…wanted to share over here as well for anyone who isn’t a dual supporter.
3:10 a.m. EST – Another late night post.
Pic of Ana and me being silly earlier tonight – just so the post doesn’t get lost.
Sharing something many of you may not know about me. When my son was a year old (1999 – almost 22 years ago) I was diagnosed with an anxiety/panic disorder.
I started having severe, random panic attacks when his father and I split up. So bad to the point I was blacking out from them. I was scared and thought I was dying and ended up in the hospital quite a few times before they finally sent me to a psychiatrist where I was diagnosed.
For years and years I struggled with it. First they put me on hard meds (Xanax and Zoloft) and I gained 100 lbs in a year. I’ve never been able to lose that 100 lbs since. Then I got off the Zoloft but spent three years kind of a shut in. It was hard for me to even go to the grocery store because I was so afraid I would have a major panic attack while out and about with my kids, who were at the time like 2 and 5.
I’ve had a hard time living alone with them for so many years, always worried something would happen to me and they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. I’ve always been better with another adult in the house. At least then I know if something happens someone is there to deal with it.
By 2005 I started getting better with them. At least I was familiar enough with how they operated that I could remind myself when one came on that I was (probably) not dying and it was (most likely) a panic attack. I married my (now ex) husband and had very few of them the 5 years we were together. When we split in 2011 I was so focused on bettering myself and making something of myself so I wouldn’t ever have to rely on anyone again that I threw myself into school (with just a GED out of 10th grade) and plowed my way through 6 years of full-time schooling. First the associates, then the bachelors, then the masters. I was so busy that the only time I had TIME for panic attacks was when I was on break from school and BOY were they doozies but at least the major ones were only happening a few times a year.
Ana came along right after I started my masters degree and I started raising her right after my first semester. Again, too busy to have panic attacks. lol But I’m thankful they’ve been few and far between. I’ve had the least number of panic attacks per year since I’ve been raising her. Not sure exactly why but I’ll take it. Once in a while my body figures out a new “trick” (a few years ago I started having random heart palpitations – doc says they’ve been there all along I just suddenly FEEL them now. Ugh, why) or a new way to manifest my anxiety and throws me for a loop. Then I have to adjust to the “new trigger” before I can take it in stride with the rest of them.
I’m really tired of living my entire adult life with this monkey on my back but it’s not going anywhere. It’s part of me. I’ve had therapy, CBT therapy, I’ve meditated (which does help some but it’s hard to stick to a schedule), I’ve exercised (again, schedule), I’ve eliminated crap and alcohol and such from my diet), I know all the tips and tricks, trust me… I’m a pro at this. lol
My panic attack aren’t brought on my stress or over exertion, in fact I tend to have the worst attacks when I’m the least stressed. Typically they are brought on by medical related anomalies. Something in my body will feel not quite right and my brain quickly spirals to worst case scenarios and dread over something happening to me. I know it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t matter. That’s what panic disorder is. I share because I know I’m not alone but it’s always nice to remind YOU that you are not alone. 🙂 It’s always nice to remind YOU that even though things may look very put together and “perfect” that the grass usually isn’t greener on the other side. It’s the same grass, just looks greener with the light shining on it from that angle.
I consider my panic attacks pretty minor at this point. I haven’t had a really major one in some time. I say minor because they happen here and there but I can identify them when they start, I don’t get that CRAZY anxious OMG I need help/I need to get out of here feeling. I don’t black out. I am able to take half of one of my pills, breathe and talk myself through it, distract myself with something, and in about 20-40 minutes it subsides.
Just about exactly the length of time it takes to write up a post… a post like this one. 💙 💙 💙(3:40 a.m. EST)