Tag Archives: Panic attack

If you lived here, you’d be home by now

Here is a statement I have spent a lot of time pondering lately. Since April I have found myself without a home, but in all honesty that reality stretches back months before.

The last time I remember feeling really truly “at home” was at my sub-leased apartment in Los Angeles. It was also the last time I lived alone. It’s coming up on a year since I left there to return here to my supposed support system.

As soon as I moved back to Michigan I was living in someone elses house. They did, at times, their best to make me feel it was my home as well. Sometimes it did, but not often. Mostly, they treated me like a troubled teen & they were my foster parents. The disturbing fact about this is that they are my age. I love how people use your mistakes to make themselves feel better about their empty or somehow unfulfilled lives. I’ve already told the story of how my time ended there, no need to dredge it back up again.

Then onto the farm, which I have also written about. This is the place where my life nearly ended, by my own choice. As I stared at that bottle of Oxys, thinking about how many it would take to get the job done right, I also thought about Heather & what not only losing me would do to her, but the knowledge that I used her pills to end my life. That is what kept me from going through with it. That was also the only real opportunity I’ve had to end my life by going to sleep & never waking up. What can I say, I’m a pussy. I can’t end my life in violence. I can’t slit my wrists. I can’t shoot myself. I can’t hang or drown myself. This might have something to do with the fact that I actually don’t want to die. I just want a way out of this sinkhole I’ve gotten myself stuck in.

There is no one to blame but me. Sure, people have wronged me & I them. That’s not the point. I’m in charge of me, or supposed to be anyway. I did this. I am the only one who can undo it. Now I just have to figure out how.

Right, I digress, back to the farm. I spent 2 months at this place & slid further into the darkness every day that I was there. It’s easy to do that there. It’s a sad place full of broken people going around in circles. It was the perfect place for me to lose myself. I just didn’t deal with any of my problems, dug the holes deeper & swallowed pills to numb any semblance of emotion. Every day was exactly the same. Sleep 12-14 hours, thanks to the pills. Otherwise I wouldn’t have slept at all. This is also the time that my eating habits became sporadic. I existed on Dr. Pepper & onion bagels.  I have never cared less about anything in my life as I did during that period. I would go 5-7 days without showering. What was the point? Then one day I had to come down to Detroit for an event I was supposed to work.

I needed somewhere to stay over the weekend, so I didn’t have to drive the 60 miles between the farm & Detroit. So I called a guy I used to be able to rely on. He abruptly blew me off, leaving me hanging & stuck. I laid in my car for an hour or so, contemplating whether or not I should contact my friend who lives down here. We have kept in touch, but had not seen much of each other in the years since I had moved away from Detroit. I felt a great deal of guilt as I text her, but the panic I felt at the thought of sleeping in my car in Detroit outweighed the worry of asking her. It was only for the weekend, so it couldn’t be that bad, right? WRONG!

2 days has turned into 2 months & I have become a blob of self-pity, depression & burden on my friends who are also going through very difficult transitional periods in their life, yet still manage to take care of their responsibilities on a daily basis. It fills me with shame & heightens the self-pity. I don’t stack up. I am the giant wart on the thumb of this house. I feel it every moment of every day, unless I have managed to find a way to keep myself busy, doing anything.

When I came here & the initial discussions were that I could stay here while I got myself together, that when I got some money coming in I would contribute. Due to my frozen state, that has yet to happen & I feel the time for me to leave is growing nearer by the minute, rather than the hour. This week is the 1st time I’ve really made a concerted effort to change my circumstances. I am doing it for me, first & foremost yes, but at the same time, because of what these beautiful women have done for & put up with from me, I want to do it for them as well. I want to see in me what they do….SO badly!

So, for today, as I sit on the back porch of this home I’ve grown to love, the only thing I can think to say is….If I lived here, I’d be home by now.

Stay tuned for tomorrows installment. Who knows, it may even be a vlog lol

❤ to all who follow & care!

You don’t know what it means to me, this growing group of people showing an interest in my disaster of a life.

Thank you

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19th Nervous Breakdown

As I write this, at 5:30am, just over 24 hours since my last post, it feels likes weeks already. The pain that has been lifted from my soul, my heart, my shoulders, my brain….it’s immeasurable. While I was typing yesterday, I felt hopeless & scared beyond anything that I have felt in years. I hate that feeling & was falsely under the impression that I had fought & won my battle with anxiety, panic & fear. Why do we do this? What it is that makes feel such shame for having a mental disorder? I have a dying kidney & I’ve never been ashamed of that. I’m just saying.

I have suffered both of these ailments all my life, but the anxiety is humiliating in my mind. I don’t openly share it with people. I actively hide it, in fact. I have so many stories of having anxiety or panic attack in social or public situations throughout my life that I could fill a book. I have left friends at concerts just because I felt if I didn’t I would die. I have hidden in bathrooms, so the people I was with wouldn’t see me freaking out. I’ve collapsed when my legs would give out on me. I used to go directly to the ER from the bar when I was young, for either problem, but as far as my friends were concerned, it was always about the kidney.

You know what just hit me? It seems as though being a drug addict or alcoholic is even more acceptable in our society today than mental issues are. That’s just bullshit! Oh & while I’m on the subject of drugs & addicts…Wait, let me preface this by saying that I have no animosity towards addicts. I love & have loved many….friends who have died, a lover who died, many family members who are either in recovery or still struggling. That being said, there is a phenomenon brewing these days, which on a very serious level, is justified. Benzodiazapines have become, as a recent doctor describes them, the devil. I can see the point, to an extent. While I am very against the over-use of prescribed drugs & even any use of some, I have found that one medication helps me feel more “normal” & capable of being a productive member of society. I have also tried quite a few anti-depressants to see if they can curb my sometimes crippling fright. I have found one of those that works & I am not necessarily ashamed that I take these meds, but I don’t advertise it. It’s because of the stigma attached to these drugs that keep me in silence, for the most part. Those people who are closest to me know of my struggles. Trust me, I tried for 35 years to curb the anxiety & panic without any drugs. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did try using alcohol for several years when I was young, but that just made me act like an idiot, so I gave that up. I tried breathing, meditating, therapy…nothing made it stop, until I was prescribed, against my wishes, Xanax. I am both sorry I ever took that first one, knowing that I may never feel that calm & normal without medication again; and relieved, that there actually is a way to feel like a functioning human being.

What I really need is to find a way to accept my shortcomings. I deal with all my other ones, why is this one so difficult to just accept? Why is mental health such a taboo? Maybe I should look for a support group or something….

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Far Away Eyes

Have you ever looked deeply into your reflection in the mirror & seen a stranger staring back at you?

Well, this is the place I find myself in these days. I’m not exactly sure when it happened or how I missed the transition. Was it sudden? Or did it happen gradually? However it came about, it has scared me to my core. What I find myself allowing to happen to my life disgusts me in ways I can’t even find the correct words for. Tonight was the breaking point for me. Something has to change, NOW, because I can NOT do this! I will not lay around on my ever-expanding ass while I watch everything I worked tirelessly over the past 6 years fall further from my grasp. Suddenly I feel a sense of panic that I can’t shake, the likes of which I thought I overcame 4 years ago. I realize that when the plans I had when I moved to Los Angeles began to crumble, I could feel the confidence I had in myself slowly begin to chip away, as if I had an internal sledge-hammer & I was subconsciously tearing myself down from the inside. There is no way that I, with a little hindsight, blame this descent on the city or the inhabitants. I did this at first, because it’s always easier to blame your circumstances on other people or your environment. I am smarter than that & know it comes from within.

Why wasn’t I born with that genetic drive to succeed? How is it that I can be so naturally creative & talented, yet have no motivation or discipline to pursue my dreams. I really can’t stand that cliché’ “Chasing your dreams”. It’s not how I see things. I believe more in pursuing your passion, the need to create to feel vital, as if it is water & when you deprive yourself of that outlet, you die a little inside, until one day you wake up & find yourself feeling empty & broken. I am beyond angry with myself for being such a lazy, slacker slob.

Today I woke up & felt as if I had fallen asleep in a bed of wet cement, only to find myself feeling stuck & unable to move. By later in the evening the panic attacks I thought were long gone shook me so deeply that I was afraid I may die. I truly hate that feeling with every ounce of my being. A major problem with having this feeling now is that being new to this city, I have yet to find resources & a support system to turn to for help. I don’t know how to find a doctor or a therapist who will work on a sliding scale, because I have fallen so low that I am honestly destitute. I am days away from losing the apartment I feel blessed to have found 3 months ago. Everyone back in Detroit wants me to just pack up & drive back there, so I am surrounded by my built in support system. Yet there is this screaming voice inside of me that says doing that would be a HUGE mistake. Here I am, crippled by fear, unable to even force myself into the shower or to fold & put away my clean clothes that I finally washed yesterday after a month. If I don’t find some help TOMORROW, I don’t know what will happen.

Let me make this PERFECTLY clear, I am not now, nor have I ever been, suicidal. Too many years of my life sucked for me to just give up on it now. Besides, I couldn’t do that to the people who love me. It’s just a pathetic, cowardly way out of a bad situation & usually, if I stick it out long enough, things will turn around for the better. I just don’t think I can hold on without having a complete breakdown if I don’t find the help I need tomorrow. When I think about that last sentence, my level of panic begins to rise again. Since I don’t have health insurance, like so many people in our country, if I do have a breakdown I’ll end up in some disgusting, scary state mental hospital. That is a fate as bad as death to me.

My brain does not accept any of this. My logical side is bitch slapping my emotionally driven side. There is a huge war going on inside my brain as I type this. The main question being asked is “how could this be happening? I don’t get crippling depression, never have. Why this time? Why now?” I wish I knew the answer to even one of these questions. Damn it! I am wasting away & feel too overwhelmed to stop it on my own. It’s actually pretty amazing I even found the strength to type this out tonight, as I haven’t written in nearly two months, even though I think about doing so daily. That’s something at least, a positive sign. Now, here’s to hoping I can wake up in the real morning hours tomorrow & find some fucking help! I refuse to feel again what I felt tonight.

You know what the worst part is about where I find myself mentally at this moment? The fact that I can’t cry, nothing, not a drop. It is such a healthy release of pain & stress, yet much like sleep, it is starting to elude me again. I haven’t felt this lost since last year when Corey & my Grandfather passed in a 7 day period. At least that was justifiable. This is just unacceptable to me! If anyone is reading this & has some useful suggestions for me, I would greatly appreciate whatever you think may help.

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is the first day on the road back to my happy & successful life!

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Anxiety Girl

I am now & always have been what I call an anxiety girl. What I mean by this is that I, for so many years in my life, allowed my anxiety problem to run & control my life. Let me explain a little better.

For the first 30 or so years of my life I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I researched insatiably for reasons that might explain my intense fear of EVERYTHING, allowing these fears to run the way I lived my life & found SO many ailments, both mental & physical that could explain these horrible things I was going through, which turned out to be SEVERE panic attacks, many different kinds, that constantly made me feel like I was dying.

I used to also be a serious hypochondriac, as a result of the crippling fears of most things that I had developed, due to my undiagnosed anxiety issue. It took until about 7 years ago that I was able to pinpoint my underlying issue. I had thought I was depressed, physically ill, SO many other things, but not having a complete understanding of anxiety, what it was or how it affected & eventually overtakes a person’s life to where IT controls YOU.

Since that time, I have learned SO much more about anxiety, but that didn’t keep me from continuing to give in to it. I just didn’t know any better. I spent more than one period of time in an agoraphobic lifestyle, not leaving the house if I could avoid it & when I did it brought such terrible anxiety & panic that I would usually take myself out of whatever situation I found myself in, work, social settings or just out taking a walk, so I could go back to my “safe place”, being whatever place I happened to call home at that time. I made up any excuse, no matter what it made me look like to others & believe me, it turned me into a very unpopular girl for a long time.

I still learn everyday new ways to cope & try to calm the anxiety. For all I know this is permanent, but I do still hold out hope that I can overcome this chokehold I continue to, although it’s much smaller now, be a reason in my life. I have to say that being an person without health care coverage hurts me tremendously, due to the fact that I can’t get the amount of help I could use to overcome these things that hold me back. I certainly don’t have the money it takes to see a physician regularly & I also believe that therapy helps a lot, but I can’t afford that either. It’s a viscous cycle for me & it frustrated me everyday, when I allow it to.

I have tried multiple “medications” to help me in shedding my fear, phobias, anxiety & panic attacks, which have, in some respect, allowed me to live more, to mix with others more comfortably & to secure a better job & lifestyle. The funny (ironic) thing about me finally giving in to these drugs is that I have, since the age of 17 (when I OD’d & had to fight to keep myself alive, because everyone around me REFUSED to help me or even just drop me off at a hospital) I have had a HUGE drug phobia. I guess sometimes we just reach a breaking point, where regardless of the phobias surrounding it, one has to turn to medications to see if it works.

I hope that in sharing this, it helps me to really face the reality that I may not allow anxiety to run my life, I do still allow it to be involved in it, my decision-making, my choices. I think it’s a lifelong learning experience & I do still hope to beat this.

I also have to say that of all the medications I have tried to help treat this, there is only one that truly controls my anxiety & allow me to be a more “normal” member of society, meaning it allows me to function better, interact with others, etc without the fear & desperate need to rush home, because the fear was screaming inside my head.

I will admit here that I do feel guilty at times for using Xanax to live my life outside of fear. I know exactly where this guilt comes from. It comes from losing SO many people to drug abuse. I feel if I am “relying” on a medication to bury the anxiety, I may not be any better or in a better place than the addicts in & around my life that I ride SO hard.

I don’t know….but I can say that I am tired of feeling guilt for using (not abusing) something that truly does help me get through each day better than anything else I have found. Still, though, I know SO many people struggle with addiction to this drug, hence the uncertainty & guilt.

I stated in another blog that there have been times in the years since I’ve started taking Xanax that I have used it as more of a crutch than a tool. I am fully aware of that & every time it happened I checked myself & cut the Xanax completely out of my life for weeks, just to get it out of me & see how well I can function. The sad reality of it is that I can’t live or cope as well when I’m off the stuff. That REALLY pisses me off. All I want is to feel normal, to cope better with life & all the pitfalls & disappointments that come with it. I would rather do that without the aid of drugs, but I may not ever be able to do that, but I always have hope.

I can’t even list here the bad experiences I have had with anxiety ruining my life, taking things away from me that I had worked SO hard to achieve & just flat-out FREAKED OUT in public settings. I have left my friends at concerts, couldn’t ride in cars for a time without the panic setting in, leaving work at different phases in my life due to almost debilitating anxiety. I have had panic attacks where I was certain I was about to die…fainting, having my legs just give out on me, not being able to breathe, throat closing, dizziness & light-headedness, you name the symptom, I’ve had it. What I wouldn’t give to get rid of all that. I don’t even know how many times in my life I have run to the nearest restroom to splash cold water on my face, just to help me start breathing again.

I have a lot to learn still, better coping mechanisms, better ways to breathe, as I am a shallow mouth-breather. This makes meditation difficult for me, as well as yoga & any calming or breathing exercises. This does not mean I am not willing to learn. I am. I have been on a journey of discovering practical & not medicinal ways of working through this challenge. I will continue to fight this, as hard as it is. I know I’m worth fighting for damn it, because I want to live happily for at least half the amount of difficult or bad years that I have. I don’t this to be all there is in my, I won’t accept it!

It feels SO good to get these things off my chest, as every step, every fear & issue I face, it brings me one step closer to living a fuller, happier life & that’s all I have ever wanted!

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