Every handful of years it happens. The setback. I’ve been due for one.
That’s what happened last Friday.
It seems like I always have very bad days considering what I’ve been writing here. But this is a blog about panic attacks. So I suppose most of the entries aren’t going to seem the most positive. I do write so other people can understand and see what I go through as well as give support to those who do go through the exact same experiences that I do.
It was time to leave the city for a wedding. The drive was going to be about 3 1/2 hours. That made me a little nervous but I usually can make it through car rides. I have my medication and I have talk radio and I also have crosswords as well as phone games. And 3 1/2 hours really isn’t a long period time considering some of the other car rides I’ve been on.
About an hour in we decided to stop at a rest stop to grab some food since it was already 9:30 at night. That was when I realized I forgot something important back at the apartment. We had no choice but to turn around to go back to get it. I really wanted to just stay at the apartment and leave very early in the morning but that wasn’t an option.
After we got back to our start point I stalled a bit before returning to the car. I really just wanted to stay home. I knew that I was in a position to have a really bad attack. It was clear that the medication I had already taken had not worked. Sadly within 10 minutes we are back in the car. I understood why we need to continue our trip that night. It would’ve been better in the long run to just finished at ride at 3 AM rather than getting up and trying to drive again.
20 minutes after leaving the city again I found myself in a massive panic attack. It just would not stop. It made me shake so horribly that I kept dropping my phone when I was trying to play Tetris. I just couldn’t hold it. I was trying to drink water out of a bottle and I couldn’t hold the bottle. I couldn’t get comfortable. I couldn’t sit still. I just couldn’t find any control in it. I was beyond upset because I knew we couldn’t turn around. My body was in a full fight or flight situation. And fighting was failing and flight wasn’t an option. So for the first time in many many years I cried during a panic attack.
– Normally I’m too busy panicking to even think about crying. I’m too busy with feeling nauseous and scared. I honestly don’t remember the last time I cried during a panic attack –
The waves of the panic attack came harder and harder like those from the wake of the heavy boat on the lake. I do feel a moment of relief and then a giant wave of panic would return. Over and over again. Relief and then panic. Relief / panic.
I was imagining how turning around to go home wouldn’t help and I was imagining that moving forward wouldn’t help and nothing would stop it and it would never stop and that was it for me. I felt trapped. I couldn’t see the end. I couldn’t decipher what was best for me. I just didn’t know anything anymore.
I don’t know how long it lasted – it must’ve been at least two hours. Around that time I think all the medication I taken, and the pure exhaustion of the event, made me pass out. That was probably the best possible thing that could happen to me during that episode. It was probably the only thing that could help and bring relief.
I think most people feel relieved when the panic subsides. I do feel calm and relieved when the panic attack ends, however I feel very sad. I’m sad because another attack has happened and I couldn’t make it go away on my own. I also feel sad because I knew from past experiences that I would be soon experiencing a large setback in my recovery. And that’s how this week has gone. I’ve been experiencing daily struggles – suffering, if you will. Difficulties finishing usual tasks. Expecting the worst and bringing anxiety onto myself.
So what’s next for me then? I have to do what I always do. Keep researching, keep looking, keep trying to find my way out. I have to continue looking within my panic attacks themselves to find my answers.
I just wish that I could beat this disease that haven’t ever having to feel it again.
I am sick, I am suffering but I will keep fighting.