Archive for the Category ◊ Anxiety, panic and other unwelcome guests ◊

22 Jun 2006 Ikea on the weekday ROCKS!
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Ah, the benefits of being an at home mom. ;o) Emily and I had to run an errand near Ikea today and since we were so close, decided to stop in for lunch and a little shopping.

I got a new throw rug for the kitchen and Emily found a cute stuffed kitty cat (she complained that it was spelled Katt on the label. I tried to explain that Ikea is a Swedish store and chances were pretty darn good that in Swedish cat is spelled katt. “Do you HEAR two ts??” she insisted at me.).

I found a beautiful duvet cover for Cadence.

It just felt like the right choice. Great colors, so we can pick anything and just enough whimsy.

We also picked up an adorable pink dragon fly light mobile for Cadence and a string of big, pink lighted flowers for Emily.

I love Ikea.

Oh, and 5 packages of 4×6 picture frames I can paint black for .99 a two pack. Great deal. I found places to get black frames in bulk, but no 4×6 so this starts to solve a dilemma in regards to that (the idea is to paint my walls a perfect brown and then put all of my pictures up in black frames–I know everyone is doing it, but I love the look…).

Going there today was such a big stuff for me. I still struggle with anexity about being out by myself. We didn’t stay LONG, but it’s a big start for me. Hooray!

03 Mar 2006 The Failure of my Body (Or, why I’m scared of my appt. tomorrow);.
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Tomorrow I will be just about 12 weeks pregnant. Eric and I have an early morning doctor’s appointment where they’ll hopefully hear the heartbeat. While I am slowly allowing myself to embrace the idea of this baby and the pregnancy, my positive nature is slow to shine through.

You see, I just don’t trust my body to do the right thing anymore.

A year ago (just about, give or take a few days) we were in process of one of the most mentally and physically taxing events of my life. At just over five weeks, my fallopian tube ruptured and the embyro (or whatever i was ) trying to live there had to be surgically removed in an emergency operation. In the weeks that followed, I was boiling with emotions. Sadness over the fact that we had surgically removed a very much wanted baby from my body, sadness at the failing of my body. Sadness that my body was now incomplete and trying to correct our problem with another pregnancy was going to be a long, complicated task. Sadness that our hopes and dreams may have been dashed.

After we waited the perescribed amount of ttime and after we had an HSG that showed my remaining parts werre just fine, we started trying tto ge pregnant again and have five monts of failure before he surprise of this baby in Janurary.

So why, then, can’t I just rejoice? Well, my body. You see, I just can’t trust it to do the right thing anymore. I understand the ectopic pregnancy was a fluke. A blip in an otherwise healthy reproductive system. I had no risk factors. I’m healthhy (despite being overweight). It was just Plain Bad Luck.

Which makes me feel no better at the end of the day, trust me.

As the struggle went on and I cried and worried my body betrayed me again. General Panic Disorder witht Agoraphobia is my diagnosis. My body could no longer be trusted to relax when I asked it. I lived (and still live) in a constant state of “hyperarrousal” (my therapists terms). Even today, on medication and coping with life in general, I still ride at a 2 or 3 on the Panic Scale instead of the 1 I’d like to be at.

But all of this–the pounding heart, tthe rapid breaths and chest pain, the numbness and fear–adds to the distrust of my body to just do the right thing. I don’t trust it to grow this baby the right way. Adding to this was the baby’s puny size at my ultrasound a month ago, measuring a whole week behind is leaving me FULL of trepidation about tomorrow’s doctor’s visit.

10 Feb 2006 It’s been so long since I last posted….
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…that when I clicked into my account today to check the blogs I keep up with there was actually no entry on my page meaning, I guess, that I haven’t blogged in some time. Nearly two weeks.

Prior to this week, my depression has been pretty bad. My agoraphobia has been pretty bad. My OCD stuff has been pretty bad. Stuff just wasn’t going well. Because of that, I really haven’t been doing much. Not knitting. Not scrapping. Not sewing. Not reading and not maintaining our websites

But, as of Tuesday, I’m on Zoloft and seeing some improvements (though I am panickey tonight, I had to travel today which is difficult becaue of the my agoraphobia, but it’s better than it probably would be otherwise). Part of these improvements, are ones I’m making myself, which means blogging and being crafty and doing things I used to really like to do. Even if I have to force it a little bit right now.

Eric says I’ve smiled and laughed more in the last couple of days than I have in months. Talked more too. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m going to be forcing myself to blog. I’m probably going to have some boring days. It’s okay with me if you don’t read. I probably won’t want to read it other, but I’m trying to get back to where I was.

01 Feb 2006 It’s been a while.
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Haven’t been doing that great as of late. Lots of really bad panic. Having trouble feeling upbeat and chatty because the worse my panic gets, the worse my depression gets. Eric is home for the next week and a half and i’m hoping to be able to settle into some sort of safe routine. I will be talking about this with my doctor on Monday–explaining that while I understand I suffer from severe panic, that I need some reassurance that I’m not dying from some horrible disease (or having a stroke mostly). Maybe some testing or something. Just to ease my mind. I’m not sure what tests would be available to me, but I’m going to ask. To try and get some peace.

I did cast on for the first of several baby gifts and am about four inches into the back of it. Pretty boring knitting this far. I’ll share as soon as it’s more than a rectanble of stockingette. ;)

25 Jan 2006 What Seeds are You Nourishing?

This came from my panic support group today…

Those seeds that receive water and nourishment are the seeds that will grow. What seeds in your life are you watering right now?

Life is constantly sprouting new possibilities. During each day, many and various influences will fall upon the fertile ground of your consciousness.

The quality of your life depends on which of those influences you allow to take hold and grow. It pays to select them wisely.

If you nourish the seeds of anger, violence, envy and resentment, then thorny, tangled stalks will soon spring up all around you. If instead you nurture the seeds of love, hope, kindness, creativity and joy, a lush and lovely garden will begin to flower in your life.

Choose in each moment to nourish those seeds that will in turn grow to nourish and support you. Hold on to and build those influences that will bring value, meaning, richness and fulfillment to your life.

Follow those possibilities that are the most positive and meaningful. And make the garden of your life a beautiful, peaceful and productive place.

– Ralph Marston

I can easily identify what seeds I’ve been growing lately. certainly no beautiful flowers, but life choking weeds. Not even Dandilions (good weeds in our house. Emily thinks they’re beautiful) or clover (soft and fragrant) but thistles and thorns and ragweed. Bad stuff.

what will I choose to grow today? I think I will get dressed and Emily and I will go out. We’ll stop at Michael’s because we both love that place and get something to eat for lunch. I’m going to come home and do some laundry and tidy up the downstairs.

today, I am going to grow the seeds of accomplishment. Today I’m going to do the thtings I want to do. I might feel panicky, bu that’s okay. I’m going to press on so I can nuture the seeds of accomplishment today.

24 Jan 2006 The one about my social anxiety…

But first…

Dear Spammers,

I want to make something perfectly clear. I pay for this website. This isn’t some free website. I pay for it all. The bandwidth, the maintenance. Everything. Monetarily and through forced slave labor. I don’t have adverisments here because I don’t like them. You won’t be permitted to come here and use something *I* pay for, in full, for your own selfish gain.

Your comments will always be delted and your access to my blog always banned.

Sincerely,

Me

And now, onto the Social Anxiety thing.

I’m not diagnosed, but it’s there, mostly due to my severe distrust of myself and the fact that I worry that people won’t find me likeable. I’m nearly 30 ears old and still worry, to an unhealthy degree, what people think about me.

While we lived in Michigan, our normal hermitty status was magnified by Eric working at home and we stopped finding reasons to leave the house or really do everything. Our peer group shrank and dwindled and we literally saw no one but each other of family occassionally.

This has become detremental to all of us. It has created, IMO, an at times unhealthy dependancy on Eric, for me and the fact that I think human beings are social creatures, not being social has affected our moods and outlook.

So, one of our goals when we moved back to IL was to be more social. We have a larger peer group here (aka more friends) and need to make more of an effort ot see those people. We also need to look at making MORE friends so expand our peer group so I can stop being so damn dependant on Eric for literally everything I do.

I’ve been reading at the Lake County Knitter’s meet up board for a while now and on Feb 16th, they’re having a meeting somewhere I feel safe driving. I am actually excited about the prospect of going. Of meeting new people and, possibley, of making new friends.

I also realized that I tend to sabotauge my relationships with people. I don’t know why, but that is going to end now too. It has to.

10 Jan 2006 Yuck.
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I’m sick.

It sucks.

My nose is stuffy and my throat is sore and now I’m getting an annoying, chronic cough. Dry, not productive. The kind that will make my back and ribs hurt if it heads on too long. Eric is slowly feeling better and Emily NEVER CAUGHT IT (thank goodness, but how the hell did WE get it?)

In addition, the sore throat is giving me insomnia. Tonight is a bad night to not be sleepy becuase I really want to be sleeping well in a few hours when Eric departs for IL for the week.

11 days until we move. Nearly 10. Ten in seven minutes. And then nine. Single digits. And then just a day until Eric is home when the days number seven.

I did something today I haven’t done in months. I made a list. I planned my day. I haven’t done this since the panic took over and I started running from task to task, not accomplishing anything in an attempt to flee my panic.

I’m feeling better now, though. Strong. Balanced. Able. I’ve been able to look at the panic and say, “I know you. F*ck off. I don’t have TIME for your sh*t.”

Well, that’s not really how it goes. Basically what I say is “I know this feeling and I choose not to have it. ” I change how I breathe (I’m convinced that 90% of my problem stems from hyperventilation) and change my focus. It’s working for now. Every day I have success is another step forward.

I’m nervous, with ERic leaving, that I won’t feel as strong or as able. But if it comes to that, I’m going to write affirmations and use the tools I have for now and try to make it work. I’m not going to make “if” statements like “If it doesn’t work ” or “if I panic” or “If whatever….”. I’m going to say, I can do it and deal with some bad feelings, because I’ve proven I can.

13 Dec 2005 Anatomy of my attack

Panic that is.

I fully understand that writing this may, indeed, through me into another panic attack, but I feel it’s necessary to get people to understand what’s going on and why I just can’t “calm” down.

It starts with a worry. Just a little worry. It might be about my health. Maybe my sinuses are making me feel a little lightheaded and detached right then. Maybe I became concious of my breathing (which I hate and just typing it makes it happen). It plants a little seed of worry in the back of my head.

Just a little one.

Maybe the average person would acknowledge it and move on, but I keep going back to it. LIke a scab you shouldn’t pick or a grain of sand irritating an oyster or a pea under the mattress.

If I can distract myself, the irritant shrinks, but if I can’t it stays there. Maybe it doesn’t grow, but it nags at me.

What if something bad happens to me. What if I have stroke right now? Or a heart attack? What would happen? Eric’s gone. Emily’s at school. No one would know. My mom doesn’t expect to hear from me until tomorrow. There will be no one to get Emily off the bus and she’ll be scared and alone. Eric is too far away to help me. What if they come in and find me dead?

SO, now, I’m worrying about that distatched feeling my sinuses seem to send out to me 300 days a year. Maybe I have a blood clot. Maybe it’s not sinus pressure.

Now I’m worried. REALLY worried. My heart starts to pound. MY head starts to swim. Maybe my chest hurts or my face starts to tingle. It’s all documented symptoms of a panic attack. You can google it. I know it. But it’s there.

My heart is racing. I’m hyperventilating. I’m worried. What happens if I drop dead now. I’m convinced it’s going to happen.

And then the adrenalin kicks in. I start to shake. I feel lightheaded. My heart beats harder and faster. My breathing speeds up. My limbs tingle or go numb. I might perceive problems with my sight. I feel faint or as if I could faint. I stagger a little on my feet because i’m dizzy from over oxigination.

My problem isn’t identifying that this is happening to me. My problem begins when I can’t erradicate that little pebble of worry from the back of my head. In fact, I’ve had one plauging me all day. It’s trying to settle in. I keep trying to move it. Change my focus. Find an activity. Move my attention elsewhere, but it’s there. Nagging. Quietly.