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.

Kids Change Everything

If you have kids, then you know that there are numerous books that describe what pregnancy will be like. They tell you what to expect from conseption up til you give birth. They tell you how your body will change, how your moods will swing. The books will even tell you all the gross, nasty details of actually giving birth. Never google what after birth looks like.

And movies kind of show you what is going to happen but never really prepare you. You see with my first kid, when it came time to push (which that labor story is pretty simple, both kids were born within 30 minutes of getting to the hospital) I thought I had to scream. Honestly, I started yelling like it was the end of the world. Like Bruce Willis didn’t sacrafice himself on that astroid in Armagedon and we were all going to die. Why? Because if you see child birth in any movie, you see the mother screaming so loud that those waiting in the waiting room hear them and think something is wrong. But I didn’t need to scream and maybe that is because of my wide hips. I was always told that I had birthing hips. Maybe that is why both of my kids were born quite easily naturally. No epidural needle has ever touched my back. And that is the way that I wanted it. Because my aunt got an epidural back in the 80’s and they never told her to not get up after getting it and it honestly messed her back up and now she gets these insufferable migraines.

Now, I have been around kids for a very long time. I have been babysitting since I was 11 (not always by choice, thanks to my oldest brother) But I never read anywhere what to expect when having kids would do to my already messed up mental health.

When I was a kid, my mom worked all the time. My oldest brother is 9 years older than me. And as time went on, day cares got more expensive. So by the time my brother was 13 he was watching after me and our other brother who is only 5 years older than me. But as my brother got older he no longer wanted his weird little sister tagging along with him everywhere with his friends. So I would be left home alone. I remember being in 3rd grade being home alone at night, making my own dinner (thank you tv dinners) and putting myself to bed by 7 pm because I had EOG’s the next day.

My oldest brother loves scary movies and those creepy clowns. And I think I hate them because of him. He thought it was funny to run around the outside of the house banging on the windows while I was home alone inside. Which is partially why I am always so anxious at night. alone.

I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I was almost 16 because I was having constant panic attacks. In the middle of school. hyperventalating to the point that I almost pass out ( I did pass out once) So the school called my mom and she took me to the ER and my regular doctor shortly after where I was diagnosed. With this awful anxiety disorder. And my brother only continued to make things worse after that.

So, there I am with a kid. Who was premature. And so tiny. And I wasn’t as scared with her as I was with my second one which is weird. But there I was at almost 20 years old, responsible for this whole new human being. She was mine. My responsibility. And there my anxiety began to get worse. not that it wasn’t already bad. But it just made things a thousand times more there.

Before kids, I could push it so deep inside that no one could ever see. But now that I have kids…. that anxiety is so close to the surface. Because not only am I anxious about my actions and myself, I am anxious about my kids. And it is not the normal anxiety you feel like should you change jobs or not. Noooo

You see, what they never tell you in those expecting books is that you should expect your mental health to take a hit. You should expect to feel more overwhelmed because you’re battling a mental illness that now circles not only you but how your kids are. They never tell you that having kids changes everything.

My oldest daughter is the most sensitive child that I have ever seen. So when I am repeating myself for the 20th time in 10 minutes and I get a little aggravated so I get a little stern, she starts to cry and looks at me with these weeping eyse like I just killed her puppy. Which sends me into a whirlwind of am I a bad parent? This happens quite often.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was in this awful car wreck that totaled my SUV. which isn’t as easy as you would think consider half of my windows were shattered and the rear end was in my second row. I had to get shots every week from 15 weeks to 34 weeks to make sure that I didn’t go into preterm labor. It was a rough pregnancy. There was a lot of back and hip problems that came from that wreck that couldn’t be addressed because I was pregnant. And having a second child, made me that more anxious as a mother.

I feel like a failure as a parent. Yes my kids are spoiled and 90% of the time they earn every toy that they get. My 1 year old picks up trash and throws it away. They get this little mental ATM credit that they can use when we go to the store. My oldest will ask if she has enough credit to get a small, medium or big toy. But they also know that twice a year they have to donate toys to those who don’t have many like they do. So I am trying to instill some responsibility and make them humble.

But more often than not, I go to bed wondering if I was a bad parent today. Did I yell too much? Did I not show enough love? Did I not love one them enough? Did I break their spirits? Did I put them down too much? Did I crush their dreams? When I was my oldest age…. I knew way more than I should have and I was way more afraid than a child at that age should have. I want my kids to be protected more than I ever was. But am I a bad parent?

What I wish I knew when I was pregnant was that having kids will and does change every single thing. I wish there was a book that could help expecting parents who have depression or anxiety on how to cope with the changes of becoming new parents.