Out of all the struggles and hardships I have faced, getting through the past few days alive and relatively sane has been the most difficult thing I have done thus far in my life. As I mentioned earlier this week, I've been having some pretty severe anxiety problems. At first I thought they were brought on from the stress and eventual realization of what I have going on neurologically, but as I processed and dealt with it all, I realized that there was something more.
These anxiety or panic attacks are unlike anything I've ever experienced. When they occur, I am so completely and utterly gripped by it. I can try to work myself out of it by finding a distraction or something else I can focus on, but that only works part of the time. I am controlled by this irrational fear of being alone (not in life, but by myself). I have never had any thoughts of self harm, but at the moments where is it at its worst I was unsure if I was safe to be alone.
I spoke to my doctor about it yesterday, and as much as I would like to say that I am feeling better today, that would be a lie. I might be feeling better today than I have in a couple of days, but the safety and security I feel can be easily ripped away like failing levee against a raging river. I have only been awake for a few hours, and I've already had three minor breakdowns.
What used to be a quick embrace and a light kiss "goodbye" when The Boss leaves for work is now a tearful, emotional ritual. Despite the fact that I have the distraction of working today, the pure knowledge that I am going to be alone in this house is enough to make me start falling apart. I can pull myself together for moments at a time, but it only works for so long. Instead of feeling like there are periods of anxiety spread throughout the day, I feel like there are periods of normalcy spread among the constant feeling of anxiety.
Sometimes I feel as normal and as strong as I've ever been. Other times I feel like a broken, empty shell of the man I used to be just a short week ago. All it takes is one drop of water to send me cascading over the edge, breaking the levee that I struggled to put up the last time it failed. I know of some ways that I can make myself feel better, but it takes some time to rebuild.
Music has been a major lifesaver for me. When I feel the start of a panic attack, if I put on some music and just lose myself in it I can generally avoid any negative feelings. Reading or writing helps too, but nothing helps rid me of the anxiety like being around another person. I'm getting better at processing how I feel and anticipating the onset of another attack. Combined with all of the physical things that I can do to help relax, my doctor gave me a prescription (Ativan) that I can use as needed. I have the bottle sitting on my desk in front of me, there to help if the situation demands it. I haven't had to use it, and I don't want to use it, but I know that if things get worse and I can't control it on my own, that I have something that can help me through it.
In the grand scheme of things, I am doing alright. I have definitely felt better, but I have also felt worse. Today is my first day being alone, and I'm doing better than I thought I'd be. I want to thank you all again for your support and kind words. You are like the eye of the storm for me.
I'm trying to work up an entry to get myself back into the swing of things here, but in the wake of all that has happened recently, I'm not too sure what to write about. Is there anything you've wanted to ask me, or wanted to know about me in general? I'll accept one question (or two smaller questions) from each of you, and I will answer them truthfully in my next post. I won't make any rules, so no subject is off limits.