Otherwise known as what happened on days 194, 196 and 197 and why they aren't here.
Anxiety took over and still hasn't completely let go of it's mighty grip. Self-portrait of fear. After several days and nights of bad attacks that had me thinking I would never find my grounding or even sometimes at the height of it my sanity, I said enough was enough and went to the doctor on Monday. Having to have someone else drive me to the doctor, having to break down in tears on the floor and call for help after the appointment, having to get my sister to come spend the night and help me with my girls because I was scared to be alone, it was hard being quite used to self-sufficiency to have to ask for help.
And now I am battling my way out of it. It had been building for a month and came to a head over the course of last weekend, leaving me feeling frayed, guessing and hopeless. Having one's mind and body turn against you for no logical reason at all may be one of the scariest things that could ever happen.
There is no reasonable specific fear for these sorts of anxiety attacks. I know this because I watched my own mother suffer them and I know other women who also have suffered them as well. I am lucky to have these women to protect me from a fear that cripples you inside a mind and body where not even one ordinary moment feels safe. Logically, the world has not changed one iota from previous ones where things seemed, well, normal, but some trick of the brain throws my body into such a state of never-ending fight or flight that it takes exhausting amounts of time to deal with and recover from, topped by knowing it will be coming again. Hence the cycle of anticipation of it happening again, a circular pattern of constantly testing heart, breath and state of dizziness in anticipation of what is sure to come.
Right now I feel myself coming back a little. Where Saturday and Sunday left me feeling terrorized, Monday brought with it an acknowledgement and medication to help me climb off the ledge of disaster. Tuesday brought a battle of the wills, me versus my brain, as I forwent the short-term medication so that I could go to work and be available for the kids. When I woke today and realized all too dismally that the feeling was still there I took the damn pill and let them tell me to go home from work and take care of myself. I'll take the damn pill that makes me feel woozy again tomorrow because it helps me feel safe, more than once reminding myself it's antihistamine based and not addictive. I am lucky that now I can go to the doctor and say this is happening to me and they schedule me medication and behavioral therapy. My mother and others twenty years ago were not so lucky and had to deal with months or years of suffering and/or hospitilization before they were diagnosed and treated.
There were times over the last five days that I thought that I might not ever be able to regain my rightness, my surety. Luckily, these days have also brought the ability and mechanisms to cope and the words and reassurances of those who have suffered that the medication will be able to stabilize it. I may have to take it a year, two years, or maybe a lifetime, but they say it will help. I hope it does, because I want to have my joy back. This year I have made so many strides in finding the beauty and the divineness in the simple moments of my life and I can't wait to continue on that journey and write more about it.
But all 365 aside writing had to wait. Everything is waiting while I find my footing and I am finding that somehow I am okay with that. It actually seems easy when you have no choice. And as in the past I've said that time flies too fast to fit all the juicy, wonderful bits, right now the time passes slow as one more hour passes by and I'm still okay. This is the first day I've felt comfortable to sit here at the computer and type. It was a joy to sit here and be able to put words to what I was feeling. To me that shows I am making progress.
What have I learned? That even when I am weak I am damn strong, that when you need them people come to your aid all you have to do is ask, that family always shows up in a crisis no questions asked and that I cannot judge another person without knowing what they are struggling with internally on their own journey.
One day I hope to payback or pay forward all the kindness that has been gifted my way this past week and look forward to having words in this space again.