your true feelings and always being the strong one. That's one of the best things for me about my blog--the outlet it provides that I don't often create for myself in my face-to-face relationships.

Remember you are not alone on this journey and the fears/concerns you have. We're here not only to cheer and do the happy dance with you, but also to comfort and support when the need arises. I know you have a very strong faith, and I admire that about you very much. Sometimes God gives us the people we need in our lives so that we can get through the challenges a little more easily.

Hang in there and KEEP TALKING when you need to!! Enjoy your day off tomorrow and God Bless!

Melba

Annie said...

oh, Felpsy has them. It's so hard to sit by and not be able to do something.

Enjoy your mental health day. I'm jealous I won't be there next weekend for the Fiesta, maybe next year.

Jill said...

I know all about these. I went through them often the winter of 95/96. You described very much what I went through. Right down the the trembling from cold when it's not cold. My teeth even chattered. It all started with my oldest dd getting pneumonia. I feared for her life, and even though she got better, the panic attacks continued every time I thought of death or dying. It ended the day I had to spend 8 hours outside shoveling 3' of snow because dh was sick with chicken pox. I think the sun and exercise did me good.

I hope yours stop like mine did.

Anonymous said...

When these type of things happen for me, I usually visualize myself placing the particular item (at the moment) I'm stressing over into my hands and place them at the feet of God--I'm giving it to him. Sometimes I have to do it several times in one night in order to truly let it go. Maybe it'll work for you, too? Your SBP

Debbie B said...

So glad you took a day to yourself. Sound scary and annoying.

I used to never be able to nap during the day. About a week after Izzy came home I started taking a nap with her and now I miss them if I don't get them.

My Goodness said...

Bless your heart...

Try, Tracey, just try to give those moments to God...let Him calm you!!

Only a good mother worries that she's a good mother. If you didn't care, you wouldn't wonder...you will be fantastic!