Anxiety in my Mind – Silly panic attack

I’m writing this on my iPad because I’m at my parents’ and of course I don’t have my keyboard with me. So let’s see how long my patience lasts when I can’t type properly.

Let’s do this.

I had the silliest panic attack today. Well it didn’t feel silly while I was experiencing it but it was definitely one of those attacks that when they’re over makes you look back and think why on earth was I panicking over THIS?!



Rewind to earlier today when I was about to leave to go visit my parents. I was also meant to go to the gym with my Grandma. 

I was putting on my makeup when I suddenly discovered that the side of my nose was swollen. 

Cue a panic attack.

Yes. Really. I started panicking over a slightly swollen nose. 

Because I had no idea how I got it. 

What is happening? Is my face going to start to swell too? What if I won’t be able to breathe? I don’t want to end up in hospital. 

I didn’t go to the gym. I stayed at home. (Until the evening when I was feeling better and came over at my parents’ place.)

And while I was also aware that I was “just” panicking and these were anxiety thoughts, I needed outside confirmation that I didn’t need to be hospitalized. I was on the phone with my Dad for an hour. And I also took beta blockers. 

I’ve been doing very well recently so now I’m trying not to be too discouraged over this. I tend to mope over things too much.

I need to just view this as a day that anxiety got a bit of a hold over me but shit happens and I move forward. 

Fighting.

PS The swelling started to go away slowly during the day. Most likely it was an internal pimple or an allergic reaction or something. Or I’d accidentally punched myself.

Anxiety in my Mind – Taking my Dad to the Hospital

Previous Anxiety in my Mind posts.

I’ve had a really exhausting week. Panic attacks, anxiety, worry. I had multiple blog posts floating in my mind about it but now when the week is over and I’m actually sitting here in front of my computer: nothing. I’ve got nothing. I think my mind is just numb about it all. Or there’s too much of it. Too many feelings, too many thoughts, just too much.

Exactly a week ago we (me and my Mom) took my Dad to the hospital.

Cue a major panic attack.

DSC_0026In a nutshell: my Dad had a blood clot in his lung, something he had a year ago too. As serious as blood clots can be, my Dad’s were found early and he hardly had any symptoms. He was just a bit out of breath. We all knew he was going to be fine.

That didn’t help my anxiety one little bit.

Now my Dad have had previous visits to the hospital  but this was the first time I was there when he had to go. I got an immediate panic attack when I realised he would have to go to the hospital. It was horrible. I was trying to be brave for my Dad but at the same time I was pacing around rubbing my hands together (what I do when I panic).

Dad actually cried a bit because he was feeling so bad about my panic. Boy did that make me feel awful. Here I was having a panic attack which although feels like hell, isn’t dangerous. And my Dad who needed hospital care was worried about me.

I took extra anxiety medication (beta blockers and a tranquiliser) and listened to Excel at Life’s panic assistance audios.

And just breathed.

I was pretty calm the whole drive to the hospital. And even though I was very anxious the whole evening, I didn’t have another panic attack.

I wasn’t able to go to work for two days.

I didn’t have proper panic attacks and I was able to reduce my extra anxiety medication. But I was anxious and tense. Every moment was like waiting for another panic attack. And wondering when Dad would come home. And feeling quilt for being absent from work. Tough days.

But as it’s always with anxiety, I adapted. I felt better every day (anxiety wise) and was able to go to work on Wednesday (it was Sunday evening when Dad was admitted) with a little, okay a lot of, help from my Mom. She came to stay at my place when I went to work. It helped when she was near.

On Wednesday afternoon I got a text from Dad saying we could come pick him up later on the day. I was so relieved.

Anxiety didn’t stop there however.

I lived in immense tension for three days and it took its toll on my body:

Firstly on the way home from the hospital I got car sick. I never get car sick. I felt like throwing up.

Secondly I got fears. I was anxious to go to work. I feared that Dad was going to end up in a hospital again. I was afraid that I was going to end up in a hospital. Irrational fears, anxiety’s best friends.

I also slept. A lot. During the weekend. But I’ve been feeling better every day.

Even if you feel terrible, it will pass.

I don’t know what the point of this post is or even if it needs a point. I just needed to let this out. I actually feel better now. Yay!

Thank you for reading. ♥

Anxiety in my Mind – Disappointment

Previous Anxiety in my Mind post: Panic Attack & New Job (All Anxiety in my Mind posts here.)

I had a whole other ‘Anxiety in my Mind’ post planned but life happens.

Today I did not go to work. 

I had a panic attack in the morning. The cause was a combination of a lot of things (as it usually is):

1) I didn’t have my car. I walk to work or go by bike so I don’t really need my car. It’s a safety blanket. I don’t feel as stuck in my smaller than small 26,5m2 apartment when I have a vehicle that can take me somewhere else (usually to my parents’). 

2) My Dad had a Doctor’s appointment. I feel embarrassed and shamed writing about this. In recent years I’ve coped very well when my parents have had plans. (Which means they can’t come and “help” me. I don’t usually if ever need their help but my anxiety wants them to be a safety blanket as well. I’ve worked (and still work) hard to change this.) But now I didn’t have my own car and my Mom didn’t have a car so she couldn’t come and pick me up. I felt stuck. 

3) I was already sick with a stomach bug or something. I realised this later in the day. For a few days my stomach hadn’t felt right. Yesterday evening I felt quite sick and I felt like throwing up. This morning I thought that the nausea and everything else were only because of the panic attack and I felt like a loser when I called in sick for work.

 

At first I was too ashamed to write about this but here goes: Dad ended up borrowing a neighbour’s car so Mom could use their car to come pick me up.

This brings me to the topic of this post: disappointment. Every person dealing with anxiety and panic attacks (and various other disorders) know the feeling: you feel like a failure, a bad person, you wonder if various people are now mad at you. 

These are all irrational thoughts. At the same time as I cried to my Mom on the phone and told her that I feel like a bad person, I knew that I wasn’t. But the feelings were so overwhelming, I had to look for outside reassurance. 

When I said  I felt like a bad person for not being able to go to work, my  Dad said that I shouldn’t feel like that: “You don’t go to work when you’re sick. And your co-workers have taken way more sickdays than you. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Which is all true. But here’s the thing we with mental health problems struggle with. I felt so bad because I’ve had panic attacks in the morning before and still managed to go to work. So why was this day different? It was “just” a panic attack. I should’ve been able to go to work like before, right?

But these things happen. Some days are easier and some harder. And even if you have a harder time, it doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped recovering. “Three steps forward and one step back” but you’re still making progress. I’m writings this down because I need to remind myself of this time to time. 

These feelings of disappointment, shame, embarrassment and regret used to bother me for days (even weeks or months, in some cases years) after events like this happened. Now I’ve learned to be more forgiving and gentle towards myself. I’ve got work to do still but I’m heading into the right direction.

My words for you who are dealing with this kind of stuff: it’s not the end of the world, try not to dwell on these feelings (I know it’s hard!). Also what I’ve found out is that talking about and sharing these experiences and feelings really help.

Talking about disappointment kills it. 

Anxiety in my Mind – Panic Attack & A New Job

(Previous Anxiety in my Mind post: Change )

This post is actually really fitting after my previous one. So I started my new job this week. (Kindergarten teaching kids aged 3 to 5.) Stress and anxiety levels were naturally high.

Panic attack came on Day Three. (I had panicky moments before but here I’m talking about a full-blown attack.)

20150807_152209
“trying to get my feet moving and go to my classroom when on the other hand watching my sneakers and thinking about leaving for home”

It started at home and I was so scared I wasn’t able to go to work. What would they say if I took off sick just days after starting? What would they say if I had to leave? What if I can’t go to work EVER AGAIN?!! Familiar what-if-thoughts getting just a bit out of hand.

I was able to get myself to work. (I should add that it’s just a few minutes walk. But with a panic attack it feels endless.) I thought that I can always go back home after I’ve gone to work.

I stood in the changing room and was going through an intense battle in my mind. I was literally stuck in the middle: trying to get my feet moving and go to my classroom when on the other hand watching my sneakers and thinking about leaving for home.

I was able to go to my classroom by thinking that I at least will go and see my coworkers. I can leave if I have to. Taking it step by step really helps. First step: walk to work. Second step: go to classroom. Etc.

What helped also was that I immediately told my coworker that I had a panic attack in the morning and still felt a bit weird. So if I had to leave she would know why. Telling about panic is scary because you don’t know how people react but I’ve had only positive responses after I started talking about it.