What they don’t tell you

As many of you guys know, I had a major panic attack yesterday over the decision of buying new tires versus used tires. Why? Because new tires are expensive as crap especially for my car. I have an SUV so the tires are bigger and with that cost more. But why not just get used tires? I mean so many people get used tires and are just fine.

Well, you see, I have kids in my car 90% of the time and it would be my luck that I would get a used tire and it would blow and trying to find a used tire around here that matches my car takes DAYS. and I didn’t have days. My tire was on the verge of blowing. There was no tread on it whats so ever. I desperately needed a new tire. So I went and bought new ones.

I thought once I made the final decision, I would be fine. Nope. The wait was over an hour because there was 3 cars ahead of me. So I waited and walked around and couldn’t breathe.

You see, that is something the doctors never tell you about anxiety and panic attacks. Even though you might not be in an active attack….. you will still feel the weight of the elephant on your chest. You will still feel like you can’t get a decent breath. You will still feel like you’re going to pass out. You will still feel like you’re in an attack. Even when the initial attack has passed. After your tears have dried. After it all, it still feels like it’s there.

So, since it was taking so long and I was so bleh from this silly attack (I know it was irrational because it was a need but you couldn’t make me believe it) I decided I couldn’t cook. I just couldn’t deal with having to stand in the kitchen for a minimum of 30 minutes cooking dinner when I felt like I was going to pass out.

So I got take out. Which is find and dandy because I already had a fend for yourself night on the board and decided that we would take that for last night and move everything down a night. But it was on my way home that another attack overwhelmed me to the point that when I got out of my car at home, my legs almost collasped beneath me.

Here’s why. I live in the country. So there are long winding roads to get to my house. It takes me 13 minutes to get to my moms from my house and about 20 minutes to get to the Big Walmart. So I’m on one of the long roads and I’m fine. My car is no longer shaking, the drive is smooth. That is until I look up in my rearview mirror and see this asshat behind me. On my tail end. Swerving.

He almost hit 5 different mail boxes. I just knew he was going to hit my tail end on one side and cause me to swerve. And since I am in an SUV, swerving because someone hit one side of my tail end would possibly cause my car to roll. You see, SUV’s have a higher center of gravity. They’re top heavy because they’re higher off the ground. Sharp turns have a risk of rolling the car. So when I got home, safe, I was still so shaken that I almost collasped. I carried the food in the house. Held my composure giving my kids their dinner and then collasped on my bed. Their daddy was home and he knew what was going on.

Which is why my husband is so flipping amazing. Honestly! I am so flipping lucky to have him. Whenever I need to hide so my kids don’t see the worst of an attack, he steps up. Even though he works 10-12 hours 6 days a week. He still picks up my slack when the ugly little monster wants to rear its ugly head. He is an amazing man even after everything we have been thru. My anxiety is one thing he has NEVER thrown in my face. Ever!

So its the next day… I should be fine right? Nope! oh hell no. That would be too easy right? Yep. you see because of the attack…. well 2 attacks… I could not for the life of me go to bed. At all. I laid awake and my brain….being another entity entirely not of my control, kept replaying everything from the day. And how awful I felt as a human being not being able to bring anything financially into my household. But can spend it in a heart beat. I felt like I was worthless.

So I can’t sleep. I think I finally fell asleep after midnight and woke up this morning at 5 laying at the foot of my bed, when did I move? with the most awful crick in my neck because my pillow was on the floor. and I still felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like I was on the verge of puking.

You see, no doctor I have ever seen about my anxiety has ever warned me that you will feel it the next day. They tell you what a panic attack will feel like, what it might feel when your anxiety decides to grab your mind by the throat and shake it to its core. But what the never tell you is the after effects. They never tell you what to feel when its all over.

And it is different for each person. Hell it is different for each attack. Some attacks… I crash. So flipping hard. I go into an attack fighting to breathe and afterwards I am just so exhausted because an attack is like running a marathon without stopping. So I crawl in bed and sleep. One time I slept for 13 hours straight. I was in high school. My mom was scared because I didn’t budge. I didn’t wake up. I didn’t move. I didn’t get up to pee. Nothing. I was knocked out. Then there are sometimes where I still feel like anxiety’s nasty, ugly monster has its foot firmly placed against my throat so I can’t breathe. Sometimes I feel like I am going to puke. Sometimes I just feel like an idiot for having such an irrational response to something. They never tell you that you’re going to feel the effects even after it has ended.

Boy I wish they could’ve told me what I was going to feel. So I could maybe, just maybe prepare for it.

As always, thank you guys for listening (reading). It is nice to know I can be open and just tell it raw. Not have to sugar coat or protect anyone’s feelings.

Leave a comment and tell me how you feel after an attack. I would love to talk.

Searching for those like me

I hate attention.

Literally hate being the center of attention

I avoid it at all possible.

I have suffered alone for many, many years.

So I know how depressing it can be to have a panic attack and NO ONE notices. NO ONE cares.

I get it.

And honestly…. I hate feeling like I am alone. I hate feeling like no one understands me.

Luckily, as my circle grew smaller from those who only used me… I found one friend who suffers with anxiety, depression, panic attacks and PTSD. We balance each other I think. We listen to each other. Literally.  If I stop at her house when I’ve had an anxiety attack… I end up staying there for goodness 2 to 3 hours just from talking. and our conversations drift to random topics so seamlessly.

But I am getting off topic….that darn attention thing again.

What I have been doing since Chester Bennington passed is searching Twitter.

You see….When Kurt Cobain died….The world saw a massive number of copy cat suicides. Because they felt that if Cobain couldn’t make it…then how could they. Right? It is hard to see one of your idols who you relate to leave us in such a traumatic way. It is awful.

Linkin Park spoke to me thru so many situations. I remember being 9 years old listening to them on MTV. Chester was so pretty (and it hurts to say was, I keep wanting to say is)  His vocal ability was so inspiring. I mean here is this guy who can sing and then scream with such ease. The words he sang….I could relate to many things that I personally went thru growing up. Even now… I can listen to these old songs and relate them to things that I see or feel today.

You see, I am the type of person who feels music. I don’t just hear a beat and hear some random words. I feel them. I can listen to a song a million times if it speaks to me. If it moves me emotionally.

(I feel like I have said this before. and if I have… I am sorry)

So since we lost Chester in July. I been looking for people on Twitter who express their mental health. Especially those who feel alone. Those who are experiencing panic attacks or feeling depressed. And just letting them know. Hey, you are not alone. I am sending positive thoughts your way.

Typically I just simply say ‘sending positive thoughts your way’ It is a simple and easy way that I can spread kindness. That I can let them know they are not alone. There are others out here that feel the same way.

Now I am not posting this to gain any attention.

My sole purpose is that well I have about 96 followers now. Which I am ecstatic about. Thank you guys. I am more thankful that you could ever know. But if each one of you guys searches twitter for any mental health condition and just let one person know that they’re not alone, that you’re thinking about them….Then maybe…just maybe…we will be that closer to making it easier to talk about our issues.

How is it that a patient with heart failure gets sympathy but those suffering with a chemical imbalance gets shunned? Now please don’t read that the wrong way. My dad had heart failure. He had 3 heart attacks before he passed. I feel for everyone who has anything going on in their life (that’s the overly empathetic part of me again.) But I also don’t think it is right that we who suffer a mental illness should feel like we have to suffer alone because the world cannot show an ounce of empathy to what we may be going thru on a daily basis.

So what do you say guys???? Will you send a tweet to a random person letting them know that you are thinking about them?? That they’re not suffering alone? That there are others like them???

A fan letter

Well it is time for another fan letter. This time to someone who was left behind.

 

Dear Mike Shinoda,

I wanted to say thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us fans. Though you lost your best friend….you’ve been there for all of us fans as we grieve.

We miss Chester too.

There are many reasons why we fans love you. You’re silliness shows me that growing old may be mandatory but growing up is optional. That we can still act silly no matter how old we are, or where we are in our life. I love your passion for music. I can see how much you put your heart and soul into every song. Your work ethic is inspiring.

You always have time for us fans. And since Chester passed, you have made yourself even more available to us. Your smile is infectious. When you smile…. I can’t help but smile too. (It helps that you’re cute too ) The Linkin Park fans are very different from every other fan group as you all have said numerous times. But we stand out because of you all. (I’m a southerner I wan’t to say ya’ll…) I cannot speak for anyone else but you have had a big impact as well as Linkin Park on my life and my battle with anxiety

 

Signed,

A thankful fan

#Lyrics Basket Case-Green Day

 

Do you have the time to listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once  (Anxiety makes things seem like everything is going on all at once but it comes out like nothing)
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone
No doubt about it
Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me (Your mind will play tricks on you and make think things are extremely bad)
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Or am I just stoned
I went to a shrink
To analyze my dreams
She says it’s lack of sex that’s bringing me down
I went to a whore
He said my life’s a bore
So quit my whining cause it’s bringing her down
Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid? (To me the media, the world, even your family wants you to think that you are paranoid, that you’re going crazy. Because having anything wrong with you is not normal…don’t listen to them)
A ya-ya-ya
Grasping to control
So I better hold on
Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I’m cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
Or am I just stoned?
I don’t remember when this song came out exactly. Of course I can look up the release date. But I mean when it actually came out. I don’t remember it coming on MTV I think I was only like 3. But it is green day
Billie Joe is my spirit animal. Or at least who I would want my spirit animal to be. Hes crazily hot. Hes amazing vocalist. He’s unbelievably talented. And then there are his eyes His beautiful green eyes. They are so damn amazing.
This song was written in regard to panic attacks. Billie Joe suffered them when he was younger. He would walk around his neighbor to calm himself down. The song also compares these types of attacks to being stoned.
It is an upbeat song about what it feels like to have your mind playing tricks on you. It is over 20 years old and this song is still on my playlists. There are just some songs that never get old. And a lot of them are Green Day songs. Yes, I am a huge fan girl of Green day

How to relieve a panic attack

 

This is said to cause an autonomic nervous system shift from a sympathetic (fight or flight reaction) to a parasympathetic response.


When searching for remedies for panic attacks, I always seem to come across the remedy above. Which is something that is similar to what an old band director told me to do.

Except she told me to breath in for 2, hold for 2, out for 2, wait 2. I was in band so of course all of this was to a rhythm.  It worked for a while. Really it did. But then it just stopped. One day it no longer calmed my attacks.

So I started looking for more remedies.

And I came across so little. One that I found was a ‘grounding’ exercise where you looked around you at things that you could see, touch, taste and hear. In hopes that if you find these sensory things you can pull yourself out of an attack. Then, of course, there is the brown paper bag.

If you know of any remedies. Please share. I would love to hear what helps you.

If you have pulled yourself out of an attack, you are extremely strong. Keep fighting. Together we can #BreakTheStigma

Nothing to be ashamed of

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Everyone thinks that mental illness is something that we have to hide… We don’t…or at least we shouldn’t. There is this stigma surrounding mental illness that is just so enraging. Seriously. It makes me upset that so many people can only think negatively about someone who has a mental illness… This is why so many of us never seek help or why we never tell anyone what it is really like to be in our heads.

We should not be ashamed about our disease. Our illness. We should not be ashamed of talking to someone about it. There is nothing wrong with getting help.

If anyone knows of Linkin Park, they will know that Chester Bennington lost in his battle with mental illness. So many of us fans have been taking it really hard. But as the song heavy says….’there’s comfort in the panic’. Because while all of us fans are having a hard time coming to terms with an idols death and coping with our own illness.  In the midst of all this grief Talinda Bennington, Chester’s wife, has been there for his fans. She has been trying to break the stigma about mental illness that her husband suffered from, that his fans suffer from. In the midst of her pain…she is there lifting others up.

 

Panic in public

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The crowd is closing in….the air is not reaching your lungs… you start to panic.. your breathing gets shallow… you start to hyperventilate. And now you’re having a panic attack….and in public to say the least.

having a panic attack in public is one of the worst things in the world. Well maybe not the worst things in the entire world….but in the world of an anxious person. It is. Panic attacks make us feel vulnerable. Like we are standing there naked. So having one in a crowded area can make us…or at least me… feel very ashamed.

For me… Having a panic attack is very tiring. They say that when you have a panic attack you use up to 70% of your body. I have also read that someone once said that having a panic attack is as exhausting as running a marathon. Which for me is pretty exhausting. I cannot run. Literally. I cannot run at all. And I don’t say that because I look like a fat cow trying to make the way to the food… no I literally cannot run. I end up hurt somehow. It is awful.

So a panic attack for me is kind of debilitating. I am tired. my eyes feel so heavy. My breathing is shallow and I just want to wrap myself in a big blanket and sleep. Therefore, I try my hardest not to have a panic attack in public. But when it does happen… the first thing that I do is leave. The bathroom can be my best friend in public places…why? Because I even thinking about having a public break down gives me quite the anxiety.

 

Salt looks like sugar

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I think one of the things that my anxiety does the most is make me very skeptical of the people around me. Then I feel like they might think I am judging them or racist or something. It’s not that. I act the same way to everyone. Doesn’t matter the race or gender. I am very non trusting. It sucks.

But then again…It keeps me kind of sheltered because I am already protecting me myself from being taken advantage of or mistreated. You see when someone shows me who they truly are…I believe them. I don’t think that maybe they were wrong or maybe they’re changing. I believe them for who they truly are.

I know people who are extreme manipulators… So they’re the kind of people that I keep at a distance. I trust them about as much as I could fly like wonder woman.. Now  I am  no superhero… I cannot fly…Therefore, I don’t trust them. Who would want to trust someone who manipulates them? Especially if they are repeat offenders.  Don’t trust everything you see… even salt looks like sugar. And those two items could not be more opposite.

Sometimes…you just need a friend.

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So I have this one friend that my husband is not to thrilled with. Lets just say a couple of years ago, when we first got married, my friend made an inappropriate request… and my husband asked me not to talk to him. It wasn’t some kind of demand and it was more of a  ‘hey I don’t like the fact that he thinks he can talk to you like that and it would make me more comfortable if you didn’t speak to him’.

So I didn’t… for a while.

But the thing is…although he messed up that one time… I missed him.

He is that type of friend that never judges you…like ever.

Unfortunately, I have anxiety disorder and things are hard for me sometimes.. Especially when I need someone to talk to. I know I have my husband in my support system and my mom…but other than this guy… I only have one other friend who understands that I am weird and doesn’t judge me.

So I had to tell my husband…hey I need you to be okay with this because I need to surround myself with people who do not judge and can help me cope. And guess what….since it is such an easy request and I was up front and honest. My husband is going to give knowing this guy another chance…

Baby steps….

See I use to hang out with this guy a lot… I’ve known him going on 11 years I think…Well one time… I just had a tough day and couldn’t hold in my anxiety attack…not even an ounce… What did he do.. he pulled over (we were driving around) and just let me freak out…There was tears and snot all over his shirt but he didn’t care. And when I was capable of speaking and being somewhat calm. he asked me simple questions… did not judge and just let me be me.

So…if you have a mental illness…. I cannot stress how important a support system is.. It is very important. You need people around you that understand what you’re going thru (not in a sense that they’ve been there but rather that they get it) and they don’t judge you. We just need to feel cared for.

I am a Champion

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One thing that drives me crazy is how people assume that I am weak because of my mental illness. Well let me tell you I am not. I am a champion.

Just because sometimes…. I cannot sit still.. or I fidget… sometimes I can’t control my breathing or I talk too fast for a normal person to understand does not mean I am weak. I do these things to try to get back some type of normalcy. These little ticks do not equate me to being weak…. and I am quite annoyed with people assuming things like this about anyone with a mental illness.

What people don’t understand is that it takes a hell of a lot of strength to face the world sometimes.  There are days where the demons are just too much to handle and you want to stay in bed. When you’re a mom….there is no sick days… Trust me.. I keep asking my husband if I can take a sick day… it never works. But hey I can dream right.

Being a parent.. it actually escalates your anxiety more than what it was before you were a parent… You have this whole person that you are responsible for. You are in charge of making sure that they are healthy and decent human beings. You are responsible for their upbringing. It is scary as hell sometimes.